Monday, 17 February 2020

Prague day 3 | January 2020

Sunday 19 January | steps

We got up early-ish on Sunday, all packed and ready to go - it was our last full day in Prague, and we would be spending the night at Seven Days Boutique Hotel. I had been invited there to review the hotel, and we got an Uber from our apartment (about £2.50) to save tying to get our cases onto the tram. It was too early to check in so we left our cases at reception and ventured out for another day of sightseeing. 


We wanted to get our bearings against decided to walk rather than using the trams, grabbing a quick bite to eat on the way to our first stop. This was the Museum of Communism, where I was so engrossed I took precisely zero photos. It was really good though - it's around £12 to get in which is quite expensive, as museums go, but there's loads to look at and plenty to learn. It's really central too.



So central, in fact, that the Palladium Mall was about 30 seconds away by foot. This had been high on our to-do list; not because we wanted to go shopping, but because I was dying to take P to Vytopna, a train themed restaurant that I've been to before. We had basically planned the whole trip around this, and I was soooo excited when we got there and sat down to await our cocktails - delivered on a tiny train which runs around the whole restaurant. It did not disappoint!

If you want to see a boomerang of the cocktail arriving,
check out the 'Prague' highlight on Instagram.com/katy.gilroy

After that we decided to have a bit of a mooch around the city. With it being our last day we wanted to take it easy and catch any beautiful buildings that we might have missed - including Wenceslas Square, the place where Jan Palach set fire to himself to protest against the Warsaw Pact. This happened to be just around the corner from our hotel, and it was time to check in by now anyway so we grabbed some 7up from the shop nearby and headed to our room to have some vodka and a bit of a chill.


I had some photos to take for the hotel review, and then I read my book for a while before we popped down to the bar for a pint. We then got the tram back into town to catch the Liverpool game at the Irish Times Bar. We caught the fantastic Kate Powers while we were there, watched the football and drank a bit too much. At least I did, anyway...


After the game and another pint we decided to head to pretty much the first restaurant we spotted - Bohemia, where I had some goulash (my first time, because I'm now really good at trying new foods thank you very much) which was delicious, and P had something involving steak which he actually said was a bit rubbish. I had a cocktail and he had a lager, and I can't remember exactly but I think it came to around £23 which isn't too bad for a city centre meal. Apparently there was a jazz guitarist playing which personally I don't remember, probably because of all the vodka/cider/cocktails throughout the day.


And that, pretty much, was a wrap on our time in Prague. We had an early train the next day heading over to Vienna - and we were excited to see a new place but gutted to leave the beautiful Czech capital. I would recommend Prague to anyone!

Friday, 14 February 2020

My 5 favourite make up picks for 2020

This post contains PR samples denoted by a * - please see my disclaimer for more info.

When it comes to make up, I tend to get stuck in a rut and use the same things aaallll the time. So for 2020, I want to make sure I'm really using what's in my (rather large) stash. Over the past few weeks I've been mixing things up, but I wanted to curate a list of my favourite staple items in case anyone needs any make up inspiration - I know I'll keep coming back to these products throughout 2020.


Make Up Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer


If you're after a budget concealer, then this is the one. I prefer this to the Conceal & Hydrate despite my dry skin - it just works so well and looks really nice on the skin. It comes in at less than a fiver, and there are so many shades to choose from. Buy Make Up Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer here or in your local Superdrug!

Urban Decay Naked Honey Eyeshadow Palette*


I got my hands on this just before Christmas and I've been using it so much since. The shades are gorgeous - golds and browns, mattes and sparkles, something for everyone. And they are soooo pigmented. I love all of the Naked palettes, but there's something a bit special about this one and it's definitely one of my favourites. Even for someone who's rubbish at eyeshadow like me, it's fairly easy to use and you can create some gorgeous looks. Buy Urban Decay Naked Honey Palette here or at a counter near you.


Hylamide HA Blur Primer


I have loved this for years, and have repurchased it time and again. It's genuinely the best primer I've ever tried - you need a tiny bit, so it lasts forever and at £10 it's a steal anyway. I love everything about it, and it works well whether my skin is going through a dry OR oily phase so I think it's an all-rounder winner. Buy Hylamide HA Blur Primer here!


