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Monday, 31 October 2016

Travelling With Anxiety...

I absolutely love going away. We haven't been in the position to yet go abroad together but we always try to get a few weekends a year where we take a few days to go somewhere we love or somewhere new and I suppose we have been quite lucky to be able do that for a few years now. 
As much as I love going away though, a few weeks, if not a month or so before I start to get anxious about it and sometimes my anxiety can then start to override my excitement about going away. It's not like we go that far, we've been to Manchester a few years in a row now in November and we've also been to London twice, both place we're going back to this November so it's not like we're getting on a plane but I still start to panic about what might happen while we're away.  

As I mentioned in my Social Anxiety post I have to plan properly even if we're just going to the cinema and have to be prepared so I'm a nightmare when it comes to travelling. Until the hotel is booked I'll be worrying about the prices and the same goes for booking train tickets. There are so many things that go round in my head which to other people probably sounds mad but for me this is normal, and I'm sure there are a lot of other people who get quite obsessive over things like this or get anxious about planning. When we go to London in November, we're going to see Wicked and we booked that months and months ago, I knew that we could probably still get good tickets closer to the time and you can even get them last minute when your walking around London but for me it all had to be sorted in advance because I was anxious about missing out and then not being able to go. 

Once everything is booked, that's one thing of my mind but then I have to think about packing and making sure we don't forget anything. I like to write a list well in advance of things I think we'll need and over time I can start to pack and re assess if we have everything. I'm not one of those people that can pack a few days before, or even on the day. As we're going to see a show so I'm already starting to feel anxious about forgetting the tickets or I worry we'll get there and they'll be something else we need which we don't have. 

After booking and packing, then it's actually getting there! Again as I said in my Social Anxiety post I hate to be late and when there is a train to get, I take no chances! I know I drive George mad with it because we definitely don't need to be there as early as we are sometimes, he sort of makes me think sensibly about it and we find a compromise so that we're not there too early but we're also not leaving it too late so that we have to rush. I like to have time to get our tickets, get anything we need from any shops and get to the platform in time. Though after that I always worry someone will get our seat on the train! 

Once we're there I'm normally okay, I do like to have a rough plan of what we'll be doing and places we want to go but I'm trying to be a bit more relaxed about it all now. I do get quite anxious about something happening while we're away but I know I'm being completely irrational.

It's so difficult sometimes, as much as I look forward to getting away there's always something in the back of mind telling me something will go wrong. Do you get anxious about travelling? How do you cope with it? 


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Friday, 28 October 2016

Spicentice Burgers and Fajitas Kits Review*

A few weeks ago I was sent a box of spices from the lovely people at Spicentice. You might already know about them as so many people have been raving about them on Instagram, especially all the people on Slimming World so I was really excited to try a few of them and get making some new meals. I tend to get stuck in rut when it comes to meal planning and with following Slimming World, planning is key so I usually go back to old favourites, but it can get a bit boring at times. So, I was very impressed with the selection I received as it's meant I can try some things I would have never thought to have made!

Spicentice sell little spice kits which only contain 100% herbs and spices, meaning if you follow Slimming World the majority of them are syn free! They have a great selection to choose from and there really is something for everyone, all the spices come with a recipe card and a little shopping list so you already know what you need to get, an extra bonus. I was sent the Gai Yang Satay, Gourmet Burger Rub, Paella Fiesta, Persian Kofta, Fajitas, Chicken Korma & Chicken Tikka.
Fajitas is one of our favourite meals so that had to be the first one we tried! I fried off some peppers and onions in a pan and chucked in cooked chicken with some of the fajita seasoning. The chicken we had in the fridge had gone off so we ended up cooking some frozen chicken fillets/burgers and then sliced them up, but they still picked up the flavour and I was really happy with how it all turned out. We had it with golden rice, refried beans, sour cream (those two go together so well), wraps and we also made some cheesy nachos. The seasoning wasn't too spicy but there was enough to give it a kick which was good and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. There is still some of the seasoning left so I'll be using that next time we make fajitas!
The next night we decided to try the Gourmet Burger Rub. George loves burgers but we very rarely make our own, I just don't think I'm very good at it and they usually taste quite bland, so I was really excited to try this and see if it could change my mind! I used 250g of beef mince, 1/2 onion (fried until soft), a pinch of salt and the seasoning. As soon as I started making the burgers I could smell the seasoning and I already knew it was going to make a huge difference to the taste. I fried them and served them in burger buns with bacon and they tasted beautiful! I was so impressed with them and I would definitely want to use this little seasoning pack next time I make burgers, they didn't taste bland at all and actually it made them a little bit spicy which I loved as I like any spicy food.
I would definitely recommend both the Fajita Spice Kit (£1.99) and the Gourmet Burger Rub (£1.49), both made a difference to the meals, especially the burgers. I was sent quite a few spice kits so I'm going to make some new meals over the next few weeks and then I'll post another review, I can't wait to try out the curry kits!

