A Christmassy Weekend at Center Parcs

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Hi Everyone,

Last weekend me, my husband and a couple of our friends went to Center Parcs at Woburn in Bedfordshire. Luckily for us it’s literally only 40 minutes up the road but it’s always so nice to get away from everyday life for a few days, even if it’s not too far away!

We had a Woodland Lodge for 4 people and I was really impressed by the disabled facilities. The main reception room and our bedroom and bathroom were a fantastic size, there was more than enough room for me and my wheelchair and my manual hoist to manoeuvre around with ease. The kitchen even had a lowered work surface and a sink with taps in a better position so that everything was easier to use.

The main reason we went at this time of year was because from 7th November this year, everything is set up for Christmas! I am a BIG fan of Christmas, so this was so ideal! There were pretty lights, Christmas shops, reindeer and fake snow. If you have children, they would love it so much but as you know I’m 28 and I still loved it!

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We were pretty lucky with the weather and it never really affected anything we wanted to do. On the Sunday night there was a light display and fireworks organised by Center Parcs which were amazing and definitely worth going to, just make sure you wrap up warm as it was super chilly!

Overall for disabled people Center Parcs might be an odd choice as a lot of the activities are physical; if you enjoy swimming like I do they have a changing room with a ceiling hoist and a chair that can wheel you into the wave pool but be aware that the waves start every quarter to and quarter past the hour and I would avoid them if you aren’t a strong swimmer!

To be honest, it’s just a really nice atmosphere, to be with family or friends and to get away and relax if you want to. We went for some walks and the views were amazing, an ideal setting for someone who loves photography like me! It’s also an excuse to bring out the most amazing knitwear and winter accessories 😉

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Jumper – New Look

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Purple Turtleneck Top – H&M
Spotty Top – River Island (sold out online, check in store)
Jeggings – Next
Boots – Primark
Bag – Primark

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Hat – H&M
Jumper – Old H&M (similar here)
Grey Jeggings – Select
Boots – New Look (sold out online, similar here)
Bag – Primark

I hope you don’t mind all of the photos, I got a little picture crazy while I was there and I wanted to share lots with you! Let me know if you like this style of travel post or whether I should make them shorter!

Hope you all have a good week.

Much Love,

 

B & M Autumn / Winter Candle Haul

Hi Everyone,

So if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am completely obsessed with candles. I’d heard about the infamous B&M ‘Bath and Bodyworks’ candle dupes and I was desperate to get my hands on them. Unfortunately I can’t find any online to link for you but I went into store and they had a huge selection there.

I bought a whole range of candles with Autumn scents to Winter ones and they all smell soooo good! Also can we just talk about the packaging… I almost don’t want to burn them because they look so pretty! They were only £2.99 each for two wick candles so you literally can’t go wrong.

Now, we all know that describing scents is the hardest thing ever, so I’ll show you my haul below and then I’d definitely recommend you go and check them out in your local store.

Autumn Candles

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Radiant Red Maple

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Brown Sugar Allspice

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Black Cherry Merlot

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Marshmallow Fireside

Winter Candles

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Frosted Cranberry

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Iced Candy

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Vanilla Snowflake

Happy Shopping!

Much Love,

 

Autumn Drugstore Makeup Haul

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Hi Everyone,

I popped into town the other day and spotted that Superdrug had 3 for 2 on all of their makeup… Dangerous! So I got a little spendy and I thought I’d show you what I got from there and Boots!

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L’Oreal L’OR Highlighter – £4.99

I’d heard Alix from I Covet Thee on youtube rave about this and I really wanted to try it for myself. I expected it to be much more expensive but I was pleasantly surprised. I haven’t used it on my face yet, but from swatching it, it has an almost velvet texture.

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Barry M Matte Lipstick – 179 – £4.99

This is one of the new matte lipsticks from Barry M and I just fell in love with the colour!

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MUA Luxe Eyeshadow Palette – Enchanted – £6.00

I can’t get over how pretty this palette is and I’m so excited to try it. It really reminds me of the Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette but around £50 cheaper! I’m not sure on the quality of the eyeshadows but I’ll keep you updated once I’ve tested it.

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Garnier Moisture Bomb Face Mask – 99p

I actually tried this mask the night that I got it and after trying other sheet masks, it is one of my favourites. The product didn’t drip off and go everywhere like others do and it clung to my face so it felt like it was really working. My skin didn’t feel very soft afterwards but it looked very moisturised and brighter. For the price (it’s usual price is £1.49) it’s worth a try if you have dry skin like me.

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Max Factor Creme Puff Blush – Gorgeous Berries – £8.99

I haven’t had a berry blush shade before and this just looked so pretty! I’m all about the autumn make up at the moment and this fits in perfectly.

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MUA Luxe Glow Beam Liquid Highlight Cushion – £5.00

This is another new release from MUA and it’s a cushion highlight which I’ve never tried before. I have swatched it and it’s quite subtle, but I think it will work well layered under a powder highlight to ensure that it doesn’t budge all day!

