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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

5 Things That Help Me On A Bad Day...

I've done posts similar to this before but last week I just had an urge to write about a few things I do whenever I'm having a bad day, which I'm not going to lie, happens far more often that I'd like! I find when I'm going through a particuarly stressful time or if I'm struggling with sleep again, I'll have days where I just am in the worst mood, and so I usually then need to try and get myself out of it so I can actually get stuff done and interact with people without coming across as just plain rude. There's nothing wrong with having a bad day, some are just worse than others but these are the things I like to do if I'm really struggling.
1. Talking - I find if I'm having a really bad day, talking about what's bothering me or getting me down, really helps. Usually when I start talking, I can't stop so I feel sorry for anyone that has to listen to me, but it just helps so much. I find if I bottle things up, whether that's because I just don't want to offload on other people, or because I think people don't want to hear it, I just get more and more stressed. A good chat or rant can help massively, I can get some advice on how to deal with whatevers going on and usually feel like a massive weight has been lifted.

2. Leaving The House - With not working at the moment and mainly focusing on my blog, I spend a lot of time in our flat and there are times I feel like I'm going a bit crazy, but especially on a bad day, sometimes I just need to get out! There have been times before where just a walk to the shops has allowed for me to clear my head a bit and other times I've text George at work and said lets go to the cinema tonight or for a meal, and it's ended up really helping. With being home a lot anyway it can be easy to just sort of sit and stew over whatever is getting to me, which is why I do like to try and get some fresh air and just try and focus on something else for a while.

3. Hobbies - I don't have that many hobbies, I suppose this is my main one but when I'm not blogging and starting at the laptop screen, I love to bake! I'm sure most people know that now as I post loads of recipes but it really is one of my favourite things to do and it does calm me down a lot. There is just something so satisfying about baking a cake or trying a new recipe and seeing it come to life, and if I'm really having a bad day, baking tends to help. I think whatever your favourite hobby might be, spending time to do whatever it is if you're having a bad day, is so important.

4. Bubble Baths - It's funny that I've mentioned this as one of last weeks posts was actually all about bubble baths and a few essentials I love to use for a perfect pamper. I just don't think there is much that can't be solved by a nice, relaxing bath, whether you're feeling a bit under the weather, just stressed or you didn't get a good nights sleep, I find it sorts all of them out! I love having an hour in the bath to just zone out, read a book or listen to music and try and cheer myself up.

5. Cosy Evening In - Though sometimes leaving the house as I mentioned, helps on a bad day, other times I do just love staying in and getting cosy on the sofa. I love a cosy night in anyway but especially if I'm feeling overly stressed or down. I like to sit with a cup of tea, a blanket, some snacks and a good TV show. Just resting for a while can help massively with stuff and at night getting cosy can really set you up for a good nights sleep and hopefully a better next day!

Sometimes very little helps and there's not much that can make a bad day improve for a number of reasons but a lot of the time usually just a few of these things can really turn things around and get me out of a terrible mood! I'd love to know what helps you on a bad day? Do any of these things help you?

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Monday, 30 October 2017

Food I Have Been Loving This Week #21

This post has made me hungry just looking back over it. This might end up becoming one of my favourites of these posts because it's just full of the most delicious food and all of it I could go for again right now.
Frankie and Bennys Meal - I wanted to start with the food I had at Frankie and Bennys at the start of this month when me and George went to do some shopping at Meadowhall and ended up going for a meal. It was a little spontaneous date night and was so nice, and the food was amazing. We shared garlic bread to start because it's the best, then for mains I had a chicken ceasar salad and George had some sort of spicy pasta, we also shared some mini herby potatoes, and it was all just delicious. One of the best meals I've had there, ever. I very rarely go for salad when I'm out for a meal but I really fancied one that night, the chicken was so juicy and the side of potatoes were so good. It was impossible to finish though, so filling. Regardless though, we had dessert too because why not, and we shared the brownies and cream, which again was insanely tasty. 

M&S Biscuits - I love M&S biscuits, always have, always will. Now it's getting colder I'm all about getting cosy in the evening with a cup of tea and some biscuits and I love these ones that we picked up a few weeks ago. It was quite a big box and was on offer for about £4, just full of so many different varieties. I really want to go back and get more.

Paddington Sweets - Oh Paddington is just my favourite. I loved the first film a few years ago, the second one is coming out soon which I can't wait for and have genuinely already booked tickets for, and now M&S have Paddington sweets, biscuits and chocolate in so MY LIFE HAS BEEN MADE. I picked up this little pack of jelly sweets when I got the biscuits actually and they were only £1. They were just a nice evening treat and I'm definitely going to pick a few more up. While I was there I also spotted a Paddington advent calendar so I think I need to pick that up soon!

Dolmio Chicken - Finally a homemade meal in amongst all of this indulgent food! Dolmio have brought out some new traybake sauces that can be just put on top of chicken and baked in the oven, so convenient! There were three to choose from I think and I got the Italian Herbs and Garlic one. All I had to do was slice a red onion, lay that on a dish, top with chicken breasts, cover with the sauce then bake in the oven. The chicken was really juicy, the sauce was lovely and it went really well with some peas and homemade mini spicy potatoes. The sauces are only £1 so I'm definitely going to get more.

IKEA Cinnamon Rolls & Daim Chocolate - We have been blessed with a new IKEA near us and I don't think I could be happier about it. We've not had one near us for so long so to now have one literally a few stops away on the tram is amazing, and we had to pay a visit the week it opened. We ended up picking a few homey bits up and I left with a panda teddy bear because I'm actually a 5 year old, and then the best bit, the little food shop at the end. We picked a few bits up including these cinnamon rolls which were about £1.80 and so tasty, we got through them very quickly, and also a massive bar of Daim Chocolate because it's the best. They had some really cool bits in there so I'm definitely going to go back soon and pick a few other things up.

I just love food. I probably say that in all of these posts but I really do love writing them and talking about different things I've tried, so I hope you enjoy reading them!

