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Friday, 29 September 2017

Lush Cheer Up Buttercup Bath Bomb Review...

This is a Lush bath bomb I really didn't have a clue about before picking one up from the Oxford Street store in May. I love a good bath bomb and to be honest I tend to stick to the same ones, I really have my favourites so I have to be super intrigued or impressed to try a new one. George actually spotted this one and because of it's ingredients that are supposed to help uplift and relax you, I thought I'd give it a go. I just want to say the picture below really doesn't do it justice! It's actually a really bright yellow but the photo just hasn't come out that way.
This is the first bath bomb I've had in a while where I've ended up having really mixed feelings about it. Usually I love everything about each one I try but with this, some things were amazing and others weren't so this review will probably be a different to my others but I want to be honest about it.

I'm going to start with the things I did love about it. First of all I think it's such a pretty bath bomb, I love the bright yellow colour of it and as I've already said, the picture above doesn't show how nice it actually is in real life. It's quite a small bath bomb so a little bit cheaper than a lot of the others available at Lush which is good as they can be pricey sometimes. The smell of it is incredible, it's such a refreshing and zingy scent as it contains Lemon Myrtle Oil, Lime Oil and Neroli and it made, not only my skin smell lovely, but also the whole bathroom! Something I do really like about it, is that it's a really good one for uplifting you and the shop assistant actually told George this is a brilliant one for people with anxiety and depression. They've picked specific ingredients that can help relax you and I found with this, I did feel really good afterwards. I like bath bombs like this where there is clearly more to it than just what it looks like in the water. That being said though, that is the thing that disappointed me about this. Normally I love putting a bath bomb into the water and watching it fizz away and seeing all of the different colours emerge but with this, nothing really happened. Within seconds, and I mean seconds, it had all fizzed away and there was no chance to really see any other colours, before I knew it all of the water was yellow and there was just a load of floating bits around the water. So because of that I couldn't really get any good pictures of it but I still wanted to review it, I think it's important to write about the things that aren't quite as amazing as others sometimes. I think maybe I expected a lot from this because it's the same colour as the Yellow Submarine Bath Bomb which I absolutely loved!
I just feel really mixed about it, I'd definitely say it was more positive than negative but for those who love a bath bomb to Instagram, this isn't really the one for you. For those who struggle to switch off or struggle with anxiety, then I think this could be good for you, there is just something about it that is so uplifting and if you're not really interested in the water going a load of different colours then this should be a good one for you. This is £2.95 which as I've mentioned, is one of their cheaper bath bombs so it might be a good one if you're new to Lush and aren't sure what to splash out on.

I'd love to know if you've tried this bath bomb and what you thought? What's your favourite Lush product?

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Frizz Free Hair This Autumn With John Frieda*

I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting hair products so I jumped at the chance to try out and review the Frizz Ease range from John Frieda. Autumn is my favourite for lots of reasons but there is no denying the cold weather it brings has an negative affect on my hair - tangles and frizz from the rain, static from jumpers and heat from hairdryers. As we're now officially into Autumn and the cold weather is starting again, these products arrived at the perfect time!
I was sent the Shampoo, Conditioner and Serum from the Frizz Ease range which are all designed to help with our hair in the cold months. I've got very long, thick hair and these products are all supposed to tame that but are suitable for just about anyone and their hair types. I've been using this range for a good few weeks now and I couldn't wait to get my thoughts all written up!

I'll start with the Shampoo and Conditioner first as these were the ones I was most excited to use. The shampoo and conditioner both contain a blend of pure coconut oil and conditioning agents, which work hard to strengthen hairs immunity to frizz aswell as improving hairs texture and manageability for smoother hair. I've definitely noticed my hair has felt a LOT smoother since using these. Sometimes when my hair has dried it can still feel quite frizzy and a bit all over the place, whereas with this it has felt generally much smoother, nicer to brush through, and easier to style. I still have quite a lot of the shampoo left to use, as I found I didn't need loads for it to properly coat all my hair, but the conditioner I got through much faster! I always do no matter what brand I use. I worked the conditioner into the lengths of my hair and washing this out was a dream. Almost straight away I could feel how much better my hair felt and after brushing through, it was so smooth and free of tangles. What's good about this conditioner is that it leaves your hair tangle and frizz free for 72 hours which is brilliant for those of us who don't have time to be washing and styling our hair everyday!
The Extra Strength Six Effects Serum is another product I've been trying out, and it's been really fun to use as I never tend to pick these up in shops! This claims to instantly eliminate frizz and repel humidity for glossy, smooth hair. I've been applying a bit of this to wet hair, taking care to really coat the lengths of it and then leaving to dry. A little bit of this goes a long way so you really don't need much and I've not found it's made my hair greasy in any way which is something I worry about with products like this. I've not had that heavy, weighed down feeling and my hair has just felt so fresh and clean. I've found this combined with the shampoo and conditioner has really done wonders for my hair and I'm so impressed.
What I love about these products is that, I've hardly had to use anything else with them, they've left my hair feeling so good, and looking smoother than ever, that I've not even been tempted to reach for the straighteners. I don't use them anywhere near as much as I used to anyway but my hair has looked fine with them, just a brush through each morning and I've been ready to go. These have genuinely left my hair frizz free over the last few weeks and it's meant I've hardly had to spend any time on it each day which is a massive bonus as I find styling my hair to be such a drain sometimes. I think I've used my hairdryer once after washing with these, just because I was in a rush (I usually like to leave it to dry by itself) and even then my hair was much easier to brush through, normally it's a complete nightmare! Also these products smell lovely, they make me feel like I've just left the hairdressers!
Overall, I just love this range. I'm so glad I've got some of the shampoo and the serum left to use, I'll definitely be carrying on with them and I know I'll be purchasing more from John Frieda in the future. With this range I really don't have to worry about frizzy hair in the Autumn and Winter months, I can use these knowing they do make a real difference and will be protecting my hair on the cold, rainy and humid days!

If you want to try this range, it's now available in Superdrug, Boots, Feel Unique and most Supermarkets, and you can find more on the John Frieda website.

Have you tried anything from the Frizz Ease range before?

*Products were sent for the purpose of this review, all opinions are my own. Affiliate links used in this post

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

A Few Things I Dislike About Blogging...

