Friday, 11 May 2018

Pack With Me - What I'll Be Taking To Paris...

I first did a pack with me post a few years ago just before a trip to London, and as we're off to Paris in a few days I thought I'd do another now. I personally always love to have a sneaky peak at what others take on their travels, so if you're the same hopefully you'll enjoy this. I'm basically taking most things that I took to York with me too so these are generally the sorts of products I like to take on any weekend away.
Pack With Me - What I'll Be Taking To Paris
Beauty - Starting with makeup and skincare, I'm basically going to take the contents of my makeup bag which luckily isn't that much. I'm taking my current go to foundation which is the L'oreal Paris True Match and also my favourite concealer, the Maybelline Fit Me. For bronzer I'm taking my mini Benefit Hoola and for blush I'll be taking the Rimmel Lasting Finish in the shade Pink Rose. The final base product I always like to use is the Maybelline Stay Matte Powder. Eye products I'm taking will be just a pencil eyeliner and the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara and then finally there's the Max Factor Elixir Lipstick in the shade Burnt Caramel, and then a few Real Technique brushes to apply it all. I'm keeping skincare simple with just Garnier Micellar Wipes, these are fab for travelling but apart from that I really don't need much else. 

Toiletries - I picked up a few minis from The Body Shop recently so I'll be taking those as they really don't take up much room. There's the Frosted Plum Shower Gel and Body Butter, the latter I thought would be brilliant to use after a long day of walking. Bearing that in mind I'm also taking the Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray from The Body Shop. I've used things like this in the past and it's just so soothing on sore and achy feet. I'm going to decant some shampoo and conditioner into travel bottles, and then the final few toiletries are obviously things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, body sprays, a disposable razor, my tangle teezer and a little hand sanitizer which I'm going to keep in my bag. I hope I'm not forgetting anything!
Pack With Me - What I'll Be Taking To Paris
Clothes - It's pretty impossible to take photos of my clothes but I'm only taking the basics really anyway. One of my go to tops at the moment is this Floral Peplum from Yours Clothing. It was a bit pricey at £23.99 but I love how it looks and more importantly I feel comfortable in it so that was a must for this trip. It goes with just about anything too. I'm also taking some new jeans from New Look which are incredibly comfortable, and a Paris Slogan Top also from New Look because I just couldn't resist and it's so nice to just throw on. I'm also going to take another new top from Yours Clothing which is the White and Multi Butterfly Vest which has cross detailing on the front, I absolutely love it. Onto shoes I'm actually taking some trainers that I also found on Yours Clothing. I would never normally think to buy these but they'll be so much more comfortable and I don't want to be wearing shoes that I know will hurt after a few hours! I'll also be taking my trusty leather jacket because it goes with pretty much anything and all of my other jackets are either for summer or winter and I have no idea what the weather situation will be! That being said I recently got a longline thin cardigan which I think will be perfect to take with me just in case we get there and it's really warm. Also I'm obsessed with adding scarves to my outfits at the moment and I recently picked up a thin floral one from New Look so I thought that would go well with everything.
Pack With Me - What I'll Be Taking To Paris
Extras - As we're getting the train down to London and then getting on the Eurostar it's going to take a good few hours so we're both taking a few different books. I'm planning on taking The Husbands Secret and How To Stop Time I think, and I'm sure I'll pick up a few magazines that morning too. Ipods are a must so those are going to be packed and then obviously we need all of our different chargers for phones etc. Finally we just need to make sure we've got all of the important documents, I think we've printed every possible thing out just in case! I get really anxious before a trip that we'll forget all of the important things so they're out ready.

I think that's pretty much it. I keep wracking my brain for anything else we could possible need but I really don't think we're missing anything. I'm just so excited now, and the great thing is that once we're back it's only a few days til our night in London so the holiday just kind of carries on. We'll be taking basically all of the same stuff to London with us aswell so all of this is kind of for two trips. I'll be taking a break from my blog now for about 10 days or so whilst we're away and to sort of get my head back in the game but I'm hoping once we're back I'll have got over this blogging slump I've been in and I'll be much more positive about it all!

What are your packing essentials?

