Our Stay At Hotel Novotel Nottingham Derby*

Hello there!

If you follow me on, well, basically any form of social media, you may know that me and Z went to Nottingham this weekend for the bank holiday. Whilst we were there, we stayed at the Novotel* and this review is all about our experience!

The Room


The room was absolutely beautiful and far surpassed my expectations. It was modern and spacious, and we had a really comfortable stay here. Something that really impressed me was how light and airy the room was! The bed was also amazingly comfortable, I didn’t want to leave in the morning!


The bathroom came complete with a bath and a ceiling shower, and if you follow me on twitter you may know how much I love baths, so I was so excited to have a long relaxing soak!


The TV was a smart TV which was a nice bonus and perfect for in the morning when we chilled out until the checkout at 12pm (amazing right?!).


Although the this hotel is situated near a road, we had the window open all night and didn’t have an issue with noise. The air con was also a nice addition and definitely helped us to sleep in the 20 degree heat!

The Location

Located just off of junction 25 of the M1, this hotel is perfectly situated for East Midlands airport. However, it is also just a short drive away from Nottingham city centre. For reference, this took around 15 minutes and cost us £13 in an uber. I liked how it’s situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city because this really helped the atmosphere to be so relaxing!


The Atmosphere

The staff were lovely and nothing was too much for them. They were welcoming and accommodating and everything you’d wish for from hotel staff. The atmosphere of the hotel was overall quite relaxed. Me and my fiancé chose to go out for the evening but, when we returned, I noted how busy the bar was, yet it still had such a relaxed vibe. Perfect for a quiet night away.


The Bar/Restaurant

Although we didn’t use the bar ourselves, it really had a lovely chilled vibe. They also had a TV here which the other guests were enjoying late into the evening!


Dining

We chose to eat out the night of our stay, as we were already out in Nottingham city centre anyway. The menu looked great though, and there was plenty on there that we fancied!


We did order breakfast in bed to be delivered by room service in the morning. We filled out a little form and hung it on our door, which ensured that the kitchen knew what we wanted and at what time. I’ll be honest, this was a little expensive in price, but you could add as much as you wanted to the breakfast, so you could definitely get the value for your money! It also felt so luxurious to have breakfast in bed and definitely added to the relaxing atmosphere. The food was also am-a-ziiiiiiiiing. I’ve never tasted a croissant so buttery!


Conveniences

  • Wi-Fi (which was actually really really good!)
  • Free parking
  • Accessible
  • Pet-friendly
  • Business centre
  • Restaurant

Overall Rating

5/5. For a little relaxing break away, this hotel is perfect! The only thing that could have improved this stay for me was the dining prices being a little lower, but after tasting the food I would definitely say it is worth it! The stay was definitely relaxed and luxurious and I would 100% recommend to anyone! I’ll definitely be back, thank you to the staff at Novotel for making this stay so perfect!

Thank you for reading, and thank you to Lee and all of the staff at Novotel for kindly allowing us to have this experience!

I also vlogged the trip, which you can watch HERE!

Love,

H x

*This stay was kindly gifted to us in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own, and this review is entirely honest about my experience. For more information, you can read my Disclaimer HERE.

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Blogmas Day 18- Top 5 Christmassy Things To Do

Hey!

So today I’m writing about my favourite 5 things to do at Christmas! As I couldn’t decide what I like to do more, these are in no particular order, they are just my favourite 5!

1. Bake

I love to bake around Christmas Time! Something about Shortbread, Gingerbread, Cake and Cupcakes just makes me feel all Christmassy! So, this is what I usually spend my whole of Christmas Eve doing!

2. Shop

Obviously! Christmas Shopping is so fun and I love that they play Christmas songs in stores and have Christmas displays, so exciting!

3. Go to Christmas Markets

Another form of shopping, but this time from cute little unique stalls! Christmas Markets are also becoming a tradition for me, and I really love them!

4. Watch Christmas Films

I love films and Christmas so Christmas Films are just amazing to me! I love to watch all of my favourites, maybe even one a day sometimes!

5. Drink Bailey’s Hot Chocolate

Disclaimer: not for the under 18’s!

