Saturday 31 August 2019

Weekend Summary #28 - A Trip To York, Autumnal Homesense Haul & Movie Night

I mentioned in last week's weekend summary which was all about Bear, Baking and a trip to Bakewell, that I really wanted to try and make these posts more of a regular thing again so here I am with another! I doubt they'll end up becoming a weekly thing permanently because most weekends I don't get out of my pj's and I'm pretty boring but last weekend was another fun one so I wanted to document it.
The Shambles, York
Our weekend started with a trip to York which has become one of George and I's favourite places. We first went last year for a little minimoon, the time has flown by since then, and we went earlier on this year for a day trip but this time was our first visit with Bear. I love getting out to dog-friendly places when we can, it makes for a nice date day for us which is so important nowadays when work has been taking over, and I just think it's fun for Bear to see these new places and meet lots of other dogs. I took loads of photos but I'll just share a few of my faves including Clifford's Tower which looked even better in the sunshine, the pretty umbrellas at Coppergate Walk and York Minster which just never gets old no matter how many times I see it.
Clifford's Tower, York
Weekend Summary #28 - A Trip To York, Autumnal Homesense Haul & Movie Night
York Minster
It wouldn't be a trip to York without popping into Betty's Tea Rooms. They do the best cakes and the selection they have is huge. I always go for my fave though, the fondant fancy, which you have to try if you spot a Betty's at any point!
Betty's Tea Rooms, York
I also took advantage of Homesense whilst we were there as we don't have one close-by and this is always the best time of year to visit as it's when all of the autumn stock has just started arriving. It's the best season in my opinion and I'm literally counting down the days til it's here so I couldn't resist picking up a few bits. I stocked up on candles, including a gorgeous Woodfire Apple scented one. It's huge aswell and looks beautiful on my bookshelf. I also got a few mini ones which are such a bargain at £2.99 each in the scents - Fireside Embers which smells like men's aftershave, genuinely one of my favourite scents, and Beech & Apple which is the perfect mix of fresh and sweet. I'd say it's a great scent for transitioning from Summer to Autumn. I also got myself a glass pumpkin too as I've always seen these on Instagram and just never got round to picking one up myself, and a few beauty bits including a Wetbrush which I've been after for ages! It is the best hairbrush I've ever used.
Homesense Haul
As always Bear had the time of his life just exploring in York, getting loads of fuss from people and then having a big snooze on the way home. I love just walking with him and seeing what we find, I hope he enjoys it as much as I do.
Bear in York
Bear in York
After a day in York, we actually had a pretty chilled weekend which just involved lots of cooking, baking and films. We watched Bridget Jones's Baby which was just as good as I remember, the perfect romcom. We also watched Us which is on the complete other end of the scale in terms of genre but it was so good! More creepy than anything and it had a decent twist at the end, which kind of changed the whole story. George made an amazing madras on Saturday night which I'm still thinking about and I made some Tiffin just in time for the new series of Great British Bake Off. Anyone else happy it's back? I can't wait to have even more of an excuse to bake every week now.
Bridget Jones's Baby DVD
I know these posts might not be the most fun to read so I totally understand if you've struggled through to the end but I just love writing them and they're always a favourite of mine to look back on, which I think is important to do every so often.

Have you got much planned for this weekend?

Similar - My York Travel Guide

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Wednesday 28 August 2019

73 Things About Me - A Blogger's Version Of Vogue's 73 Questions!

I don't take part in tag blog posts quite as often as I used to but I always enjoy reading them and one that has been going around recently is the 73 thing about me - a blogger's version of Vogue's 73 questions. I last saw this on the lovely Lisa's blog and she left it open for anyone to take part so I had to share my answers. I'm not tagging anyone in particular so if you like the look of the questions, feel free to take part on your blog and let me know so I can have a read!
flatlay - notebooks, books, pastel pink mugs and bowls, jewellery
Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash
1. What is your usual Starbucks order?
Chocolate Cream Frappuccino. I would very rarely go for a hot drink, it would have to be a freezing cold day in Winter but in that case I'd probably choose one of their festive hot chocolates

2. What does your workstation look like right now?
Though I have an office, at the moment I tend to work in the living room so my workstation is the settee, my laptop, TV in the background and I'm surrounded by a load of books