Spicentice don't just sell spice kits, they also sell rubs and chutneys aswell as gifts! If are looking for something different to get someone for christmas, I really recommend checking out what gifts there are on the website, I know I would be so happy to get any of these! and all at reasonable prices too!

Have you tried anything from Spicentice?

Check out their website here. You can also get 20% off with the code INSTA20.

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*I was sent a selection of products from Spicentice, as always I only work with brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog.
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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Halloween Baking, Hocus Pocus & Trolls!

I didn't get chance to write any posts on Monday so just that one day has thrown everything off and I feel so behind! I still managed to get on and publish a post though, if you haven't seen that post it was all about The Best Nail Polishes For Autumn. Anyway, today I wanted to write about this past weekend as it was a really great one and I don't do many weekend posts anymore like I used to, I'm trying to make more of an effort to write about them, starting today! 

George had booked Monday off so we had his brothers for 3 nights and we had a really lovely weekend. I absolutely love it when they stay as we always watch a load of horror films and there's usually some baking involved, we always have a great time. On Friday before they got here I decided to make a cake, I always like to bake when people are coming round so I made my Easter Chocolate Cake (just changed the topping to chocolate buttons rather than creme eggs), everyone loves chocolate cake so that went down well and I think it's something I've perfected over time. That night I made a pasta bake, a recipe will be coming next month so I won't talk about that too much, but that's something I make a lot when they stay as it's a favourite - so much cheese! That night we watched The Strangers, I watched it years and years ago and I suggested it and I have no idea why as it was pretty scary. 
On Saturday we went to see Trolls and I loved it so much! We all enjoyed it and it was such a fun film. I would go and see it again it was that good, so many great songs in it too. Definitely one for all the family, regardless of age. We went to a few shops afterwards to pick some stuff up for that night and I finally found the Bath & Body Works candle dupes from B&M! I had been looking for so long and had basically given up, but on Saturday I found a load of them, I got the Brown Sugar one, blog post coming in a few weeks for that. That night we made a curry, we've had it a few times now when they've been and I think well have it next time too as it's just so good and we get lots of Indian snacks too. If just me and George are just having a curry in the week, I'll do a slimming world friendly one but weekends we go all out and have what we want so I just got some jar sauces from Asda and they taste so good, so cheap aswell. 
Source.
We watched The Conjuring 2 that night and then the next day we just had a really chilled Sunday eating food and watching films! They made me watch Hocus Pocus for the first time ever and we did some Halloween baking. I got a cupcake kit from The Range last month so we used that and it was really fun to all bake together. 
They went home late Monday afternoon so we just sorted the flat out and got it all tidy again! then we had a night catching up on strictly (well I watched that) the soaps, The Missing and Cold Feet. It was a great end to a lovely weekend. 

I'm glad I decided to blog about the weekend and what we did, hopefully they'll be more posts like this again soon, even if it's just one where we've had a chilled weekend in. Hope you you're all having a great week, another new post will be up on Friday!


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Monday, 24 October 2016

The Best Autumn Nail Polishes...

I've recently added a few new nail polishes to my huge collection and all of them are just perfect for Autumn. I always get excited around this time of year as christmas is on the way and I love it when it's starting to get cold and leaves are on the ground, oh and all the christmas drinks start to make their way into Starbucks!

I definitely make the transition to darker shades as soon as the weather gets a little bit colder, and I ditch the pastels and go for the red, blacks and glitter! Some of my new favourites are from an Essie Set and there are a few older ones which I always go back too. 

ESSIE
Toggle To The Top - This is the first one I tried when I got the Christmas Quad Box, if I could pick one colour to wear on my nails forever it would always be a glittery red and this is just that, I could wear this all year round but I do love wearing a nice one like this in the run up to christmas. It just makes me feel so much more festive! It has a really great formula so really easy to apply and it looks gorgeous after 2 coats.