Bailey’s hot chocolate was introduced to me last year and I love it so much, and now I know for sure that it is going to become a Christmas Tradition!

There you have it, my favourite 5 things to do at Christmas! I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know your favourite things to do in the comments!

‘Til tomorrow,

H x

Pros and Cons Of A Long Distance Relationship

Hey there! My last Long Distance Relationship post seemed to go down pretty well so I decided to write another, this time to sum up the general pros and cons of doing long distance.

Pros:

  • When you finally get to see each other that moment is just indescribably special.
  • You find that you actually end up telling each other and communicating more because of the distance.
  • You find the time you do spend together tends to be doing fun and exciting things rather than just chilling every day, not that chilling is bad!
  • You have more time to yourself which means you can really work at bettering yourself, a perk I’ve particularly enjoyed, although I do miss my boyfriend like crazy!
  • Your relationship seems to get closer and stronger, despite there being more physical distance.

Cons:

  • You don’t see them as often.
  • They’re/You’re more likely to miss special occasions, like birthdays/anniversaries/valentines day.
  • You don’t really get to meet their friends because they’re also far away with them, so this is a bit exclusive and you sort of feel rude, even though you actually can’t help it.
  • It does get lonely.
  • It can feel like you’re living completely separate lives.

 

But, ultimately, going long distance is about being with a person you really care about and enjoy spending time with, so that one day you can spend as much time together as you like. It’s completely 100% worth it if you can see a future with someone, so don’t be put off by movies and TV shows!

Thanks for reading,

Love,

H x

My Experience With The Contraceptive Implant

Hello!

This is such a strange blog post to write for me, it’s so much more personal than I’m used to. But, I’m writing this for a good reason. I’m bloody sick of the implant getting nothing but bad press! Now, I know everyone’s experiences are different, but when I was told the implant was the only option left for me, I was terrified because the only things I could find online were horror stories, eek! So, I’m going to share my experience and, please, feel free to share yours in the comments. I’m not saying the implant is the best choice or even works for everyone, but I am saying that it works for me, so let’s just get that one straightened out!

Okay, so a bit of background. At 16 I wanted to go on the pill. I was told by my doctor that because of family medical history, I wasn’t allowed to go on the combined pill. But there was another type of pill that I could take, the mini pill! On the first mini pill I tried, the hormones reacted very badly to my body and I turned into an actual psychopath. After 6 months of putting up with this (my poor boyfriend) I had my 6 month review and the Doctor made the decision to try me on another mini pill, Cerelle. This word makes me shiver. Cerelle, whilst keeping me sane, did awful awful things to my body! I gained 2 stone in 3 months and stopped taking it off of my own back because I was getting the worst cramps I have ever felt and pains in my sides which were so unbearable I could hardly work. So, I went back to the doctor again (after giving my body a well-needed rest) and they told me that, since the mini pill caused me to gain wait, the injection would also. However, they said that the only option I had left was to try the implant. I knew this was coming and I was dreading it because the single thing that I am the most afraid of is injections, never mind and injection so big that it was actually implanting something into my body!

I’m not gonna lie, I was terrified the whole way through the procedure and didn’t look. But, what I can tell you, is that I genuinely did not feel any pain whatsoever! In fact, I have had a few friends who also have the implant and they got big bruises so I was well-prepared for this, but it didn’t even bruise! Sure, after the numbness wore off, my arm felt heavy and was slightly sore, but it didn’t hurt and I only have a tiny pin prick scar from the needle left now, 1 year later.

Now, the implant has by far been the best thing I’ve tried yet! I check for it weekly, as your advised to, when I’m sat in the bath on a Sunday night and although it does make me gag a little to feel it under my skin, this is so so so important. I recently read a horror story of a poor woman on Facebook whose arm had been left a mess with bruising and scarring from the implant, however it was just because she hadn’t checked for so long that the implant had managed to move and the doctor couldn’t locate it, it is your own responsibility to check on it! Plus, the new implant which has been circulating for the last 2 year or so (which she hadn’t had unfortunately) now shows up on X-Rays so, if yo can’t feel it anymore, a simple X-Ray will find it!