3. All time favourite food?
You can't beat a roast dinner! Fajitas and nachos are up there too though

4. Favourite author?
Paige Toon - the queen of romance!

5. What do you think of open relationships?
Not for me

6. Favourite video game?
I don't think I have one, maybe The Sims?

7. Guilty pleasure?
Probably reality TV. I love anything like Love Island and I genuinely miss Big Brother

8. Favourite film?
How can I choose just one?! Love the Harry Potter films, Paddington is adorable, and Love Actually is just perfect

9. Favourite book?
I'm a book addict, I have so many favourites. A few that come to the top of my head are Five Years From Now by Paige Toon, One Day In December by Josie Silver & The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Burrows
book held up in front of desk - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
10. Twitter or Instagram?
Despite all of it's flaws, I do still love Instagram

11. Desktop or laptop?

12. Best advice you've ever received?
'Your life isn't yours if you always care what someone else thinks' or 'Everything happens for a reason'

13. What project are you working on right now?
Saving for a house!

14. Favourite colour?
Pink or pastel yellow

15. Did you get good grades at school?
Yeah, I was happy with them

16. Dream job?
I'd love nothing more than to run my own bakery. Getting up each day to go and bake cakes and have everyone enjoying something I've made would just make me so happy

17. Play any sports?
No, I kind of hate of most sports. I'd love to get back into swimming one day though

18. Do you have a degree?

19. Nationality?

20. What is your favourite kind of blog post to do?
It kind of changes each month! For a long time though I've really enjoyed writing book reviews and I can't see that changing anytime soon

21. What do you like to collect?
I love getting postcards whenever we visit somewhere new, I like to put them in my office, and I've also started a little pin collection!
My desk
22. Describe yourself in 3 words?
Kind, Loyal, Funny

23. If you were a rapper, what would your rapper name be?
I have no idea

24. Who was the last person you DMed?
Probably George. I send various stuff most days that probably only I find hilarious

25. What's on the top of your wishlist right now?
Tickets to Dear Evan Hansen in London

26. Hogwarts house?

27. How many tattoos do you have?
0 yet but I have a few in mind

28. What are you most grateful for this year?
Getting our much longed for puppy, Bear. I'll never forget when we met him for the first time
Bear at 3 weeks old
29. What's the best thing that has happened to you this month?
It's generally just been a really good month for family days out, baking and lots of time with Bear

30. What's the best thing that has happened to you today?
Nothing really has happened today so far so I'm going to go on yesterday and the best thing that happened then was that Bear had his first day at a doggy daycare centre and did so well! He had the best time, and I couldn't be prouder

31. What's the best thing ever?
Seeing Bear laugh

32. Favourite season?
Autumn but I adore Winter too

33. Favourite holiday?
Does this mean holiday as in vacation or time of the year? I'm gonna answer both. My favourite holiday as in travel would have to be our honeymoon to Paris. If it's the other type of holiday then Christmas all day long. I look forward to it the majority of the year

34. Which fictional character do you relate to most?
Probably Eeyore!

35. Do you like surprises?
I suppose it depends what it is but I'm not usually a fan

36. What's the biggest surprise you've got?
Probably when we got engaged!

37. What's a surprise that's made you cry?
The same as above, getting engaged

38. What's the best surprise you've ever given anyone?
Ooh I don't know! I don't really do big surprises. I like to buy presents every so often for no reason so I hope things like that make people happy

39. Do you like muffins?
Of course

40. Do you cook often?
Most days

41. What's your favourite dessert?
Ooh there are so many - cheesecake, chocolate cake, apple crumble, I can't pick just one

42. Is there a dessert you don't like?
Not that I can think of

43. Cake or pie?
simple sponge cake with caramel icing
44. What's your least favourite food?
I'm quite fussy at times with fish, and I'm not fond of mushrooms either

45. What's your favourite condiment?
Ahh I like so many. Salt on most things, and I also love perinaise

46. It's 4am on Saturday night, what do you eat?
Probably some sort of chocolate

47. If you could teach a college class, what would it be called?
I'm not good at things like this but it would have to be something around baking!

48. Best animated film?
Paddington or Trolls

49. What has a guy said or done to impress you?
Little things always impress me the most - a card or present for no reason, a bunch of flowers etc, or just cooking a romantic meal!