So, first of all blogging is an amazing thing. I'm so glad I decided to start a blog almost 3 and a half years ago now and I'm so proud of how it's grown and how I've improved over that time. That being said though, for a while now there has been a few things that have been getting me down regarding blogging and I really wanted to do a post on them just to see if anyone else felt the same and also just to have a bit of a rant!
1. It's so competitive - I find the majority of bloggers are amazing and super supportive, and most of the time it's all about #girlpower but sometimes I find it really competitive and it's hard not to feel like my blog will never compare to some. As I said I'm so proud of my blog, this year especially I've hit a few milestones with it and my social media, I got a new header, and last year I also bought a new theme and properly did my blog up. I feel like I really went to another level with blogging, but some days I do feel really feel like my blog is generally just crap because I know there are other bloggers who I will never compare to and never reach their level. I know it shouldn't get to me and as much as I'm all for girls supporting other girls, sometimes it does just feel like such a competitive community and only certain people seem to get any recognition and it can be frustrating sometimes.

2. People ignoring your tweets - This might seem like a bit of a silly one but it genuinely really bothers me sometimes when I respond to someones tweet, and they completely ignore my tweet but reply to other people, WHY? I get if you get loads and loads of responses to a tweet then maybe you don't have time responding to everyone but surely you can at least like my response? I've noticed with some bloggers they can be quite ruthless and only seem to tweet back those that have either around the same amount of followers as them or more, and I just think it's quite obvious some think they are too good for small bloggers like me. 

3. The follow/unfollow game - This is seriously starting to get to me. If you're not a blogger or very active on social media you might not really know what I'm on about or notice it but Instagram has been an absolute bitch recently for people following you to then unfollow the next day once you've followed back, and some do it repeatedly! I've had to block a few people over the last few weeks because the same ones were following me over and over and now I've got an app to track them I can see who's just clearly playing games. Instagram is a struggle at the moment anyway with the whole algorithm and peoples pictures not showing up but then when you add in people doing the follow/unfollow thing, it makes me just want to give up on it all together.

4. People who don't return comments in threads - I love taking part in comment threads. I think they are such a nice way to discover new blogs, read some fab posts and also gain some comments on your own recent posts, but more and more I'm noticing a lot of people not returning comments, or joining a thread, leaving a link to their post and not even doing the minimum thats required for the thread. Whenever I take part in a thread and I leave a link to a blog post, I always say I'll return any comments and I always do. I then go and comment on other posts in the thread and I usually make it a priority to comment on posts where the person has said they will also return comments. It then usually turns out a lot of those who said they will return comments, just don't. They either ignore my tweet completely, or I'll tell them I've commented and they'll just like it. I'm always wary that maybe people just forget to return the love so I would never say anything, but I also feel like a lot know what they are doing and have no intention of returning comments. It just makes me sad because it makes me feel is my blog not good enough for you? It makes me so wary each time I take part and it's almost like I then have to purposely avoid peoples tweets because I know they won't return comments and I'm fed up of supporting them for them not to support me back.

5. Google Analytics - Okay this is something I only really started with properly last year I think, because I just didn't understand it, and to be honest I still don't. I've always tracked my blog stats via blogger but they don't seem very accurate a lot of the time, which is why I decided to set up google analytics. It's meant I could put ads on my blog but for the small amount you get each day, I'm not sure I'll ever get to actually transfer that money to my bank, and also the stats I get on that are so different to blogger, I just have no idea whats right! There is so much more to google analytics too that I've yet to figure out and whenever I try I just give up within minutes, it's just too complicated for me. 

I don't normally like to think negatively of anything to do with blogging because I just love it so much and I'm not sure what I'd be doing if I'd not started my blog but some days it does feel like the cons outweigh the pros!

Does anything about blogging annoy you? Can you relate to any of the things I mentioned?

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

2 New Nails Inc Favourites...

I received a Nails Inc voucher recently so I decided to treat myself to a few new nail polishes. Nails Inc are a brand I love but one I don't tend to buy from usually just because their polishes can be really expensive and when I can find beautiful Barry M polishes like this one for just a few pound from Superdrug, it doesn't make sense to me to go and spend loads on just one. As I had a voucher though, I had to use it and I was spoilt for choice! Nails Inc have such a huge range of colours to choose from but as we're now into Autumn, I thought some christmassy and darker colours would be perfect!
After much deliberation I finally added a few to my basket and I settled on the shades Chelsea Embankment which is a gorgeous gold glitter, and Victoria which is a deep, dark cherry colour.

The one I'll talk about first because it's the one I was so desperate to try was the Chelsea Embankment one. Isn't it just stunning? This was one I kept going back to on the website and I just couldn't not get it, I thought it would be ideal for Christmas! It's such a beautiful gold glitter polish and even though I was a bit sceptical of what it would be like to apply, I really wanted to give it a try. Sometimes with glitter polishes, I apply them and it's basically just clear polish with a few drops of glitter so it doesn't really look great. This isn't like that at all though, just one coat gives a beautiful gold shimmer and two is even better. It looks stunning on and even though I didn't find it lasted ages, it really will be great for a few days over festive period. I think next time I use it I'll be adding a top coat on top to see if that makes it stay on any longer.
Now the Victoria polish was one that I kept adding to my basket and then removing! Just because I already have a few like it but there was something about that kept pulling me in. I just adore colours like this in Autumn and even though I already have a few like it, you can never have too many deep purple/red colours for the colder months can you? I've used this a few times now and each time I've been impressed. I did find it was a little hard to apply but I find that with a lot of darker nail polishes for some reason but the finished look was amazing and it lasted ages! It stayed without chipping for so much longer than the gold glitter polish did and it just made my nails look so nice and glossy. It also dried really fast too which is important for me as I can't sit still for too long!
I love both of these and I don't think I could have picked two better colours for Autumn and Winter. I know I'll get so much use out of these and I actually think they would go so well together. I think next time I use the Victoria polish I might apply the gold to just one of my nails on each hand or something like that, I always love how it looks on other people anyway! Something else I really like about Nails Inc and these two in particular is the names, they are all London themed so of course they are just perfect for me. They were both priced at £15 each which is definitely expensive and not what I would usually spend but the quality is really good and I think I managed to pick some good ones up with the voucher I had.

Have you tried any polishes from Nails Inc? What do you think to these colours?