As I said, I do understand that contraception affects different people differently so, if you’ve had a bad experience with the implant please don’t think I’m trying to tell others it’s all good and rosy, but my experience has been very positive and I’d hate for people to be put off (like I almost was) by all of the horror stories online!

Thanks for reading,

H x

My Festival Experience: V Festival 2016

Hello there! As I’m writing this, I’m sat in my boyfriend’s room whilst he’s gone to work and left me with no wifi. It’s the day after V Festival, and wow what an experience! To be completely honest, I wasn’t really going to blog about my experience because I didn’t think it would be worth reading, but now I realise I would have loved to have read a post like this before I went! So here I am, with just-washed hair, zero make up, and yesterday’s glitter everywhere (including on my boyfriend’s bed, oops!) writing allllll about yesterday!
Ok, so we decided to only attend V Festival 2016 for a day because we weren’t really interested in the performers on the Saturday. We attended the Sunday at Weston Park, which is about 1 3/4 hours away from our homes, but conveniently only half an hour away from my boyfriend’s new accomodation, which he was moving into on the same day as V Festival, so busy yet highly convenient!
We got up early to get to his accomodation with plenty of time to spare, as we were only going for the day we really wanted to make the most of it! We put all of his stuff in his room and unpacked, at which point I realised I forgot the tickets! So I had to ring home and get my mother to find them, which was bloody difficult, and arranged for my grandad to bring them through half way (he’s so amazing!) and we were gonna meet them there, considering we had 45 minutes until the festival started and this would be a 2 hour round trip plus the half an hour drive to the festival!
Ok, so we’re 15 minutes away from the meeting point, seems like things are actually going well, and we hit traffic. Not only is this traffic, there is no way whatsoever to get to the services where we are supposed to be meeting my grandad. So, we call him and he agrees to drive the whole way (told you he’s amazing!) but it’s gonna take him a while!
We FINALLY get the tickets at around 2pm and get there for half past, so we made it just in time for Zara Larsson!
Although I do like the few songs that I’ve heard from Zara, I’ve only heard around 3 and I know she’s only the same age as me (18) so I wasn’t expecting much apart from her singingwhat everyone knows. Honestly, she really surprised me, she was confident, funny, engaged the crowd, and wow she can sing and dance! Honestly, she was just so so so adorable that now I want to be her best friend!
After Zara, we headed to the main stage where we planned to spend the rest of our day! We grabbed a drink (£7.20 for a vodka redbull were there’s no queue or £5 for a vodka + mixer in a 300 person queue? I paid the extra £2.20!) and we managed to catch a bit of Stormzy who was really fun!
Next up was Jess Glynne, who me and my boyfriend are both huge fans of! She didn’t disappoint, she has amazing vocals and her stage presence is great, she’s full of life and energy and such a joy to watch!
Now, I’m not going to lie, I really needed a wee at this point. But up next was Bastille and, whilst I wasn’t too bothered about watching them, my boyfriend is a big fan and wouldn’t let me go to the toilet on my own out of fear he would never find me again! So I held it, and I am so glad I did!
Bastille were INCREDIBLE. They were just so energetic and had so much time for the crowd, wow, they really really were the stand-out performers for me, and I totally wasn’t expecting it!
Next up was Sia. I was expecting a lot from this and really hoping she’d bring Maddie, and she brung a bloody look-a-like, but not actually Maddie! Don’t get me wrong, I know that Sia’s image is being all mysterious ect, but by this point it was absolutely chucking it down with rain and she didn’t speak to the crowd or thank them for standing there for an hour to listen to her at all! Instead she played these weird intro clips that didn’t make a lot of sense. On the screens where the stage is usually shown, there was pre-recorded videos which, to be honest, were really annoying! I’m 5″2 and, whilst I was quite close to the stage, I couldn’t see much of it so heavily relied on the screens, if I wanted to watch a pre-recorded music video I could have done so on 4 Music in a nice, warm, dry house where I could sit! So Sia left me and my boyfriend with a bad taste in our mouths, and now we had to wait 20 minutes for Justin.
Justin was 10 minutes late, but worth the wait. His set was almost 2 hours long, which definitely made being stood in the rain all day and paying nearly £100 worth it! He sang old and new, with Baby even being in there, fast and slow, with dancers or just him and a guitar, he covered it all and spoke to the crowd inbetween, as well as eating pop tarts and tying his shoe on stage of course! Biebs is a total diva, but a total performer, he was worth every drop of rain!
So now it was all over, and time to head to the guy who was picking us up. But the M6 was closed, so the person picking us up was an hour walk away! In the end, we did only end up walking about 40 minutes because he managed to advance in the traffic queue, but it was dark and a bit scary and it felt like a lot longer than 40 minutes. However, the festival organisers were really nice about the whole situation and did everything they could to possibly help, so credit to them where credit is due!
On a whole, I did really enjoy the experience! My shoes are absolutely ruined and I’ve thrown them away, but they were only £3 from Primark so I really don’t mind! However, I do think that, if I ever go to another festival, I will be much more focused on having a good time and having room to dance than being near the front, I got so squashed at this festival and I’m claustrophobic so this really wasn’t ideal for me. But I’d definitely do it again, I’m just glad I will have a few more tips and a bit more experience for next time!