50. Best thing to do on a first date?
Well we went to the cinema and every time we go now, I think back to then. I think that and a meal always makes for a nice date

51. Worst thing to do on a first date?
I've never had any bad dates so I wouldn't really know

52. What's the funniest pick up line a guy can use on a girl?
I think any pick up line is kind of cheesy, just be nice and compliment her instead

53. Best comic book character?
Wonder Woman

54. What are the three things that are always in your handbag?
My keys, a mini perfume & my phone

55. Favourite drink?
Anything fizzy, I'm a pop addict

56. If you could play a historical character, who would you be?
Ooh Anne Boleyn I think

57. Kittens or puppies?
Dogs forever

58. Favourite sushi roll?
Not a sushi fan

59. What kind of lipstick do you use?
Currently the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker in the shade Super Nude Matte

60. What kind of foundation do you use?
The L'oreal True Match Foundation, I can't go without it now

61. Blow dry or air dry?
Air dry most of the time now unless I'm in a rush. I don't like to use too much heat on my hair anymore

62. Who is your fashion icon?
I'm not great with fashion so I don't really have anyone I particularly see as an icon 

63. Favourite Disney character?
Winnie the Pooh

64. What are you doing tomorrow?
I don't have anything planned yet, whatever it is will involve Bear though

65. Movie you laughed the hardest through?
I watched Stepbrothers again recently and that always makes me laugh. One of the funniest films

66. Movie that made you cry?
So many films make me cry, it's a joke! Most recently I cried at The Sun Is Also A Star, but a few others that always make me emosh - Everything, Everything, About Time, P.S I Love You and A Star Is Born

67. If you could sing a duet with someone, who would it be?
Rachel Tucker, and it would be something from Wicked the musical

68. If you life was a song, what would the title be?
It would have to be something theatrical wouldn't it so I'm going to go with What Baking Can Do from Waitress. Or, maybe Defying Gravity from Wicked
Waitress stage at the Adelphi theatre
69. What's your favourite animal?
Dogs obviously. I do love Bears too though

70. Favourite illustrator?
I don't have one

71. Person you want to have coffee with?

72. What country you'd love to visit?
I'd love to go back to Germany at some point

73. Best way to decompress?
A hot bubble bath and a book

So if you managed to get through all of that, congrats! I hope you enjoyed finding out a little bit more about me. Let me know if you've taken part in this too!

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Monday 26 August 2019

The Perfect Gift For Wine Lovers - Personalised Bottle Labels*

Whilst a lot of people my age probably love nothing more than a bank holiday for the excuse to sit out in the sun and have a drink or two (or three or more...) I've never really been like that. I love my home and I love the people in it so for me, a night in is always worth so much more. Maybe it's boring, who knows but I adore a romantic meal, a good film and getting snug on the sofa. I've never been a huge drinker but you can't beat a glass of wine every so often so I was thrilled to receive a bottle recently from Personalised Bottle Labels to try out.
flatlay - bottle of wine, autumnal candles, book and perfume on a pink background
If you haven't heard of the brand before, let me tell you a little bit about them. Personalised Bottle Labels are a family run business, based in Llandudno, North Wales, that was set up back in 2007. They initially started by selling personalised gifts such as chocolate and teddy bears via eBay but this then lead to them producing bottle labels too. Now they have over 1500 personalised bottle labels and alcohol gifts on their website! I was sent a bottle of personalised white wine and I've thoroughly enjoyed giving it a try over the weekend.

Whilst I'm certainly no wine expert, the bottle I received was a Chardonnay which tasted exquisite. Sometimes with white wine, I find it can be quite overpowering but this was just right. Fruity, fresh and subtle which is just how I like it.
glass of wine held up in front of bookshelf
Now onto the personalised label. Creating your own is incredibly straightforward meaning you can add any message in a matter of minutes. You have the option of adding in names, a unique message and even a date if you're maybe buying the bottle for a couple who are celebrating an anniversary for example. The labels themselves are printed using the highest quality waterproof ink and water resistant paper, and they're also resistant to scratching so no damage shall be done during delivery. To finish your gift off in style you can also choose to have it delivered in a presentation box too, making it even more special.
bottle of wine and glass next to one another
The thing I like about Personalised Bottle Labels is that you're under no obligation to order the bottle too. At £13.99 for a bottle and the label, it might not be the cheapest option but you can buy labels alone for less than £5 which for a personalised product, I don't think is too bad! If you want to splash out though, you can find an array of gifts available on the website too aside from wine, including - personalised beer, newspapers, silk roses, handmade chocolates and more. Delivery is fast too, my bottle arrived within days in perfect condition so if you're looking for something last minute, this could be a beautiful choice for you.
bottle of wine held up above flatlay
I've said many times before on my blog that I always turn to personalised items when it comes to Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries so if you do too, Personalised Bottle Labels are definitely worth checking out. Not only are you getting something you can't get elsewhere but you're also supporting a family run business and what can be better than that?