Chinchilly - This was the next one I decided to try from the same set and as soon as I put it on I knew it would become a new favourite. I always go for colours like this on my nails, it's just a simple, classic colour that always looks good. This was so quick and easy to apply and I got a good 10 days out of this with no top coat which is great! So easy to remove aswell, one I really recommend if you need a new nail polish.

BARRY M
Espresso - When I first bought this I completely missed that it says 'matte' on the bottle, I hate the way it feels so I always apply a top coat to this to make it glossy. The colour is the perfect black and it lasts on my nails for ages without chipping. I did a full review of this on my blog a while ago so instead of just repeating myself, i'll leave the link here if you want to see what else I like about it.

Plum - This is one I always go back to as it just applies so well and as it's a Gelly hi - shine one, it doesn't usually need a top coat so it's a great one if I don't have much time and just want to quickly apply something without needing to worry about a top coat. Like most of my Barry M polishes it lasts really well and I just love how it looks.

Mustard - This one just screams Autumn. I really wasn't sure when I first picked it up but it's become of my favourites for this time of year. I love the look of Mustard coloured clothes but I don't think I can pull that off just yet so I stick to just my nails. Again, it's a Gelly hi - shine so really glossy and no need to worry about it chipping after a few days!

RIMMEL
Rock n Roll - The perfect red! I think this is what I had on my nails last christmas. Both of these Rimmel polishes glide on so well! It's so, so easy to apply and the brush means you only need a couple of strokes to cover the nail and after 2 coats and a top coat it looks lovely.

Moon - This is one of my favourites, I wear this quite a lot and as I just said, it is really easy to apply and the brush fits the nails perfectly. I love wearing this one when it's winter and getting really cold, it's just a perfect one for the end of the year.

Have you tried any of these, what do you think?

Similar Post - Winter Nails!

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Friday, 21 October 2016

50 Things That Annoy Me...

Last year I did a post called 50 Things That Make Me Happy, it was a really simple post and actually one of my favourites. I thought it was about time I did something a bit similar, but list things that annoy me. I was going to do things I hate but hate is a very strong word and a bit harsh. Most days there are lots of little thing that really wind me up, a lot of them are really silly things, so I thought I would write all of them down, hopefully I won't be the only one who gets annoyed by some of these!
1. Rudeness
2. Having to make the bed
3. Clothes left on the floor, not in the washing basket
4. Pots on the side, not in the sink
5. Washing a spoon and water going everywhere
6. When you put too much cold water in the bath and it's impossible to heat it up again
7. Tram conductors (most of them)
8. Summer 
9. Going into a room and forgetting what you went in there for
10. When you order chips from a takeaway and they arrive soggy 
11. Ignorance
12. Excuses
13. People who just want a gossip to pass onto others
14. When my Iphone and tablet both need charging
15. Not getting a thank you
16. Loud chewing
17. Popular bloggers who don't interact with those who have less followers 
18. Cliquey groups (this applies to work, college, school, blogging) as quoted in mean girls 'I wish that I could bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles, and we'd all eat it and be happy' 
19. Crying when I'm angry, I'm not upset I'm mad
20. Cheryl Cole or whatever her new surname is
21. Bitchy people
22. When people don't put in the effort to keep in touch
23. Asdas crap substitutions on the food shop
24. Not been able to sleep 
25. Queuing 
26. When only one headphone works
27. Having to walk past loads of people at the cinema to get to my seat, soz I will spill my popcorn on you
28. People who constantly do bad things but no one calls them out on it
29. I have never seen One Direction live
30. or Michael Buble
31. How much footballers get paid
32. Wayne Rooney 
33. The internet going off 
34. Forgetting to take the washing out and it needing doing again
35. Changing the bed
36. Running out of lemonade
37. People who push to get on trains
38. Washing my hair
39. Periods
40. Paying to wee at train stations
41. Cineworld hardly ever have their Tango Ice Blast machines working
42. Refunds taking '3-5 working days' 
43. Bullies
44. When you want to blog and the computer needs updating
45. Charging something and then going back after a a few hours to realise the plug was never switched on
46. When a waiter is too chatty and you just want your food
47. Smudging your nails just after painting them
48. Cereal not staying fresh 
49. Things been left all over the dining table and coffee table
50. When your hair just won't go right

What annoys you?


