Things to do in NYC: Hop on, hop off ferry cruise

As much as I love exploring places 'off the beaten track' when I visit places, I'm also a sucker for all the traditional tourist fun. So I was very excited to do the Hop on, Hop Off cruise pass with Isango*. We did have a combo ticket with entrance to the observation deck at the One World Trade Centre but there was some confusion at the pier ticket office. I asked to redeem my ticket and they said I didn't need to but yet when I went to the observation deck, they told me I wasn't allowed on as it had to be redeemed back at the pier. Sadly we had a dinner reservation so we didn't have time to go back to redeem the ticket. It's something to keep in mind if you take the tour, be persistent that you definitely need to redeem all tickets at the pier. But all confusion aside, my mum and I had a great afternoon on the ferry.

Valued for 24 hours, we picked it up from Pier 79 on West 44th Street in Midtown for our 90 minutes tour of the city by water. The tour guide was brilliant and very informative. Originally hailing from Queens, his knowledge of the city was second to none and we both found out some cool new facts. As we cruised along the water, we got to see the Statue of Liberty, Empire State building, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge and an incredible view of the skyline. We took the full 90 minute round trip tour without hopping off first and then we stayed on it until it arrived at Pier 11 in the financial district. Make sure you let the desk know if you plan on hopping on and off as they do something special to you ticket to allow you too.

If it's your first time to NYC then I would definitely recommend the tour as you get to see so much in a short amount of time. Perfect if you only have a long weekend in the city. Even though I had seen most of the sights before, it was still interesting as I found out new things. Thanks for having us on the trip Isango!


When your friends have babies - and you don't want one

Burgundy polka dot shirt: ASOS
Distressed skinny jeans: George at ASDA (similar)
White plimsol trainers: Converse
Red leather backpack: Michael Kors (similar)

When one of my closest friends announced she was pregnant I cried. Part of me cried because I was in shock and about five gins down, another part she looked so excited at her news and the final part cried because I was upset that the dynamics in our 13 year friendship was about to change and I wasn't ready for that happen. Selfish eh? I honestly though I had at least another five years before any babies made an appearance.

It's no surprise that I'm not a very maternal person. I can't pretend I am and I'm so awkward when I'm around babies. I'm just not interested in having any of my own at this moment in time. I'm not sure if I will ever be interested in having my own.

As my friend's pregnancy went on it slightly freaked me out. She was the first one and I was beyond happy for her because you know she was going to be a mum. But all I kept thinking about was how there was just going to be a baby. Just there. For the rest of time. Things would never be as carefree again. Are you getting the picture that I'm not that keen on change? There when we had our summer BBQs, there when we met up for brunch and there when we all got together around each other's houses. Then as her due date drew closer, I found myself on the edge of my seat every time my phone pinged. When baby 'I' finally arrived, I thought she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Even now six months down the line, I find myself in Primark picking up things that I think she'll look cute in. I've surprised myself with just how much I'm taken with her and really didn't expect to be this involved. Sorry 'S'! We have a group Whatapp group and I get weekly pictures of what 'I' is doing and those messages make my day. I'm still fairly awkward around her and still find myself petrified that I'm going to drop her on her head six months down the line. But it feels like she's always been here.

Even though I love her, I don't want her to always be there. I can't tell you how selfish that makes me feel. Seeing her little face makes me smile but sometimes I just want things to go back to being how they were when we were sixteen and I relish spending time with her mum on her own, without any distractions. I didn't sign up for having a baby in my life all the time. If I did I'd have my own sprog at my side. I feel there is a time and a place and I want to spend time with my friends, with who they were BB (before baby). For me that's the mindset I'm in. My world at the minute isn't about nipple cream or breast pads. It's about going out on a Saturday night to try out the local gin bar that's just opened or booking a weekend away even though I really can't afford it.

If I don't ask about your baby or don't make a fuss, it's because for me babies just aren't my world. I don't think it's fair to force any baby on someone or make anyone feel guilty as people are at such different times in their lives. We all move at different paces. Myself? I'm moving at a snail pace when it comes to accepting I'm a fully fledged adult! It took me ten years to take the plunge to move in with my boyfriend... I can completely understand that they are your world - as they should be if you ever have a baby. It's not that I'm not interested, it's that I have other things on my mind that I'm dealing with. Other things that I want to do that at this moment in time are more important to me that babies. But I am so happy for my friends because they themselves are happy. That's all I want. I just want my friends to be happy in whatever they do. They're absolutely bossing it and it makes me proud that I know such kick-ass women.

