Saturday, 26 March 2016

My American Adventure Part Two - Las Vegas

The second part of my holiday was to Las Vegas and I had such a great time (read part one here).

I flew to Las Vegas from LAX which was less than an hour flight.  I flew with Delta and it was worth paying the extra £10 each way for seats with extra space nearer the front of the plane. I got an early flight and landed in Las Vegas about 9am.  It meant setting off early from Anaheim to make sure I got to LAX in plenty of time, but it was worth it to get practically an extra full day in Las Vegas, so I was there for 3 days in total.   
Bellagio

Bellagio Fountains

Bellagio Fountains
I was thrilled to be staying in the Bellagio this time.  I have always wanted to stay there since seeing it in Oceans 11, but it's always been really expensive.  I checked on Expedia when I was looking for hotels and flights from LAX to Las Vegas and 2 nights in The Bellagio & return flights from LAX came to about £500 for 2 people which I thought was really good.  I could have stayed at The Luxor for about half that and I do love The Luxor theming (I’ve stayed there twice before), but it was on my bucket list to stay at the Bellagio so I decided to treat myself.  It’s also in a central location so saves on a lot of walking.  I’m such a saddo that the thing that thrilled me the most when I got to my room was the button that opened and closed the curtains that was at the side of the bed.  I need to get out more I know.  
Bellagio
I didn’t have a strip/fountain view, but I did get a view of the mountains that surround Las Vegas so it wasn’t bad.  It cost way more to get a strip/fountain view which would have been nice, but I couldn’t justify the cost. 
Bellagio
I planned to see a couple of shows while I was out there, but in the end I just saw The Terry Fator Show.  I was a bit dubious about watching a ventriloquist but I had heard good things about the show so I took the chance.  I bought my tickets from the Tix4Tonight  place so they were discounted.  I must admit it was a really great show.  Very funny and I would recommend going to see him if you get the chance.

Other than the show I went to the Premium Shopping Outlet at the South end of the Strip, but I don’t think that I actually bought anything.  I did do plenty of Sephora shopping as there are at least 2 shops on the Strip, so I couldn’t resist checking them out every time I walked past.  You can read my post on my Sephora purchases here.  I also visited Carlo's Bake Shop in the Venetian which was worth a visit, the cakes were delicious.  I then got a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity 3 which was yummy.  I would like to have eaten at Serendipity 3,  but in the end I just didn’t have the time.
Carlo's Bake Shop

Carlo's Bake Shop
I played on the slot machines (I’m not a big gambler so don’t go on any of the tables as I haven’t a clue how to play them).  I also went around a lot of the hotels as they are such stunning places to visit, they are all like 5 star hotels.

I ate at a few nice places such as Shake Shack (there’s one in London that I always go to when I’m visiting), Earl Of Sandwich (which is a staple when I’m visiting), Pinks Hot Dogs (I had heard such great things about this place, but  really wasn’t impressed).  I also visited a Pizza Place that is really well hidden that’s located in the Cosmopolitan which I saw on Man V Food (I love Adam).  This place is hard to find, but well worth the visit.
Shake Shack Las Vegas
Shake Shack Burgers
I used the monorail from the Bellagio to the Monte Carlo to save walking around in the heat of the day.  It’s free to use and makes getting around the Strip a little easier.  The Strip is very deceptive and looks walkable, but believe me it's definitely not.  You will be walking for miles. 

All in all I had a great visit to Las Vegas.  I definitely want to return, perhaps for at least a week next time.  I love that the hotels are so spectacular and anywhere else they would all be 5 star hotels.  There’s so much to do as well, shopping, shows, gambling, sightseeing, the lot.  I also love that it’s so close to LA.  I have visited Las Vegas 3 times now, once as  a standalone holiday for 5 days and once for 3 days as part of a multi-centre trip with New York and Hawaii.  I would definitely recommend visiting as part of a multi-centre trip as it's so close to LA there’s no better time to fit it in.

There were a couple of odd moments.  The taxi from the airport had a pretty weird driver.  He had a handwritten sign on the dashboard and it had a list of things you couldn’t do in the taxi (I really wish I had taken a photo).  I think it basically stopped you from doing anything other than breathing.  It made us laugh there were things like, no chewing gum, no texting, no picking at the rubber around the windows, no shouting, no spitting, no tapping fingers on the windows.  There were some absolute crazy ones which I just can’t remember now.  They were so funny and ridiculous that we just sat in the taxi and laughed, but then panicked he would chuck us out for that.  