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Friday, 27 October 2017

Christmas Decor Wishlist - October 2017...

I know we're still only halfway into October and some people aren't evening thinking about Christmas yet but I am and most shops have their stuff out now so I'm gonna keep talking about it! I live for the day I can put up the Christmas tree and I can properly decorate the whole flat, and at the moment I'm already thinking about what I can do different this year and what I can buy! So, I thought it would be nice to just do a little wishlist of a few things that are out at the moment, and what I'm hoping to get.
MATALAN
I'm starting with Matalan because they always bring out some fab bits at Christmas. There is always so much I want when I either go in store or look online, every year they get better and better. Pretty much the first thing I looked at was the mugs because I clearly don't already have enough. Just look at this one with the dog on the front, and it's wearing a Christmas jumper. It's adorable and even though I know I've got already got a kitchen cupboard full of mugs, this is one I kind of need. I then had a look at the glasses and I really like the prosecco and fizz flutes. They are £4 each and I probably don't drink enough to justify getting them but glasses like this are always good to have in around Christmas time, especially when you have something to celebrate. I then had a look at the bedding because there is just something so nice about getting a fresh set around this time of year and it been specifically for the festive season. This Christmas Scene one is £20 for a double which I don't think is too bad and it has a dog on so you know, of course I want it. The last few bits I saw were this LED Christmas Tree which I think would look stunning next to the TV stand, and it matches perfectly with everything else we have, and then this LED Christmas Scene Star. I see things like this every year and I always want to pick one up but never do, I just think it's a pretty, extra decoration to put in the living room.

NEXT
The first thing I saw on Next which I feel like I really need to get is these Gold Shaker Filled Baubles. They are £8 which I do think is pretty expensive for just 4 baubles! but how pretty. I think these would look so nice with some of the other decorations in our living room. Sticking with baubles, though it wasn't my plan to get more this year, I love this set of 20 mixed metallic ones which have gold glitter, rose gold and silver ones, I just think they look such good quality and would be a great replacement for the cheaper ones we have at the moment. Now onto candles because it wouldn't be one of my homeware wishlists without one! I've had my eye on this set of 3 festive candles for a while and I just have to have it. ONE HAS A BEAR ON, and we all know my love for bears 💛 I have two candles on the TV stand that I want to replace and I think these would be perfect for it as they are the same size and just look adorable. Something I don't need but really want is the Prosecco Diffuser to go with my Prosecco Candle! This is £7.50 so much more than I'd usually pay for anything like this, I just love the prosecco scent Next do and the candle I have at the moment is lovely. I just really like having things like this in the bathroom and the bedroom. The last thing I spotted on Next was this Snowflake Wreath. I've never had anything like this in the flat before but I have a space in the hall where it would fit perfectly! I'd love to have one like this to get out every year, I always look at them in shops but I just need to go for it and actually buy one.

ASDA
The last shop I had a look at was Asda because they are one of my go to places for homeware. They always do such a great selection of things for Christmas. Following on with the bear theme from the Next candles, Asda have bedding and cushions with bears on! It's the Camping Bears Duvet Cover and the Small Cushion and I don't think there is anything I've needed more from one of these wishlists! These are so perfect for me. When I saw these, I then spotted the London Christmas Cushion. I have no idea where this could go but it's London so it had to be on this wishlist. One of the last things I found was this Wooden Christmas Countdown. We've got one similar I think but I have no idea where it is and I think the colours of this just go so well with our kitchen/living room. What I love about it aswell is that you can write on yourself each day which is a bit different to most countdowns you find. Lastly, Frosted Mint Pot Pourri. I genuinely love buying this to go in our copper dish on the coffee table, it just fills the room with such a lovely scent. I imagine Frosted Mint would smell incredible, need to get myself a pack of this.

I just want it all, I love decorating for Christmas and picking up new bits each year! Are you getting excited for it yet?

*Affiliate links used in this post

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Thursday, 26 October 2017

A Few Of My Bath Essentials & Favourites...

Bubble baths for me are just such a favourite and something I look forward to most days at the moment! I find a bubble bath solves most things and over the last week I've been absolutely full of cold so I've been having multiple baths in the hopes it would help. When it comes to having the perfect bath, there are a few things I like to use so I just thought I'd write about them!
Bath Bomb & Bubble Bath - If I'm in need of a pamper or a relaxing hour or two, then a hot bubble bath is perfect. I've always been a lover of a proper boiling bath full of wonderful products, and when I was at uni and only had a small shower, I missed them so much! Once we moved into this flat I knew I would never take a simple bath for granted again! For me, the perfect bath usually has a bit of radox in, the sleep easy one and the muscle soak are my favourites, and sometimes a bath bomb. The most recent one I've used is the Ectoplasm Jelly Bomb from Lush which looked beautiful in the water and had a beautiful scent but wasn't one of my favourites. I do love using a bath bomb though as the majority of them contain ingredients which leave your skin feeling so soft and smooth.
A Selection Of Shower Gels - It's not often I just have one shower gel on the go, my bathroom cabinet is full to the brim of products and I tend to constantly change between them all. I don't think you have to spend loads on products like this, the majority I get are either on offer from The Body Shop, from supermarkets or places like Superdrug. Recently I got through this big bottle from Dove which was so nourishing on my skin and had a lovely Pomegranate scent, and I've also got through several minis from The Body Shop as they are just the best. I'm currently still loving my Feather and Down one which is perfect to use during an evening bath or shower to set you up for a good nights sleep.
A Good Book - I really don't read as much as I used to which kind of upsets me as I have no idea why and I used to love having my head stuck in a book. I think, like a lot of people I'm just so obsessed with social media that it always feels like I need to be on there looking at or doing something whenever I get a spare minute and before I know it another day is over and I've not had chance to pick up a book. Recently I've been really trying to get back into reading though, as I do find it really relaxing and especially in the bath, I just like to sit back and get lost in a story. The last book I read was 147 Things by Jim Chapman, you can find my full review here, and it's really made me want to carry on and find another good read to start.
Favourite Hair Products - I don't always wash my hair in the bath, it can be a bit of a pain sometimes but I always like to have some good hair products ready to use. I'm not fussy about shampoos and conditioners at all really, I'll happily use whatever is cheapest as long as it's still good quality, but I do think it's nice to sometimes have a lovely pamper in the bath, wash your hair, shave your legs, get yourself smelling gorgeous and getting into some fresh PJ's. I've been using the John Frieda Shampoo and Conditioner which has been amazing for my hair this Autumn, but I also really love a much cheaper brand called Alberto Balsam. Their shampoo and conditioner which you can get in loads of scents is only about £1 in most shops and has always made my hair feel so soft, clean and fresh. I really recommend picking a few bottles up if you haven't tried anything from them before, my favourite at the moment is the raspberry shampoo and conditioner.
Spotify - Lastly, when I'm in the bath I love to listen to music, the same goes for showering, I don't know why I just really enjoy it. I usually just press shuffle on my spotify and listen to whatever comes on, which could be literally anything! I have such a varied taste in music, ranging from musicals to current pop stuff to bands like Arctic Monkeys, you can find most things on there.
So, that's a variety of things that all make the perfect bath for me! Having a little pamper and a relaxing hour in the bath is one of my little self care things as it always makes me feel so calm and chilled out. I know whether I'm ill, stressed or tired, a bath will make me feel 10x better and all of these things usually contribute!