Are you a fan of personalised gifts?

*PR sample & sponsored post

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Thursday 22 August 2019

Weekend Summary #28 - Bakewell, Baking & Time With Bear

It's been a long, long time since I last wrote up one of my weekend summaries and I'm sure I said in my last one that I wanted to get back to it and try and make them become a more regular thing again, anddddd that clearly never happened. I just have a pretty normal life and sometimes I think the things I get up to might just come across as boring but I do miss writing these posts and they're some of my favourites to look back on. It's just a nice way for me to document time with family, share a ridiculous amount of photos of Bear and just highlight the good, because some days I do struggle to find it. Anyway, last weekend ended up being one of the best in a while so I thought now was the perfect time to bring this back!
Bakewell streets
Maybe this is super boring but I always like to start the weekend with a big clean so on a Friday the living room will be spotless and I find it just puts me in a better frame of mind for the weekend. I love being able to sit down on a Friday night knowing the flat is fresh for the weekend and it just sets things off well! Anyone else like that? I've been spending more and more time in my little reading corner now aswell as we finally have furniture big enough to store the ridiculous amount of books I've managed to accumulate! It feels so cosy and whilst I still need to add a few more bits, and get some autumnal pieces, it's added so much to our little living room. That leads me onto my next point, anyone else excited for Autumn? It seems to come around earlier and earlier each year but I'm not complaining at all. The nights are drawing in, I'm baking all the time at the moment which I always do in the colder months and I'm planning on stocking up on lots of Autumnal candles at Homesense this weekend!
That was a bit of a random ramble but Saturday was all about baking and this time I made my trusty Lemon Drizzle Cake. I'm definitely more of a chocolate girl and I'll never turn down an indulgent chocolate cake or brownie but there's something so nice about a slice of something fruity every so often. I don't make cakes like this as often now but lemon drizzle is a classic and this was just as good as ever. I seem to be baking most weekends now so I'm thinking maybe some Gingerbread Cupcakes would be nice this coming weekend. We also finally got round to watching Ma which stars Octavia Spencer on Saturday which I actually really enjoyed! I love a horror film but finding ones that aren't pure rubbish now is kind of rare but this is one of the best I've seen in a long time. It was more creepy than anything and definitely worth a watch.
lemon drizzle cake
On Sunday we headed out to Bakewell for the day which ended up being so lovely. It's somewhere I remember going every so often when I was younger but I would never have appreciated how beautiful it is then, and it's now I feel like I'm getting old that places like that are becoming far more appealing to me! At the moment I'm loving nothing more than going for a drive with George and Bear and just having the day to explore and spend time together as a family. It's so nice to take Bear to all of these places for the first time aswell, and in Bakewell he met so many other dogs so he was in his element. I mean, I was aswell obviously. I don't think I've ever been to such a dog friendly place! He loved watching the ducks too. He just breaks my heart all the time with how sweet he is.
Bear in bakewell
Bear watching the ducks in Bakewell
While we were in Bakewell we also saw their love lock bridge, walked along the river which is incredibly peaceful and visited some of the cutest shops and bakeries. This sort of place is just perfect if you want to walk the dog, eat some good food and just have a relaxing few hours. We spent far too much on fudge, bought the biggest bakewell tart which was delicious, and I even picked up a few home bits which are so unique.
Lovelock bridge in Bakewell
River wye in Bakewell
Bloomers bakery in Bakewell
Roly's fudge
We also finally got a proper family selfie where Bear is looking at the camera! Trying to get a good photo of him is so difficult sometimes, it's like he knows when the camera's on him and he stops whatever he's doing but I think he looks adorable in this one. Of course, the sun was in my eyes so it's not perfect but we can't have it all can we? 😂 I still love it.
selfie in bakewell
That evening we indulged with pizza, watched Annabelle Comes Home (it was okay but took ages to get going, anyone else agree?) and Bear was absolutely shattered.

I'm so glad I decided to write this up as I know it'll be a post I love looking back on one day. I'm going to try and make these more of a regular thing so hopefully I'll have another up next week. I hope you all had a lovely weekend whatever you got up to aswell! Do you have much planned for this weekend?