The other was when we left our cases on our last day at the Bellagio when we checked out.  I usually tip when I pick up the bags and that’s never been an issue before but I could tell from the way the guy was hanging around that if I didn’t give him a tip to take the bags he was either not going to take them or he was gonna dump them somewhere.  It was really awkward.  Maybe it’s me but I just haven’t had to tip to leave and pick up bags before, but that seemed to be the expectation there.  I don’t mind if they just make it clear with a sign when you drop off bags but they just kind of stand there waiting for you to give them the money. Rant over if that’s the worst I can complain of then I can’t really complain!!!

Overall I had a great time in Las Vegas and can’t wait to go back.

Things that I wish I had the time or the nerve to do while I was in Las Vegas:

Visit The Grand Canyon
Visit Freemont Street
Eat at one of the Buffets
Go on the rides at the top of the Stratosphere
Do the SkyJump at the Stratosphere
Go to see the Jubilee show at Ballys
Take a dip in the Bellagio pool

Read Part 3 – Hollywood here.

Leighlee

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Primark Beauty Haul

It's been a while since I have had a bit of a Primark haul and I swear when I went into town last week I had no plans to spend any money, but I noticed a few new things in Primark that I couldn't resist buying.
Beauty Primark Haul
Beauty Primark Haul
I saw these 3 roll on perfumes named for major cities across the world.  As I've visited each city I just couldn't help myself, I had to buy them as they were only £2 each for 10ml. I love the packaging as well.  The only one I couldn't get hold of was the London fragrance.

Paris 01 EDP - This fragrance combines sweet caramel and white musk with vanilla.  
New York 02 EDP - This fragrance combines gardenia, bergamot and white lilly.
L.A. 03 EDP - This fragrance  combines rose & yang-ylang with light musky tones at the base.

These are really handy perfumes to pop in your bag.  They are all light fragrances that smell great.  
Beauty Primark Haul
I also picked up a few skincare products which I cant wait to try:

Dark Circles Reducer Eye Patches (4) - Sunflower - £1 
One-Step Cleansing Nose Pore Strips (4) - Aloe - £1
Brightens and Moisturises Moisture 3D Mask - 80p
Vitalising & Nourishing Skin Revitalise Mask - Chocolate - 80p
Exfoliating & Softening Foot Scrub and Cooling & Deodorising Foot Cream - Peppermint - £1

I thought these were all great products at prices that you can just throw in your basket to try out. 

Have you bought anything from Primark lately that you would recommend?

Leighlee
I bought these products with my own money

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Jane Iredale PureLash Extender & Conditioner Review

I received a small sample of the Jane Iredale PureLash Extender & Conditioner in a beauty box and I have to admit that it has been languishing in a drawer with loads of other samples that I could not find a reason to use.  Since I am trying to use up my stash of products I thought I would give this product a go and I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised.
Jane Iredale PureLash Extender & Conditioner Review

Jane Iredale PureLash Extender & Conditioner Review
This is a white cream that you apply with a very thin mascara wand.  I haven’t been using it long enough to comment on its conditioning properties, but what I have noticed is that it helps to lengthen and separate the lashes if I use it before my mascara.  It also seems to help the mascara stick to the lashes and I have found that I don’t get any flaking or smudging when I use this product prior to my mascara.  Even though it goes on white it completely disappears when you apply mascara.

This is definitely one of those products that I didn’t know that I needed until I tried it out.  I will definitely be buying a full size when the sample has run out. It costs £16 for 9g.  If you sign up for email updates on the Jane Iredale website you will receive 20% off your first order.  

I have used a lot of under mascara products and generally find that they make my eyelashes clumpy and I usually end up removing all my eye makeup and starting again minus the under mascara product, so the fact that this product enhances my mascara is a winner for me.

Have your used Jane Iredale PureLash Extender & Conditioner?