Similar Posts - Nail Repair With Microcell // Rimmel Black Cherries Review

*Affiliate links used in this post

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Monday, 25 September 2017

My Simple & Delicious Shepherds Pie Recipe...

Shepherds Pie for me is just one of those comforting meals that always makes everything okay. I love making this when I'm just in need of some tasty comfort food. I made it a few months ago after properly craving it for a while and since then I've made a good few times and each time it's just got better and better. It's just so delicious and I thought last time I had it, you know what I'm gonna blog about it. I know this is something a lot of people probably already know how to make and it might be a bit of a random one to do a recipe on but I just felt like posting it. Everyone has different ways of making things and I actually think this is a really easy recipe to follow and quite quick to make so maybe someone will find this useful!
Ingredients: for 2 people
250g beef of turkey mince
1 red onion, finely diced
around 600ml of beef stock
salt and pepper
2 baking potatoes
1 tsp of butter
1 tbsp of milk
30g of grated cheese

Method:
1. Start by preparing your potatoes. I use 2 baking potatoes for 2 of us, peel and chop into big chunks then boil until just soft
2. While potatoes are boiling, in a frying pan I fry off the mince in a pan until brown. You can use either beef or turkey mince. I find turkey mince a bit cheaper so tend to use that quite a lot now
3. Finely dice a red onion and add to the pan
4. When the onion has softened and the mince has fully cooked, add in around 400ml of beef stock. I use 1 beef stock cube and a few tsps of bisto with boiling water and just leave it to simmer. When that has simmered down I then add around another 200ml of water along with some salt and pepper and leave that to simmer again
5. After around 40 minutes usually both the potatoes are done and ready to be mashed, and the the mince has simmered down to a nice thick mixture
6. To make the mash I just add in 1 tsp of butter, a little bit of salt and 1 tbsp of milk. I then just mash until smooth 
7. Add the mince into a dish and then top with the mash. Smooth the mash out then top with cheese
8. Bake in a 200 degree oven for around half an hour or until the cheese is crispy!
I know once it's on the plate it doesn't look like the prettiest thing in the world, this is the best picture I could get but I don't think many people could make it look amazing once it's out of the dish! This is just one of those classic meals that I always go back to and it's so perfect for a sunday evening with big yorkshire puddings and veg. The crispy cheese on top is just the best.

A similar recipe you might like to try - Keema Curry Pie!

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Sunday, 24 September 2017

Lush Christmas Wishlist 2017...

Lush is just one of my favourite ever shops. I can spend a ridiculous amount of money in there and have done lots in the past, especially around Christmas time! The cold weather just makes me want hot bubble baths everyday and of course for that I need a load of bath bombs and bubble bars. As Lush have now released their Christmas range for 2017, I wanted to put together a little wishlist, and it's a nice reminder for me really so next time I go in store I know what to pick up, also it's a nice hint to George of a few ideas for presents this year ;)
One of the first bath bombs I spotted on the website when I looked was the Chrismas Sweater Bath Bomb, it is a pretty dark pink bath bomb with two little reindeers on the front and just looks adorable. This is apparently quite a spicy bath bomb as it contains mustard and ginger powders which ease muscles. It seems like it would be a great one after a long day of Christmas shopping! I'd love to try this as it sounds a little different to the ones I usually buy. Next I was so glad to see the Salt and Peppermint Bark back. I saw this last year and was desperate to get it but never did so I have to make it a priority this year. I love Lush scrubs like this, they are amazing to just rub all over your skin and properly exfoliate. I love anything a little bit minty too so I imagine this would be perfect for me. Another product I have to get my hands on is the Butterbear Bath Card. They are still bringing out the usual Butterbear Bath Bomb but this is a little different and it looks like you basically wet your hands and rub the bear between them which lathers up into a soap. I'm not sure how many uses you get out of this, it's only £2 so I can't imagine it would be loads but it's so cute and I love bears so I kind of want it just for that. A bath bomb I was really hoping would eventually be created, Snow Fairy is now here! I remember saying to George last Christmas, do you think they'll ever make a Snow Fairy bath bomb? and now they have, I can't wait to try it. I love the Snow Fairy sweet scent so I can't wait to try it in bath bomb form and I'm so excited to see what this is like in the water. It's a jelly bath bomb which is a new thing Lush have brought in alongside their usual bath bombs, and I've heard mixed things but I still can't wait to give it a go.
Another bath bomb because they are my favourite things, Thundersnow. I absolutely love the darker bath bombs like this as they always make the water go such a beautiful colour and I find they make such amazing patterns as they fizz round. I just love looking at them and this one looks like it's going to be amazing! Similar to the Shoot For The Stars Bath Bomb (which is my all time favourite), it's a bright blue colour and I imagine it's going to be just as exciting as that one. The last of the bath bombs I want to try is the Sherbet Dip one. It looks a bit different to a lot of the others they sell but I love the bright yellow. I tried the Yellow Submarine bath bomb a while ago now and that was amazing, so I have a feeling this might be a bit like that. I think this will smell really refreshing! Now finally a bubble bar because I do love those for a proper bubble bath, Plum Snow. I think this is just lovely and really is so christmassy. I think this would make such a beautiful, deep purple bath. The last product I like the look of is Candy Cane Roulade Shower Smoothie. I've never used anything like this before but it looks really interesting, I love the name and I think it would my skin so, so soft.
I'm just such a big fan of Lush and even though it can be expensive at times, I do like to treat myself to a few bits each year when the Christmas range comes out.

Are you looking forward to picking any of these bits up? What's your favourite Lush product?