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NYX Matte Lipsticks – Eurotrash and Tea Rose – £6.50 each

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Makeup Obsession Build Your Own Palette – Palette – £6.00 and each pan – £3.00 each

  • Top Row from Right to Left – Contour Powder C102 Light, Contour Powder C101 Fair, Highlight H103 Bronze
  • Bottom Row from Right to Left – Banana Powder C111, Blush B112 Bloom, Highlight H104 Moon

So Boots now have something called a Makeup Emporium in some of their stores and they have one in Northampton. You can test lots of different makeup they have selected and you can build your own face or eyeshadow palettes. I really wanted to build a face palette so I can take it with me when I travel. They have everything you need from contour powders, blush and the most incredibly pigmented highlighters!

Have you been buying any of the new Autumn make up releases?

Much Love,

 

A Weekend in Manchester

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Hi Everyone!

I asked on social media if you’d like a long post with all the details of our weekend in Manchester or just a snippet… and you all wanted a long post, so here we go! I have included all of the things we got up to, awesome places to shop and eat and also everything all my fellow disabled people will need to know! All thrown in with tons of photographs which I really enjoyed shooting!

I’d been to Manchester several times before because my sister went to dance college there, but I hadn’t been for ages and I was excited to find new places and be a bit of a tourist this time!

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So of course, we started the weekend with a bit of shopping! The Trafford Centre is one of the most unique and exciting places to shop, the building itself is incredible and the range of shops only adds to how awesome it is!

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They’ve also just opened a new Stradivarius store which is one of my favourite European shops, they have the most gorgeous clothing which is all reasonably priced, think New Look. I’d recommend going here if you’re in the Trafford Centre!

They also have a Selfridges which we stumbled in to because we spotted the food court (hah) and ended up spending about an hour in the store! They had Primark in there, H&M Home, Kikki K, Muji and the most delicious cakes ever (we were very good though and resisted!)

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Everything I wanted to do in the Trafford Centre was accessible and we found it really easy to find lifts when we needed them. One of the main things for me is going to the toilet (skip this section if you don’t want to hear all about it!!) and when I am with my husband, I can only go to the loo using a ceiling or manual hoist. I have discovered in the past year or so the most amazing website called Changing Places. It shows you everywhere in the UK where you can find disabled toilets which are only opened with a Radar Key that have a ceiling hoist and changing bed if needed. It’s literally been a life changer!

Luckily they have them in pretty much every shopping centre in the UK which is perfect for a shopaholic like me! And they have one at the Trafford Centre.

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We ate in La Tasca, one of around 40 different places to eat there! So you’ll never be stuck finding something to suit your taste. The food was delicious and the settings where you eat which are all decorated so you feel like you’re in Spain or America or China are an experience in themselves.

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As you can see, we didn’t leave until it was dark but it was the perfect choice to spend the day there as it pretty much rained the whole of Saturday (typical Manchester!) and so we headed onto our hotel.

We stayed at the Travelodge Ancoats in the city centre, it was about 20 minute drive from the Trafford Centre. We use Travelodge’s a lot because the beds in the disabled rooms are always hollow underneath which allows access for my manual hoist and we don’t require bed risers etc.

I had contacted the hotel a few days before to request a wet room because they have different levels of accessible rooms. They have some rooms with a bath and some with wet rooms which are better suited if you use a manual hoist because obviously you can shower and there’s more room in the bathroom for hoisting onto the toilet.

When we got there we had a room with a bath which was so frustrating and when we spoke to reception, the hotel was full so there was no way we could change rooms. It meant as per most times in my life, we had to cope! And we did… my husband is a saint and has to put up with so much!

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On Sunday we had a walk to Deansgate in the sunshine! Which took about 20 mins and found an adorable cafe for breakfast. It was called Home Sweet Home and when we went in (all flat) we discovered that there were 4 steps to the main eating area. They did have seating on the street level outside and inside the door but they were tall bar tables with stools. The staff were so helpful and informed us that they had ramps that they could put up; I was very sceptical because I’ve had bad experiences in the past, but they were very sturdy and easily took the weight of my wheelchair.

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We had a delicious breakfast (if you want to see it then check out the photo on my instagram @fashionbellee) and then headed out ready to be tourists!

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My husband told me about the Beetham tower which is the tallest building in Manchester and apparently the highest residential building in Europe! I’d never been to it before and Nathan told me that the views were to die for, so we travelled up 23 floors to Cloud 23 restaurant and politely asked if they would let us have a quick peak at the view! It was incredible, you could see around for miles and it was nice to see a different aspect of Manchester. I love the mix of old and new buildings, it’s such an interesting and unique city.

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Right across from the Beetham tower is the Museum of Science and Industry which we visited afterwards. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was free to enter and we found it so interesting, I’d really recommend going there.

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There were loads of interactive things to get involved with for small children and big ones like us!! It was in about 5 different building all in the same location and everything was accessible.

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Top – old Monki
Bomber – Primark
Leggings – Matalan
Boots – New Look
Bag – old Asos

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In true Sophie style, we finished the day by strolling back slowly through the city to find the Primark! And it’s one of the biggest I’ve been too!

We had a lovely time and I’d definitely recommend a visit to Manchester if you’re looking to go on a city break. There is so much more for me to see and I want to go back soon!

I hope you enjoyed reading all about my weekend and seeing all of the photos, thank you so much if you got all the way to the end!! If you have any feedback then I’d really appreciate it.

Much Love,