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Are you ready for the 2012 Olympics? Here are some travel tips of what to pack for your trip to England, what to buy, what to try and how to best prepare for the climate during the festivities.

Curating Highlighters For A Few of My Favourite Friends

The idea of curating anything came from a friend who is a frequent flyer as well as a designer known as House of Hayla. One day she slipped some temporary metallic tattoos in my work mailbox, which, I knew she dabbled in. When I asked her about them, she said, “I curated them just for you!” It may also be the brainchild solution of overbuying highlighters in Manchester’s Primark department store to compensate for my diminishing golden cream Chanel Soleil Tan. I found these fancy jars in the discount British chain of stores, and suddenly, I just wanted to share my love for highlighter with a few of my favourite friends.

I decided not to blend the highlighters seamlessly. I chipped off the chunkier, more solid highlighters with a knife, and poured the differing textures and shades into these tiny yet fancy pots. One of the highlighters was very lotion like and super strobe white. I felt it was too light, so then I put a lotion textured golden-bronzer in the mix. Yet I did not mix them. 20180504_133154Every time you unscrew the lid, you get another combination of magical highlighters. Highlighters instantly update any look and puts that glow back into the skin. Highlighters accentuate the cheekbone, can be mixed with any foundation, placed along the bridge of the nose, top of the forehead, a slight dab on the middle of the chin. The key is to blend with the other makeup on the skin, whether it be with your bronzer, your blush, or your powder or cream. Yes you can even mix with your cream to get your glow on.20180504_132958

Upon presenting the containers of personally curated highlighter, each friend held it in their palm as if it was a treasure box. Curating says, “I created this blend especially for you.”  Sharing your stash of highlighters is a great way to let your friends know that even though I may be travelling and away, I was thinking of them. The glowing smiles are contagious.20180516_162557

 

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Why High Tea in Manchester is a Must Do, As is Chetham’s School of Music Free Concerts

All Photos and article by Paula Erskine

High Tea at the Midland Hotel in Manchester starts at 19.95 pounds per person. We dropped in without a reservation, and they gave us the best couches overlooking the lobby and treated us like queens. Every morsel was delicious and fresh. Posh experience without the posh price.

Midland Hotel, High Tea, Manchester</a

Finger Sandwiches at the Midland Hotel, Manchester were delectable. Find the Midland at the corner of Peter and Mount Street. High Tea served from 12 to 5pm.

Finger Sandwiches at the Midland Hotel, Manchester were delectable. Find the Midland at the corner of Peter and Mount Street. High Tea served from 12 to 5pm.

Earl Grey with Bergamot notes in my tea, lots of clotted cream and jam on my scone.

I chose Earl Grey because I love Bergamot. My friends chose Assam.

Although the Midland Hotel can seem intimidating, especially without a reservation. We later learned that it is officially held in the Octagon Lounge. We were glad to have this elevated view of the lobby, which was much less noisy than the restaurant. The server made us feel like vips, putting cloth napkins on our laps, and keeping the tiers of food and specialty teas coming. My colleague informed us that when it comes to hotels and restaurants, there are always 3 rooms or tables on stand-by in case someone needs to be squeezed in due to mistakes. We almost gave up when the hostess told us to come back in 1 hour. But then, she wouldn’t let us leave, checked with the manager, and suddenly, front row centre, steps above the lobby which hosted a giant sky window.

Mid afternoon tea can help combine two meal times in one, in case you missed breakfast trying to catch up on sleep. The price is considered to be very inexpensive for the quality and posh surroundings. Two hours flew by as we contemplated our wonderful view, the glamorous aspect of our jobs overseas, home decor and hiking in the forests of Ontario to relax and recharge.

Midland Hotel cakes, part of the Afternoon Tea which is delightful.

Midland Hotel cakes, part of the Afternoon Tea which is delightful.

