September 08, 2017

dubrovnik, croatia

Earlier on in the year, I had decided that after not going on holiday last summer I couldn't let another pass by without a trip away. If only for the sake of a golden tan. Back in 2015, I visited the north of Croatia (blog post here) for the first time and fell completely in love with the country so returned to the south this time around. I'll pretend my Game of Thrones obsession had nothing to do with sparking the idea to visit Dubrovnik, and that I'm far too cultured to be swayed by a tv series. 

I booked with Expedia earlier on in the year and as I'd saved to pay up at the hotel was stung by the weak pound, to the tune of around £200 additional costs just for accommodation. Now I know to always work conversion rates into my budget. 

We spent five nights in total in Lapad, a short bus journey from the city centre of Dubrovnik. It costs a mere £3 to hop on the bus and back and as they run constantly we never had the need for a taxi. This gave the option of either having a chilled day by the pool and beach, or heading into the city to explore. 




FRANCISCAN MONASTERY | VEGAN NACHOS AT NISHTA


An hour before sunset is prime time to visit the cable cars, the crowds have died down and the heat goes from uncomfortable to soft and warm. If you're trying to up your step count, you can get a one way ticket and opt to walk up or down the mountain, on either side of the trip. 




On one of the few hazy mornings we encountered, we hired a private yacht with crew for four hours. It came in at £180 but as we split the cost, worked out at really decent value and meant we could pick where to go and for how long. I've been on my fair share of booze cruise type boat trips so was more than happy to eat cheap here and there to make up the difference. 





Have you ever visited Croatia? Let me know! 

August 19, 2017

lvl lashes: before and after

Say hello to my first ever beauty post over on this blog! I tweeted a few weeks ago that I was thinking of merging the beauty series and the jessica life into one to make things easier all round, so here I am. 

Just before my holiday to Croatia, I booked myself in for lvl lashes at a nearby spa salon. I detest the feeling of crispy mascara melting off in the sunshine and coating my lashes up on a daily basis, so the idea of my lashes looking full without it is the dream. I popped in a few days before the treatment to pick up a patch test kit and then applied it at home and waited 24 hours before removing. 

The process is fuss free and you just lay back for an hour or so through the separate stages. The treatment works by curling the lashes at the root, while separating them and tinting at the end. With being a bit of a worrier, I had a slight fear of product going in my eye or them stinging, but everything went smoothly and was actually pretty relaxing. Roll on the creepy shots of my eyes.. 


My lashes cost £49, which may sound hella expensive but given results last up to six weeks I'm chuffed with the outcome and will definitely have them done again for future holidays. 

August 03, 2017

banging vegan pizzas


Since ditching dairy way back in January, I've been playing around with vegan cheese alternatives and pizza toppings so I could create the real deal at home. MozzaRisella is by far the best melty mozzarella alternative that I've come across, and as it tastes much lighter than real cheese I now much prefer it. I cut mine up into small chunks as I find it melts the best that way. I always make wholemeal pizza dough as I find it much tastier than using white flour, and of course it's far healthier too. It's super easy to make and is best left to rise overnight before being used the next day. 

The secret to getting an authentic crispy base is to do the cooking in two parts. Start off by heating your oven to 260°c. Yes, really. Once your pizza base is stretched out, put it straight onto a frying pan (no oil) that has been left on high heat for long enough to be searingly hot. Then add a few tablespoons of the sauce (Pizza Express passata) and once it starts to bubble add on your MozzaRisella, followed by the rest of the toppings. Then whack it straight into your furnace of an oven and leave for around ten minutes until the crust has browned and the cheese has fully melted. Easy as that!    

COURGETTE, GREEN PEPPER, ARTICHOKE AND BASIL

Courgette and green pepper - grilled on high heat
Artichoke - marinated/pre-bought
Basil - added on just after coming out of the oven 

MEATBALLS, RED PEPPER, SWEET MUSTARD AND PICKLED PEPPERS 

Meatballs - Sainsbury's/VBites
Red pepper - grilled on high heat
Mustard - Red's (this is the best ever)
Pickled peppers - added on just after coming out of the oven 
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