Tuesday, 31 May 2016

A Santorini Wedding and Exploring Oia

As I mentioned previously, our main reason for venturing to Santorini in the first place was because a good friend of mine from university was having her wedding there. The wedding was split across three days, with a drinks reception in Fira on the first evening, a stunning ceremony, dinner and dancing on the second day, and a White Party lunch on the Sunday!

I don’t want to share too many personal details about their wedding as obviously it’s very private, but all I can say is that if you’re planning a wedding and looking for a destination abroad to impress all your guests, Santorini could not be more perfect!

Friday, 27 May 2016

Mykonos Birthday Surprise

Back in January, one of my friends emailed me to ask if I was free one weekend in May. His girlfriend, a really close friend of mine, was turning 30, and he wanted us all to go on holiday to one of her dream destinations – Mykonos – and surprise her there. Amazing, we managed to line it up so that we were in Santorini all week and then travelled by ferry to Mykonos on the Friday – so I could cross two of my bucket list holidays off the list in one fell swoop!

On Friday morning we sadly packed up our stunning hotel room in Santorini and made our way down to the ferry port. We were early, but there are lots of little cafés there where you can sit outside and have breakfast in the dappled sunlight. My husband had a pie. For breakfast. As you do.

The ferry took around 2 and a half hours and was actually really pleasant – there was hardly anyone on it, and I fell asleep for most of it anyway! When we arrived we managed to hop in a cab to Ornos, where our friend had rented an Air B&B villa.

The villa was a typically Greek house and it was huge, with a large master bedroom (for the birthday girl, sadly!), a stunning white washed living room and a large open plan kitchen, as well as a large swimming pool with stunning views across Mykonos – you could see two beaches just from standing on it!

Our other friends arrived and we decorated the living room quickly before hiding in the bedroom, shushing each other and giggling, to wait…

It went off perfectly! She cried, as I’d known she would, and we all hugged and opened a bottle of wine to toast us all finally being on holiday together!

It was slightly overcast, but we went down to the local beach anyway for a quick celebratory beverage and a bite to eat. The beaches at Ornos are a little bit noveau riche, but very beautiful despite that, and it does mean it’s incredibly easy to get a glass of wine or a large tankard of beer!

As rain threatened, we spent our evening sat under the little cover, drinking and listening to my Greece playlist (including the Fleet Foxes classic, ‘Mykonos’, which was even nicer to listen to now that we were there!)

The birthday girl got dunked in the pool, as she rightfully should... 

and we all sung happy birthday with the most beautiful of cakes.

If I can have a 30th that comes even as close to being this amazing, I’ll feel very lucky indeed!

Little life loves this week

I flew back from Mykonos (sssh, it's a surprise - more on that later) late on Monday night and spent Tuesday-Wednesday away from home working in Birmingham, so this week feels in some ways a lot shorter than usual, and in other ways longer - it's flown, but Monday seems a long time ago, if you know what I mean! I can hardly believe that just five days ago I was sitting on a beach drowning in sunshine, cocktail in hand, and now I'm...not. I have to admit it's harder to write a 'Life Loves' post when all I can think about is how much I want to be in Santorini, about to pad across a sun-drenched, white washed road and get a feta cheese sandwich and a cold diet coke to take back to my sun lounger. Instead I'm in London, planning the ingredients for my Vital salad.

BUT. That doesn't mean that I haven't had plenty of little things keeping me happy! So here we go...


Thursday, 26 May 2016

Santorini - Hot Springs & Volcanos in Fira

Okay, my post yesterday was a bit sickeningly sentimental, wasn't it? It's okay, you can tell me. Working two days in Birmingham and staying in a Premier Inn after having spent 10 days tripping around the most beautiful islands in Greece will do that to a girl! I'll try and be a bit less OTT today!

Fira was the closest 'town' to our little hotel so we spent the vast majority of our evenings tripping around there. Honestly, the first evening I arrived, I was like a kid in a candy shop. It's a photographer's dream (I'm not claiming I'm a photographer, as I'm an iPhone 6 point-and-click kind of person, but still) - everywhere you look is another stunning view. 


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Arriving in Santorini

I didn't say it, but I was a bit concerned that I might be underwhelmed by Santorini. I'd seen so many photographs in blog posts, so many Instagrams and heard so much about how beautiful it was that I started to think nothing could live up to my expectations. Similarly my husband, Ian, wasn't expecting to like it at all - he'd been to Crete before and didn't think he was a fan of Greece.

Volcano View Hotel Review Santorini

Neither of us should have worried. Santorini is like paradise on earth! 


Thursday, 12 May 2016

Baby News

If it feels like only minutes ago to you that I was writing about my sister’s wedding, then just think how recent it seems to me – it feels like only yesterday I was standing half cut at the back of Fanham’s Hall, watching her glittering under the lights. She came back from the Maldives and met me at the Pizza Express by London Liverpool Street with deeply tanned shoulders and slightly nervous eyes. We sat down and I picked up the wine menu but before I could even suggest the second cheapest on the list, she blurted out,

‘So I’m pregnant!’

That was almost three and a half months ago and I’m not sure if I feel any less shocked now than I did then, or if I ever will, at the idea of my little sister having a baby. Obviously, she didn’t tell anyone to start with (I mean, there was no hiding it from me – no wine? Must be baby) but now she’s had the three month scan and so far, touch wood, everything looks good.


The High End Make Up Revolution – Is it worth the hype?