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Tuesday 20 August 2019

Mini Film Reviews #5 - The Sun Is Also A Star, Rocketman & More

It's been a while since the last installment of my mini film reviews because as I mentioned in my recent Netflix post, I just kind of lost all inspiration when it came to TV. I've mainly had my head stuck in a book for the last few months and there was just nothing standing out to me until recently. I've finally got through some films though, a few a lot of people seem to have been talking about aswell so I'd love your opinions too!
collage - Rocketman, The Sun Is Also A Star, The Hustle, Secret Obsession, Austenland, The Great Gatsby

Austenland - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I watched this on a whim a few months ago and I actually really liked it. It stars Keri Russell who I loved in the film Waitress, and she plays Jane Hayes who is obsessed with all things Jane Austen and Mr Darcy. She goes to a British theme resort called Austenland, which is something I could easily see us having for real over here and it's just a bit crazy, but really likeable. A good one to put on in the afternoon when blogging!

The Great Gatsby - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I never quite got the hype around The Great Gatsby when it was first released and I probably still don't love it quite to the extent some people do but it's a film that's really grown on me the last few times I've watched it. I think the whole cast is brilliant especially Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton. It's a beautiful film to watch as everything is so over the top glamorous, but also because I just love Daisy and Gatsby together.

Secret Obsession - ⭐⭐

I thought the trailer to Secret Obsession actually looked quite good. I mean, a totally cheesy Netflix horror but not awful. The actual film though - probably one of the worst I've ever seen. And I've worked my way through a lot of bad horror films over the last few years! The acting was pretty shocking and I found it hard not to just laugh at some points which I'm sure wasn't the aim of the film. I had high hopes but I won't be watching it again.

The Hustle - ⭐⭐

It's not that I expected something out of this world with The Hustle, but god it was terrible. Maybe that's just me, but I felt so let down! I'm a big fan of Anne Hathaway and I tend to like pretty much anything Rebel Wilson is in so the two of them together? I thought it would be great. Unfortunately I just didn't get the story, it wasn't that funny and I found myself not caring about how it ended. I wanted something a bit more #girlpower.

The Sun Is Also A Star - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I just adored this! I was hoping I'd enjoy it as I'm a big fan of Everything, Everything - the book and the film, and as this was based on a novel by the same Author Nicola Yoon, I really wanted this to be just as special. From the beginning it had a similar vibe to Everything, Everything and it didn't take me long to feel fully invested in Daniel and Natasha's relationship. I love the story of how the two of them fall in love in just a day. It was so beautiful and of course I cried, at the most random parts too, but I already can't wait to watch it again. I'll definitely be picking up the book soon!

Rocketman - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I was so looking forward to this and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would never have said I'm an Elton John fan but I love the biopic films like this that have started getting made and I was drawn in just from the trailer alone. Taron Egerton's portrayal of Elton is outstanding, and I thought the supporting cast including Richard Madden and Jamie Bell were all fantastic. I don't think it was quite on the level that Bohemian Rhapsody was last year but so impressive.

Have you watched any of these too? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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Friday 16 August 2019

The Lido by Libby Page Book Review

It's been a long time since a book has given me as much joy as The Lido by Libby Page has. It was a book I took my time with, allowed myself to get fully lost in the story and I fell in love with each and every character, even ones I never expected to.
book held up in front of bookshelf
'Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers. Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims everyday, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George. Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She's on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it. So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim - it's the heart of the community.'

My review

I think there's a lot to be said for books that you can just thoroughly enjoy over a period of time. A lot of the time I like to whizz through books as fast as I can, the faster I read it usually equates to how much I'm enjoying it, especially when it comes to thrillers. Anything with a bit of suspense and I just have to keep turning that page until I reach the conclusion. The Lido couldn't be more different though.

Ordinarily this wouldn't usually be a book I'd reach for. As I just said I love a thriller but on the other end of the scale, I'm all for a love story. This wasn't either of those, so normally it would get missed when I'm picking up a new read. I had seen some really positive reviews of The Lido though and a few trusted book bloggers said that despite this not being their usual foray either, they all absolutely loved it, so I thought why not give it a go? I really liked the sound of the story but I knew it was unlikely to be one full of tension and intrigue, just something a bit lighter than what I've been reading recently.

