The Side Dish You Need To Make This Autumn

Happy Halloween my loves!

Today’s post is unfortunately nothing to do with Halloween, but it will sure keep you warm and happy if you’re heading out trick or treating with any little ones this evening. I’m secretly hoping we don’t get many trick-or-treaters, then Matt and I get some extra sweets for our movie night! Do you have any exciting plans for this evening?!

No, your eyes are not deceiving you and you did read the title correctly – this post is really about a side dish! If you love potatoes, this may be what you’ve been missing in your life. Seriously, you need to make this! Matt and I have, over the past few months, really gotten into cooking and we enjoy making one side dish in particular. We really think we’re real chefs a la Gordon Ramsay (we’ve been binge watching Hell’s Kitchen for the past few months!) it’s hilarious. I’m so sorry the photos aren’t great, guys!

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I had been thinking about writing this post and laughed it off but, as mentioned in this post, I actually got several Instagram story requests to share – yes really! (I obviously post too many photos of this, but it’s good). One of my friends, Jessy, then screenshot me a WhatsApp from her boyfriend saying he wanted to make these potatoes that night, and could I please tell her what she needed and what to do – so I knew I had to share!

As I’ve mentioned several times on my blog, Matt and I love to unwind during our evenings by cooking dinner together, and we’re really having lots of fun creating new things and trying out new recipes. We tend to make quick, easy, healthy(ish) meals, as after a long day at work we don’t want to be standing over the hob for hours, and we’ve came up with some delicious things so far. For us it’s been trial and error, and experimenting has been the best way to learn. Matt’s lovely mam may have had to show us how to cook sausages a few months ago, but like I said, trial and error

I’d love to share our recipes more often, if you’d like to see more posts like this? Potatoes are one of my favourite foods – mashed, diced, boiled, fried – you name it, I could live solely off them! This is such a quick, easy side dish to prepare – and perfect for the upcoming holiday season! We have this with pretty much anything; steak, chicken, fajitas, salmon etc – it just works. It would also be a good option to take to a dinner party or any holiday celebrations coming up, I guarantee everyone will love it!

Ingredients:

-spicy chorizo – I’d recommend Lidl’s Deluxe range!
-garlic (powder or the real deal)
-one onion
-paprika
-potatoes – we like Maris Piper and use between 5 and 7 for two people (they’re so small!)
-peppers – 1 x red, 1 x yellow, 1 x green

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Step by Step:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees to warm through. Wash potatoes thoroughly. *We don’t peel the skin off but that’s just preference.*
  2. Cut potatoes into large circular or cubed shapes and boil for around 5-8 minutes, depending on how soft you’d like them. (We always used to do circular shapes, however the past few times we’ve cubed them and prefer it).
  3. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, chop your peppers, onion and chorizo. We cut into fairly small pieces, but again this is just preference. Fry-light a baking tray to prepare for steps 4 and 5.
  4. Drain potatoes place flat on a baking tray. We shake the potatoes a lot as it’s better to have the edges look a little rough or messy as they brown a little better whilst in the oven. 
  5. ‘Decorate’ the tray with your peppers, onion and chorizo on top – this will help them to soften more as the potatoes are already cooked. Add a smidge (very technical) of garlic and paprika on top, and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Whilst our potatoes are in the oven, we cook the main part of our meal (in this instance, chicken fajitas which were delicious). We also clean up during this point as then we have much less to do when we’ve eaten.
  7. Take the potatoes out of the oven to serve! Bon appetit.

Yes, it really is that easy.

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Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to know what you thought of this post, and if you’d like to see more cooking themed posts in the future? Please let me know if you try this – and send me photos!

-G x

A Week In My Life: Autumn

Happy Sunday, loves!