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5 Tips For Fuller Looking Healthy Hair*

I have two blog posts going up today, the first one being all about hair and how I try to maintain and look after it. I have such a love/hate relationship with my hair. I have days where I wake up and pretty much need to do nothing to it and I feel so confident and then other days nothing goes right with it. Does anyone else find that? I've noticed over the last year or so that my hair has got much thinner than it used to be so I've been trying to find different ways to get my hair looking full, glossy and healthy.
5 Tips For Fuller Looking Healthy Hair!
Regular Hair Cuts - I've been known to go absolutely ages without a hair cut, far longer than I'd like to admit but since starting to have regular hair cuts again I've noticed a real difference in how my hair looks and feels. Even though I do still have quite long hair, just having a good few inches off it has made my hair look far fuller than before. I think adding layers in had been part of that too so if you're planning a trip to the hairdressers soon, definitely get some added in. They just add volume and movement into your hair and they can really change up your hairstyle without being too drastic.

Dry Your Hair Upside Down - A classic tip for adding some volume into your hair! It's as simple as it sounds, tip your head upside down, let your hair hang down towards the floor and blow dry it. Whilst using the hairdryer, make sure you're gently brushing your hair too to create volume at the roots and more bounce throughout, this also helps prevent any tangles too.

Don't Apply Too Much Heat - Though I just mentioned blow-drying your hair, it's important you don't apply too much heat to it as it can cause more damage than good. I used to be an avid user of hair straighteners, I don't think there was a day I went to school without straightened hair but now years on I'm much more chilled about it and my hair is far healthier because of it. I used to have a load of split ends and my hair just generally didn't feel great so now when I can I like to just quickly towel dry my hair and then leave to do it's thing for a few hours. If I'm in a rush I like to dry it as I mentioned above and as long as I'm brushing as I go along, it dries quite straight anyway but has a decent amount of volume at the roots. Though products like straighteners and curlers aren't always the best sometimes if you're having a bad hair day like I mentioned at the start of this post, nothing else will work so if you do use them, make sure you use a heat protection spray.

Hair Masks - Over the last year I've really found that hair masks work wonders for creating fuller looking hair. I've only used a few different ones but all of them have given my hair that boost it's desperately needed. The one I've most recently used is from Organic Shop and almost instantly I noticed a difference. Even the next day I woke up to bouncy looking hair and I really didn't need to do anything else to it. If you'd rather not use one like that though you can create your own so you know exactly what's going into it. You can find an array of ideas on Google and some ingredients you might already have in! Using items like olive oil which nourishes your hair, avocados for a deep conditioning effect and honey for growth are just a few things which can be made into masks for a fuller and healthier finish.

If you don't find any of these are working for you, then take a look at hair restoration procedures which are offered at The Harley Street Hair Clinic. Advanced Tricho Pigmentation, or ATP, replicates the appearance of natural hair follicles and tiny hair strokes. This treatment can be used to add the appearance of density for anyone that feels their hair is thinning, and it can be used on different areas of the scalp to create a head of hair that looks natural and realistic.

Do you have any tips for keeping your hair healthy?

*This post is in collaboration with The Harley Street Hair Clinic

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Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Perfect Roast Dinner With Essential Cuisine*

If there's one thing I love about the weekend it's a roast dinner. Now we don't necessarily plan to have one each sunday but every few weeks we tend to make a roast with all of the trimming and I genuinely look forward to it so much. After working with Essential Cuisine last year on their high quality stocks to create a delicous sausage cassoulet, I was so excited to receive their gravy range and I thought, what a better way to put it to the test than with a roast?
The Perfect Roast Dinner With Essential Cuisine
For me, there are some things a roast dinner just has to include. 

Roasting Joint - I tend to buy a whole chicken when I'm planning a roast dinner. As there's only two of us we can get a few meals out of one and I find these are just so easy to cook. I've cooked with them for so long, I can just put it in the oven and pretty much forget about it for 90 minutes.

Roast Potatoes - You can't have a sunday dinner without a roast potato can you? My favourite way of making them is to peel and chop 2 baking potatoes (or any you prefer, maris piper make excellent roasties) par boil for around 10/15 minutes in salted water, drain well and shake to rough up the edges. After the chicken has been cooking for about half an hour and has started to release some juices, I then add in the par boiled potatoes, coat in any of the juices and then leave to cook with the chicken. The juice makes them go lovely and crisp on the edges but they are soft and fluffy on the inside. If cooking with another joint of meat, I like to follow Jamie Olivers perfect roast potatoes recipe. I followed his recipe at Christmas and god they were good. 