The one main thing friends having babies has taught me though? My BFF definitely can't have a baby without me being pregnant at the same time because this needy girl will not one able to cope with the lack of attention if she has a baby and I don't!

How do you feel about your friends starting to have babies?


An American beauty haul

One of my favourite things when visiting the the States is raiding Sephora and the endless pharmacies. I'm a sucker for Boots over here so when I'm surrounded by brands I've never heard of, I tend to go a bit crazy. I was pretty restrained when I went to NYC but I still came back with a few goodies to tide me over. Here is what I bought back in my suitcase...

Bioré 14 Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
I had never noticed this brand before then I came home and spotted it in Boots. Typical! But I picked these up as I've been reading a lot about pore strips and thought they were worth trying out. Blackheads can be my nemesis so I'm hoping these live up to what I'm expecting them to do. Fingers crossed!

CVS 100 factor sun cream
Part of my bought this for my pasty boyfriend as a joke because he is notorious for burning to a crisp - even under an umbrella and in the shade. But I'm also keen to try it out as the older I'm getting, the more obsessed I am with sun cream. I really try to stay away from the sun now and can't remember the last time I sunbathed. It's never about getting premature winkles! I have a wedding in Mallorca and the last thing I want is sunburnt shoulders so I'll be making sure I'm vigilant with the cream.

Glossier Balm Dotcom
Even since Glossier came over to British shores I've been dying to try it out. But being frivolous with skincare purchases isn't really on the cards when you're suppose to be saving for a boiler. We stumbled across the Glossier showroom in Chinatown during a wander and I couldn't help myself. The exchange rate means it was cheaper than at home and that was the push I needed. I'd heard great things about the balm and so far I'm impressed! Definitely going to be a repeat purchase.

Glossier Priming Moisturiser 
I bought the cleanser, balm and this moisturiser in a set. To be honest I wasn't really on the look out for a new moisturiser as I swear by my No 7 one that I've now been using for about a decade. Say what?! But it only worked out about £5 more if I bought the set rather than just the two products I really wanted. So for a fiver I thought I would give it a whirl.

Covergirl Last Blast Volume mascara
Lily suggested I picked up this one during my trip and I'm never one to turn down a recommendation. Covergirl is a brand that's unavailable over here and I usually always stock up. But this time I only picked up the mascara because it's the one make up product that I constantly use up without fail. An every day staple that I'm always wearing - even if I haven't got any other make up on.  I'm yet to use but have always been impressed by their mascaras so am sure this won't be any different.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
Once again a product I have seen the blogging world go crazy over. I'm always one to jump on a bandwagon. I haven't used it yet as am currently using my other cleanser but I can't wait. I'm hoping it works it's magic on me like it has done for everyone else!

Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner
This is my all-time favourite make up product. It glides on so effortlessly and really doesn't budge until it's time to remove it. I love the size of the pen and it's perfect to attempting to do a cat-eye flick. They sell it in Debenhams now but it's a few quid cheaper overseas so I stocked up.

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal deep cleansing scrub
The different Yes To.. ranges are great. I really do love them and try to bring home a couple of products every time to go to America. I'm obsessed with charcoal masks and try to use one at least twice a week. I find they really help to unclog my pores and deal with the daily pollution I face commuting into the capital. I was drawn to the fact this had a brush attached which.

Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick
If I only had to have one red lipstick for the rest of my life this is what I would buy. I can't put into words just how much I love the shade and formula. I adore lipstick and have far too many than I would like to admit. But one thing that really gets on my goat about lipstick is the constant need to reapply it after eating and drinking. This seems to last forever and hardly ever needs to be topped up during the day. Just keep in mind it can be a bit stubborn to get off.

Yes to Cotton Micellar Cleansing Water
I left my usual cleansing water at home so had to panic buy this when I arrived. It been especially made for sensitive and allergy prone skin which means it's very gentle on your skin. I love the pump top and it seems to remove all types of make up - even stubborn lipsticks. It's not enough to tempt me away from my Garnier Micellar water but it makes a good runner up.

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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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