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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Why I Hate Having Social Anxiety...

I have always been quiet and shy, throughout school, college, uni, but over the last year or so it's become more than that and now more often than not I get anxious about going to certain places or seeing certain people. I just build things up in my head to be such a big deal when really it's nothing but sometimes it stops me doing a lot of things and I hate it. 
Source.
I can't be late and I have to plan - I know a lot of people probably don't like to be late for things, but for me I hate the thought of turning up even just a few minutes late for things, I like to leave the house well in advance. Even if it's just something as simple as going to the cinema, I still have to book tickets, plan what time we should leave that gives us enough time to get there and loads of other little, silly things. It's such a simple thing to do and we really don't live that far from the cinema but I still have to plan it otherwise I just panic. The cinema is actually a place that can actually really set my anxiety off even though I love going. Everything I've just mentioned really goes round and round in my head until i'm there and then I like to make sure I get to my seat in a good amount of time before the film starts. I like to sit in the corner most of the time aswell but I hate it when I walk in and there's already a line of people sat down because I know I've got to try and get past them and try not to stand on their feet or drop anything so that's something else that makes me anxious. I can't believe I've just wrote all that about the cinema but that is every single thought that goes through my head and it's just ridiculous that something so simple can be so difficult. 

I hate ordering my own food and talking to waiters - I love going for a meal but like the cinema, there are always things I worry about. I get George to do all the talking and I say as little as possible to any waiters that come to our table. I just get so anxious about making conversation and answering questions. I normally always have in mind what I want to drink as they normally ask that straight away and the majority of the time I'll have looked at the menu first online so I don't take too long picking while we're there. I get quite anxious about where we'll be sat at a restaurant, I like to be in a corner, against the wall or in a booth, I absolutely hate when they give you a crap seat in the middle of the restaurant for everyone to see. It puts me on edge the whole time we're there and to be honest completely stops me enjoying it. 

I imagine wherever I am a lot of people probably think I'm quite rude or not a nice person because I have a case of Resting Bitch Face. I just always look like I'm in a bad mood, there have been so many times when George has asked me what's wrong because I've looked mardy and I've been feeling fine, its just my face! So god knows what other people think about me. Especially because if we are having a meal or something like that, I make very little eye contact and I do probably just look rude. But to me I can't handle that small talk, I never know what to say and if I feel I've said something wrong or stupid it will be on my mind forever so I just try to do as little talking as possible!

I hate that my anxiety can cause me to feel the way I do sometimes, it can completely take the joy out of the nice things which I would normally enjoy. Some days are better than others but other days even just getting the tram somewhere makes me anxious. I'm finding different ways to cope with it and to try and overcome it but sometimes it feels like it will be like this forever. If you have social anxiety how do you cope with it? 


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Monday, 17 October 2016

Why I Had To Leave My Job...

I've always been honest on my blog but for the last month or so I've felt like I've been keeping a secret and not being totally myself. From my very first blog post, I have always done regular update posts on just life really, whether that's to do with moving, getting a job or leaving uni, I've always wrote about it, just because one day I will read back on all of these posts and I want to remember everything. I've always treated it a bit like a diary and a place for me to say whatever I want, and document the good and the bad.

Last June I published this post, telling everyone how happy I was I had finally got a job after looking for so long. I'm embarrassed by that blog post now because I was convinced it was going to the best thing ever and was going to change everything, but now over a year later, I've ended up leaving that job. I don't really know where to start with it all but for the first 6 months or so I was really happy there, I could see myself working there for years and years. I've never really been much of a 'career' person, just wanted a steady job that paid the bills and allowed us to do some of the things we had been thinking about and planning for literally years, and that job was going to be it for me. Things had been going so well up until around February this year, things just seemed to change. It became quite clear I didn't fit in and even though I was good at my job, it seemed like you had to be very social and a drinker to ultimately be part of the team. At first because I was new people didn't really know me that well and I wasn't invited out and that was fine with me. But eventually I did start getting asked to go for a drink or for a night out and I always said no, for a number of reasons. I've always been honest about mental health and my anxiety on my blog and I was always honest about it with work so I don't really know why they were so surprised when I didn't want to go out with a load of people I hadn't spoken to before. It wasn't just that, I was an apprentice so was on a lot less money than the rest of them, a lot of them also lived at home too or were in a better financial position than me so really they had that spare money and I didn't. It wasn't that I had no money, I just had other priorities.