Yorkshire Puddings - I love a good yorkshire pudding. When I can I like to make my own which just consists of eggs, flour and milk, leaving to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes and then pouring into hot oil. This makes them rise beautifully! 
The Perfect Roast Dinner With Essential Cuisine
Lots of Veg - I tend to use pretty much whatever veg we have in. I love roasted carrots and these have become a bit of a favourite of ours recently. We usually like to coat them in a drizzle of honey, as we do parsnips too and it just gives them the most incredible flavour. If we've got anything like cabbage or cauliflower in I love to add those to the meal too, cauliflower cheese never goes amiss. Peas are great to add too when we just want to grab veg from the freezer.

Stuffing - I love making stuffing balls, they're one of the simplest parts of a roast dinner and require very little prep. They are packed full of flavour and I find it's actually one of the cheapest parts of the meal. I just use Asda's Smartprice which is about 15p and honestly it tastes just like branded versions. An extra we like to have sometimes too is pigs in blankets, totally not just for Christmas!

Gravy - Of course you've got to have gravy with a roast dinner haven't you? I've loved using the gravy mixes from Essential Cuisine and for the last roast dinner we had I went for the beef flavouring which was delicious. Used by professionals, this rich and smooth gravy is made with beef stock and beef dripping for maximum flavour. It can be used on it's own or added to meat juices. All you need to do is add 3 tsps to a small pan along with 250ml of water, and keep whisking and stirring until smooth and thick. It's then ready to pour over your roast dinner! There are 3 other gravies available too including turkey, chicken and savoury and they can be added to a variety of meals. I've been loving using the chicken flavour in dishes like my pizza pasta bake instead of the usual stock in the recipe, and the beef is brilliant in meals like shepherds pie or spaghetti to add a bit more of a meaty flavour.
The Perfect Roast Dinner With Essential Cuisine
I just don't think you can beat a proper roast dinner can you? This has made me so hungry for one actually! I've been really impressed with the gravy range from Essential Cuisine, it has a beautiful taste which goes so well with a meal like this and the tubs last ages! Aswell as this, the gravies are also gluten free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians so everybody can enjoy! If you want to try them out for yourself they're £2.50 each and you can find out more and buy on their website here.
The Perfect Roast Dinner With Essential CuisineWhat's your favourite part of a roast dinner?

*Products provided for the purpose of this post

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Organic Shop Haircare Review*

A while ago I was sent a few haircare products to try out from a budget friendly brand called Organic Shop. I'm not fussy when it comes to my hair, I'll use just about anything on it but I loved the look of these and couldn't wait to give them a try!
Organic Shop Haircare
If you've not heard of Organic Shop before, they are a brand all about natural beauty. They take the best fruit, herbs, flowers and spices to create indulgent and effective beauty treats that we can all use and enjoy. They are an Estonian brand, very popular throughout Europe but they've recently developed their latest haircare range with Tesco and I was sent some of the Pomegranate and Patchouli range to try.

Shampoo and Conditioner - Starting with the shampoo and conditioner, the first thing I noticed was the scent. It has a really exotic aroma and the pomegranate really comes through when you use it. I also really love the bottles and the pump dispenser. That's so useful and not something many haircare products have now I find, but it just makes life so much easier in the shower. These are full of essential oils which give your hair extra strength and the Organic Pomegranate is supposed to leave your hair looking sleek and shiny. The Organic Patchouli then works to give you an hydration boost which leaves your hair feeling silky soft. I've definitely noticed since using this that my hair has felt far better and has been much easier to handle. As I have quite thick hair it can be hard to brush through sometimes and straighten as it's always so wavy underneath, but as this has made my hair much smoother, it's meant styling it has been far easier. I've also noticed it's looked a little shinier too and a bit more glossy than what it has done before, it's also really nice to touch too, it just feels healthier! Both of these bottles are 280ml and they're still lasting me really well after weeks of use. Both are priced at £2.50 so really affordable for a brand that is 98% natural and cruelty free with no GM ingredients, nasty chemicals, parabens, synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances.
Organic Shop Haircare Review
Hair Mask - Aswell as the shampoo and conditioner I was also sent a hair mask from the range to try out, which was nice as it's something I would never think to buy. Pretty much straight away I was impressed with this. It's a huge tub and you really don't need much at all which is always good and it massaged into my hair really well. I left it in for about 3 minutes and then washed out and then proceeded to do my usual routine with shampoo and conditioner. Once my hair had dried I could tell the hair mask had worked it's magic. It just felt far fuller and bouncier and it was much easier to brush through than usual after washing. This continued into the next day too, I woke up to it feeling fresh and bouncy and the hair mask had clearly made such a difference. As there is so much left in the tub I'm so excited to keep on using this as it really did make my hair feel lovely.
Organic Shop Haircare Review
I've loved trying out these haircare products from Organic Shop and will definitely be looking out for them next time I'm in Tesco. Aswell as the Invigorating Pomegranate and Patchouli range there are also a few others ranging from Volumising Raspberry and Acai to Moisturising Coconut and Shea, to Nourishing Argan and Amla and finally Repairing Avocado and Honey. Whatever problems or needs your hair may have, there is sure to be a range from Organic Shop for you. Don't all of the scents sound amazing too?!