Do you agree with any of these things?

*Affiliate links used in this post

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

My Experience With Driving & A Driving Lessons Giveaway*

Driving Lessons - something I've done in the past and something I'm thinking of taking up again. It's something I think about quite a lot and I'm always wondering when the right time is to get back into it but I just feel like there is so much to consider, so I wanted to write about it today to talk about my options, hopefully get some opinions from other people and I also have details on how you can win £250 to go towards your own lessons!
I should probably start with my experience with driving, because I did actually start my lessons when I was 17 (5 years ago already!). Like most people I wanted lessons for my birthday because I fully expected to be given my own car at the end of it, and a lot of people I knew were also starting to do their lessons. I did a lesson a week for a good few months and at the beginning I loved it and looked forward to every lesson. I had a female instructor who, looking back now I realise probably wasn't the best, not that she was bad, but it always just felt a bit awkward and I think it's important if you're going to be spending time with this person each week, that you get along with them and feel comfortable. Some lessons were brilliant and she was fine but others I did leave feeling pretty rubbish and humiliated. When I did something wrong she would laugh at me or just make me feel so small, and even though I completely understand if you're going wrong somewhere it's important you know and learn how to resolve it, laughing at someone, especially a shy person like me, just doesn't go down well. After quite a few lessons I was improving and getting more confidence so it was time to take my theory test. I was basically ready for my driving test, though the theory side of it just went so wrong. I ended up taking it 3 times and failed each one. The third and final time before I gave up, I was one mark off of passing and I just couldn't take doing it again. I ended up never rebooking another and never booking another driving lesson and that was the end of that. I then went to uni in Leicester, had no need to drive, but now I'm back in Sheffield, have been for a while and at that point where driving would make life so much easier. 

As much as I know I'm still really young and there will be other people my age who can't drive and why put a load of money into it when there is still so much time, I feel like the benefit of being able to drive outweighs that. It would mean me and George have so much more choice of places to go at weekends, it would mean we could visit family who don't live closeby and also it would just be so convenient for when we need to pop to the shops as we're pretty stuck for things near our flat! One of the things I worry about though is not only the cost of lessons, but also how long it would take me to pass. Go Girl recently did a post all about this and they say the recommended guide is around 40 to 50 hours of lessons and 20 hours of practise with a family member or friend, so a lot! That all depends a few things though, previous experience - luckily this I do have so hopefully it wouldn't take me too long to get back into the swing of things. Having family/friends to practise with - I don't really have anyone I know around me that could help so I'd struggle with this, I would just have the lessons with the instructor. Have you passed your theory - As I just said, I never passed it so this is something else that would take up a bit of time. Aswell as the lessons I'd also have to spend time reading up for my theory, whereas if I'd already passed I'd probably have a better idea of things going into the lessons. 

So when it comes to me driving again it's probably going to take a little while, I have a lot to learn again and I'm basically starting from scratch but I do want to give it a go and don't really want to leave it too much longer as I worry I never will otherwise! As driving lessons can be so expensive, Go Girl are currently running a competition where you can win yourself £250 to put towards your own driving lessons! How amazing would that be?! A lesson a week can really add up so that amount to put towards it would be a life saver. It's so simple to enter, just follow this link and enter your details, it closes on November 30th and winners will be notified within 7 days.
Have you taken your driving test? or are you hoping to get into driving?

*Sponsored post in collaboration with Go Girl

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Indeed Laboratories Skincare Review*

Having a proper skincare routine is something I've always wanted but just never really had until recently. I would just remove any makeup, then use a bit of cleanser and that was that, though I've always wanted to be one of those people that uses all sorts of different products and moisturisers, I just never knew where to start and what to buy! Over the last month or so though I feel I've finally got into some sort of routine with it, I've been adding in some different products and my skin has been thanking me for it. I reviewed the DHC Cleansing Oil just last week which you can find here, and today I have a review of two products from Indeed Laboratories. I got them both around the same time and have been using them religiously everyday for a while now.
Indeed Laboratories are a canadian based company who launched in 2011 with their first ever product, the Nanoblur, and since then they have been committed to producing high quality skincare products that everyone can use. They blend cutting edge science with globally sourced ingredients in their most potent form, to give everyone the results they want to see, at affordable prices. I was lucky enough to be sent a Nanoblur and also a Hydraluron Serum and I really couldn't wait to write up my review.