I started to realise in my last few months just how isolated I was in my team, it seemed like everyone else got on really well and were good friends and I was just the quiet one who didn't ever go for a drink. If they had asked me why I said no, I'd like to think they'd understand but to be honest they probably wouldn't have cared. Not only was there the whole social side of it, I really felt like my hard work was just taken for granted and I was seen as a bit of a pushover who would just do anything given to me. It became clear that I would always be the one in the team who just had to do as they were told while others could get away with anything. 

Most days I would be trying to cope with my apprentice work, covering reception and doing general admin tasks while others sat on their phones all day or went for extra breaks, I can't even tell you how many days I would sit there trying not to cry or trying to hold in how angry I was, it was just a complete joke. It's not even like I was getting a thank you or any sort of appreciation from anyone for picking up this extra work. and of course those who were doing nothing, got a thank you for every little piece of work they did and it was so clear who was valued in the team regardless of what they did wrong. This isn't me bigging myself up or anything but I worked so hard, and people just didn't care. I was due some annual leave in July which I was so ready for but after that I just couldn't go back. I ended up at the Drs and I was signed off work. I had hoped work would be understanding, especially as they already knew about my anxiety but I was just pressured into going back and that was only making me worse. I told them my reasons for being off sick and gave them so many details about things that had been going on but to be honest they were awful and just didn't want to know. I don't know if they didn't believe me or if they just don't understand mental health but I was made to feel as though I had done something wrong or that I was a liar. Things got worse over time it resulted in me handing in my notice. Overall I was signed off work for about 3 months, I never went back after my annual leave in July and Friday would have been my last day there. So as of today I officially don't have a job and I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I already feel so much happier knowing I'm out of there.

I am so disappointed it turned out like this as at first it seemed so perfect for me but they were making me ill, making my anxiety so much worse and I wasn't going to settle for a job where I was treated like that. I do feel sometimes feel maybe I'm the problem, I couldn't settle at uni and now after looking for so long, I've gone and quit the only job I've had. I'm not sure what it is with me, why things can't just go well for more than a few months but I like to think that one day it will all work itself out. I'll be looking for work part time and I'm hoping it won't take me too long to find something but for now I'm putting all my focus into my blog. I've been doing really well with it, I'm so proud of some of my latest blog posts and some that are yet to be published. I'm also so thankful to have worked with some great companies and hopefully this will continue!

I'm still staying positive, I'm not sure how after everything that has happened over the last few years, nothing has been straightforward but I have to otherwise what's the point. I've got a lovely little flat, exciting things planned and we're really happy, so whatever happens, happens.

I know this is such a long post and a lot of people probably won't care about this but it was important for me to talk about it and have my say, even if no one sees it. It is a shame how it worked out but it wasn't right how I was made to feel.

Similar Post - Why Being A Nurse Wasn't For Me.

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Friday, 14 October 2016

Chocolate Chip Swirl Blondies featuring Beech's Fine Chocolates...

Every week after watching Great British Bake Off I always get a real urge to bake so a few weeks ago I decided to make some Blondies. Recently I was sent a selection of chocolate bars by Beech's Fine Chocolate* to include in some baking so I thought I would add some milk and white chocolate to these blondies and they turned out so well, I really do think they are the best things I have ever made.
I really struggled to find a simple blondies recipes, I looked for ages and even on pinterest they all seemed to be really fancy or required ingredients I didn't have. Eventually I found quite a basic one but it was in cup measurements, I just tweaked a few things and added in a few extras. 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
100g of chocolate chips or broken up chocolate, I used Beech's Milk and White Chococolate*
Nutella or any chocolate spread, I used white and hazelnut spread

Method:
1. Pre - heat oven to 180 degrees and grease a square baking tin, and line with baking paper
2. To start, melt the butter in a saucepan then add to a large mixing bowl, add in the sugar and stir
3. Add your eggs one at a time and the vanilla extract, stir until everything is combined
4. Add the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and fold into the mixture.
5. When everything is combined and you have a smooth sticky mixture add the chocolate chips or broken up chocolate. I used Beech's Chocolate bars, half white* and half milk* which were so creamy and smooth.
6. Transfer to your tin and then top with nutella or chocolate spread. I used a few teaspoons of a hazelnut and white swirled chocolate spread and then I used a skewer to swirl it all together on the top. This was a bit of a last minute addition to it but such a good idea.
7. Bake in your pre - heated oven for 20 minutes then leave to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes before cutting. 
The inside was so gooey but the outside was crispy and together it really was amazing. I cut mine into pretty big pieces so the mixture ended up making 9 but I definitely could have got more out of it as they are really sweet and only a little square would be enough! This is definitely something i'll be making again in the future!