If you want to try these out for yourself, each shampoo, conditioner and hair mask is priced at £2.50 available at Tesco or online via Organic Shop.

Have you tried anything from this brand before? What's your go to haircare brand?

*Products sent for the purpose of this post

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Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Nivea Daily Essentials First Impressions*

A while ago I was sent a few products to try out from Nivea, their new Daily Essentials range which includes two face masks and a day cream and night cream. I absolutely love doing a face mask now so I was really excited to try these out and as I've never really been one to use a day and night cream, I was intrigued by how I would get one with those.
Nivea Daily Essentials
Nivea are pretty much known for their skincare but what makes this particular range so special? Well several things.

Urban Skin 1 Minute Detox Masks - I'm going to start with the face masks because these are what I was most excited about. The thing that really intrigued me about these was that they only have to stay on for 1 minute. Most face masks I use are packets which you only get one use out of and you tend to keep them on for anything from 5 to 20 minutes. I did wonder how much these could do in such a little amount of time but I've been really impressed so far. They are supposed to refine and rebalance dull and tired skin (something I definitely suffer with) and they do this by using potent clays and magnolia extract which draw out any impurities. Immediately after using the Purify one I noticed my skin looked brighter and healthier and genuinely so soft to touch. I've used the Moisturise one many times since and I'm just as impressed with that too. One thing I like about these is that their tubes so you can get many uses out of them compared to normal face mask sachets. They do take a little while to wash off as they don't really dry in anyway and are a cream but given how little time they need to be on, that's not really a massive issue.
Nivea Daily Essentials
Skin Defence Day Cream - I very rarely use day creams like this, I'm not sure why as I always read good things about them. This Day Cream which has an SPF 20 battles against radical damage daily whilst arming skin with moisture for up to 48 hours. I used this after trying the Purify face mask and that combined with the mask, left my skin feeling incredible all day! It felt so nourished and looked far brighter than usual.

Urban Skin Detox Night Cream - I'm even less likely to pick up a night cream than a day cream so I was really excited to try this. The Night Cream works overnight enhancing skin regeneration by stimulating the upper skin layer. It does this through active ingredients which can help reduce toxins in our cells. This should, by morning, leave you with visibly smoother and supple skin and with less signs of fatigue. I always look pretty rough in the morning but I did notice my skin didn't look as dull as it usually does first thing. It still felt soft to touch, clean and fresh which for an early morning, never usually happens!

Combined I'm loving all of these products so far and I'm really impressed with the differences they actually make to my skin after using them. Given how little time you need to keep the masks on for, I definitely think they are worth trying out. I tend to use one of them in the morning now as they can be done whilst I'm making the bed or brushing my teeth and don't really require much effort! I never really used to reach for Nivea in a shop but I think I will be now after trying these out. 

Have you tried anything from the Daily Essentials range?

*Products sent for the purpose of this post

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Monday, 7 May 2018

Old English Company Stationery and Homeware Haul...