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Friday, 22 September 2017

Billion Dollar Brows - Universal Brow Pencil Review*

I've had two reviews up for KLM Beauty over the last few weeks and todays is the final one, all about Billion Dollar Brows Universal Brow Pencil. If you've not seen my other reviews, I have one about Australian Bodycare Skin Wash which you can find here, and also Microcell Nail Repair Kit, which you can find here. I think out of all the products I was sent, this is the one I was most sceptical about, just because I don't really ever use brow products and I wasn't sure if I'd be any good at using it. I've actually really enjoyed using it though and I couldn't wait to write about it!
Billion Dollar Brows are a company that want to help you achieve the best brows, they completely shape your face so a product like the Universal Brow Pencil can make such a big difference. What's interesting about this pencil is that is can be used by anyone, it's known as the brow pencil for all hair colours. This takes away the struggle of finding a brow pencil that's right for you as it's formulated to work with all skin tones and hair colours. I have quite dark brows so I wasn't sure if this would end up being too light for me and it did look a little light when I first removed all the packaging but it was actually perfect for me and took me totally by surprise!
This brush aswell as having the pencil at one end, also has a spoolie brush attached. I love little eyebrow brushes like this as mine can be quite thick and unruly and they do tend to need brushing through before I apply any makeup. Little spoolie brushes like this are just fab for taming any unruly hairs and generally making them look a bit neater! When using this pencil, I brushed through my brows first then I applied using a few hair like strokes to wherever I felt needed filling in a little bit. I then brushed through again with the spoolie to properly blend. I really liked the look this gave and it just made a nice, subtle difference to my brows! I didn't want them to look too drawn on and filled in but this was really natural and actually really easy to use. I like applying makeup to be as stress free as possible and one of the reasons I've never tried a brow product before really is because I just though it would be so time consuming and loads of effort, but this really wasn't.
Something I really like about this pencil is that it's actually got a retractable pencil so it never needs sharpening! It's such a pain when I go to use a product like eyeliner or lipliner and find it needs sharpening, for some reason I can never find one so I have to struggle to apply it! Luckily that won't happen with this as you can just twist the tip of the pencil and more of the product comes out. Also with this, you really don't need a lot so it will last ages! 
This has just been such a good addition to my makeup bag and I'm really glad I've found a brow product that genuinely interests me and works! It costs £17 which is pricey for just one product but it's definitely worth trying. Aswell as having a positive experience myself, I've only heard good things from other people about it too!

If you would like to find out more about the Universal Brow Pencil or any other products Billion Dollar Brows do, check out their website here!

Have you ever tried any products from this brand before? What's your go to eyebrow product?

*Product sent for this review, as always I only work with brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog

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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Why I'm A Little Addicted To Pinterest...

Pinterest is one of my all time favourite things to go on and I spend more time on the app each day than I'd like to admit! I first signed up a few years ago and since then I've kind of just become a bit addicted to it. If you've never used Pinterest then it's basically another social media site, you can promote yourself on there so it's great for sharing blog posts but it can also just be used for fun and for 'pinning' all sorts of pretty things! You can set up boards on there so I have several, for example -  my dream home, recipes I want to try, quotes, my dream bakery and one all about getting married. I have loads and I just pin all sorts of images, wedding dresses, interior ideas and just things like that really. So I thought I'd do a little post all about Pinterest and just why I love it so much as I do spend so much time on there!
So Many Boards - I briefly mentioned some of the boards I have at the beginning, but I literally have loads. I have something for everything and on there I can plan a wedding, find new meals for the week, envisage my dream home, and just so much more. I love pinning loads of wedding related things as there are so many beautiful pictures on there, even the stuff I know I won't be having and don't really want, I still loving pinning it! I also love sharing quotes on there. Sometimes I just find so many relatable ones on there and I go looking for ones on there to share on my other social media sometimes, especially if I'm having a down day or need to find something that expresses how I feel without going off on one. You can just find all sorts of pretty images and can literally plan your whole future in one place.

It Keeps Me Occupied - I could spend hours and hours on Pinterest, once I start I can't stop. It really does keep my occupied and I just love spending that time on there searching for all sorts of different things rather than just scrolling through Instagram and Twitter over and over. I also love to go on it if I'm feeling a bit stressed or anxious, it really takes my mind off things and just keeps me busy for a while.

Can Connect With Other Bloggers - It's generally just another social media platform so I love following other bloggers on there. It's only really in the last year or so that I've noticed other bloggers using it too and now I follow loads! I love seeing what images they share and pinning some of their stuff, it's just nice to build up a following on there too aswell as my other social media. If you do want to give me a follow, you can find me here and I promise I'll follow back!

It's A Place To Promote Blog Posts - Following on from my last point, it's a brilliant place to share blog posts. Some people take it really seriously and have their pinterest as a business account, I'm not sure how to do that and I don't think I want to, but it really is an amazing platform for so many people. I have a board with my blog name and any blog posts I post are shared on there with the main image from the post. I'm also part of a few blogger groups on there aswell so I can share my latest posts that way too and other people can find me. I've not noticed loads of traffic to my blog from Pinterest but it's just nice to share stuff over there too and any one who sees one of my posts and comes over to my blog, is a bonus!

It's Not As Much Pressure As Other Social Media Platforms - The main thing for me I suppose is that it just really doesn't feel as much pressure as my other social media does. I find with Twitter I get conscious of tweeting too many of my blog posts and it looking spammy and annoying. I feel pressure to tweet normal stuff everyday but I'm quite boring and don't have much to say, so it is a lot of pressure sometimes. With Instagram I feel like I need to post everyday otherwise I lose a ton of followers and it's definitely the one causing most stress for me at the moment! With Pinterest I know I can go on when I want and can pin what I want, no pressure at all. It's just really enjoyable and one I've loved for such a long time now.

So I'm just a bit addicted to it really and that's why! I'd love to know if you've got Pinterest and if you enjoy it aswell? I'm always looking for new people to follow too so leave me your link and I'll give you a follow.

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Nail Repair With Microcell*

The second review for KLM Beauty and today it's all about Nail Repair With Microcell. I've done one review so far for KLM Beauty, that being the Australian Body Wash which you can find here, and I'll have a final one at the end of the week so keep a look out for that. Out of all the products I was sent, I think these were the ones I was most excited about, just because I do my nails all the time!
Microcell are now regarded as a worldwide expert for the treatment of hand nail problems. They sell a range of products which have all been formulated with active ingredients that work together to tackle a variety of different nail and skin problems. As I'm always looking for new nail products to try, I really was excited by these! I was sent the Microcell Try Me Kit which includes a Nail Repair, Nail Polish Remover, Nail Wonder and a Nail Polish.