*I was sent a selection of chocolate bars by Beech's Fine Chocolate to include in some baking, I only work with brands relevant to my blog


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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

My Favourite Blog Posts...

I've had my blog for over 2 years now so I thought it was about time I went back and picked out a few of my favourite posts. I have written so many and have spoke about so many different things but there are a few that really stood out for me.
Why Being A Nurse Wasn't For Me - This blog post I think will always be one of my favourites, it was when I really first started putting more of me out there, I wanted my readers to know a bit more about me and what had gone on at university as I had only mentioned small bits here and there. I know a lot of people rave about university but for me, it wasn't all that and I wanted to put a different perspective of it out there, especially about nursing as a lot of people don't realise how hard it is and to this day I still don't think people fully understand how that course made me feel, it literally wore me down and there was no way I could have carried on. I was really proud of this post and of me for putting it out there. 

5 Things I Like About Myself - This is a more recent one but one I am really happy with. As I said in the post, I am quite hard on myself and it's not often I look on the positive side and think about what I'm good at so for me it was really important I did this. I wanted to get down all the things I do like about myself and it did make me realise that actually I'm not that bad and I am a nice person. It's so easy to be hard on yourself rather than look at all the good things you do. I would really recommend writing down just a few things you do like or some things you're proud of and go back to it whenever you're feeling low. 

A Weekend Away To London - I love going back and reading this blog post and I love the pictures, I was really proud of some of the ones I took. London is one of my favourite places so it's nice to go back and read about our weekend, we had such a lovely time. To be honest I love all of my London posts but with our second trip I really took in everything that we did and I appreciated everything, and I took so many pictures and I can remember exactly how I was feeling when I was there and how happy I was. 

The Best Ever Tiffin Recipe - This is one of my favourite things to make so I'm glad I finally got round to posting the recipe! It looks so good and it tastes amazing, whenever I see this blog post I just want to make it! It always seems to get a good response from people and whenever I tweet this post, people always like it and say how good it looks so that's always nice. 

Manchester Christmas Market and The Trafford Centre - I couldn't not mention my Manchester blog posts from 2014, it was the best weekend of my life and one i'll never forget for obvious reasons. I was just so, so happy and it makes me smile whenever I go back and read those posts. And it makes me so excited to go back this November! It's become a real tradition of ours so I like to mark that on my blog every year. 

I really enjoyed doing this and I think I'll go back and do the same again in the future, it's nice to see how my writing has improved and it's nice to relive some great things that have happened. All the posts are linked so if you want to have a read they are all there. 

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Monday, 10 October 2016

Lush Christmas 2016 Wishlist!

I was so happy when I saw that Lush had brought out their christmas range but i'm trying to hold off getting any until we go away which is proving difficult! Every year they release the favourites like Golden Wonder, Father Christmas and of course Snow Fairy but they also always bring in a few new products and gift sets and this year to me looks like one of the best yet. 
All images from Lush.
One I didn't try until last year was the Father Christmas Bath Bomb but it's one i'm really hoping to pick up again this year or hopefully get a few for christmas! It has a really sweet fragrance and I remember thinking at the time how amazing it made the bathroom smell! It's only £3.75 so on the cheaper side compared to some others. The Golden Wonder Bath Bomb became a real favourite of mine last year and I managed to pick up a few in the boxing day sale so I held off using them for so long! I'm desperate to stock up on this one again, included in the ingredients are lime oil and sweet orange oil so a really refreshing scent and I love the colour it makes the water go, it's £4.25 but worth it. One I haven't tried but everyone raves about is the Lord Of Misrule Bath Bomb! For a few years now people have been blogging about it and I've always missed out on it so I really want to get one of these to try, it's £3.95 and includes 'a spicy herbal blend of patchouli and black pepper oil' definitely sounds interesting! Never Mind The Ballistics £4.25, is another one i'm yet to try, i'm not sure if this is a new one for 2016 as I've never seen it before but I love the bright pink and orange colour of it so I imagine the water will go a lovely colour. It really reminds me of the Melting Marshmallow Moment Bath Oil. It's ingredients include Organic Cocoa Butter and fresh banana which is supposed to soften your skin and the water. 
All images from Lush.
The one thing I love from Lush aside from the bath bombs is their body scrubs. I picked up The Rough With The Smooth scrub in the boxing day sale and even though I only got a few go's out of it, it made my skin feel amazing! So this year I want to try their Salt and Peppermint Bark which is £5.95. Back to bath bombs, one I have to get is Shoot For The Stars, £4.25. I think this might be my overall favourite Lush product, I look forward to getting it every year and again it's one I need to stock up on. The last two I'm hoping for are Mistletoe £4.25, which I'm sure I haven't seen before, it's so pretty! and Luxury Lush Pud £4.25, which is another one I've seen people go on about before that I've never tried!