I am so happy it’s the weekend, Matt’s unfortunately working the whole time but we’ve already squeezed in a movie date on Friday night (we went to see First Man and it was SO good, Ryan Gosling was amazing!) and now as I’m writing this I’m waiting for him to finish work as we’re having a super chilled Saturday night in (AKA a pizza party)! Whilst he’s been at work I’ve had a few errands to run, and I had to go shopping for my mam’s birthday presents from us. I know, my life is SO exciting… haha. I kind of needed a chilled weekend, because next weekend is jam packed (I can’t wait)! Matt’s at work again all day Sunday so I’m going to catch up on my shows, get lots of blog content finalised, and then we’re heading for a double date night with our friends for the evening. We’re going for tapas and I’m so excited, it’s our favourite! Also, how cold has it suddenly got?! It SNOWED this weekend, I feel like it’s way too early! Hope you guys have had a fun weekend so far! What have you been up to?

Today’s post is a week in my life, with a few photos added in to hopefully make it more interesting, I’m sorry I didn’t take tons, I kept forgetting throughout the week! I have loved watching daily and weekly vlogs for so so long, and I’m very excited to be doing my second week in my life post! My last one centred around finances (it’s a shocker!) and you can see it here if you missed it. This is from w/c 15th October, and I’d love to do more of these kinds of posts if it’s something you’d like to see! Full disclosure: my life is pretty boring; I work 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday and Matt and I spend most of our evenings snuggled up on the couch, but I love the mundane ‘boring’ aspects of vlogs the most, so I thought this might be somewhat interesting for any nosey readers! That’s me too.

I’d recommend getting cosy with a hot chocolate, it’s a long one!

Monday 15th October

Monday was talked through in a previous post, as Matt and I woke up in Liverpool! I’m not going to recap as that would be super boring, but you can go see that post here if you missed it, we had so much fun!

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Tuesday 16th October

Today was a good day! Matt started work at 7am and when our alarm went off we were not happy bunnies, we may have spent five minutes too long snuggling in bed pretending we could stay there all day! When he left for work I quickly wrote this blog post – I’m never usually so unorganised I’m writing the day before but I didn’t like the post I had originally planned to go live that day.

I popped into Lidl on my way to work to pick up our dinner ingredients for that evening. How cute are these little pumpkins! I can’t explain why but I just love seeing them in all of the supermarkets at this time of year.

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As today was essentially my Monday, work flew by, I was so busy catching up on what I’d missed. It was a fairly peaceful, easy day in the office and I appreciate days like this so much! At 5pm I headed home to Matthew; the benefit of his early starts means he also finishes early, and he’s home when I get there. He still had some work to get through when I got home, so I took a shower and got into my comfies for the evening. I love this stuff so much! I’m going to have to pick up another one before all of the Christmas scents take over.

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As he carried on working I made chilli for dinner and it was delicious, if I do say so myself! We ate together and caught up on our days, which is always one of my favourite parts of each day, as we get time to reconnect after being apart!

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We spent the rest of our evening snuggled up watching Gordon, Gino & Fred’s Road trip (Matt loves it!) and Stacey Dooley’s new documentary about fast fashion, and the insane impact it’s having on our planet. It was heart-breaking but so insightful, we learned so much! If you haven’t watched it I’d highly recommend, you can catch it here if you’re in the UK. We were both so tired after a busy weekend, Matt had to practically put me to bed!

Wednesday 17th October

Wednesday morning came round far too quickly and we definitely didn’t wake up feeling refreshed. It was so dark and cold, it seemed like the middle of the night! Matt had to be at a meeting over an hour away from where we live so we quickly got ready, kissed each other goodbye and I headed to work.

Work went pretty quickly again, which very rarely happens two days in a row! Matt had a super long day and wasn’t finishing until 9pm, so on my way home I went to see his parents for a little while, and to pick up a few things we’d forgot in the morning. We’re literally the most forgetful couple there ever was! I headed to M&S to pick up a quick, easy dinner for the evening; patatas bravas with garlic bread; and I grabbed dinner for the next two days, as if I go every day I tend to pick up so many extra things we don’t need! We’re either really good at meal planning or really bad, but Matt’s shifts have been quite good recently so it’s made it lots easier. I may have sneaked into Costa for a bonfire spice hot chocolate… I was cold, and I just can’t resist! *kicks self for not bringing a reusable cup*

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I quickly unpacked from the night before and packed for the next night (I always say going ‘home’ and that could mean to mine or Matt’s – we alternate pretty much every other night, I’m very lucky to have two homes!) I opted for a shower instead of a bath as it was hair washing night… the worst! I cosied up and worked on the blog for a little bit; editing and uploading all of the photos for this post, which was so fun to re-live, I wish we could have a getaway every weekend! I’m so grateful that my blog is also like a diary in some ways and I can look back on so many wonderful times. I burned our current favourite candle (Matt actually loves it too) and made it super cosy for him coming home; dressing gown on the radiator, food ready to come out of the oven, clothes set out for the next day (and me, what more could he want?!) 

