New York - Five Top Tips!

I've always wanted to visit New York, so when we decided to go, I knew I didn't want to do anything by halves. We used Travel Counsellors as they do everything for you and make your experience completely bespoke, they'll ensure you get good flight times and that your hotel is located near to the attractions or areas you'd like to visit. They also organise your transfers.

It probably isn't the cheapest option but I don't know when I'll be able to visit again, so I didn't mind possibly paying a little more to have a stress free trip!

A few people have asked me questions about visiting New York so I thought I would collate these tips on the tips I picked up when I went! I hope they are helpful if you've never visited America, just like I hadn't.
  • When you arrive, you may have to pay a hotel tax on top of the cost of the hotel. We had to pay an extra around $11 for each night and that was for the gym facility (which we did not use!) and I think that's also the WiFi use and little things like that. You pay that when you leave so don't get too carried away in Macy's! 

  • Most items in stores don't include the tax on the price tag, this might be a well known fact but I forgot every time! Although it might seem like just a couple of dollars, it all adds up - so consider this when you're budgeting for your holiday money. 
  • You will do a lot of walking, so definitely wear comfortable shoes. Even my most comfortable shoes became uncomfortable eventually so I'd consider getting some soft insoles in future.

  • Public transport is super cheap! A Metrocard for the week was around $25 and allowed us to get to all of the landmarks, from the 9/11 Memorial site, to the staten island ferry with ease. I mean, getting in a yellow taxi is the dream, but they are so pricey. They look better from the outside anyway right? 
  • Customer service is amazing in the US, so make sure you tip! It's very taboo not to tip, so again, consider this when you are thinking about travel money as you need to tip between 8-12%. 

  • As with most warm countries, all of the public buildings are air conditioned, so I always carry a small moisturiser and lip balm with me as it dries out my skin, I also take antihistamines each day as it plays havoc with my allergies. I'd also suggest taking a light jacket as there's nothing worse than sitting in a beautiful restaurant shivering! 

I hope these tips were useful if you're a New York novice like me! 
Comment below if you have any more tips :) 


Dreamy Brunch at Menagerie

One way I try to experience new restaurants is by going for breakfast or brunch instead of dinner. This is because the brunch menu is often a lot more affordable, and you don't have to decide well in advance as it's less likely you'll need to book a table!

Top Tip - You also don't need to worry about being bloated in your fancy evening outfit, as you can wear just about anything to go for breakfast! 

Last weekend, a few of my friends came to visit me in Manchester for the weekend. Although I moved here in summer 2016, the months fly by so fast, so we don't always get to have a day out as we're now spread across the country. Of course this gives us every excuse to go out to eat. 

I took the opportunity to try some new restaurants and host a movie night at my flat. One of the highlights of the weekend was visiting Menagerie in Salford. If you're looking for an Instagram worthy restaurant - you're in the right place. 

Brunch isn't served until 12, which seems a little late to me, but it was great as we had the choice of the lunch menu too! The brunch menu didn't have a lot of choice, but as it was quiet they were really flexible when it came to tailoring what we wanted to eat and drink. 

I had a mocktail that didn't have a name, I just said I wanted something sweet, and in no time at all the bartender had whipped up something magical. To eat, I had the buttermilk pancakes with a side of eggs. 

I loved the restaurant so much and I can't wait to go back. From the service to the marble top tables and the Photo Booth, it made for a great lunch setting, not to mention the huge portions. 

I'm so excited to go back to Menagerie, as it allows you to feel like it's a really special occasion but without the 'special' price tag.

Just another reason why I love living in Manchester! 


Yours Truly...

I was lucky enough to get a hamper from the lovely team at Antidotestreet.com which included this gorgeous face serum from Yours Truly Organics, and I instantly fell in love!  

I'm really fussy about the products I use on my skin, particularly my face as this can be quite sensitive. I basically judge when my hair needs washing on whether I'm having a mini break out! So when I was sent this product that was natural and organic, I wasn't scared to try it out. 

I love the phrase 'true beauty starts with being yourself; I really think that it's important to look after your skin and hair, because what happens if one day there's a zombie apocalypse and we can't get any makeup products? Yeah so I'm basically preparing!

This product is the Fix me! Repairing Serum. It's a little steep at £28, so I must admit, I use it sparingly. When my skin needs some TLC or I am feeling extra oily, I use this particularly on my T-Zone and it works wonders.

Yours Truly Organics says it smooths, repairs and tightens your skin with this oat kernel enriched serum, so it does exactly what it says on the tin! 

I apply this with a cotton wool pad before my face moisturiser, it smells super fresh and like I've really made the extra effort! 


February Favourites

I love Valentine's Day! So what if it's a money making scheme, I just love a reason to celebrate. This is the second one me and my boyfriend have spent together, he took me to Mr Cooper's House and Garden in Manchester's Midland Hotel. We went there last year for my birthday, so it was really nice to go back now that we live in the same city! I'll do a full blog post on my visit, but I'd highly recommend this restaurant for somewhere to go for a special occasion. 

You know when you get a new item of clothing and you don't remember what you ever wore before it? Yep that's how I feel about my new (faux) leather skirt. Excuse the mess in the background, I didn't plan this blog post! This skirt goes with everything and I can wear it to work or on a night out! 
I bought this one for just £14.99 from H&M, the only negative thing I would say is that the sizing is ridiculous. I had to go 2 sizes up, so i definitely wouldn't recommend buying a skirt like this online.