The first product I tried out of them all was actually the nail polish remover. I paint my nails all the time, I can't stand how they feel without something on them so I used this to remove any polish that was already on my nails. It worked really well and didn't take much effort at all. I like doing my nails to be as quick and easy as possible so this was a really fab little product to use. I've used it every time I've done my nails over the last month or so now and everytime it's been so effective and left my nails feeling really clean and fresh.
The next product I tried was the actual nail polish that was included. It's a gorgeous dark purple colour, such a perfect shade for me and so like many of my other nail polishes. I couldn't wait to try this. As it's a darker colour, it was a little tricky to apply, I find that with most of my darker shades though to be honest, but after a little neatening up it looked gorgeous on! It really is such a beautiful colour, two coats of it was perfect and with a top coat I found it lasted well over a week. It's only a small bottle so I probably won't get loads of use out of this but it really is going to be perfect for the autumn and winter months.
I then tried the 5-in-1 quick drying top coat. This is supposed to be a colour refresher and a smoothing filler and it's also supposed to protect against peeling and chipping, and protect against aggressive influences and dehydration. I very rarely use a top coat, I just never think to repurchase them when I've ran out so I was really happy this was included. I've used this every time I've painted my nails over a good few weeks now and it has been incredible! It has made so many of my nail polishes last so much longer than usual, including the purple one above, and there has been minimal chipping with them all. I find with a lot of my nail polishes they can chip within a few days so this has made a massive difference. I will definitely be carrying on with this and buying in future as out of all the top coats I've used, this is the only one that has really worked.
The last product I tried out of them all was the Nail Repair. I bite my nails a lot and given that I paint them all the time, they probably aren't in the best condition but I'd still never tried a product like this before. This is a treatment which has been designed to rehabilitate weak and brittle nails in only 2 weeks and it can help with splitting, tearing and growth. The way this is used is that you apply one layer on two consecutive days, and on the third day you remove it with the nail polish remover. You then repeat the treatment for 2 more days and carry on for 2-3 weeks with the whole process. With this I've genuinely found my nails have been a little bit stronger than usual. They are usually quite prone to breaking at the ends but I haven't noticed that as much over the last few weeks and they really have grown! I'm now using this as a base coat as I've done the whole process over a few weeks and it's working really just as that for now too.
I really am so impressed with this whole kit from Microcell. I was definitely a little sceptical at first just because I have my favourite nail brands but this really has been brilliant. The top coat especially, I just can't get over how good it is, it's been nice to have my nail polish actually properly lasting for a good amount of time!

The nail kit is currently £14.99 instead of £36, available here, so if you're into nails I definitely think this is worth getting while on offer!

*Product sent for the purpose of this review. As always I only feature brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

My Evening Routine...

I've contemplated doing a post like this for a while but I've just not been sure how to go about it. That was until I read the lovely Hannahs post recently and I thought that I'd just give it a go and write about what happens most evenings. I'm going to do mine a little bit different to Hannahs and others that I've read as I'm going to include making food and things like that, and I'm going to write about what I get up from about 6pm onwards. I find posts like this so interesting so I hope you do too and I'd love to know what your evening routine is like!
Make Tea - So I don't normally get started on tea til at least 6pm unless it's a roast or a slow cooker meal. I don't know why but now I love having an evening meal around 7.30pm when Coronation Street is on and then getting cosy afterwards. I find if I eat tea any earlier than that, then a few hours later I'll be so hungry again and that's when I reach for the chocolate which definitely isn't good for me. If I can, throughout the day I'll prep everything for the meal and then when it comes to cooking it, it should require very little effort! Even better if it's a slow cooker meal as I can chuck all that in around 2pm and then leave to cook on high for about 5 hours and not have to do much else.

Quick Clean and Tidy - After eating, I have to get everything clean and tidy. We have an open plan living room and kitchen so if the kitchen is a tip, I can see it from the sofa and it makes it so much harder for me to relax! I like to get any pots done pretty quickly after eating, give the kitchen a quick clean, and then I find I can just enjoy my evening and it also means I don't have to worry about any of that either just before bed or the next morning.

Skincare Routine - I don't have much of a skincare routine but each night I do like to use a few products so I thought I'd mention them. At the moment I'm using my trusty garnier micellar water to remove any makeup which I've very nearly ran out of and I'll then cleanse with my Newtons Labs products. A few times a week I also try to use my SensseGo Mini Facial Brush. I reviewed this recently and find it so enjoyable to use so every few days I'll add this to my routine. As I'm in most days now I tend to have a shower in the day but particuarly in winter I love a bath or shower after tea, getting into some fresh pyjamas and then getting cosy on the sofa. This would when I'd do my skincare routine too.
Catch up on TV - No evening of mine would be complete without catching up on some TV. I try to watch the soaps each night, Coronation Street is a must and obviously Eastenders and then afterwards me and George will settle down with a show of ours. At the moment we're watching a few different things - Once Upon A Time, Doctor Foster and Tin Star. I do love reality TV aswell though so a few nights a week I have to put TOWIE on. I'm still a little bit sad Big Brother is over as I was obsessed with that this summer!

Facemask - Usually one night during the week or a saturday night I'll do a facemask. I've become a little addicted to them recently and just love the experience of applying them, letting them dry and then having to either peel or wash it off. I find it so much fun so try to do one each week. At the moment I still have a few Superdrug ones to get through but after that I definitely want to get some of the Garnier Moisture Bomb ones though I have heard mixed things about them! Let me know if you recommend any other brands to try. Some nights I'll also then paint my nails and have a proper little pamper.
Blogging & Scheduling Tweets - Each night before bed, or when we're watching something, I'll check I've scheduled tweets for the next day, and if not I'll make sure to get some sorted. I'll also go through all my social media and catch up on any blog commenting or instagram pods. Some nights I also like to get some blogging done if I'm feeling motivated. 

I try to go to bed around 11pm most nights but if we're properly stuck on a tv show then it can end up being later than that. Most nights vary to be honest, and because of my insomnia I can then end up spending hours catching up on youtube or doing some late night blogging. These are the sort of things I get up to each night though from about 6ish so I thought it might be interesting to share!

I'd love to know what your evening routine is, and what sort of stuff you get up to. Do you have a proper skincare routine? Have you got any TV shows you recommend?

*This post contains affiliate links

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Monday, 18 September 2017

A Day Trip To Leeds!