As always,
Thank you so much for reading!
Love,
H x

Long Distance Relationships: Yay Or Nay?

Helloooo there!

I haven’t ever really posted anything this personal before, but anyone who knows me may know that I’ve been with my current boyfriend for almost 5 years now (since we were both 13) and we have been long distance for 2 years.

So first a bit of background. Before we were long distance, me and my boyfriend lived literally 10 minutes away from each other (walking). We saw each other every day at school and spent a lot of time after school together too. We didn’t really text much or communicate through anything other than being face-to-face, simply because he never had the credit to and we never really needed to as we saw each other every day.

However, almost 2 years ago now, my boyfriend made some career choices which mean he is away quite a lot. I’m not going to lie, when I realised he was serious about his career choice, I was absolutely terrified. We had never been apart for more than like 3 days since we had gotten together and I just couldn’t see how it could possibly work, he says I’m very pessimistic. Especially from what I’d seen on TV and films, long distance is always said to be a dooming factor for a relationship.

I’m not going to lie, it was really really hard at first. He spent 6 weeks away without coming home and during that time he basically worked 15/16 hour days, so for the little time he had chance to talk to me, he was so exhausted so it made talking difficult. I cried a lot in those first six weeks and I just genuinely went through a really down phase where I was convinced I had lost my boyfriend forever.

In fact, the first three months were awful. By this point, we’d figured out that FaceTiming every night (or just as often as you can) is essential and seeing each other as much as possible also. But something still just wasn’t quite right and I don’t really know what, I just feel like it was a really tough time in our relationship.

I mean, it didn’t suddenly get better over night, and I don’t even remember a turning point for when it got better, it just did. Like honestly, I never thought I’d be thankful for the distance but now I am because it’s really made me feel like our relationship is stronger. Plus, the time we do spend together is almost sacred and it’s just so much more special.

I’m not saying long distance works for everybody, but don’t think it’s an instant dooming for your relationship, like I did. Really, it can work, and really, it can be better and get better. But, you’ve got to really try to make it work, it’s not as natural as a normal relationship (if there is such a thing) and it does require effort. But honestly it can be so rewarding. For me, going long distance, even though I didn’t want to, meant I got to keep my first love and my best friend. Now it’s made our relationship even stronger and I get to still keep my love and best friend, but the time we do get to spend together is just so much more precious and special, and I couldn’t be happier in our relationship, although I do still wish we got to see a bit more of each other!

As always, thanks for reading!

Love,

H x

Life Through Tear Stained Glass GIVEAWAY


Hey there!
I am so excited about being able to hold my first ever giveaway on my Blog! For the last few months I have been working hard to think of prizes and I hope you like what I’ve come up with! The prizes up for grabs are…

The Copper Prize

2x MUA Lux liquid lipsticks in Glint and Luster

 

 

 

 

 

The Bronze Prize

Makeup Revolution London’s Ultra Blush Palette in Golden Sugar

 

 

 

 

 

The Rose Gold Prize

Makeup Revolution’s Flawless Palette, as voted by you on Twitter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

To enter, all you must do is follow my twitter account @LifeThroughTSG and retweet my pinned tweet (at the top of my profile!). This Giveaway will last 1 month from 10th August 2016 and winners will be picked at random and notified by 10am on 11th September. The selected winners will then have 1 week from being notified to reply. If they should not reply within this time, their prize will rollover to the first runner up and so on.