Leighlee
I bought this product with my own money

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Our Tiny Bees Lip Balm & Lavender Hand Balm Review

I had never heard of Our Tiny Bees before I received a couple of their products in my You Beauty Box, so I was excited to try them out and let you know what I thought about them.  Our Tiny Bees make naturally effective skincare and candles using 100% British beeswax and honey.  They work directly with British beekeepers and bee farmers to carefully harvest the honey and beeswax which is used in their products.  The skincare products do not contain water, so they can rely on natural preservatives which means their products are all natural and have a long shelf life.  Everything is hand made in Yorkshire.
Our Tiny Bees Lip Balm & Lavender Hand Balm Review

Our Tiny Bees Lip Balm & Lavender Hand Balm Review

First up is the Our Tiny Bees Lip Balm.  This is a very solid balm that I think smells faintly of honey.  My lips feel moisturised as soon as I apply the balm and it sticks around on your lips for a decent amount of time.  The only downside with the tin is the hygiene concern from putting your fingers in every time you apply it, but to be honest I use hand sanitisers constantly, so it doesn’t bother me.  This is £3.95 for 15g.

Our Tiny Bees Lavender Hand Balm is packed with beeswax, honey & vitamin E and is naturally anti-bacterial.  This is a softer balm that the lip balm, so it's easier to get more out of the tin.  It smells strongly of lavender and it sinks into the skin quickly, leaving my hands feeling soft and moisturised.  It doesn’t leave my hands feeling sticky or greasy which is definitely a good thing and the lavender smell does die down pretty quickly.  This is £7.95 for 45g.

You can find a full list of the natural ingredients of each product listed on their website.

I like both of these products and would not hesitate to buy them again and try out more from this range.  I have been checking out their website and I really want to try the Honey Bath Melt (it's shaped like a chocolate bar.  How cool is that?).  I also want to try the Vanilla & Honey Body Scrub,  Weird Balm Healing Salve (great name) and the Vitamin face Mask.  They offer free delivery on orders over  £10 and a free lip balm when you spend over £20 (you receive a free lip balm & lavender hand balm when you spend over £40).  They also make a range of candles that look rather nice.  I think these would make great presents for friends and family.


This is a great British brand and I can't wait to try more products.

Leighlee
I bought these products with my own money

Saturday, 12 March 2016

My Empties March 2016

Here's my latest empties.  I have been trying really hard to use up my stash in 2016 and so far it's working.  I managed to keep to my no spending ban in January and nearly completed February's as well but broke at the last minute when British Beauty Bloggers Aveda Boxes were released and I bought all 3 (my bad).  So far that's my only break to my no spending ban so although February failed I'm continuing on in March and will hopefully make up for February in another month later in the year.  Anyway here are my latest empties and what I thought of them.
My Empties March 2016
Living Proof Curl Conditioning Wash and Detangling Rinse - I've wanted to try this range for awhile even though I have no chance of ever having Jennifer Aniston hair. I didn't notice any real benefit from using these products so definitely not on my repurchase list.
Aussie Colour Mate Shampoo and Conditioner* - I didn't notice any difference with my hair colour after using these products. I loved the smell of the products though.  I wouldn't repurchase these.
My Empties March 2016
Bed Head TIGI After Party Smoothing Cream* - I really liked this product see my review here.  I would repurchase this product.
Scott Cornwall  B4 U Colour Pre-Colour Clarifying Treatment - I have to admit that I have had this for years, so I don't think it's even available to buy anymore, but it did seem to work quite well, so I would try out some more Scott Cornwall products.
John Frieda Frizz-Ease - This is always my go to serum so I would definitely repurchase.
Phyto Botanical Hair Relaxing Balm - This product definitely helps to prevent my hair getting too frizzy so I would definitely buy this product again.
Lee Stafford Here Come The Curls - Left my curly hair more defined and less frizzy, so I would buy this again.
My Empties March 2016
Dr Hauschka Rose Nurturing Bath Essence - I like to put a lot of product in my bath for a long soak, so there wasn't really enough in this sample to form an opinion on this product.
Aromatherapy Associates Bath and Shower Oil (Revive Morning, De-Stress Mind, Inner Strength & Relax Deep) - I bought these when there was a really great offer the Christmas before last.  These all had a really nice fragrance and made for lovely relaxing baths.  I would definitely repurchase.
L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil - This is rich and oily and great for keeping your skin moisturised in the shower. If I was in need of anymore shower products I would repurchase but at the moment I have loads in my stash.
My Empties March 2016
Korres Provitamin B5 & Rice Bran Lengthening Mascara - This was a nice basic mascara that did lengthen my lashes, but there are so many new mascaras coming onto the market every week that I probably won't bother to buy this one again.
Lorac 3D Lip Gloss - I want to say that I bought this gorgeous bronze, shimmery gloss in a Sephora box set and I did like it, so I would buy a Lorac gloss again.
Maybelline Color Whispers Lipstick in Pin Up Peach - This is a gorgeous subtle coral colour which I would buy again and  would like to try some more colours from this range.
L'Oreal  Color Riche Nail Polish in Sweet Amethyst - I love metallic nail polishes and this rose gold colour is so lovely.  I would buy this polish again as it only requires one coat and dries really quickly.
Tarina Tarantino Gem Gloss in Disco  Nap - This was a great glittery sheer pink colour.    Not sure I would buy it again though.