On Saturday me and George went out for the day to Leeds and had such a lovely time! It's not often we decide to go somewhere on a whim but we both just wanted a little day out and Leeds is somewhere I'd wanted to go for a while. I'd heard from so many people before that Leeds Trinity Shopping Centre is brilliant so I was desperate to get a bit of shopping done and I picked up some lovely bits. I'm such a homebody and do love cosy weekends in or I'm always happy to go to our second home - the cinema, but this day out was just really needed, a change of scenery and a little bit of treating ourselves.
Luckily Leeds isn't too far from us so it was quite easy to get on a train and it really didn't take long. We were there by early afternoon and we really didn't stop much all day! When we first got there we went straight for food because food is life, and we both knew we wanted to try out Crepe Affaire. There used to be a pancake place in the Trafford Centre which we loved and we used to have the best Chicken, Bacon and Cheese Crepes there so we've been on the lookout for another ever since we knew they had closed down! We found this place and they had some amazing things to choose from. Crepes, Mini Pancakes, Waffles, Milkshakes etc. We tried the Ham and Cheese Crepe which was delicious! I really never thought I'd be someone who likes savoury crepes, I'm usually all about the nutella but I loved this. I would love to try their belgian chocolate one next time though as it looked so good!
We then did a little bit of shopping, starting in M&S because I just love their homeware stuff. I didn't end up getting anything but they had the most gorgeous cushion with a dog on which I was definitely tempted by but there is just no room for more! Also as always they had some fab candles in but I really wanted to try and pick some up from TK Maxx as I knew they had all their autumn stuff in. We then headed to the Lindt Shop, the best shop in the world! We've only ever been to a Lindt shop once before and that was during our last trip to Manchester, so I was so glad to see one in Leeds. You'd think everything would be really expensive but it was all actually really reasonable and we treated ourselves to some of the pick and mix. I was so happy to see they've now got Mint Lindt balls, I'm just obsessed with mint chocolate.
One shop I had no idea about but I am so glad I discovered is one called The Yorkshire Soap Company. They had so many beautiful bath products, bath bombs, soaps, mini bath fizzers, just everything and it all smelled incredible. I'd been hoping to pick up a few bath bombs from Lush as the halloween and Christmas range is online but unfortunately it wasn't in stores yet and I do think the prices of some of their products have gone up a bit. These bath bombs were £3.50 so definitely cheaper than Lush but maybe even more exciting! I mean, look how pretty they all are! It took me such a long time to choose one but I ended up with the pink one called Elephants and Lemonade. It's such a sweet smelling bath bomb and is absolutely adorable. I definitely think I'll stock up next time I go, they would make such lovely gifts. We then decided to head to Homesense. I had no idea that they had one and it's one of my all time favourite shops so I was in heaven. They had so many candles to choose from but I just ended up with this beautiful leaf shaped one. I've had ones like this before at Christmas but I've never seen a proper Autumn one like this so I had to get it. I thought it would look so nice lit in the living room at night! Oh also in the picture below, PROSECCO JELLIES! I know I've mentioned these before in a post but I wanted to include them in this little haul as I'm obsessed. They are from the Spirit Of Summer range so I'm not sure how much longer they'll be around, they had loads left though on Saturday so I wish I'd bought more.
After lots more shopping including a few beauty bits from Superdrug and some american sweets and drinks from a little american shop, we decided to finish the day with a warm biscoff cookie dough from a place called My Cookie Dough. We don't have anything like this near us so we had to get one. It was fresh, warm cookie dough topped with melted biscoff spread and a scoop of the most delicious ice cream. Just amazing and so worth like the £5 it was!
The good thing about Leeds Trinity is that it's literally just around the corner from the train station so when it came to heading home, we didn't have to rush for a train or anything or set back off early, I definitely think we'll go back in future as it was just so easy to travel to and from, and some of the shops were amazing. It was nice to explore somewhere different and buy a few bits from shops we don't have near us. We definitely didn't buy loads and even though there were a few things we'd set out to get, and didn't, we did pick up some lovely little bits and it was more just about the day. It was so needed and ended up being such a nice day out. I already can't wait to go again for another little day trip. 

Have you ever been to Leeds Trinity? Anywhere you recommend for a little shopping trip?

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Friday, 15 September 2017

Birchbox Unboxing & Review - September 2017...

I absolutely loved receiving my first Birchbox last month and writing up a post on it so I thought while I have this subscription I'll carry on with posting a little unboxing and review each month. If you haven't seen my August post and want to know what was included, you can find that post here. As the August box was so impressive, I really hoped Septembers would be too but I have such mixed feelings about it!
One positive straight away is the beautiful box. This month they've teamed up with Oliver Bonas and there were 2 designs to choose from for the box. I love the one I went for, I just think it's so pretty and as with last months box, I can't wait for it to be on display somewhere in the spare room and it'll be fab to keep lots of little bits in. As they've been working with Oliver Bonas there was also a 15% discount to use on their website which is nice as their stuff is a little out of my price range usually!
The main thing that was included in this months box was the MannaKadar 3-in-1 eyeshadow which can also be used as a blush and a highlighter. This was something that everyone got and I was really intrigued by it but unfortunately it arrived smashed! Even though it was wrapped well, it was just in bits so I couldn't even open it which was disappointing. I did email them to let them know and I've been told a replacement will be sent out when they're next in stock but we'll see. The next thing I got which I'm pretty sure everyone else got too is the Polaar IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser. I don't tend to use products on or around my eyes much, I've just never felt the need to so I'm not sure how much use this will get. Next there was the ARROW BOOST Colour Enhancing Lip Balm. Lip Balms aren't really something I ever buy but they are great for when the colder weather starts so I'll definitely be keeping this in my beauty bag. It's supposed to be really nourishing so I can't wait to see what it's like and it's also got a lovely minty scent which is a bonus as I love anything refreshing like that. The next two things included are probably the ones I'm most excited about. The Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle and the Dr PawPaw Original Clear Balm.
After using and loving the Oribe spray that was included in last months box, I was really excited to see another hair product. I'm loving trying new hair products at the moment and this is something I've never seen before. It's a leave in mist which conditions, detangles and minimises frizz and also safeguards any colour and adds shine. Dr PawPaw is a brand I've seen all over my social media and I've always wanted to try. This is the Clear Balm which can be used for a variety of things. It's supposed to be an instant moisture boost whenever needed and can be used as a lipbalm or split end sealer aswell as other things.

So overall I'm really not sure how I feel! There are a few products I know I'll use but there are some I know will probably just stay in the box. It's just very mixed and I didn't feel as excited when I saw everything compared to the August Box. I know not every month can be totally amazing but I just felt like this one was a bit lacklustre. I don't want to give up on it just yet but also don't want to go wasting money every month so if I'm not impressed with the October box I think I'll end the subscription there. Even though this hasn't been the most positive review, if you are wanting to start your Birchbox subscription, you can get £5 off your first box here with my link!