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Thursday 18th October

This morning we got a little bit of a lie in, which seems so rare these days. We stayed snuggled in bed for as long as possible before Matt forced himself to get a shower! He had another meeting and a long drive, so I packed him off with some of his favourite snacks and a kiss (I know, he’s spoilt, haha!) The best part of my work day was treating myself to a little snack on my lunch break, so you can imagine how my day was!

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After a very long day at work I was SO excited to head home for a cosy night in. I made it home before Matt as his meeting ran late, so I sat talking with his dad for a while! After I took a shower, Matt and I made dinner together which is always much more fun, and our meal was so good. We had chicken fajitas with sweet potato fries and garlic bread (we’re obsessed, guys!) Matt left me cosy on the couch, and made a quick little trip to grab McFlurry’s for us and his parents – we do this once per week and I love it! Also, Smartie McFlurry’s are back and everyone knows they are the best! We spent the evening snuggled up, chatting and watching TV with his parents, which is one of my very favourite ways to spend the evening.

Also, I have to share my love for this lip balm again, I have a few and I think they’re incredible! This one lives on Matt’s bedside table and I apply it every night before bed, my lips always feel so much more plump and fresh the next day, and it’s not sticky at all.

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Friday 19th October

Friday came round so quickly this week, I definitely wasn’t complaining but four day work weeks usually seem so long to me. I was so excited for the weekend coming up; Matt and I have lots of QT together and I also get lots of time to work on my blog whilst he’s at work/out with the boys on Sunday afternoon. We got another little lie in this morning as Matt was working late again, and it was so needed! We had our usual morning cup of tea together (another of my favourite parts of the day) and stayed in bed for as long as possible, before I forced myself out to get ready for work. Getting up whilst he is so cosy in bed is so hard, haha! Look how cute he is! I may have tucked him in… I do however wear his dressing gown like it’s my job, so at least I was super cosy whilst getting ready.

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Yep, that is a toothpaste stain from me! OOPS, love you babe

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One of my favourite traditions at work is Takeaway Fridays – we basically get any kind of unhealthy food; McDonald’s, chippy, Subway, Chinese etc – whichever we fancy that day! Today we got Chinese food, I got chilli salt and pepper chicken with rice and it was SO good. Whilst on lunch I caught up on Savannah’s blog – I was so excited she did the Autumn tag I tagged her in! Seriously, if you haven’t already you need to check out her blog – it’s so weird but I feel like we’re so similar and I see so much of myself in her, yet she lives all the way across the pond! I’ve been reading a few* (*a lot) of her older posts and ordered two Elin Hilderbrand books on her recommendation! I feel like Friday’s always fly by, so before I knew it, it was time to head home.

Matt wasn’t going to be home until late again, so after work I went to get petrol and listened to a new podcast – Small Town Murder. (Another Savannah rec!) I started it on the way home, luckily, because I got stuck in traffic, and oh my gosh it’s so funny, I highly recommend! I worked on the blog a little and did a final edit on Sunday’s post while finishing the first episode, then ran myself a nice hot bubble bath. I used my current favourite Lush bath product, the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar! After, I snuggled up and started catching up on the two weeks I’m behind on Ellie & Jared vlogs – I’m always so behind on all my TV shows/subscriptions – while waiting for Matt to finish work.