‘My monthly favourites this month is mostly high end products.’ ‘It is expensive, but it really works.’ ‘I know that’s a lot for a lipstick, but Tom Ford/Charlotte Tilbury/YSL products are just so worth the money.’ ‘You do get what you pay for when it comes to make up/skin care.’ ‘I know it’s £500, but it will literally make Ryan Gosling turn up at your door and beg you to get off with him.’

Okay, I made the last one up, but all the other sentences are ones I’ve heard not once or twice recently but constantly, every time I watch a Youtube monthly favourites video or read a beauty blog post about ‘Spring Must Haves.’ When I first started blogging, people mostly talked proudly about products you could buy in Boots-  Barry M nail polishes and exciting new L’oreal lipstick releases and Maybelline products that were coming over from America. MAC was the height of expense. Nowadays, bloggers namedrop YSL and Chanel and Guerlain (Guerlain! Literally the make up your old French Grandma would’ve worn) and talk about skincare as if a cream can’t actually help you unless it cost £200 and is made from the tears of a dove. And I’m not happy about it.


Little life loves this week

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, and this week seems like an odd place to start, because really, since last weekend, I’ve just been on one big countdown to my holiday to Santorini – as you’re reading this, I’m actually there! Plus the weather has been that horrible hot-but-wet humidness that I feel like you only ever experience in England, I’m still suffering with a malfunctioning knee, work has been crazy busy and our landlord still hasn’t fixed our oven.
But despite that, there have been lots of little things I’ve been loving this week – I feel particularly happy and contented and inspired at the moment – and I wanted to record them here!

1. Hitting 500 followers on Instagram
A tiny milestone for some, but this made me really happy this week. Go and follow me at @catscruse  - I’m in Santorini next week so you won’t regret it!


Santorini Bound

I don’t want to be a complete cliché of a teenage blogger, but I think it was Zoella and her infuriatingly beautiful blog photos that first got me hooked on the idea of visiting Santorini.  My sister had been a few years earlier but I’d barely paid attention – for the last few years I’ve been all about visiting far-flung corners of the globe, and Greece didn’t really feature on my radar. I kind of linked it with my 19-year-old-girl’s holiday to Malia, where we spent an entire week around a square concrete pool, drinking sweet white wine with sunburnt boys from Liverpool. It was great, but it wasn’t exactly the sort of holiday I’d wish to recreate now! Zoe’s blog and the subsequent travel blogs I poured over immediately showed me that Santorini could not be more different and straight away knew I wanted to go. But Santorini is expensive and it’s just never happened – until now. My beautiful friend Anita from university is getting married, and chose Santorini for her destination wedding – so tonight, we are off!


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Starskin Red Carpet Ready Sheet Mask Review (Or - would you spend more than 99p on a face mask?)

No, I thought. No I will not spend £8.50 plus P&P on a sheet mask. Face masks cost 99p from Boots, they smell like chocolate and you can peel them off. I do not buy into this hype anymore. Look at me, I’m a new person! I haven’t even got a Kylie Jenner lip kit. I know paying customs on lipstick is insane, I also know one piece of material covered in –what does it say? – ‘naturally fermented, vitamin rich coconut juice’ – ew, see, that even sounds gross – cannot change my skin.

But then I dislocated my knee and was stuck in the flat, bored and grumpy and with a laptop and access to my ASOS account. Tres dangereux. £8.50 isn’t that bad, is it? I mean, you’d spend £40 on a facial. And Fleur de Force says it’s good. It’s basically just like one and a half Starbucks drinks. Plus I’m already buying two maxi dresses, a pair of sandals and some earrings that will turn my ears green, so why are we even having this argument?


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Five Favourite: Highlighters

Where did highlighters even come from? I remember about five years ago my sister and I got our make up done at the Benefit counter by a lovely girl with an orange face and beetles for eyebrows, and she put a bit of High Beam on me. When I got home I caught a glimpse of myself in the sunlight and thought ‘oh my god, I look like someone has dumped glitter on my face.’ I never thought there would come a time when highlighting was my favourite bit of my make up routine, the bit that turns you from ‘spot of concealer, lick of lip gloss’ to ‘ooh dewy sunny practically Blake Lively.’

Well okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but honestly, a good highlight can do wonders for your complexion, especially if you’re tired or a bit hungover (common). Here are five of my favs:


Monday, 9 May 2016

The Weekend Edit

I feel like, for a lifestyle blog, I haven’t actually written an update on my life in ages. Which is partly because I went from being a supportive wife who stayed at home to support her healthy-living husband to invalid who stayed in the flat for days on end through no choice of her own – in one fell swoop. I’m basically a recluse, pity me, pity me.

But finally, my leg is (kind of) back in action, and it stopped raining and the whole of England went mad and barbecued everything in sight, and I managed to have a really good, not crazy weekend, which makes me extremely happy – if tired!


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Why we must support the junior doctors

Yesterday I had to go to A&E. 

Nothing to panic about, really. If you read my previous blogpost you'll know that over a week and a half ago, I injured my knee and was left unable to walk. I'd spoken to my GP who basically gave me the usual 'rest it, elevate it' type spiel, but I just felt like no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get back to full health. Finally this weekend I thought I was getting there, but on Monday morning I twisted it again, so badly that I decided enough was enough! So despite it being a Bank Holiday Monday, my husband and I called an Uber and off we went to St Barts hospital. 

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