Hydraluron Serum
Indeed Labs claim that this serum provides extraordinary moisture boosting benefits to the skin, and I have to say I've been absolutely loving it. It's filled with anti-aging properties (though I hope I don't need that just yet) and it replenishes skins moisture level while diminishing dull and uneven skin tones. I've been using this each morning and night, all I have to do is apply a pea sized amount and rub in well, and I've been so impressed. It sinks into the skin really quickly and it never leaves any sort of sticky residue which other skincare products have done in the past. This is supposed to revitalize your skin leaving it smoother, softer and plumper aswell as looking more radiant and it really does do that. The first time after using this, I couldn't believe how amazing my skin felt, just incredibly smooth and so soft to touch. I've been looking forward to applying this everyday and I really can tell the difference in my skin since I've started using it. It's £24.99 for 30ml which is expensive and not what I would ever usually spend but if you're looking to invest in your skin, this is so worth it. A little bit goes a long way. 
Nanoblur

The first ever product from Indeed Laboratories and clearly a successful one, the Nanoblur claims to blur our imperfections on your skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and also create an even looking complexion. Luckily as I'm only 22 I don't really have to worry about fine lines and wrinkles yet but I do have a few marks from spots and I have noticed this has made a difference to those. I've been using a small amount of this each night after the serum, it's really easy to rub in, like the serum soaks in very quickly and instantly I'm left with the softest skin. My skin just generally looks much smoother and more even and I've also noticed quite a dramatic improvement in pores around my nose. This is a little bit cheaper than the serum, at £19.99 for 30ml and is available to buy from Boots here.
I've absolutely loved using both of these over the last month, and luckily I still have lots left of both so I can't wait to continue. It's been so nice to use these each day, along with my cleansing oil and be left with the smoothest and softest skin I think I've ever had! I couldn't recommend these enough if you're wanting to try some new skincare bits out, so worth it. I can't wait to try more from Indeed Labs in the future.

Have you tried anything from this brand before?

*Products sent for the purpose of this review, I only work with brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog. Affiliate links used in this post

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Monday, 23 October 2017

Victoria Mae Designs London Tea Gift Set Review*

London and Tea - 2 of my favourite things. All readers of my blog will I'm sure know how much I love London, it's not like I don't talk about it enough and if I find something London themed or related, I pretty much have to have it. When I was offered the chance to review a London tea themed set, I was so, so happy, it was just such a perfect fit for me, and who doesn't love a good cup of tea?
Victoria Mae Designs sent me this lovely set which is priced at £7.50 and instantly it put a huge smile on my face. It was wrapped in lovely packaging which to me is always important, and enclosed in the tissue paper was 8 individual teabags, all in different flavours.
All of the teas included in this set are handmade and designed specifically for people who love London, so basically perfect for me! The teas are sourced from well known British tea companies and the set includes a variety of flavours. As much as I love a normal cup of tea, I've really got into green teas and flavoured tea over the last few years so it's been so nice to try some really unique ones. This set included English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Camomile, Rooibos, Indian Spice Chai, Mint (Spearmint), Jasmine Green Tea and Honeybush. I've got round to trying most of the flavours now and I think my favourite would have to be the mint one, it was absolutely beautiful! Such a strong spearmint flavour and so refreshing! I had this one night before bed and couldn't get enough of it, I'll definitely be trying to pick up more soon. Another one I really enjoyed was Jasmine Green Tea. I had this early one day and it really woke me up, I just love a hot cup of tea like this in the morning to get started and again, it was so refreshing.
What I love about this set is the quotes and sayings on each tea bag. I was so happy to see one of my favourite ever quotes on one of them 'In London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in' I've mentioned that quote a few times on my blog because it just sums up everything I feel about London so this was such a lovely one to see. Another one I loved was 'London is always a good idea' because for me I could genuinely go every week and love it just as much as the first time. I think for people who do just love London or miss it, this set is such a good idea. It's been a few months again since I was last there and with no plans to go back just yet, this little set made me feel a bit closer to it and just made me very happy. 
An important thing to mention about this set and the others available is that you can tell so much time and effort has gone into it. Each little case for the each teabag is handmade and hand sewn so all are a little bit unique, and they are made with white paper and white cotton. Clearly so much attention to detail goes into these, even down to the packaging they arrive in. A little cute paper bag also came so if you wanted too you could store the teabags in that or pop a few in to pass onto someone else. Though I wouldn't personally want to make any changes to any of these, as they were just perfect for me, if you want to place an order you can specify exactly what you want, down to the colour and text so if you have a specific saying you want to be on there, they'll do that for you!
Overall, I just think this set is brilliant and would make such a perfect gift for someone. Honestly, if someone had bought this for me I'd have been ecstatic, just knowing that amount of thought had gone into it. If you know someone who loves London, or used to live there and misses it, something like this would really be such a lovely idea. Not only do you get a variety of teas to try, perfect now it's getting really cold, but it's clearly something that so much time has been spent on, and so thoughtful. If London maybe isn't quite for you then you can find a variety of tea sets on Victoria Mae Designs, including this Dog Lovers one which I think I need to get next, as well as wedding favours too. They have such a variety to choose from and I really think it's worth having a little look, just in time for Christmas! You can also find them on Etsy and Not On The High Street!

What do you think to this set? Are you a tea lover?