He got home just after 9pm and I had dinner ready for him, we love a pasta bake so much, and it’s minimal effort! We quickly caught up on each other’s days and snuggled in to sleep as another early start was just around the corner…

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Saturday 20th October

Matt started work at 7am this morning, so a 6am alarm was not a welcome sound. We do usually try to make his early starts as fun as possible, any time spent with him is the best and I’d not change it for anything! But, this morning he was SO sleepy, it hurt my heart a little waking him up and making him go to work! I had tons to do so I worked on the blog for a few hours after he left; taking photos (losing hours of daylight is HARD as there’s no time to take photos!), making final edits on a few upcoming posts and planning content for November and December. I’m so excited for my Winter/Christmas posts coming up!

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…and I’m even more excited to wear these matching sweaters again! This was last December (we were super hungover and headed to Costco for a hot dog & soda combo, HAHA) 

I leisurely got ready, deep cleaned my room and packed for the evening as I was heading over to Matthew’s before he finished work. I went to Lidl to pick up dinner for the evening, I really love having a browse around Lidl I’m so lame, haha. I grabbed potatoes, peppers, chorizo and steaks – steak night is the best! Matt finished at 3pm, so I headed over just before to make the it nice and cosy for him coming home. I turned Friends on (of course) and started reading one of the Elin Hilderbrand books I just ordered as they arrived in the morning! (Love you, Amazon Prime) I’m only a few chapters in to The Identicals, but I already love it.

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Matt got home and after he warmed up with a hot bath, we of course had to watch the football. He had brought home an amazing Jamaican Chicken soup that we ate with brioche bread, and it was so good! We had a super cosy evening; we cooked together, shared a bottle of wine and snuggled up on the couch. (Does that sound familiar?!) We watched a little of SCD (totally rooting for both Stacey and Joe!) and caught up on Gino, Fred & Gordon’s road trip, Matt literally thinks it’s the funniest thing ever! I really love Gordon Ramsay, and I think the show is funny, I’m just not a fan of how obviously set up most of the scenes are. His parents were down South visiting family for the weekend, so unfortunately couldn’t join our night in. I am such a homebody and this seriously is my ideal kind of night, being cuddled up with Matt just makes me so happy!

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Sunday 21st October

We really got to lie in on Sunday morning, we didn’t get up until around 9.30am and it was perfect – I love lazy Sundays! I of course made him a cup of tea (morning tradition, you know?!) and I also made bacon sandwiches. We enjoyed a relaxing morning watching Friends, and Matt got a little work done. He was heading to watch the rugby with his friends in the afternoon so he got ready whilst I tidied up!

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After Matt left, I got ready (whilst watching a few of Emma Hill’s and Bonnie Hoellein’s recent vlogs – I swear I’m forever playing catch up on my subs!) I had to go grab pizzas for dinner that evening so I went to Sainsbury’s, their flatbread pizzas are SO FLIPPING GOOD! I went home to see my mam and grab a few bits I needed for work the next few days. She had to leave to go see my grandma, so I headed back to watch Netflix for a few hours and do a little work on the blog! I caught up on the two new episodes of Riverdale (I’m hooked, I love Veronica SO MUCH and I’m rooting for Archie to get out of juvie, but I’m so confused with the storyline… feel free to help a girl out?!). I went to go pick Matt and his friend Keith up from their afternoon out, then after dropping Keith home we went home for pizza and snuggs!

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Washing my hair is one of the worst tasks ever, but unfortunately I had to this evening. Any ideas on how to go longer between washes without having gross greasy hair would be SO appreciated?! After that, we had a very early night, which was to be honest just what we needed to recoup before the week ahead. We have another great week ahead of us – I love that we spend every night together SO much – and even though it’s going to be a busy one for us both, it makes it all worth it. Matt was a little tipsy from his afternoon with the boys, so he was extra lovey-dovey!

Monday 22nd October

Matt started at 7am again today, so the 6am alarm was back! Being the good girlfriend I am, I got up to make him a cup of tea while he showered, then I fell back asleep for an hour when he left. I wish I hadn’t because every time I do this I wake up in a panic wondering where Matt’s gone, haha, and I felt more tired than I did at 6am! I got ready for work and did the dishes whilst listening to Small Town Murder, each episode is getting better and better, I LOVE James and Jimmy! I headed out and it was SO cold. I also triple quadruple checked I locked the door behind me because I seriously worry about this EVERY time I’m the last one out of either house, it’s a problem haha. 