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post in collaboration with Old English Company and they kindly gave me a voucher for that so I decided to treat myself to a few homeware and stationery bits. I love putting together haul posts and homeware ones are personally my favourite to read so if you're the same hopefully you'll like this. 
Old English Company Stationery and Homeware Haul
I was totally spoilt for choice when it came to picking what to order and it genuinely took me ages to decide. Eventually I started with homeware because I just can't get enough of buying things for our flat. The first thing I ordered was the Let's Sleep In Print. I thought this would be perfect to go in our bedroom underneath another print we already have up in a white frame, and we both love our sleep so very appropriate. 
Old English Company
I then spotted the planners and I loved this pink Consider This Day Conquered one. It's going to be great for writing my lists everyday of things I want to get done and it feels such good quality. It's so pretty aswell so I think it will be so nice on my desk to go with lots of other pink things I've already got.
Old English Company
Something for the kitchen which I couldn't resist was a Bread Board. Not only will this be great for serving different things on just for us, it's great for when people come round and it looks lovely in the kitchen. It was reduced to about £5 which is amazing as it's brilliant quality and looks so much more expensive. It'll also be good for any foodie blog posts in the future aswell!
Old English Company
One thing I've seen loads of people talking about recently is the pins from Old English Company and I thought now was as good a time as any to pick one up. I've never been too bothered about them in the past but there were so many that I was drawn too and thought would be a nice addition to my new bag. In the end I chose the You Can pin, I love it.
Old English Company
Finally I picked up George and I a coaster each for our office. It really is coming together now, we've got rid of furniture, are just about ready to buy my desk and I've pretty much got all of the accessories and things like that for the room. As I work on my blog pretty much everyday an office was becoming an essential and with George working from home sometimes too, I thought one of these would be nice for us both for when we're both working. I got the Reach For The Stars one, which again goes with other pink accessories I have for my desk, it totally makes me think of S Club 7 aswell though! and I got George the Bear Hug one, because by now I'm sure you know I love bears.
Old English Company
I'm so happy with everything I ordered and can't wait to get more in future. I honestly could have gone on for ages, they have such a range of beautiful prints, notebooks and pins, so if you love stationery and homeware, definitely check them out.

Have you ever bought anything from Old English Company?

*I was provided with a voucher for a previous post but was under no obligation to do this one too

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Sunday, 6 May 2018

Food I Have Been Loving This Week #27

My meals have been so boring lately, I really struggle when it's warm with what to cook as it just gets too hot! So this is basically snack heavy, sorry not sorry ­čĄĚSome pretty tasty stuff included though.
Food I Have Been Loving This Week #27
San Pellegrino - I am just obsessed with San Pellegrino! I first tried the Orange and Pomegranate flavour in London a while ago and since then I've kind of been obsessed with it. I don't get it often because it's so expensive but as it was on offer recently I got myself a pack. This flavour in particular is really sweet but I love it! I also really like the lemon San Pellegrino too, I just try not to get it too often as it really pricey compared to other fizzy drinks.

Homemade Tiffin - I actually mentioned this in a favourites post earlier on in the week but it's that good, it deserved to be mentioned in one of these posts too. Tiffin used to be something I baked pretty much every week, but for some reason I just kind of stopped. I tend to always have the ingredients in for cakes and brownies etc so I usually just make those if I'm in a baking mood but recently I made some Tiffin again and was reminded why I love it so much. It's such a simple bake, requires very little ingredients and just tastes delicous. It's basically rocky road without the marshmallows and I actually prefer it like that. I have a recipe up of this if anyone wants to give it a go.

Combos - If you haven't tried these, then you really have to. They're a bit like crisps but are made with either pretzel, cracker or tortilla and they have a filling in them, usually some sort of cheese. I've had the Pizzeria flavour before and the Pepperoni Pizza flavour which both literally taste just like you're eating a proper pizza, but last time we went past an American shop in Meadowhall I spotted the layer dip flavour and honestly it tastes just like nachos covered in guac, salsa and sour cream. They are incredible, George and I are literally obsessed with them!

Pasta and Meatballs - This is such a comforting meal I think. I love pasta so any meal with that is a winner. I wanted to make a filling but tasty meal the night before we went away so I used some Asda Extra Special meatballs, a Lloyd Grossman sauce because they are just the best and my homemade sauce can't compete, and obviously a load of pasta and it was delicous. With garlic bread, it's even better!

Easter Chocolate - Every year I go a little mad with Easter chocolate. To be fair I don't think I bought quite as much this year but still a considerable amount. The main Easter Egg I went for this year was an Aero one which was incredible, I don't have Aero often so this was a really nice change.