*Tea set 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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Friday, 20 October 2017

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Review*

It's not often I try a product and I'm wowed straight away but this has honestly been one of the best products I've ever used. You know when you find a something, and you realise you now can't live without it? Well that's how I feel about this!
The DHC Deep Cleansing Oil was a product I'd seen on my Instagram quite a few times before I got round to trying it. I'd seen people rave about it over and over, and then one day I got lucky and got a message asking if I'd like to try it, I jumped at the chance. I've been trying it out now for over a month and I feel like it's been enough time for me to write a proper review. First of all, as with most of my reviews, I want to talk about the packaging. I was sent a 200ml bottle which is pretty big and even though I've been using it for a while now, I'm nowhere near finished, so I can carry on with this for a while yet! It comes with a pump so it's extremely easy to use and the bottle itself comes in a lovely, simple box. I've been keeping this in my bathroom cabinet and it's so easy to grab each day, use a little bit and then get on with my night.
The DHC Oil is a makeup remover which completely dissolves all traces of makeup and dirt, pretty much within seconds, all while nourishing skin with antioxidant-rich olive oil. To use, all I do is put two pumps of this onto my hands, and massage onto my dry face for around 30 seconds. Immediately it starts to work, and is such a fast and effective way of removing makeup. After massaging into my skin, I then use a wet flannel to remove, and it's as simple as that. I'm then left with the most incredible feeling skin! The reason I've never really used oils like this before is because I always thought they would leave my skin feeling really greasy, and make me more prone to spots but I've not had that problem with this at all. In fact the complete opposite, apart from a few hormonal spots I've not had any really and I've never felt that my skin has been greasy or sticky. Everything about this just works so well.

I never really used to have a proper skincare routine, it's only really this year I've started to take more care of it, and I'd say even more so this past month. I've really wanted to start looking after myself a bit more and I thought it was important I start taking care of my skin and really find what works for me. I can honestly say this product is incredible and I will without a doubt be purchasing more when I've ran out. It's a perfect one for your skincare routine because it literally takes no time at all to use and a little bit goes such a long way.
I only wish I'd tried this sooner. I'm so glad I've had a good experience with this and I'll definitely be trying more oil cleansers in the future, I really can't put into words how soft and smooth my skin feels after using this. I can tell so much on days I haven't used it as my skin just doesn't feel good, so I honestly don't think I can go without this now. It's such a magic little product and I couldn't recommend it enough! If you want to try it, it's available to buy here, the 200ml is £24 which is expensive but so worth it, the 70ml is £12.50 or you can get 30ml bottles for £4.50.

Have you tried this cleansing oil? Are you there any others I should try?

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

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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Birchbox Unboxing & Review - October 2017...

It's time for my usual monthly Birchbox unboxing and review! I received my October box about 2 weeks ago now but I just had too many other posts to get up before this. I mentioned in the September unboxing that even though I was quite a new subscriber I was already thinking about ending it and maybe trying a new box because I felt so mixed about the products I'd received. I just wanted the October box to surprise me and convince me to stay.
First of all, as with the previous two boxes I've received, the box has such a gorgeous design. So bright, colourful and quirky and yet another box I can use in the spare room to store lots of little bits. I think this along with the others will look quite pretty stacked up. This month Birchbox have teamed up with the breast cancer charity, Coppafeel, hoping to raise awareness which is of course brilliant. Coppafeel is a charity I've known about for a while, I watched a documentary a few years ago about Kris, the founder, and her story and it's stuck with me ever since, so I'm really glad these two have collaborated and hopefully more people are finding out about them.

Now onto the products. The first product I received was a mascara from the brand ModelCo. A few weeks ago all subscribers were given a choice between either this or a contour stick, and I just didn't need another product for my face, but I feel like you can never have too many mascaras! It looks like just a basic mascara, really simple packaging but I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like. The next product I received was a shower gel from Anatomicals, a brand I've raved about a few times before on my blog. I like having a stash of shower gels ready to use so this has been added to the bathroom cabinet, it's another product I don't think you can have too many of so this was quite a nice addition. It has a melon scent which wouldn't usually be my first choice but it's actually really nice and very refreshing.
The next three things are the ones that have kind of got me feeling all mixed about the box again. I got the Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash, which I've actually heard a few good things about, and I'm looking forward to trying, but it is just another face wash so not extremely exciting. Their was also a product from Nuxe, a lightweight moisturiser, again I'm sure it will be good to use but for now it's probably just going to stay in the box. Nuxe are quite a big brand and another one I've heard really good things about but to be honest I had no idea what this even was when I saw it! Lastly, there was a dry shampoo paste from R+Co Badlands. I've never tried anything like this before, in fact I very rarely even use normal dry shampoo so it's something else I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of it.
I'm so torn with what to do, whether to carry on until the end of the year or to just end it now. I loved my first box (August), my second one was a bit disappointing and this one I'm just not sure about. I think because I've heard mixed things from other people too, that's kind of making me form a negative opinion on it. Quite a few people have mentioned dry shampoos and face creams are a regular most months but I just don't need more! I've also seen a few things other people received including a product from ThisWorks and EcoTools, so if I'd had something from those, I think I'd be really impressed. I suppose, that's the whole point of these though, you don't know what you're going to get. I was tempted to cancel and maybe subscribe again in time for a Christmas box but there is literally only one box left before that so I feel like if I'm going to do that I might aswell carry on. Anyway, I'm just rambling now, I have no idea yet if I'll be carrying on with it or not, I might have to try and see if there are any other good boxes out there instead, but let me know what you think!

I'm going to give some of these a go and if I like them, I'm sure they'll be in a favourites post or something similar at some point! What do you think to the products included?

If you want to to sign up to Birchbox, don't forget to use my referall link here to get £5 off your first box!

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Jim Chapman 147 Things Book Review*