Terms and Conditions:
You must be following @LifeThroughTSG to qualify for entry
You must retweet my pinned tweet to qualify for entry
You must be over 12 years of age
You must be a UK resident or have an address within the UK in which I can send the prize to
For an additional 2 entries, you can follow my Instagram @LifeThroughTSG and repost the picture captioned ‘Giveaway’, be sure to tag me so that I see it! 

My Top Ten Life Experiences So Far

Although I’m only 18, it has recently occurred to me that I’m always wanting more! I’m forever writing wish lists and bucket lists, so this one is a bit different.
Here’s me looking back on and appreciating the past, with my top ten life experiences so far…

10. Starting My Blog
When I originally started my blog, I did so for my absolute own enjoyment and not to please others whatsoever. However, the feeling when I reached 1,200 page views really made me so incredibly happy. I genuinely love my blog, and hope anyone who reads it does too!

9. Seeing Lion King in Theatre
I am an absolute theatre geek so it is hard for me to choose just one theatre visit! However, without a doubt, The Lion King is my favourite production I have seen in the West End so far. The Lion King has it all, breath-taking costumes, the right amount of humour and tragedy, and, of course, that amazing score that I could genuinely listen to all day. If you’re thinking of visiting the West End any time soon, I would definitely recommend going to see The Lion King!

8. Disney Land (twice)
Although I realise this is a very cliche, uninteresting and materialistic experience to be on my top ten, some of my best memories with my family happened at Disney Land! And, whilst I can still make memories with each side of my family, I know they will never be together ever again so the memories where they were are so incredibly special to me.

7. Summer School at Durham University
So, just under a year ago, I attended a Summer School by Sutton Trust at The University of Durham. I’ll be honest, although the University is beautiful, I definitely decided it wasn’t for me. However, the friendships I made at this Summer School are still ongoing, a whole year later! Durham itself, as well as the University, is absolutely gorgeous and I would fully recommend the city to anyone looking for a small getaway this Summer, it really is beautiful. We also did lots of amazing things at this Summer School that I’ve never done before! We did Swing Dancing, which was so so so fun, and even had a silent disco, which I LOVED. I’m so glad I took this opportunity! 
You can find out more about Sutton Trust Summer Schools HERE

6. Prom
Alright, so I know this is so stereotypical and boring but I genuinely did not expect much at all from my Prom! I had a bit of a poo day to begin with, my spray tan had gone patchy on my face (of all places) but my make-up artist did an AMAZING job of filling it in and making it all even! Then, on the way to the photo place where everyone goes before Prom begins, my dress broke! The hook and eye just completely snapped so instead of being straight cut my Prom dress had a V back. But, as soon as I got there, I really loved Prom! Everyone was in such high-spirits and the atmosphere was so amazing! Before I actually went to Prom, I was dreading it, but I’m so glad i eventually decided to go! Honestly, I had such a good time and I would 100% urge anyone thinking of not going to GO, you won’t regret it!

5. Indoor Sky Diving
I really really loved this experience. My only wish would be that you could actually be in the wind-tunnelly thing with someone else! I went with my boyfriend and, whilst I loved it, I wish we could have been in there together instead of each on our own with an instructor. However, I’m sure there is probably some safety reason that we weren’t allowed so probably best to be safe and appreciate the experience anyway!
(We did this with the lovely people of airkix.com)