I'd love to know if you can you recommend any other boxes I should try? I love the element of surprise with boxes like this so would love to carry on with another if I end my Birchbox. Also, did you receive this box?

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Australian Bodycare Skin Wash Review*

A while ago I was sent some products to try out from the lovely people at KLM Beauty, ranging from makeup to nails to skincare. The first review today is of the Australian Bodycare Skin Wash and over the next few weeks I'll have two more reviews of some other products so keep an eye out for those! I'd actually not heard much of this brand before so I really wasn't sure what to expect but I love trying out new shower gels and products like that, most of the time I have a bathroom cabinet full of them, so this was a nice one to add to it!
Australian Bodycare offer a range of skin washes, lotions, shampoos and conditioners aswell as deodorant and face care products, which are suitable for the whole family and people of all ages. The whole range can be used daily to help clear skin of blemishes and odour causing bacteria, containing only the highest quality ingredients including Tea Tree Oil. They are well known for their antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties and all products leave your skin feeling fresh, clean and soft.

As I mentioned, I was sent the skin wash to review and I've been trying it out for a few weeks now. This is a gentle hand and body wash which can be used to protect skin from bacteria and leave us feeling super clean. It has a non-drying formula and is suitable for everyone. The first thing I noticed about this was the strong scent of Tea Tree which I absolutely loved! I don't know why but I love the smell of Tea Tree and always have done so this was actually really nice to use just for that alone! As it's just a simple skin wash it's really easy to use and I've really enjoyed it. It's been great to use on any spots on my shoulders, back and chest and as Tea Tree is proven to help with them, I've found it's made a real difference. Also, each time I've used this, I've left the shower feeling so refreshed. There is just something about the scent which is so zingy and if I use in the morning, it instantly wakes me up a little! Generally my skin has felt really soft after using it too and I don't really have a bad word to say about it!

To say I'd never tried anything from this brand before, I've been really impressed and it's been a lovely little product to use. I just love the scent of it and would love to try more from the range one day. I'm not sure it's something I'd repurchase straight away as it is £8.25 for just 100ml but if you do suffer with any skin problems or odour, this could be a massive help and definitely worth trying!

Have you ever tried anything from this brand before?

*Product was sent for the purpose of this review, as always all opinions are my own and I only work with brands relevant to me and my blog

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

My Ultimate Chilli Cheese Nachos Recipe...

OMG these nachos! I made them for the first time at the end of July and they were absolutely delicious! I love chilli nachos and it's one of my favourite things to have at Chiquitos, though I've always wanted to attempt my own. I'm all about the mexican food and after basically rotating each weekend fajitas/tacos etc. I decided to just go for it and try and make my own chilli cheese nachos. I am so glad I did! I used my usual chilli recipe, bought some dips and just basically piled it all into a dish! I wanted to do a full recipe on this because it's one everyone needs to try! We've even had it with quorn mince aswell and that was just as good.
Ingredients: (2 people)
250g beef mince (quorn could be used instead)
1 red onion
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
400ml of beef stock
1 tin of kidney beans, drained
1 tsp of - garlic powder, chipotle chilli flakes, chilli powder, cumin, mixed herbs
A little bit of salt and pepper
Nachos - we used a bag of Asda Smartprice which are about 45p and so tasty
As much cheese as you want

Method:
1. To make your chilli, first cook the mince in a pan with frylight or a little oil. Then add in 1 diced red onion and leave to soften
2. When the mince is cooked and onion has started to soften, add in 1 tin of chopped tomatoes and 1 tin of kidney beans, stir then prepare your beef stock. I usually use 1 beef stock cube and 1 tsp of bisto with about 400ml of boiling water
3. Add the beef stock to the mix and stir well, then add in all your seasonings. I use at least 1 tsp of garlic powder, chipotle chilli flakes, chilli powder, cumin and mixed herbs with a little bit of salt and pepper. You can add as much chilli powder as you like though, depends how hot and spicy you prefer! I've just put 1 tsp as a guide as that shouldn't be too bad
4. Now leave to simmer for around half an hour, stirring occassionally 
5. When the chilli is starting to thicken, you can then prepare your nachos. I usually do a layer of nachos in a dish, top with some grated cheese and bake in the oven til melted. I then repeat the process and then set aside
6. When you have done a few layers of cheesy nachos, you can now top them with chilli. I piled the chilli on top, added a little bit more cheese then put in the oven for 5 minutes just so the cheese on top melted
7. When the cheese has melted, either transfer to a bowl or place the dish on the table. We put some coasters down then put dish on top and that worked fine, be careful as the dish will be extremely hot
8. You can now add all your toppings! I got a mixed selection dip from Asda which had guacamole, salsa, a cheesy sauce and sour cream and chive. We put spoonfuls of guacamole and salsa all over and we also had some normal sour cream which we added too. We didn't really use the cheese dip and the sour cream and chive, but they were good for just dipping extra nachos into!
I'm just so pleased with how it turned out and had to blog about it. I know this is a recipe I'll be coming back to over and over again, it's the perfect Saturday night meal to have while watching a film or a good boxset!

I also think this would be a fab meal to make if you had people over, I promise you it will go down a treat!
Let me know if you decide to give this recipe a go, it's incredible.

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Relax and Unwind With Aero Heavenly Mousse*

When the opportunity came up to work with Aero Heavenly a few weeks ago, straight away I was like YES PLEASE and I'm actually still a little bit shocked about it. Aero has been one of my favourite chocolate brands for such a long time and I can definitely get through a massive bar or two of theirs at the weekend. When I saw recently there was this new mousse, I knew I had to get my hands on it and I've been lucky enough to team up with them to tell you all about it.
Aero Heavenly came up with their new delicious desserts, to give people a little moment of pleasure each evening and to help them relax and unwind after a long day. I for one absolutely love sitting down each night with a cheeky little dessert while watching a good boxset or film, there's nothing better is there? Especially on a cold night like we're starting to get at the moment! This new exciting dessert comes in a large single pot (170g), so perfect to share (if you feel generous) and it has a delicious combination of fluffy mousse, rich swirls of caramel and chopped nuts sprinkled throughout for the ultimate mix of textures. There are two flavours of the mousse available, the first one being rich chocolate and the second one being salted caramel. I've been able to try both and OMG you have to give them a go!