Jim Chapman is someone I've been watching on Youtube for years now so I was thrilled when I was picked to review his brand new book, 147 Things. In his own words, this is his 'users guide to the universe' and it's about a huge variety of things that he has either thought about or questioned in the past, from first times, to sleep talking, to the universe, to heartbreak and so much more. Anything you could have ever possibly wondered or imagined, Jim has written about it, dissected it and explained it in as much detail as possible.
I'm not going to lie when Jim first announced he was bringing out a book, I was sort of like 'oh okay another youtuber book' because so many of them have brought them out recently but it was clear from this beginning this was going to be different, and I've found it extremely interesting to read! It's a book which could be read by a young teenager, or read by someone my age (22) and even older, it doesn't stand out as a particuarly young book, it's for everyone. The book starts with an introduction into who Jim is, what he does and why he wanted to write this book, if you don't know who he is, he's a very successful youtuber who has now branched out in modelling, presenting and more. There are then 10 section to the book, each with a number of 'things' within them. 
Almost straight away I was hooked by this book. I think because I have watched Jim on Youtube for so long it was almost like a friend talking to me, in my head I was reading everything in his voice, instantly it was an enjoyable read and I found each section was just as interesting as the one before it. Starting off Jim explains just how lucky we are to actually exist which I think was a really nice way to start. Often we become so wrapped up in ourselves and our troubles that we don't really stop to think about what we DO have, and how lucky we are to even be here. We are part of something so huge and there is so much we still don't know, and I think it's important to realise that sometimes as really all of this could be taken away at any point.
After a bit of a deep start to the book, I then found myself laughing at the story of how Jim experiemented with waxing once and it all went a little bit wrong! That just shows how many different things are spoken about in this book, one minute we are reading about the earth and how we can look after it, and the next we are reading about waxing down there and how it doesn't always go to plan. It's just so varied and you never quite know what's coming next! One thing I did love about this book is that Jim actually got quite personal at times and wrote about things he's never told us about before, for example the fact he's not had a relationship with his father for 22 years. He uses that story to explain how it's actually shaped him as a person and how it's made him become so much closer to the family members he does have. I think with Youtubers it can be easy to think they all have their lives together and everything is perfect but this showed that actually behind the camera other things do happen that we know nothing about. Following on from that he then dedicated a 'thing' to his late stepdad, which was a part I actually found really emotional. He wrote that part the day after he passed away ealier this year and you can almost feel the emotion coming from the page, he said such lovely things about him and expressed the importance of living life to the full for those that aren't here anymore and making as many memories as possible.
I think one of my favourite 'things' from the whole book was Things 16, so quite near the start of the book, which was all about sleeptalking and some of the conversations he's had with his wife in the past. I had a good giggle reading this bit as I know I've spoken in my sleep before and George has written them down and read them out to me the next day, and they have always been so strange! Another part I loved in the book I've actually taken a picture of and included below, because I just felt it was so relevant to me. It also comforted me a bit and reassured me that actually the people that have spoken bad about me before or called me names, or whatever it is, THEY are the bad ones, don't waste any time or effort on people like that, focus on the ones who care. I struggle with coming to terms with things sometimes and I feel like that actually made me feel so much better about certain situations.
I feel that the mix of humerous things along with more personal, sometimes sad things is what makes this book great. One minute you are laughing, one minute you're nodding you're head in agreement, and one minute you're welling up! I felt a mixture of emotions reading this and just thoroughly enjoyed it. If this makes any sense, the book made me feel a bit more understood, like I wasn't the only one who feels a certain way sometimes, and I'm not the only one to think of some bizarre fact that no one else quite gets. For someone who's mind doesn't ever really stop, this book was just perfect. I've not properly read before this book for such a long time, but it's almost made me fall in love again with reading (deep I know) and now I can't wait to get started on something else. I've not read a book this quickly in so long and couldn't recommend it enough. If you were unsure before about this, buy it! I really do think it's a book everyone will enjoy, and out just in time for Christmas!

147 Things is available to buy from Amazon for £10.99. Jim has also recorded an audio book of 147 Things which is available here and also features a Q&A! You can also find Jim Chapman on Youtube here, subscribe for a whole range of videos.

Are you a fan of any youtubers? Do you think you'll be buying this book?

*Book sent for the purpose of this review. I only work with people I feel are relevant to me and my blog

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Bomb Cosmetics Pink Elephants & Lemonade Bath Blaster Review...

I'm sure regular readers of my blog will know of my love for bath bombs. I post reviews quite a lot and when I saw this adorable one in a shop in Leeds recently, I knew not only did I need to buy it, I needed to blog about it. Just look at it! 
There is a shop called The Yorkshire Soap Company in Leeds which sells the cutest bath products, ranging from soaps which look like cake slices to mini bath bombs to candles and so many beautiful bath bombs like the one above. I was in actual heaven in that shop, and it took me such a long time to choose one but I finally did and I went for the one called Pink Elephants and Lemonade. Not only did it look just so cute, but it also had such a lovely sweet scent, and I had a feeling it would be perfect for a little pamper night.

I got round to using this a few weeks ago and I almost instantly wanted to write this review! The only brand I tend to go to when shopping for bath bombs is Lush and I really do have my favourites so I was really intrigued in how this would compare and if it would be better or worse than theirs. I have to say this is the best bath bomb I've used in a long time. As I've already said, the bath bomb itself is just beautiful, and the scent which is so fruity and sweet is amazing. It's a lemonade scent with plum berry combined with litsea cubeba and mandarin essentials oils so together those things just make the whole bathroom smell so nice! When I placed this in the water, instantly it started fizzing away and compared the disappointment of the last bomb I reviewed, it was so fun to watch. This wasn't a bath bomb that had loads of colours coming out of it or anything, but the colour got darker and darker and eventually the water was a deep, hot pink and looked so inviting. It was quite like the Sex Bomb Bath Bomb which is one of my favourites, just as impressive! As with most bath bombs, this left my skin feeling really soft and nourished. It contains cocoa and shea butter so that made my skin feel so lovely and afterwards I really did feel like I'd had a proper pamper. That day we had been out for quite a while and my legs and feet were so sore but this bath proper sorted me out and relaxed me. It was amazing.
I already want to get more Bomb Cosmetics products! This is technically called a bath blaster but it's the same as a bath bomb and they have such a wide range to choose from on their website. One thing I really love is the price. These vary from about £2.99 to around £3.50 which compared to some bath bombs I've had for almost £5, is incredible. I had such a nice experience with this and have already added some to my Christmas wishlist as they really are worth the money and I felt I got a lot for it. I couldn't recommend this enough, let me know if you've tried any from Bomb Cosmetics and what I should try next!