My Empties March 2016
Prada Candy EDP - I liked this perfume it had a nice fragrance.  I don't think I would be in a hurry to repurchase, as I love my Tom Ford Black Orchid EDP, but if it was half price in the Xmas sales I would go for it.
Flowerbomb by Viktor&Rolf - I love this deep floral fragrance and would definitely buy it again.
Eau de Lacoste* - I was lucky enough to receive this for free, but I have to admit that it's not a stand out fragrance, so would not buy again.
My Empties March 2016
Bath and Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel Minis (Japanese Cherry Blossom, Pumpkin Cupcake & Pumpkin Pecan Waffles) - I love these little hand sanitisers they fit in any size bag so you can carry one at all times and they smell lovely.  I will definitely repurchase when I'm back in America.
L'Occitane Mini Hand Creams (Rose & Shea) - I seem to get alot of offers that include these little hand creams and I love them.  I will definitely be looking out for more offers to get more of these. I tend to keep them in my desk at work to use throughout the day.
The Body Shop Hand Sanitiser (Satsuma) - I love these as well and buy them throughout the year at the Body Shop outlets.  They all have a really lovely fragrance.
The Body Shop Coconut Hand Cream - You really can't go wrong with these hand creams and I always keep one in my bag and in my drawer at work.
L'Occitane Dry Skin Foot Cream - Nice enough, but I usually just use any old body moisturiser on my feet, rather than a specialist foot cream.
My Empties March 2016
Castor Oil (can't see what brand it is as the writing has worn off) - I had heard that Castor Oil was good for improving the condition of eyebrows but I didn't see any improvement from using it.
RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum - I have to say I was impressed with this product.  Usually my eyelashes are short and stubby, but using this really made a difference.  I would definitely repurchase and I would also like to try the Eyebrow product they do as well.
Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream - I didn't notice any change using the product and also found the jar a bit awkward to get my finger into to get all the product out.  I prefer Benefit makeup to their skincare so wouldn't purchase again.
Peter Thomas Roth Lazer Free Resurfacing Eye Serum - This product is a disturbing red colour so it's almost like putting blood on your face.  I didn't notice any changes using this product so I wouldn't repurchase.  I'm not sure if you can get it in the UK as I bought it in Sephora.
My Empties March 2016
Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil - This is so rich and creamy and smells divine.  I will definitely buy this again.
Victoria's Secret Love Spell Body Lotion - I love Victoria's Secret Body Lotions they smell great and moisturise really well.  I would repurchase.
Dove DermaSpa Silky Body Oil* - I received this product free to try out and I have to say that I really liked it.  It's rich and creamy, but does not drip all over the place like a normal body oil.  It sank into the skin quickly and did not feel greasy.  My skin felt smooth and moisturised after using this product.  I will repurchase this product.
Weleda Skin Food - I used this rich and thick cream sample on my elbows and knees and it kept them from feeling rough and dry.  I would buy a full size of this product.
Cowshed Grumpy Cow Uplifting Body Lotion - I love the name of this product and it had a nice fresh, citrus scent and was nicely moisturising.  I would definitely be happy to try out other products from this range.
My Empties March 2016
L'Occitane Angelica Range:
Cleansing Gel - I did like this cleansing gel.  It was easy to use and my face felt really clean after using it.  I would repurchase.