Covered Chicken - For some reason I don't make this nearly as much as I used to! A few weeks ago though I was looking through some of my recipes for a bit of inspiration and I found my post about covered chicken and I immediately added it to the meal plan. It's just chicken wrapped in parma ham, baked in the oven, so simple but it tastes delicous. We had it with some golden rice and coleslaw and it was such a nice meal.

Bettys Tea Room Fondant Fancies - These had to be mentioned in this post! I'd seen them online before we went to York and was desperate to get one, and I did, and it totally exceeded any expectations I had. I love the Mr Kipling ones but those don't even compare the homemade ones from Bettys. The sponge was so moist and soft, the icing was smooth and the actual flavour was sweet but not over the top. I so wish I'd got another before we left, they are first on my list next time we go to York!

Similar Posts - Food I Have Been Loving This Week #26 // Covered Chicken & 5 Grain Rice Recipe

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Saturday, 5 May 2018

Self Care In Spring and Summer...

When I'm feeling anxious or having a particularly low day, I like to partake in a bit of self care to try and relax and calm myself down, and that usually involves a hot bubble bath, a good book and getting cosy on the settee. Not that self care is always lovey dovey things like that, but for me those are things that help. Those are all well and good during the colder months but I actually find in Spring and Summer when it's warm, that I really struggle to find things that can cheer me up and help improve my mood and sitting in a hot bath when it's hot outside, isn't that relaxing. I'm such an Autumn and Winter girl so as soon as the hot weather starts, I'm kind of straight away in a different mindset so it's always a tricky few months for me. That being said there are a few things which I do find are really enjoyable in Spring and Summer and I do find they make me feel more positive so I thought I'd share them.
Self Care In Spring and Summer
Leave The House - I'm such a homebody, and to be honest I'm probably far too comfortable with staying in, and that's okay, but when the weather gets warmer, I really like to try and get out as much as possible and enjoy it. One of the great things about Spring and Summer is that is stays lighter for far longer so you have plenty of time to go out for a walk or take a trip to the park. Just getting some fresh air for an hour can completely change up the day and change your mood. I never regret going out and getting some sun, taking a book or putting some music on is a good tip too to properly relax. Also why not take advantage and take a picnic with you?

Spring Clean - If you're not feeling your best, cleaning might not seem like the most fun thing to do but I have always found that if my home is tidy, I feel 10x better and it instantly improves my mood. I actually find mess only makes my anxiety worse and I get so stressed so a good spring clean really is one thing I try to do when I'm feeling a bit rubbish. I know that's probably contributing, or at least not making anything better and once things have had a bit of a refresh, I find I have too.

Put Your Phone Down - I'm on my phone far too much, always refreshing Twitter and Instagram and I have no doubt that contributes to my low mood sometimes. With social media it's easy to compare yourself to others so when I can I like to take a bit of a break from it. When taking a walk in the summer, leave your phone in your pocket and instead actually sit and chat to whoever you're with, or read a few chapters of a book. Let's face it, we're not going to miss loads by having a few hours without it are we?

Fresh Food - I've always found the better I eat, the better I feel, not just physically but mentally too. In Spring and Summer there is nothing better than a fresh salad (and they really don't have to be boring) or a bowl of fruit, I always feel so much better for choosing something like that and in the warmer months, meals like this are so refreshing. Cooking in Summer is horrendous so easy meals are a winner. Something else I like about fresh food in Spring and Summer is creating exciting juices and mocktails. Last year I loved creating different milkshakes aswell but this year I want to get a load of different fruit and create some tasty juices that are refreshing to have sat outside.

Know It's Okay To Say No - Whilst I mentioned making sure you get fresh air throughout the warmer months, when it comes to events or occasions with friends and family, it's okay to say no. Lots of people love the thought of get togethers and BBQ's in Summer but for me, they're something I really struggle with and I put a lot of thought into whether it's something I can do. Sometimes I don't even know til the day whether I can face it, and that's totally fine. As people say 'no is a complete sentence' so don't feel you have to go explaining or apologising when you can't do something that others may find easy if it's going to cause you stress, anxiety or upset. Whilst I think it's important to push yourself when you can, sometimes it's just not possible and that's fine!

Do you have any self care tips? 

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Friday, 4 May 2018

The Books On My Current To Be Read List...