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Christmas At La Sala Chigwell*

Now we're well into October I feel it's acceptable to start talking more and more about Christmas, because it is fast approaching! I genuinely can't believe how fast the past 10 months have gone and already I'm worrying I'm not prepared enough for Christmas, the weeks are just going so quickly at the moment and I feel like I still have so much to do and so much to buy! Because this year is flying by, it's important to get any plans for Christmas Day sorted soon. If you're someone who likes to go out for Christmas Dinner and doesn't like the hassle of all the washing up afterwards (the worst bit) then maybe heading out and having it all made for you is a good option. There are so many places that offer Christmas dinner but the one I really wanted to mention today is La Sala.
The La Sala restaurant is based in Chigwell and they offer a wide range of food and dining options throughout the week. The restaurant, open 5 days a week, is renowned for it's vivacious ambiance, beautiful food and value for money. First opening in 2014 in the UK, after success in Spain, the restaurant has gone from strength to strength and it now attracts various celebrities, past clientele includes Prince Albert of Monaco, Jamie Oliver, Little Mix, Eva Longoria and many more. The La Sala concept offers the 'ultimate social and dining experience', available day and night for all customers. You can choose from a varied menu which has a range of international and spanish dishes, all made from the highest quality ingredients, all while listening to live music each evening, sipping on champagne. This year, whether you want a memorable Christmas dinner with family, an unforgettable New Year or you want a place for your work Christmas party, La Sala have you covered. Everything you need can be found at their beautiful venues, carefully selected menus including food everyone will love, live entertainment and incredible service from the staff. Some of the food on offer for all three things I've mentioned below, so you can get a little taste of what is available.
Christmas Day Menu - £75pp

Starters
Choose from Cauliflower Soup, Game Terrine, Caramelised Shallot & Chestnut Tart & More

Main Course -
Roast Turkey Breast, Bacon rolled Sausage and Sage Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Festive Trimmings, Parsnip Puree, Parsnip Crisps

Nut Roast, Roast Potatoes,Cranberry Sauce, Festive Trimmings, Parsnip Puree, Parsnip Crisps

Halibut Fillet, Black Truffle Dauphinoise and Wild Mushroom Sauce

Beef Fillet, Beef Cheek Croquette, Caramelised Baby Onions

Desserts - 
Choose from Christmas Pudding, Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Tart, Cheeseboard & More

New Years Eve Menu - £90pp (Champagne and canapes available for the table)

Starters -
Choose from Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, Smoked Duck Breast, Gin Cured Salmon & More

Main Course - 
Chateaubriand for Two, served with Hand Cut Chips, Onion Rings, Grilled Tomato & Portobello Mushroom
Pan fried Halibut, Poached Lobster
Cauliflower Steak, Curried Cauliflower Cheese Croquets
Pork Belly and Loin

Desserts - 
Choose from White Chocolate and Pistachio Parfait, Cherry and Almond Tart, Selection of Ice Cream & Sorbets, & More
Christmas Party Menu - £35pp Tuesday to Thursday, £45pp Friday to Sunday

Starters -
Choose from Roasted Celeriac Soup, Duck Liver Parfait, Smoked Salmon & More

Main Courses - 
Roast Turkey Breast, Bacon rolled Sausage and Sage Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Festive Trimmings, Parsnip Puree, Parsnip Crisps
Beef Short Rib, Creamed Potatoes, Braised Carrots, Red Wine Jus
Sea Bream, Lobster Bisque, Crushed New Potatoes
Curried Sweet Potato Dahl

Desserts - 
Choose from Christmas Pudding, Baileys Cheesecake, Mulled Wine Poached Pear & More
La Sala is without a doubt the place to be this Christmas. Whatever the occassion you can find a perfect meal for everyone, in a beautiful setting, for an extra special day or night. If you want to get booked in soon (which I really recommend you do) then check out their website here where you can find out more about what they have to offer this Christmas.

If you've already got plans for Christmas then why not visit mid week for a date night where you can try something from their Lobster & Burger menu, or you could go for brunch on a Saturday? Bottomless Brunch is served 12pm to 6pm and would make a perfect day with one of your best friends or sister, you could even treat someone for their birthday if you're a bit stuck on gifts! They even do Private Dining Areas if you want to splash out for an event or birthday. Whatever it is, La Sala have you covered. For any booking enquiries, contact them via 03330063008 or find them online here!

Have you ever visited La Sala before? What have you got planned for Christmas?

*Sponsored post. I only work with brands I feel are relevant to my blog

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Taking Blogging Seriously & Improving My Blog...

Just a little warning, this blog post is going to be quite long! I have a lot I want to say about this so you might want to grab a cup of tea before sitting down for a read. Basically this year I really decided to take a step up with my blog and see how well I could do with it. After leaving my job last year, I was just so bored and thought as I love blogging so much, why not try and see where it takes me if I really push myself? I've put so much effort into it since the beginning of the year, I've had a new theme and blog header made, both I love, and I've been posting loads more than ever before. I'm so aware I'm still such a small blogger and probably always will be, but I never expected to do as well as I have done so I wanted to just write about some of the things I've done this year with my blog to improve it, why and how it's helped.
1. Posting 5 Days A Week & Being Consistent - This is the main thing I wanted to do this year. After trying to post 3 times a week last year, I decided this year as I wasn't working, to try and up that and keep with it all year. So far I've done that! It's definitely hard to keep coming up with new blog posts sometimes and I go through phases where I love it, and others where I don't as much but I'm so proud I've managed to keep up with it. I thought if I really want to make something of my blog then I needed to be more consistent with it, post reguarly and just try and keep things new. I love knowing when I can expect a post from other bloggers so I thought instead of posting randomly (not that there is anything wrong with that), I'd have a proper Monday-Friday schedule. 