I went to see Hidden Figures last week and it was amazing. I'm not usually that excited about dramas, I'm into psychological dramas mostly - but this film was so inspiring! If you haven't seen it I would recommend it, it really explains the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic! 

I went out on three nights out in February (RIP bank account) and this was my favourite outfit! It's a satin playsuit from Boohoo.com. I love this colour and I thought it would be great to style down with tights, boots and a leather jacket or with trainers or sandals when I go on holiday this summer. 

What did you love in February? 


Four things I want to do more in 2017

I think everyone is in agreement that January was a trial month, February was the shortest month ever (thank goodness, I really couldn't take another 300 day month) and March is already flying by. I've had a great start to the year with my first promotion, making new friends and just fun times all round, but I want it to continue this way.

I no longer think it's necessary to make New Year resolutions in January, it's been much more useful settling in to the year a bit, but now we are a few months in, here are four things I want to do more in 2017.

When you move away from your home town and work full time, it's hard to meet new people and even harder to find people similar to yourself. I've learnt that just saying YES to going for a meal, or a drink will open new doors up to new people. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet, what's the worst that could happen? 

I've got quite a few things I want to do this year and guess what - none of them are free! But that's life. Sometimes you just have to say no to that night out, or that trip because you want to put yourself first, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's important to make time for friends and family, but it's never too soon to invest in your own happiness! 

It's easy to get caught up in everyone else's drama and the negative things that might be happening around you. Take a step back and think, do I need to comment on this? Does this affect me? You might just realise that no, it doesn't. Have a pamper evening to yourself and think about all the good things you've got going for you. Sounds a bit self indulgent, but guess what? IT IS.

This sounds a little more complicated than it is. By this I mean I want to go back to church and reconnect with people, I want to take more time out for my hobbies such as blogging and reading. I want to make the most out of my skills and turn those into much more. But not everyone needs to know your ambitions, I'm just getting on with it! 

What do you want to do more in 2017? 


Updated Wash & Go Routine!

Left = Summer 2016, Right = January 2017

Happy New Year!

I'm back to blogging and hope I can keep it up this year. I'm not going to do a huge post about keeping up with my blog and what I hope to write about, better to just get on with it eh?

So what have I learnt about Wash & Go's? First of all you really can't just wash and go! It takes me so much longer to get ready in the morning when I wear my hair in a Wash & Go style, rather than when it is straight, you'd assume it to be the other way round wouldn't you? So now I have learnt to accept that if I want my hair to look good, I need to leave extra time in the morning. 

I've also tried to stop looking at what natural hair bloggers on Instagram do with their Wash & Go styles and started to work out what works on my hair best. I'm feel like I'm getting through the trial and error stage, (I'm probably still in it) but I'm sure I'll do another post just like this in another years time!

My current routine is as follows:

Wash Hair 

I've cut down the amount of times I wash my hair, as it is drying no matter how hydrating the shampoo is, but I do have to wet my hair at least every other day to achieve a 'fresh' look. That's just how I prefer it. 

Apply a Leave In Conditioner

Again, I don't do this every day, but certainly after a big hair wash or if it starts to get dry and lack lustre. 

Dab dry with a t-shirt, I avoid using a towel or rubbing my hair to reduce frizz. 

Add 100% pure Coconut Oil, occasionally. I have a real pet hate for product build up, so I try to avoid adding to much oil. 

Apply a curling agent whilst the hair is damp. At the moment I use either the Shea Moisture Curling Gel SoufflĂ© (my personal favourite) but I've recently started using the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie which does improve curl definition without leaving the hair crispy.

I then use my all time favourite thing in the world. MY DIFFUSER! I use a cheap one from Argos, it was around £10.99 and it's great, now I just cringe as I think of all the hairstyles I tried to pull off without it!

I then use a soft brush and Eco Styler Gel to neaten the front, and then tighten it with my good old makeshift hair band made from an old leg from a pair of tights.

I then pick my fro with the afro comb so that the curls have body and my head doesn't look so much of a pea. 

What's your Wash & Go routine? Comment below! 


The Breakfast Club - Review

For my 23rd birthday in September, I was whisked away to London for the weekend for a few days of delicious food, theatre and relaxation.

On my actual birthday, I was determined to find the perfect brunch spot and the breakfast club sprang to mind! We were staying at the Tower Hotel, so took a short walk through the vibrant Borough market to stumble upon the entrance of the foodie haven. 

I was surprised to find that there wasn't much of a queue, but that changed after five minutes as we ended up heading a long line of couples all eagerly hopping around waiting to tuck in. You know that hop you do when you just can't wait? Yes that. As a marketing geek, I think they personally keep the restaurants small to provide that buzz of being able to get a table, but I totally fell for it and it didn't bother me one bit.      


The cosy eatery was packed, with half of those being the waiters themselves. Personally, I love visiting busy restaurants where you can't hear yourself speak and this was just that. Everything was nostalgic and they even pinned their tips to the walls! 

Now not to forget the food, I had the chicken and waffles with a coffee. MMM. I think I would have preferred a sweet waffle rather than the savoury lemon that I was served, but thats just because I love a sweet and salty combination. 

I'd definitely recommend a visit to the Breakfast Club as it's the perfect place to kickstart a weekend in London. Although there's more than one, it doesn't feel like one of many and thats what is so great. For a breakfast for 2 we paid around £25, so its not the cheapest, but definitely worth it for the experience! 

Latest Instagrams

© Maya's World. Design by Fearne.