Pixi MatteLast Liquid Lipsticks*


I'm not choosing one shade so maybe that's cheating in terms of this list 5, but it's my blog so whatever. I love the formula of these soooo much; the shape of the applicator wand makes them so easy to apply AND the shade range is massive. Also they smell like chocolate orange. My favourite shades are Peony Pink, Matte Beige and Berry Beauty. Buy Pixi MatteLast Liquid Lipsticks here.


Collection Incredibrow Tinted Brow Mascara


Because I can't be bothered getting my eyebrows done as often as I should, a good brow mascara is a staple part of my make up collection. And this budget offering is one of the best I've ever tried - it doesn't go hard and crispy, it seems to last forever (both on the brow and it terms of how long I've had this one) and the wand is really long so it's easy to use. Absolute dream - Buy Collection Incredibrow here or in Boots/Superdrug stores.

What make up are you loving for 2020? And what new launches have you got your eye on? 

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Prague day 2 | January 2020

Saturday 18 January 2020 | 15,513 steps

It was P's birthday on our second full day in Prague, and we had some fun things planned. Our first stop was the Museum of Senses, which was a short tram ride away from where we were staying. It's 299 czk per person, so around a tenner each, and it's full of optical illusions to play around with and plenty of photo opportunities. It's not huge and we were only there for around an hour, but we had soooo much fun and I'd definitely recommend it.



We then had a cheeky McDonald's lunch - I'm certainly not opposed to nipping into a foreign Maccies when you've got loads to cram in during a trip, especially as each country has different food available. FYI, the chicken strips in Czech McDonald's are amazing.

Our next stop was Prague Castle. We got the tram over to the right side of the river, then walked up all the steps. You can get the tram up (it's number 22) and I would definitely recommend doing this! But alas, we didn't - the view at the top is worth it, though, and the castle grounds are stunning. There's a cafe and museum areas and just loads of really lovely buildings - it's the largest coherent castle complex in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



We did end up getting the tram back down, and decided to walk back over the Charles Bridge - it really is iconic. I wanted to watch the Newcastle game that evening, so we went off to scope out an Irish bar ahead of time; we found one, the Irish Times Bar, and couldn't leave without having a pint first. So we did, and then I took P to see the famous 'Man Hanging Out' statue of Sigmund Freud.


I was dying to head back to the Nightmare Horror Bar which was a short tram ride away, because I love a themed bar with funky cocktails and this is one of the best. We were definitely making the most of our tram tickets, as you can tell! We had two cocktails here, made friends with some Liverpool fans and then headed back into town - but not before we had a quick peek at Fred & Ginger, otherwise known as The Dancing House and one of my favourite buildings in the city.


It was football time then, and what a game it was (Newcastle beat Chelsea in added time and I may have shouted a bit too loud). By this point we were ravenous and, as per tradition, headed to the Hard Rock Cafe. I've only just started visiting these as I always thought they were suuuuuper expensive; and they are a bit pricey, but so worth it. We each had a cocktail, and got the souvenir glasses to go with them - P had a big steak and chips while I opted for my favourite twisted mac & cheese (with chicken and garlic bread). I think it came to around £58, but as it was P's birthday I wasn't bothered!


And so concludes my second day in Prague - it was a ball, and we crammed so much in. Keep your eyes peeled for day three...

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Five recent reads | Feb 20

I posted my 2020 to-read list a couple of weeks ago, and I'd already read a few other books - I reaaaallly want to hit 50 books this year, so fingers crossed. I'll be sharing my recent reads every few weeks on here, so keep your eyes peeled if you're interested! There's definitely a variety of books here, so you might find something for you...

My first book of 2020 was A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay, who is one of my favourite authors and has been for a while. As expected, I loved this book - it's about a guy who gets attacked by a colleague and subsequently thinks he's losing his mind. Big twist energy. get it here

Next up I read Every Colour of You by Amelia Mandeville, which was a lovely (and very emotional) YA story. I'm not usually one to read YouTubers' books but the cover of this stood out to me and I was pleasantly surprised when I got around to reading it. It's about a boy who's just come out of an inpatient mental health unit, and a girl he meets along the way. Typically a *bit* cringe at times, but I liked it all the same. get it here


My third book of the year was The Guilty Friend by Joanne Sefton. I liked this, but I need to point out that it requires a massive trigger warning if you are sensitive to content about/regarding eating disorders. I'm not directly but it is something that has had an effect on people I love, so it did throw me a bit. But generally this is a pretty good storyline with a decent twist. get it here