Face Toner x2 - Does what it says on the tin.  Easy to use and didn't leave my skin feeling tight.  I would repurchase.
Hydration Cream x2 - Again another nice product that moisturised my skin, although these were just samples so I didn't see any long term benefits, but I would buy a full size if I ever run out of moisturisers in my stash.
My Empties March 2016 
Sephora Fiber Masks (Lingzhi, Lotus & Rose) - I thought these would be a great buy in Sephora as there was so much choice and I like to use sheet masks, but to be honest there was nothing special about them  and they were $6 a pop so I wouldn't buy them again.
Same with the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24 Express Smoothing Eye Mask and NPW Revitalising Eye Pads. All were nice to use, but not worthy of repurchasing.
My Empties March 2016
Maple Holistics Anti Aging Serum* - I did like this serum. Read my review here.
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster - I got this as part of a beauty box although I've forgotten which one.    I really like this product and it smells of oranges.  I would repurchase.
Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Face Cream - This was an ok product but I didn't notice anything special so probably wouldn't repurchase.
Murad Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF30 - This worked well, but I think it's probably too expensive for what it is.
Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask - I got this in the Advent Calendar and it was really nice to be able to try more of this range of products, but I didn't notice any improvement with my skin so not one I would repurchase.  Think I will stick to the makeup range rather than skincare.
REN Hydra-Calm Global Protection day Cream - This is a nice enough moisturiser that is for sensitive skin, which I don't have so I won't go out of my way to repurchase it.
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer - I love all things Kiehl's and this moisturiser is no different.  It's nice and light, sinks in well and really moisturises my skin. I would repurchase.
Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask - This is a really nice mask which you apply to your face 2-3 times a week and wipe away any excess after 15 minutes.  I did like it and it left my skin lovely and soft, but I don't think I would repurchase as it is expensive.
Sin-Care Party Girl Serum - I received this in a beauty box and I don't have anything good or bad to say about it.  It was just ok.
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil - It was great to try something from this natural range and I wouldn't hesitate to try something else from the range.
My Empties March 2016
I was desperate to get my hands on Steamcream when they first came out, but in the end I didn't really care for it.  It wasn't thick enough for my body and it was too thin for hand cream and not something I would use on my face. I definitely would not repurchase.
Yes To Coconut Hydrate & Restore Cleansing Wipes.  I try not to use wipes too often, but I do really like these and I would like to try out more from this brand.
Considering how much Neo Stem Serum actually costs I did not see any benefits to my skin.  Thank goodness I received this product in a beauty box and did not pay full price for it as I would not buy again.
Purederm Vitamin C Pads came in a MeMebox.  I thought they would smell really nice as they contain orange extract, but they did not smell of anything really and were a little bit pointless to use, so I would not repurchase them.
My Empties March 2016
Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 - I really love Kiehl's products and this lip balm is great. I would repurchase.
Cowshed Lippy Cow Natural Lip Balm - Cowshed have the best product names don't they?  This natural lip balm worked well, so I would be happy to repurchase.