4. London 2015
Ok, so I have been to London a few times in my life, given that it’s the capital city of the country and all, but none have them have been particularly like this trip. This trip was completely random, and a surprise from my boyfriend for doing well in my AS exams. He didn’t tell me until a few days before, so I genuinely had no idea, and he also booked it pretty much impulsively and spontaneously. On this trip we saw Les Miserables in the theatre, which I have seen before and love so wanted to watch again, and stayed in a hostel. I was totally worried about staying in a hostel because I’ve never ever ever done that before! But, in the end, it ended up pretty much just like a cheap hotel! We had our own room and bathroom and the place was modern and clean, so I can’t see a problem. My main concern was the area we stayed in, Elephant and Circus, was a bit scary if you’re not from there and have no idea where to go! Although, obviously due to the low cost of the hostel, we didn’t have a TV in our room, we watched X Factor on our phones and films and other TV at the night time, there was free WIFI and we didn’t really want to wander around Elephant and Circus too much! But, as a whole, this trip was hands down one of the best experiences of my life! It was fun, light-hearted and really really relaxed, especially to say we were in London! We spent most of our time in Leicester Square, which is my favourite place in London, and also visited Covent Garden, my second favourite place! The trip was just so relaxed I can’t even put it into words, it definitely deserves the number 4 spot on My Top Ten Life Experiences!

3. Dancing
Okay, so this is a very generalistic experience. However, I have danced as part of a Dance School for the last 15 years of my life. I am due to leave soon to pursue new experiences and, although I am excited, I cannot ignore how much I am going to miss dancing! I have loved every single second of performing and I am so sad that I’m going to be giving it up very soon, but I am so grateful for the experience!
2. Ibiza 2014
This is BY FAR my favourite holiday I’ve ever been on! This was my second holiday with my boyfriend and we went with his side of the family. Ibiza is the prettiest place I’ve ever seen, particularly the older places like Ibiza Town, and the holiday as a whole was just so chilled out and relaxing. We also went to a hippy market, which I’ve never done before, and spontaneously booked to go and see Ed Sheeran and Ibiza Rocks whilst we were there! This is definitely one of the best experiences of my life and I’m so glad that I will have these memories and share them with my boyfriend for the rest of my life!
1. Falling in love
And this one doesn’t just mean with your significant other! Falling in love with whatever it may be; your job, your hobby, your friends, or even your partner. Falling in love with someone else has taught me how to love myself, and that really is the most important lesson of all.

 

Gaining A New Sibling As An Adult

To be 100% completely honest, when my mother told me she was pregnant I thought she was crazy. I was 17, planning my next step to university and it had been 14 years since she last had and brought up a child! She was also getting older herself, and I just didn’t think she’d be able to handle it. I mean, I am technically old enough to have a child myself and my mother is still having them? The whole idea just seemed too crazy for me to even process at the time. Absolutely crazy.
And then there was the point that this child, who was my brother, would be in the same class and year at school as the babies of my friends! Although I seriously have no plans of having my own children just yet, it seems weird for me to be an older sister to a child whom is 17 years younger than me.
Don’t get me wrong, I was so excited to have a new little brother. I love children and babies, I love that they’re the new generation whom we must teach good. I love that they look up to us. And I love most of all the sheer joy they experience over the littlest of things. Children have no boundaries or worries and that really inspires me. But it also scared me a lot how much my new brother would look up to me. I’m not a child anymore, so mistakes aren’t as forgivable. I knew it was coming up to my exams and I had selfish, petty worries about being kept up late by a screaming child.
Now let me tell you, this did not happen.

So, even if you are a bit scared that you might be too old to be a new sibling to somebody, don’t fear it, embrace it!

My little brother is one of the happiest and most joyful babies I’ve ever met. He finds everything hilarious and, when I’ve had a stressful day, it is his smile that I look forward to seeing, because he is the only person I can make genuinely happy just by walking into a room. This kid absolutely means the world to me, and, rather than finding him annoying like I first thought, he also inspires me to be a better person.
And I’m so incredibly proud of my mother. Although the she’s had to re-learn so many things in new ways (who knew babies came with so many rules) she’s taken it hands on and really produced a delightful child. He’s content and happy and she really couldn’t have done much better than that.
So, even if you are a bit scared that you might be too old to be a sibling to somebody, don’t fear it, embrace it!
Being a big sister again is one of the most enlightening and inspiring processes I’ve ever been through,
I could not love my new little brother anymore.
Love,
H X