Within a few chapters, I could totally see why people who wouldn't usually pick this up had fallen in love with it, because I quickly had aswell. Almost straight away I emphasised completely with 26 year old Kate who has anxiety and has been feeling lost in life, just sticking to her usual routine of work and home each day and never feeling fulfilled. And I adored 86 year old Rosemary, a woman who attends her local Lido each day for a morning swim, and recalls fond memories of her husband George and their life together in Brixton. You wouldn't think these two women could strike up such a wonderful friendship but they do, and it honestly just filled me with joy as the book went on.

Kate and Rosemary come together to try and save the local Lido after plans are released to turn it from a family friendly haven to a private members gym. It's only when writing about the story that Kate realises what a special place the Lido is for so many people and it's then she starts to realise how much more there is to life than what she's been living. She herself starts visiting the Lido and that allows for her to start to overcome her anxiety, open her heart up to love and become part of this new community she never knew existed. Whether they manage to save the local Lido or not, I'll not spoil but regardless it was the most beautiful story of two very different women who because of the same dreams enrich each others lives more than they could have ever predicted.

I found myself wanting to slow down each time I read this. I just didn't want to say goodbye to the characters and it really was a book I could just take 10 minutes with, read a few chapters and feel satisfied afterwards. I truly took my time with it and allowed myself to properly have a break each day rather than feeling like it's something else I needed to speed through quickly.

The Lido is just an incredibly uplifting story that will make your heart happy. I'm sure I'll be re-reading this in the future and I can't wait to see the film one day now it's been confirmed! I think it's a story that will work so well on screen.

Has a book surprised you recently? Have you read The Lido?

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Wednesday 14 August 2019

Sharing My Skincare Secrets For Soft, Glowy Skin*

I've had a turbulent relationship with my skin. When everyone else was starting to get just a few spots here and there, 15 year old Tiff was full on breaking out week after week. It's something I've always been self-conscious of - I used to wear makeup everyday for school, also on days when I wasn't even leaving the house and I even tried medication at one point to finally get it under control. Luckily now at 24 it's not quite as bad as it used to be, and I tend to know the reason why, whenever my skin flares up. Because I've had my fair share of skin issues, I was thrilled to be asked to take part in the Cosmetify #SkincareSecrets campaign so here are some of my tips for keeping those spots away and how I try to achieve soft, glowy skin.
laptop in background open on my Instagram. Yankee Candle to the right side, fluffy pillow to left side with a book

Who Are Cosmetify?

Cosmetify are a beauty discovery website which stock over 170,000 products from literally thousands of brands. From favourites like Garnier, Elemis, Clinique & Yes To, to brands such as Estee Lauder, Bioderma and REN, you are utterly spoilt for choice, and it means every skincare type is catered for. It's not just skincare that Cosmetify focus on though - you're also able to browse haircare, toiletries, electricals and more, all of your beauty needs in one place making online shopping even easier!

I've been become a bit of a skincare addict over the last year though so the skincare section is definitely my fave. There are 10 different filters which is something pretty unheard of with other beauty sites, meaning you can find products suited exactly to your skin concerns. Compared to most people, I'm probably still quite inexperienced when it comes to skincare and it can be a little overwhelming at times so filters like this mean I can really narrow down my search and take it a few products at a time. So, now I've let you in on why I'm a fan of Cosmetify, let me share my tips with you!
Soap and Glory Pore Refining Mask

Stay Hydrated

I'm definitely not a saint when it comes to drinking water and it's only recently I've really upped my intake but it's one thing that always, always works when I'm suffering with my skin. Fizzy drinks and alcohol can make you feel sluggish but they can also really affect your skin. Water massively helps clear up any spots and I find when I cut back on the sugary drinks, it looks far brighter too.

Maintain A Healthy Diet

Following on from my previous point, maintaining a healthy diet is a big thing to aim for if you want clear skin. Fresh fruit, salad and veg are so important and the more you can pack onto your plate the better. I try to aim for a decent bowl of fruit for breakfast, I'm currently loving juicy nectarines with berries! For Lunch, I like to pile my plate up with salad leaves, cucumber, tomatoes & red onion and then I'll top with some homemade spicy chicken & a few baby potatoes to really fill me up, and then in the evening I try to serve my favourite vegetables as a side to whatever meal we're having. Whilst these might not be the most exciting things ever, a good diet really does my skin wonders. I also recommend making sure you're getting all of your vitamins in each day!

Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse

No matter how tired you are, always remove your makeup in the evening! Of course, we all have times where we forget or it really is too much effort but my skin always feels the negative effects of that. I can guarantee every single time that I'll wake up with new spots and it's just not worth the rubbish feeling it gives me. I find it also really pays to spend time on your skincare routine each evening. Take your time removing your makeup, exfoliate to unclog pores and remove bacteria, and then really enjoy massaging in your moisturiser. I use the L'oreal Hydra Genius and it's got such a lovely consistency so I adore using that each night. Massaging in your moisturiser stimulates blood flow and plumps your skin too, leaving you with a healthy glow.
flatlay including L'oreal Hydra Genius Moisturise

Find The Right Products For You

It's incredibly important to take your time finding products that are right for you. I know I've been prone to buying products I've seen other influencer's promote without really doing my research and checking they'd actually be suitable for my skin and then they've ended up sat in the bathroom cabinet. It's always worth investing in skincare so don't just go for the cheapest products either. I don't have a huge skincare selection but the products I do have all work and make me feel good. It's taken a while to get to the point I'm at now but I feel I've finally found what works and what doesn't for my skin type.

The Importance Of A Good Night's Sleep

Easier said than done, trust me I know, but a good night's sleep has huge benefits for our health. If I can get a solid 8 hours or so, I wake up feeling completely rejuvenated, I'm less sluggish, I feel more active and I find my skin has benefited. When I've had really bad bouts of insomnia in the past, it's lead to many breakouts, and then the stress of feeling down because of them only made everything worse. I try to spend less time on my phone in the evening now, reading in bed always makes me sleepy, and a warm shower and fresh PJ's always gives me that cosy feeling needed for a decent sleep.

While none of my skincare secrets may be groundbreaking, they're all things that I find really contribute to soft, glowy skin and if I slack on any of them, my skin starts to suffer. I'd love to hear your skincare secrets too, maybe you have a holy grail product you want to share or a tip everyone needs to try? Share yours with Cosmetify using the #SkincareSecrets hashtag on Twitter!

*This post is in collaboration with Cosmetify

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Monday 12 August 2019

3 Musicals On My Bucket List

I know I've spoken about my love for musicals countless times on my blog before, but that's not about to stop anytime soon. It's my biggest passion and there isn't often a day that goes by that I don't listen to some sort of soundtrack or that it crosses my mind, theatre just makes me so happy. I've mentioned before lots of shows I'd like to see one day but recently I've found myself longing to see certain ones, I don't know if it's just because it feels like a long time already since I saw one or because I know it's not going to be quite as easy as before to just hop on a train and book something from now on, but I thought I'd share the 3 that are currently at the top of my list and why I'm desperate to see them in the near future.
collage - les miserables, dear evan hansen, pretty woman

Les Miserables

Since I first properly got into musicals a few years ago, I pretty much went straight for the more modern ones e.g Wicked, Kinky Boots and Waitress. Not that Les Miserables is exactly an old musical but it has been running in the West End for over 34 years so it's definitely a little different to those I've just mentioned. I finally watched the film towards the end of last year and I absolutely fell in love with it. It made me love the music even more, I've watched it countless times and the ending makes me sob every single time. I've been desperate to see it live and luckily we recently booked tickets for early next year so it's safe to say I am already counting down the days. 
Les Miserables gif

Dear Evan Hansen

This is a very close second on my bucket list and if I could go and see this as soon as it opens in the West End in November, I would. After reading the book recently, you can find my review here, I have just become completely addicted to the cast recording. The book has given it so much more meaning and if anything, I find it resonates even more now. It's definitely not the most upbeat musical as a lot of it focuses on grief and anxiety, but I find it so relatable. The book was a huge comfort to me so it's just a show I need to see sometime soon.
Dear Evan Hansen gif

Pretty Woman

I am soooo excited for this to head to London. It's apparently coming over in 2020 so it's another trip to London I'll have to try and plan! Surprisingly I didn't properly watch the film until earlier this year but I totally get why it's so popular now and I love that it's been made into a musical. The soundtrack is brilliant, with music and lyrics by Bryan Adams and it sounds like they've done an amazing job of transitioning it from screen to stage. I'm really hoping Samantha Barks will be playing Vivian here, as she did on Broadway.
Pretty Woman gif
Have you got any must see musicals? I have such a long list of shows I'd love to see and ones I'm hoping will transfer to London one day but for now, these are my top 3!
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