Wow I can't believe how much I have used so far this year. I have tried really hard to shop my stash and I'm going to continue doing it this year as I have so many products to use.

Leighlee
I bought these with my own money unless *.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream Review

Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream is a lightweight concealer that evens the skintone under and around your eyes and primes that area for applying makeup.  Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream is a staple in my daily routine, so I was happy to see this tinted version.  I picked it up free with this month's Glamour Magazine which only costs £2 (this is a 5ml version).  It costs £20 for 10ml direct from the Balance Me website, so I will definitely be buying a few more magazines to stock up.
Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream Review
Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream contains cucumber seed oil to cool, calm and moisturise skin, reduce puffiness and brighten skin tone.  It also contains rosehip oil and arctic cloudberry seed extract. 
Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream Review
To apply the cream, just lightly pat the cream around the eye where required. It's a light colour and consistency and is easy to blend into your skin. 

The Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream is 99% natural.  None of the Balance Me products are tested on animal and they do not distribute to countries where testing is obligatory.  They also avoid ingredients that are tested on animals.

Have you tried any products from Balance Me?

Leighlee
I bought this product with my own money

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Magazine Freebies March 2016

I just wanted to do a roundup of all the great freebies that are available with magazines this month.
Glamour Magazine Freebies March 2016

Glamour - 4 different Balance Me Products are available to choose from - Tinted Wonder Eye Cream worth £11, Revitalising Hand and Body Wash worth £6, Radiance Face Mask worth £12 and Hint of Glamour Lip Balm worth £12. The magazine costs £2.
Bazaar Magazine Elemis Freebie March 2016

Bazaar - Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich worth £28.  The magazine costs £4.40.
Marie Claire Magazine Freebies March 2016

Marie Claire - 4 limited Edition Nails Incs shades  worth £11 are available to choose from.  The magazine costs £3.99

Let me know if you have spotted anymore.

Leighlee

Saturday, 5 March 2016

My Sephora Wish List

I am heading over to America again in the summer, so I am constantly adding to my wish list all the things that I want to buy when I am out there.  Here's the products that I want to buy from Sephora.

Just the thought of walking into Sephora, gets me excited and I could literally spend hours browsing in the store.  Online shopping isn't quite as interesting, but I have been spending quite a lot of time online trying to decide what I want to buy.  

I have heard so many good things about Kat Von D makeup, so I definitely want to pick up a couple of things.

I really want to try the Kat Von D Lock-it Color Correcting Eyeshadow Primer as I like the idea of a primer that also evens out the skintone.

I need to get myself a liquid lipstick to try so I am going to buy Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Beloved.

I really want to try some Tata Harper products, so I thought this Tata Harper Glow on Demand set would be a good place to start.

This Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic Kit looks great value, so I definitely want this.

I like the look of this Sephora Collection Pro Foundation Brush.

I would like to try out Glamglow Plumprageous Matte Lip Treatment to see how well it works.

I have to admit that my wish list is much longer than this, but I keep changing my mind about which items top the list.

Let me know your recommendations?

Leighlee

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

My American Adventure Part One - Disneyland

I have been meaning to write this blog post about my holiday for such a long time but it's taken me ages to get round to it.

I wanted to go back to LA and Disneyland since visiting back in 2013.  I really enjoyed it there when I visited for the first time as there is loads to do, plus it gives me a chance to get a Disney fix.  I went for 15 days and decided to spend the first 4 days at Disneyland, then visit Las Vegas for 3 days and finish off in Hollywood.
My LA Experience Part One -  Disneyland
This gave me plenty of variety on my holiday.  I decided to do Disney first as if you have visited yourself you will know it requires a lot of walking vast distances and a lot of early mornings.  Jet lag is your friend for a Disney holiday as it gets you up early.  I was up at around 5 or 6am most days I was at Disney and popped out for breakfast every morning.  I went to IHOP the first morning as I wanted to try the French Toast or Pancakes, but to be honest the portions are so big once was enough.  The rest of the time at Disney I just went to McDonald's, which was just around the corner from my hotel.  This was perfect for a quick breakfast before heading to the parks.  I think I was there at park opening all 3 full days I stayed there. 
My LA Experience Part One -  Disneyland
I must admit for some reason I didn’t take my camera to the parks at all, so I didn’t get any photos of the first part of my trip.  I also have no photos from the previous visit as my sister managed to accidentally delete all my Disneyland and Hawaii photos on the 2013 holiday (she got too distracted watching the filming of Hawaii 5-0 and accidentally pressed the wrong button.  She says it was because the sun was in her eyes, but I haven’t let her forget about it yet!!).

I got a 5 day hopper so I could move between the 2 parks (there’s no 4 day ticket and the 5 day wasn’t much more expensive than the 3 day).  I love the fact that unlike Walt Disney World in Florida you can walk between Disneyland Park, California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney.  It's tiring walking everywhere, but I prefer it to catching the buses like you need to in Disney World.
My LA Experience Part One -  Disneyland
On the first day I arrived we got to the hotel at about 4pm and once we had checked into the Tropicana Inn & Suites (which is right across the road from Disneyland) we went straight across to the park.  I always stay until park closing on the first night and by the time I went to bed I had probably been up about 24 hours but it's worth it. 

I love Disneyland and my favourite park is California Adventure Park as it has 3 of my favourite rides – Soaring, Radiator Springs Racers, & Toy Story Mania.  I always go in the single rider line for Radiator Springs Racers so I can visit multiple times throughout my holiday without spending 2 hours queueing in standby or queueing for ages in the line to get a fastpass.  Usually it’s about a 20 minute queue in the single rider line so it's definitely worth doing if you don’t mind not being in a car with your friends/families.