Chetham’s Free Mozart Concert followed by Afternoon Tea or Lunch at Tea 4/2-A match made in Itinerary Heaven

Looking for amazing experiences in Manchester? Chethams School of Music hosts free music concerts mid-day, almost daily. The classically trained students perform around noon or one in the afternoon. We were able to catch a Mozart Concert and were absolutely floored by the talent! The performances were classical pieces performed by 4 musicians that were professional and a sheer joy to absorb with the ears, the eyes, and the notes resonated long after it was over. The Chethams School itself is a combination of medieval buildings and modern. You will need a special visitor’s pass you can get at the gate if you are not on an offical tour. The only place you are really allowed to go is the library which they may insist to escort you to for the security of the students. The deep, dark, medieval library has many gates, but if one peers through all the barriers, one can find a treasure trove of history. Chetham’s library hosts Shakespeare’s works, a “Holie Bible,” old printing machinery and many incredible books upon which this land, and the world in fact, tried to record and define itself.

Chetham's talented

Chetham’s talented

DSC08976DSC08988 We openly gush to Sophie about her enthusiastic performance and she sweetly indulges our fanship with a photo.

Chetham's music students rocked Mozart

Chetham’s music students rocked Mozart

A privileged look at the Medieval Setting of Chetham's Free Concerts

A privileged look at the Medieval Setting of Chetham’s Free Concerts

A door to historical findings at Chetham's gated library.

A door to historical findings at Chetham’s gated library.

My travelling cohorts Anne Sophie and Vania marvelling at the Chetham library's collection.

My travelling cohorts Vania and Ann-Sophie marvelling at the Chetham library’s collection.

Ancient and protected books

Ancient and protected books

Printing press

Printing press

Needs no introduction

Needs no introduction

"All that glitters, is not gold" and much more of Shakespeare's poetic messages that still apply to today's society, and alot of help from Cole's notes. Appreciated long after the obligatory school projects.

“All that glitters, is not gold” and much more of Shakespeare’s poetic messages that still apply to today’s society, and alot of help from Cole’s notes. Appreciated long after the obligatory school projects. Only in the last few years, have I discovered the wisdom and brilliance of his inspired “lessons” to humanity, laced in universal truths. Let’s go off campus now, to discover Shakespeare at yet another wonderful library, located in St. Peter’s square.

Shakespeare's image in stained glass, at Central 's Library.

Shakespeare’s image in stained glass, at Central
Library.Manchester's Central Library in St. Peter's Square, England. Shakespeare's works immortalized in Stained glass. Manchester’s Central Library in St. Peter’s Square, England. Shakespeare’s works immortalized in Stained glass.

One can appreciate the impact of Shakespeare's works in this ambitious stained glass window. Captured here are possibly all his contributions to theatrical ponderings. Central Library, Manchester.

One can appreciate the impact of Shakespeare’s works in this ambitious stained glass window. Captured here are possibly all his contributions to theatrical ponderings. Central Library, Manchester.

Now Let's get back to Chetham's School of music, located across from the Football Museum. A great place to chill with it's mix of turf, garden, pond and wit. Entrance to school in the background to orient yourself to the free concerts.

Now Let’s get back to Chetham’s School of music, located across from the Football Museum. A great place to chill with it’s mix of turf, garden, pond and wit. Entrance to school in the background to orient yourself to the free concerts.

A return to innocence.

A return to innocence.

Around the corner from Chetham's School of Music is Afternoon Tea 4/2. In our case, Tea for 3. Our cups runneth over with joy after Mozart.

Around the corner from Chetham’s School of Music is Afternoon Tea 4/2. In our case, Tea for 3. Our cups runneth over with joy after Mozart.

Tea 4/2 is a modern, hip, fuschia and white wing chaired Tea house with tons of tasty lunch items and several gluten free sandwiches and cakes to choose from.

Tea 4/2 is a modern, hip, fuschia and white wing chaired Tea house with tons of tasty lunch items and several gluten free sandwiches and cakes to choose from.

Tea 4/2 has gluten free sandwiches too, I would suggest asking them to toast the bread.

Tea 4/2 has gluten free sandwiches too, I would suggest asking them to toast the bread, and added a mayo dip.

Fenitman's sparkling Rose Lemonade infused with organic Bulgarian Roses is my new favourite drink. Apparently, Bulgaria is famous for it's roses.

Fenitman’s sparkling Rose Lemonade infused with organic Bulgarian Roses is my new favourite drink. Apparently, Bulgaria is famous for its roses.

Brilliant..all photos and article by Paula Erskine

Brilliant..all photos and article by Paula Erskine

Tea 4/2 Manchester, England

Tea 4/2 Manchester, England

Tea 4/2, Manchester

Tea 4/2, Manchester

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Mementos

Mementos