I've been loving getting back into reading again over the last few months. I used to always have my head stuck in a book but over the last few years that's sort of gone away and so one of the goals I set myself for 2018 was to find my love for books again. I've actually done a few reviews recently of some books which I've thoroughly enjoyed so far this year, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Some Kind Of Wonderful and now I have a list of some other books that I'm desperate to get through.

The Husbands Secret - I actually got The Husbands Secret from George for Christmas in 2016 and I'm only just getting round to reading it. Well I did start it at one point and got a few chapters in but for some reason I just stopped there. I have to be in the right mindframe to get lost in a book and at the time I must have not been able to focus so this is currently at the top of my to be read list. It's got brilliant reviews so I've got no doubt once I get stuck in, I'll really enjoy it.
'Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husbands hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death. Curious, she opens it - and time stops. John-Paul's letter confessses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed would wreck their family aswell as the lives of others. Cecilia wants to do the right thing but for who?'
The Husbands Secret
Gone Girl - I've watched the film Gone Girl a few times now and every time I just find it so shocking. The story which shows the length one woman would go to get revenge on her husband, it's just insane but brilliant and definitely one of the best films I've ever watched. I've had the book for years now but just never got round to reading it. It's so different to most of the books I've read in the past and others in the post but if it's anything like the film, I think it will be just as good, if not better.
'Alternating between the present-day narrative of husband Nick Dunne and the past diary entries of his wife Amy, we learn their previously perfect marriage has come undone following a move from New York to semi-rural Missouri. Amy inexplicably disappears without trace, apparently pregnant; Nick, whose emotions seem to betray little outward signs of grief or worry, is the prime suspect. However, is all that we read the truth? Is Amy genuinely missing, and, if not, what could be her possible motive?'
Gone Girl
How To Stop Time - Matt Haig is one of my favourite authors. He wrote the outstanding book 'Reasons To Stay Alive' which still resonates with me now and he's just released How To Stop Time. After seeing him mention this book on social media throughout writing it and from the snippets I've seen, it's a total winner. All I've seen is positive reviews and he totally deserves them. Honestly if you've not read any of his books, you need to. I'm planning on taking this with me for our journey to Paris and I have a feeling I'll get through it pretty quickly.
'Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he'd never witnessed them first-hand. He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom must not do is fall in love.'
How To Stop Time
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime - The first I actually heard of this book was when it was on the West End. It was a show I was really keen on seeing and when it came to actually booking our first show a few years ago, for me it was between this and Wicked. Wicked won but it's still one I'd love to see one day. When we were in York we picked this up, George read it in one night and so I'm going to give it a go next and hope I love it as much as he clearly did. It's not the biggest book in the world so I think it's going to be a nice, lighthearted read which we definitely need sometimes.
'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christoper Boone. Christoper is fifteen and has Asperger's Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.'
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
I'm so excited to read all of these, each totally different to the other in their own way. The two books I've already mentioned at the start of this post were excellent so I'm hoping these can live up to them, but either way I'm sure I'll do reviews of them at some point.

Have you read any of these books in the past?

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Thursday, 3 May 2018

April Favourites - York, I Tonya & Baking...