The first one I tried a few weeks ago was the salted caramel, it seems to be in everything at the moment and I am not gonna complain about that! The mousse was so soft and had such a lovely caramel flavour. The caramel sauce that runs throughout it was amazing and probably my favourite bit, and it was also full of crunchy pecans. What I love about this is that with each mouthful you get a little bit of everything, the combination of textures and flavours is just delicous.
The next night I tried the Milk Chocolate one which was probably my favourite of the two. I'm a little bit obsessed with chocolate mousse at the moment for some reason, it's my go to dessert, so much so I even gave my own a go recently! The salted caramel sauce throughout went so well with the chocolate mousse and again the added crunch from the nuts, this time hazelnuts, was so good. All the flavours are amazing combined and I genuinely didn't want it to end! This mousse seemed a little bit thicker than the caramel one I think which I really liked. I honestly couldn't think of a bad word to say about it. I'm just addicted.
Something else that is always important for me when buying a product like this is the packaging and the price. If something has plain and boring packaging, I'm very unlikely to buy it no matter how good it might taste, with both of these though, they stand out and I would genuinely go and buy them from a shop. I have done since first trying them, they call out to me all the time and I just can't help myself! They are a pretty decent sized tub at 170g so really good to share with friends or your partner, George helped me get through these and also loved them both. They are equally as good to eat by yourself though! At the moment they are on offer for £1 a tub at Asda so go and stock up! Though are usually priced at £1.79 and available at most supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsburys and Waitrose.

I really couldn't recommend these enough, they are such a perfect dessert and one I know I'll be going back and buying over and over again. Great to have when you need a little pick me up or a special dessert for a relaxing night in.

Have you tried either of these Aero Heavenly Mousses?

*Sponsored Post. As always I only work with brands relevant to me and my blog

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Monday, 11 September 2017

5 Ways To Motivate Yourself and Get Stuff Done*

I don't know about you but I definitely have days each week where I really struggle to get anything done, and by that I mean all I want to do is lay on the sofa and binge watch TV! I like to think most days I do get a lot done, but trust me there are days I just feel so lazy and really struggle to motivate myself. On those days instead of giving in and just doing nothing I really try and push through and I thought I'd write about the 5 things I try when I'm feeling like that and really need to find some motivation.
1. Get dressed and ready for the day - This might sound like quite a silly one but I'm at home most days now and I basically live in pyjamas. Even though that is the comfiest way when you either work from home or spend a lot of time at home, sometimes it's so much better to get showered and dressed for the day. That instantly makes me feel so much more motivated. Even if I know that I'm not going anywhere that day, if I've got dressed and put a bit of makeup on I just feel so ready for the day and like I'm winning at life.

2. Set Yourself Goals & Make Lists - I think no matter what you do, it's always important to set yourself goals. This year I set myself some personal ones and some blogging ones, and I think it's just nice to have something to work towards. I find that if you are lacking a little bit of motivation just going over your goals can refocus your mind and make you want to work so hard. Any time I go over my blogging goals for this year, I always feel so motivated to keep going with them to make sure I achieve what I set out to do. I also try to set myself mini goals each day and I love making lists, so I'll make a note each day of a few things I really want to get done. I always feel so good when I've ticked something on my list which spurs me on to set more and smash them. I've been loving making notes in this new flexi notebook from Paperblanks* which is just absolutely beautiful! When I first unwrapped this I was a little bit in shock and just kept looking at it. I love getting pretty new notebooks but I don't think I've ever had any this quality before. Not only is it pretty brilliant to look at, I just love how it feels and it's been such a lovely notebook to write in over the last few weeks. It's a great one to keep on a desk in your office or to take with you in your bag, it's such a handy size and just beautiful. I definitely recommend checking Paperblanks out if you're looking for some new pretty stationery or if you need a few gifts ideas maybe for a birthday or christmas. They sell such a range of lovely products.
3. Take Time Away From Your Phone - I'm sure I'm not the only one but my phone is basically attached to my hand and it seriously prevents me from getting stuff done! Especially if I'm already feeling a bit tired or lazy, I'll just spend hours scrolling through Instagram and Twitter and just finding any excuse not to leave the sofa! If I really need to get stuff done I have to put it down in another room and completely ignore it, otherwise I just keep going back to it. It's such a distraction sometimes so a lot of the time it's easier to either turn it off or just put it in another room for a few hours. It's also really nice to go back to it later on then aswell and actually have new stuff to look at on social media.

4. Be Your Own Competition - I don't really like competing with others but I like competing with myself. Each day I like to try and out do what I did the day before. I find this is a really good way to get me doing stuff, so if one day I've got one blog post done and taken a few photos, the next day I'll try to do at least two blog posts, more blog related work and then I'll try and get more stuff done in the house. That's just one example but I really like to try and do more than I did the day before and if I know I've had a really quiet, lazy day the day before then I know I need to get more done the following day.

5. Treat Yourself To New Stationery - This might seem like a bit of a random one but when I'm lacking motivation I find treating myself to a few new bits of stationery really spurs me on. Anyone else find that? There is nothing better than a new notebook or stationery to make me want to get loads of stuff done, write it all down and tick it off! At the moment I'm loving some bits from Find Me A Gift. They do some brilliant things for the home, novelty gifts and loads for both men and women. The 2 things I'm so excited by though are the Unicorn Pencil Holder* and the Unicorn Tape Dispenser* Look at them! How cute are they?! I love these because they are fab for people like me who want an office full of cute little bits like this, and also want to inject a bit of colour, but they would also make lovely little gifts for kids. I'm obsessed with them. I'm also loving the Happy Jackson Pencil Case* I've been wanting something like this to keep a load of pens I've got just laying around the flat and I know this is going to be brilliant to keep on my desk in a few months time when the office is hopefully finished! Little bits like this always keep me motivated as I actually want to put them to use and just get a load of stuff done!
As I said earlier in the post, some days I do absolutely nothing and that's okay, but other days I really try to push myself and get as much done as possible. All of these things definitely help me on days where I need some encouragement and motivation. I'd love to know what you do to motivate yourself when you're feeling a bit lazy and if you have days like this too!

*Products sent for the purpose of this post. As always I only work with brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog

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