Are you excited for the Lush Christmas range? What are your favourites?


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Friday, 7 October 2016

5 Things To Do If You're Feeling Anxious...

There are times when my anxiety is really bad and it stops me from leaving the house, it can take me hours to get out of bed and sometimes I can't find the motivation to do anything, I do have good days but on the days where I'm not feeling so good I try to use a few different techniques to calm myself down. If any of you suffer with anxiety or just need a few tips on how to relax, hopefully this will help, and these aren't just thing like 'take a bath, go for a walk' I'm not saying those are bad things to do but these are a few other techniques that really help me. 
Image from Pinterest.
1. Try To Have A Positive Attitude - When I'm having a really stressful time or my anxiety's particularly bad then I find it so hard to be positive about anything and I put a downer on everything. I won't say I'm the most positive person in the world anyway, I'm definitely a bit pessimistic but I really try to see the good side of things when I'm feeling anxious, it can be hard to not over think everything so I just try to think of one thing of at a time, and look at everything in a positive light. So for example if I am feeling anxious about something that is happening one day in the week I try to tell myself to just take it one day at a time, one hour at a time if I need to, think of the good things that could happen that day rather than anything bad and try to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. I don't know if I've explained myself properly with this point but I think you'll get what I mean. 

2. Push Yourself - This can depend on the situation but sometimes its best to face your fears and try and push through whatever is causing your anxiety. For me, I can sometimes get anxious about going to certain places, even if I know I've been before and it will be fine, I can just overthink for hours and eventually talk myself out of going. A lot of the time though it can really help if I just force myself to go to the place regardless and do whatever I can to get myself there as I know once im there I'll be okay. There are times when this doesn't work and I just can't make myself do it and that's okay but I always make sure I really, really try and push myself. 

3. Talk - It can really help me to just talk for ages about whatever is bothering me and making me feel anxious. I feel a bit bad for George as sometimes I know it must get boring and be hard to listen to, as a lot of the time its the same things but I can't explain how much it helps me to just let everything out and have a proper conversation about the things or the people that are making me feel stressed or anxious. If there isn't someone you can talk to, maybe writing would help. There are times when I use my blog as a place for me to get everything out and explain how I'm feeling, even if people don't want to know, I feel better knowing I've said what I needed to say. 

4. Do Something You Love - Similar to what I said in the point above, I love putting everything down on my blog, even if no one reads it, its such a relief to just write and write and see what comes out. I love blogging and it's something I can spend hours and hours on so really helps me focus on other things rather than my anxiety. Other things I love doing which really help when I'm feeling anxious are baking, cooking and reading. Baking is my happy thing so I do it as often as I can and with reading it's so easy to get lost in the story and focus on those characters rather than yourself.

5. Eat Well - It can be hard when you're having a bad time to try and find the energy to cook and eat well when all you want to do is get a takeaway and eat chocolate, which I have done so many times when I've been feeling really anxious but generally I actually feel so much better when i'm eating well and i'm getting the right foods. I really do see a difference in my mood when i'm eating well compared to when I'm eating bad and it can have a real impact on my anxiety. 

These are just a few things I try to do when i'm feeling anxious, if you suffer with anxiety what helps you?