I didn't get round to doing a monthly favourites last month as I just had too many other posts I wanted to get out, so I've decided to kind of combine March and April together. I'm not gonna lie, a lot of it is films! For some reason we've been just getting through loads and loads each week so there were so many I wanted to include in this post!
March and April Favourites - York, I Tonya and Baking
York - I couldn't do a favourites post and not include our trip away. I'll keep it brief as I've already done a few posts about it but it really was such a beautiful place. Everything looked better than you'd imagine in real life and the minster was stunning! All of the shops were so cute and cosy and the tea rooms, omg the tea rooms were incredible. If you want to read more about our trip, I have a post here that goes into more detail.
I, Tonya - I'm so glad we finally managed to watch this! It's a biographical film about the figure skater Tonya Harding who becomes the first woman to complete a triple axel during a competition. Though things seem to be going well for her in the skating world, in 1994 things take a turn for the worse when her ex husband conspires to injure another Olympic hopeful, Nancy Kerrigan. Tonya's life gets tarnished as no one really knows whether she was also in on the attack or not, and it became one of the biggest scandals in sports history. I loved this film and seeing how the event apparently unfolded. Before watching this I was kind of convinced that she must have been in on it, just from what I read online, but after seeing the film, I'm now not so sure. The film shows that she went through a lot growing up and then in her adult life and she definitely didn't have it easy so I definitely felt sorry for her and it changed my opinion. I highly recommend watching this, it had me hooked and I definitely want to see it again at some point.
George Ezra, Staying At Tamara's - I am obsessed with this album at the moment! I've listened to quite a few of George Ezra's songs before and really liked them but this album is just brilliant. I can't stop playing it! I think it's going to be my favourite over the summer.
George Ezra
Paperchase - Well this is one of the cutest things I've bought in a long time. I actually saw this on the Pinterest website before Valentines but it was £8 and I just didn't think I needed to spend that on yet more trinket dishes. I was having a little browse recently though and I saw this had gone down to £4 so I couldn't resist. I think it's going to look so pretty on my desk in the office. When I got this I also picked up a few more postcards too which are such a bargain at 80p each.
Homemade Tiffin - I made this again recently for the first time in ages and now I just want to make it again. It's so simple and only requires setting in the fridge for a few hours so it's not a fussy thing to make at all. I love the combination of digestive biscuits, dark chocolate and golden syrup, it just makes the most delicious bake. I have a recipe here if you want to try it.
Paddington 2 - Finally I have this on DVD. I only got to see this in the cinema once (I planned on going at least twice, because Paddington is my ultimate favourite film) so it's felt ages waiting for this to come out. It arrived on the day it was released and I've watched it countless times since then. It's just the best. It combines my love for London and Bears, and the storyline is brilliant, just as good, if not better than the first. It makes me laugh and cry and it's just generally a really heartwarming film.
Paddington 2
What have you been loving over the last few months?

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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Spring Clothing Wishlist...

It's been a little while since my last clothing wishlist and as Spring is well and truly here, I thought now was perfect timing! I'm constantly looking for new bits at the moment!
Spring Clothing Wishlist
I find Asos to be quite hit and miss sometimes and when I was looking recently I only found a few bits I actually really liked - mainly dresses. I love a maxi dress to throw on once it starts getting warmer and the one I really like the look of is this Black and White Stiped one. It's a really casual maxi which can just be thrown on and worn with sandals, I'm really into stripes at the moment so I think this is a must. Another one that caught my eye but is a lot more expensive is this Black Crinkle Maxi. I love the detailing on the back of it and it just looks like it would so nice and lightweight so perfect for when it's really hot.
Asos Wishlist
The first thing that caught my eye and I feel like has to be mine is the Limited Edition Pink Floral Vest. I love the way this flows and the colour is just gorgeous. I think it's the perfect top for spring and it would look great with skinny jeans and sandals when it's warm. They also do this in a dark green colour too which is just as nice! Something that is quite similar to that top is the Black and Pink Butterfly Print Cami. They do this in quite a few different designs and colours so I'm not sure which one I'd end up choosing but tops like this are always a go to for me in Spring and Summer! I next saw this beautiful Floral Print Wrap Top and it's so unlike anything else I already have. I think this is one of those tops that could be worn casually just with jeans and sandals but could also be dressed up with accessories. I always think tops like this are quite flattering. Back to vests I loved this J'adore Slogan one, it really reminds me of one I used to have years ago and things like this are just great to throw on. You can't see well on the photo but it has some detailing on the sleeves which looks so pretty. Lastly from Yours Clothing I saw a Floral Kimono which is perfect for when the weather starts to get a bit warmer. I've got a few like this and I always turn to them in summer as they go with just about anything and cover you up a little but aren't heavy at all like a jacket.
Spring Clothing Wishlist
New Look is pretty much my go to for clothes. I find they fit the best and are so affordable. At the moment I'm loving their range of clothes for Spring. These Mustard Tassel Sandals were the first thing that caught my eye. I'm obsessed with them! Aren't they so perfect for Spring and Summer? Another pair of sandals I also really liked are these Coral ones which are currently on offer and would pretty much go with anything. I'm really liking Slogan Tees at the moment too and I've seen a few that I think would be nice to pair up with jeans and the sandals above. The first one being this Striped Fifth Avenue one which is £12.99, a C'est La Vie one and finally one that says Merci Beaucoup on the front. The last thing I keep going backwards and forwards over in my head is this White Stripe Tie Front Shirt. It's like nothing I already have and I have no idea if it would suit me but I love the tie detail at the front and for some reason I keep going back to it!
Spring Clothing Wishlist
Have you been picking anything up for Spring?

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