2. Using Social Media More - Aswell as posting on my blog more, I wanted to do the same for my social media. I've generally just tried to be active on all of the ones I use. So I've posted everyday on Instagram most of the year and I've been trying to tweet more general and personal things rather than just scheduled blog promotion. I've also started promoting all of my blog posts on my blog Facebook page aswell and also Pinterest. I've now got a whole board dedicated to my blog posts so any new ones get pinned there straight away as I know a lot of people have success with traffic that way. I think as a blogger it's important to be active on social media and to show your personality where you can. I've also joined some Twitter and Instagram groups/pods to help with liking and commenting just so we can all support each other which I really like.

3. Contacting PRs & Brands - For a while now I've been okay with contacting brands I'm interested in working with. Not in a pushy or arrogant way for them to just send me some products, but there are some brands I've always been interested in working with so I see no harm in sending details across and if they choose to email back, then brilliant. This year though I really stepped it up. I've emailed lots of brands that I would love to work with in the future and I've also contacted a few PR companies about being added to their press list. There are so many that never got back to me, which I expected, and some have and now I've got some great relationships with those people. As much as it's nice to receive emails occassionally from people wanting to work me, I think it's just as nice for them to receive those sorts of emails and if I was the PR person for a brand, I think I'd be flattered to see emails from bloggers wanting to work together. I just think if there is something you're passionate about or a brand you use and love anyway, what's the harm in getting in touch? I've been lucky enough this year especially to work with some incredible brands and I really don't take any of the opportunities for granted, I know I'm still a small blogger!

4. LinkedIn - When it comes to working with PR people and brands, after completing/publishing any posts I've been working on for them, I like to add them on LinkedIn. I'm still relatively new to the app but it's brilliant for so many things and I've managed to add quite a lot of people that I've had communication with over email for product reviews/sponsored posts and I personally think it's a good way to build up a little portfolio of people you've worked with. You can list your skills on there and if they want to, they can endorse them and generally it keeps you on their radar. It might mean they come back to you in future for more campaigns and it really can't hurt to have these people you've worked with as a connection. It could even help with getting work in future. I put a little status on there most days with my latest blog post, especially if I've done a review or collaborative post with a brand, you never know who might see it, be impressed and get in touch!

5. Upping My Photography Game - My photography definitely isn't brilliant, it's something I've worked hard on though this year and I'm really starting to see an improvement. I know I still have a long way to go with it and I'm always comparing my photos to other thinking mine aren't good enough but compared to over 3 years ago when I started this, there has been a dramatic improvement! Now I know what sorts of photos I like to create, what props I like to include and I just love experimenting all the time when I have something new to photograph. I'm really proud of myself for trying some different things this year and hopefully that will continue in the future as I think photography is definitely a big part of blogging.

6. Saying No - As I've said I'm still such a small blogger so I don't get loads of emails, in fact I can go ages without anyone wanting to be featured on my blog or work with me, and that's fine but there have been times this year where I've been contacted about things and I've had to say no. As exciting as it can be getting these opportunities for product reviews and even sponsored posts, it has to be relevant for my blog, and this year I've been much more picky with what I feature. I've also started saying no to people who just refuse to pay what I'm actually worth. I take each thing as it comes and if they can't offer any money but it seems like a great opportunity, sometimes I will take it as working for free can lead to other things but other times it's quite obvious when someone is just trying to be cheeky and if it doesn't feel right in my gut, I won't accept. It's all about what you personally feel comfortable with and the majority of the time now I'm much more clear of what I expect. I like to think eventually it'll be respected that bloggers actually stand their ground and don't budge when offered a small amount for a post, and that we will all be treated a bit more fairly!

I think overall all of these things have really helped with growing my blog and even though it really is still SO small compared to some, I've already smashed my blogging goals for this year and I don't think I would have if I'd not taken it all a bit more seriously. Posting throughout the week all year so far has really helped with my blog views, and being more active on social media without a doubt has grown my following that way and I'm so happy with how I've done with my Twitter and Instagram already. There are definitely still things I need to work on and I'll always want to improve but I think I'm doing okay so far, so I just wanted to share that really in case anyone needs any tips. If you've got any tips with growing and improving your blog, let me know in the comments!

Relevant posts - My Opinion On Approaching Brands // My 5 Must Have Apps

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Saturday, 14 October 2017

Fat Freezing/CoolSculpting With Pulse Light Clinic*

Today I have a little extra bonus post and it's all about Pulse Light Clinic. I've mentioned them before on my blog, they are based in London and the people who work there are trained in many areas including laser treatments and IPL. Last time I blogged about them, I was talking about their cellulite treatments, but today I'm going to be talking about their Fat Freezing/CoolSculpting treatment. 

Most of us have stubborn fat cells on our body, even those of us who eat healthy and exercise reguarly, it can sometimes seem that there are parts of us which just won't change no matter what. This is where Pulse Light Clinic come in and their new method of losing fat, called Fat Freezing. It's pretty self explanatory, the fat literally gets frozen away and it's done in a safe, effective and FDA approved way. CoolSculpting uses the fat freezing technology of Cryolipolysis and the way it's done, is by placing the CoolSculpting pack over the areas of fat you want treated and leaving for one hour. This leaves you to maybe have a small nap during your busy week, reply to emails or just simply rest. While you're relaxing, the fat is being frozen which causes fat cells to die. The body's natural processes then flush out these dead cells, removing them from the area and eventually the entire body. It's such an effective way of eliminating any stubborn fat cells and doesn't require any sort of needles or surgery, it's also causes no harm to any surrounding tissue or skin. 

CoolSculpting can be done for a number of things - excess fat on belly or back, double chins, thighs, love handles and even your bum. Once it's one, it's gone for good, and it's such a simple and quick process, no downtime is required and you can get on with your day. 
If you're struggling with fat around certain areas that won't budge, then this is definitely worth looking into. Free consultations and walk ins are welcomed at Pulse Light Clinic and they have two clinics to choose from located at Bank/Liverpool Street and Oxford Street/Tottenham Court Road. Both open til 8pm weekdays and til 5pm on weekends. If you are interested you can contact them via their website or via phone on either 02075235158 or 02072054085.

*Sponsored post in collaboration with Pulse Light Clinic

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