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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Raspberry & Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe - Canderel Taste Test Challenge*

If you've seen Mondays post you'll know I took part in the Canderel Taste Test Challenge to see if there was a difference between their sweetener and normal sugar when baking. I've already done a blog post for Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake using Canderel Sugarly so give that a read if you would like to know what I thought! but this post is all about Raspberry and Vanilla Cupcakes and how they turned out, 1 batch with sugar, 1 batch with sweetener. 

Ingredients:
175g low fat spread
3 eggs
75g of Canderel Sugarly (if you use sugar just double the amount so this would be 150g of sugar)
100g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g raspberries

Method:
1. Line a bun/muffin tin with paper cases and pre -heat oven to around 180 degrees
2. In a bowl, add the sugar, eggs, sweetener, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract and mix with an electric whisk until smooth and creamy
3. Stir in the raspberries then add the mixture to the cases
4. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden and springy to touch
5. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool
6. Dust with sweetener or if you want to decorate you could make icing with 150g half fat cream cheese and 2 tbsp sweetener mixed and a fresh raspberry on top!

CUPCAKES WITH SWEETENER

CUPCAKES WITH SUGAR
Similar results to the cheesecake, you honestly couldn't tell the difference between them! You wouldn't know the first cupcakes were made with sweetener at all and everyone enjoyed them just as much as the ones with sugar. In fact the cupcakes made with the sweetener went much faster than the second batch so not bad at all! 

It was a really easy recipe to follow and so quick to do so it's definitely one i'll be doing again in the future, definitely with sweetener! 

You can get £1 off Canderel Sugarly at the moment with this coupon and it's available in most Supermarkets!

Have you seen the first Canderel Taste Test post? Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake!

*I was sent the ingredients for the challenge but as always only work with brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog.

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Monday, 3 October 2016

Lemon & Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe - Canderel Taste Test Challenge*

I was very happy to be part of the Canderel Taste Test Challenge a few weeks ago and take part in some baking to see if there was a difference between Canderel Sugarly and normal sugar. In the first of two posts i'll be giving you the recipe for a Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake and my results. Then on Wednesday part two of the challenge will be all about Raspberry & Vanilla Cupcakes! 
I've used sweetener quite a lot in the past before and in a few baking recipes but never to make a cheesecake, in fact I've never even attempted a cheesecake before! so I was really pushing myself out my comfort zone with this one. The first cheesecake I made was with Canderel Sugarly and then I made a second one with normal sugar but everything else in the recipe stayed the same. 
Ingredients:
50g of low fat spread
150g light digestives, crushed
3 - 4 sheets of gelatine, depending on the size of them (I used 4)
360g of half fat cream cheese
100g Canderel Sugarly (if you want to use sugar, double the amount of sweetener so 200g)
250g of vanilla quark
zest and juice of 2 lemons
250g blueberries

You will also need a 20.5cm/8 inch deep round, loose bottom spring form tin

Method:
1. To make the base, melt the butter in a saucepan and crush the digestives, then mix together and spoon into the tin, spread to cover and press down with the back of a spoon. Leave to cool then put in the fridge to chill
2. Add the gelatine to a small bowl and cover with cold water, put to the side and leave to soften for 5 minutes
3. To make the topping, add cream cheese, sweetener, quark and zest and juice of 2 lemons to a bowl or food mixer. Beat well until everything is combined
4. Squeeze water from gelatine and place back in a clean bowl, cover with boiling water then whisk with a fork until there are no lumps. Add to cream cheese mixture and beat until well mixed
5. Stir in about 1/3 of the blueberries and spoon mixture of biscuit base. Smooth the top then leave in fridge overnight
6. The next day, release from tin and top with remaining blueberries 
Everyone absolutely loved the cheesecake and you honestly couldn't tell that it was made with sweetener rather than sugar! I only managed to take one picture of the second cheesecake after I sliced it but both were lovely and the base was so buttery! I wouldn't hesitate to use sweetener next time rather than sugar as they turned out exactly the same and the first cheesecake with sweetener was gone very quickly! 
You can get £1 off Canderel Sugarly at the moment with this coupon and it's available in most Supermarkets!

Look out for my second Canderel Taste Test Challenge post on Wednesday to see the recipe for Raspberry & Vanilla Cupcakes and how they turned out!

*I was sent the ingredients for the challenge but as always only work with brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog.

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