The next book I read took me a while - it was Living My Best Li(f)e by Claire Frost. It's about a woman who works in fashion, who makes friends with another woman - an influencer. That's why I picked it up, because as a blogger I get to see both sides of the influencer world quite a lot. I did like the storyline, but I felt like it did pick on influencers a bit too much. I didn't love it, but it was an easy read if you're into traditionally feminine books. get it here

My fifth book of 2020 was Are We All Just Lemmings & Snowflakes by Holly Bourne, another YA offering. It's about a girl called Olive who goes to a state of the art mental health facility, and it is truly so well-written. I absolutely loved it and would definitely recommend it! get it here 

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Prague day 1 | January 2020

Friday 17 January | 16,951 steps

Hello and welcome to the official start of my Prague/Vienna travel content! This was my third time visiting Prague before heading to Vienna, and we crammed soooo much into the space of a few days. Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of this travel diary - I'm so excited to share it all with you.


We arrived in Prague on the Thursday night, jumping in a taxi at the airport to get to our apartment in Prague 3. I had booked us a Prague City Stay apartment on Airbnb - we were in one of the Roháčova apartments, and you can also book direct with the company. They always have offers on, so shop around and see where is cheapest. Our apartment was perfect; it had everything we needed and the bed was soooooooo comfy. Literally like sleeping in a marshmallow. Would highly recommend.



On the Friday morning we decided to walk into the old town. It took us around 35 minutes with the help of Google Maps, and although it was cold it was nice to get our bearings and we saw some cool street art on our way. We had a little wander around once we got there, snapping some photos and trying to come up with a plan for the day. By that point it was gone midday and we were both peckish, so we headed down one of the little streets just off the main square. Just going 20 seconds away from the central area meant everything was half the price, so I'd definitely bear that in mind. We had a 30cm pizza and a beer each at Le Cinque Corone, a gorgeous little Italian, and it came to 620czk which is £20.



While we were letting our food settle, I went online and booked tickets to the inside of the clock tower/town hall in the old town square. The astronomical clock is a 'must see' in Prague - it's okay, but not the most impressive astronomical clock I've ever seen! However, the inside is amazing. Booking online saved us around 10% and meant we didn't have to queue to buy tickets once inside, so that's worth knowing. We got to see how the clock worked, which was fascinating, and then we had a guided tour around the town hall. It was so insightful and we saw such lovely artwork and decor from over the years. And then we headed up to the very top of the clock tower, which you can reach by ramp or by lift. The views are phenomenal, and I'd definitely recommend doing this. It gets a bit busy up there but for me it was worth it.





Once we were back on the ground we sat and had a beer at MeetBurger. We sat outside, and managed to catch Prague's most well known street performer (Vladimir Pinta) playing saxophone and singing away. He's 86, and just amazing. If you do get to see him doing his thing, you'll LOVE it.



We walked back across the square, stopping to check out the Prague meridian line, and then headed into the Central Gallery. They have three floors with exhibitions dedicated to Warhol, Dali and Mucha. We paid 390czk each (around £13) to see all three exhibitions, which is pricey but it was brilliant. You get to see soooooo much, and it's warm in there so if you're visiting in winter it's a good way to spend an hour or so!



I really wanted to go back to the John Lennon Wall, because it changes so often and I was keen to see what was new. So we headed across the Charles Bridge and down to the wall, which was incredible and so vibrant. We even headed into the John Lennon Pub for a pricey pint. Treat yourself, and all that. By this point we were knackered, and I couldn't face such a long walk back to the apartment. After trying and failing to get tram tickets from any shops, we walked back across the bridge and into the information centre (next to the town hall/clock tower) to buy a 3-day tram ticket each. These cost us 310czk per person, which is roughly a tenner, and the trams turned out to be sooooo easy to use. Once you know what direction you want to go in, they're just brilliant and so frequent too.




For dinner that evening we went to Guston, in Prague 3 just down the road from our Airbnb. It was really cosy and the staff were so friendly; I had the nicest fish & chips ever with a cider, P had a 'wild Mexico burger' and a beer - it came to just under £18 all in. Amazing!


So that's a wrap on day 1 in Prague. Day 2 is coming soon, and it's a good one. Feel free to share this post with your pals if you enjoyed it, and leave me a comment below if you have any questions or recommendations for anyone else planning to visit Prague in the future.


Want to visit Kutna Hora from Prague? CLICK HERE to find out how