I always use my fastpasses for Soaring as it's my favourite ride.  I usually go on at least 2 times per day.  I love this ride especially when you are on the top row as you go so high.  The first time I rode it I really panicked as I didn’t realise how high it went but it is a great ride.

Toy Story Mania is the other ride I like to go on.  It’s always busy at this ride as there is no fastpass.  Unless you go there early in the morning there’s usually a queue of 45 minutes, so I only go on this when I first get to the park while everyone else is riding Radiator Springs Racers. 

The best thing about California Adventure is the food.  My favourites are the Pacific Wharf Cafe for soup in a sourdough bowl, the Lucky Fortune Cookery for the Chicken Thai Coconut Curry and I must give a big shout out to the Corn Dog Castle where they do the best Corn Dog (how can anything that looks so wrong taste so right).  I definitely eat well when I visit this park.  Ghirardelli’s is the best place for ice cream sundaes and also the free chocolate you get when you go into the shop.  I make sure to visit at least once a day.   

I must admit I didn’t stay for the World of Color show at the end.  I did have a fastpass, but the area was so crowded and I hate standing around waiting for things to start and I was tired so I just ended up leaving as I had seen the show before on my last visit.  

I like Disneyland Park as well as there are some great rides there – Space, Splash and Thunder Mountain as well as Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.  My favourite ride here is probably Indiana Jones Adventure, followed closely by Thunder Mountain.  There are so many great rides in this park it's definitely one you can keep coming back to. 

There is a fireworks show at the end of the night, but I was usually too tired to stick around so what I ended up doing was going back to the hotel room and then when the fireworks were due to start I went to the area where people catch the buses and watched from there.  It was a great view and meant no waiting around in the park and then having to leave the park with everyone else.

I also went to Mickey's Halloween Party one evening.  You can queue for sweets at different stands throughout the night, but I mainly went on the rides as there aren't normally long queues.  It's cool as a lot of people dress up so it's a totally different experience.

I went to Downtown Disney most days as well.  I love shopping at Sephora and although it’s not the best stocked shop I still managed to buy a decent amount.  I also love eating at the Earl of Sandwich so made it a point to stop there most days as well.  Yes I did eat a lot on this trip.

There is a Cheesecake Factory not far away from Disneyland but I didn’t visit on this trip as I was always full.

I would definitely recommend visiting Disneyland in California.  It doesn’t quite have the Disney World sparkle, but all the best rides are there and the 2 parks are within walking distance so you don't have to get on buses everywhere.

I must admit I didn’t have a great time at the hotel I booked.  It’s in a great location and is basic which is what I expected, but on one occasion there was a cockroach in the bathroom.  I had never seen one before and it was massive and fast moving.  I was too scared to go near it at first and I didn’t want to stamp on it with my shoe but it was too fast to catch, so in the end I had to put a book on top of it and stamp on it.  I do not want to come across one of those again.  

Also on my last full day I couldn’t get back into my room.  When I went down to reception I was told they were expecting me to check out that day.  I wasn’t and told them so, but it was a computer says no experience.  The receptionist was just like well you rang and cancelled your last night (we didn’t).  We even had a special offer rate which didn’t allow cancellations as it was through Expedia.  It took ages to sort out and he went into the back with a manager who just ignored us.  We were a bit panicked at this point as all our stuff including passports was back in the room.  Eventually it was sorted out, but they weren’t exactly apologetic.  I must admit there was another guy on reception who wasn’t even dealing with us and he was very good and reassured us that it would be sorted and even called the room when we got back in it (after the 3rd attempt) to check if it needed housekeeping (which it did).  The person who actually dealt with us was really rubbish even though it was their error he kept saying we had cancelled the room.  I wouldn’t stay there again just because of those 2 experiences.  There are loads of hotels in walking distance so there’s plenty to choose from.  They are all basic (unless you can pay the big bucks for the Disney Resort Hotels) but they are just a place to sleep really so no point spending loads on the rooms.

Sorry I don’t have photos for this part of the visit, but I have posted about the Las Vegas and Hollywood parts of my trip soon and there will be loads of photos included.

Leighlee