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My work day went SO quickly, I feel like I was running around all day! I don’t even know why, but it was just one of those days. Before I knew it, I was heading home for the night and I couldn’t wait to get cosy and warm! We had already picked up dinner for the evening, so we relaxed for a little. Well, Matt played FIFA while I snuggled into him. He was so sweet to come with me to put air in my tyres, I literally had no idea how to do it but we had such a giggle, and the sky was BEAUTIFUL! The photo doesn’t do it justice, sorry!

We hurried home and I had a hot shower to warm up, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to be in a comfy sweater and a pair of Lulu’s. (Crazy expensive, but the best buy ever!) We ordered our first Christmas presents which is so exciting – Jo Malone released their Christmas collection today so we picked up a few things for our mam’s, I know they’ll love them!

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We cooked dinner – chilli salmon with mashed potato and long stem broccoli – and by this time it was SO dark outside. It’s getting dark around 6.00pm now and it’s seriously throwing our routine off, although I do kinda love it! Our night consisted of us cuddled up on the couch for a night of #MNF (Monday Night Football) and we went to bed pretty early. These are just the best kind of nights, I felt so happy and content going to bed! 

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Tuesday 23rd October 2018

Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t tell you how badly I slept last night!! The weather was INSANE – it was so so windy and literally all night I kept being woken up by the noise of the wind whistling through the trees. It was also bin day (of course it would be) so everyone put their wheelie bins out the night before and the *whack!* of bins going over and glass trickling down the street was the soundtrack to my night. Matthew somehow slept through the whole thing, the stinker! (He was cuddling me so tight, so you know, every cloud…) We did get to stay curled up in bed for a little longer since we didn’t have to leave until after 8.30am, so that was a great way to start the day!

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LOL! Trying to clean up… he’s so cute

I went to Aldi with my co-worker on my lunch break to grab a few groceries for dinner the next few nights, and my work day was a mixture of meetings, invoices and Diet Coke breaks… it went so quickly!

I headed home and got ready for the evening and lit all of the Autumn candles, including this new one from Yankee Candle, it smells amazing! I really love burning candles all year round, but now that it’s getting lots colder I appreciate it much more. Matt got home just after 6pm so we caught up with my parents for a while, made dinner together and settled in for the night. We made a simple Bolognese but with turkey mince instead and it tasted great, I really love quick easy meals after being at work all day.

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I only got a photo of one dinner tonight! #blogfail

Our whole evening was spent cuddled up under blankets, organising our next week (we booked tickets for a movie on Friday, planned a double date and booked tickets for a football game the following weekend) I love making plans and having things to look forward to! We watched the Man U game because my family are HUGE fans but unfortunately they lost, my mam was not happy!

When reading this back and editing (I wrote day-by-day) I realised I never once mentioned that I felt quite off throughout the week. I can’t quite put my finger on why but I just felt crappy – quite stressed out and just worried about anything and everything. I had a great week and I really am so happy, but it’s just strange how sometimes our mental health can be not-so-great and we don’t let it show. One night as we were getting into bed I was telling Matthew I just felt so sad and worried but I didn’t really know why (I think it was Thursday). He told me he loved me, made me feel so much better instantly and cuddled me extra tight all night. It’s crazy that as I knew this was going to go be read by lots of people (lots is subjective, haha) I kind of subconsciously hid that part of my days and didn’t address it… I do feel better but still not really my ‘normal’ self.

Does anyone else ever have those days/weeks where you just feel terrible, but you then feel guilty for it because you’re so lucky to have the life you do, and you shouldn’t be anything but super happy? I don’t even know if that makes sense! 

Thank you so much for reading and coming along on this week with me, I hope it wasn’t too boring or samey-samey! I hope you had a great week too! What does a typical week in your life look like?

-G x

My Autumn Lipstick Must-Haves

Happy Wednesday, loves!

Today’s post is a fun one, I am such a lipstick obsessive. There are so many brands I love, although MAC is an all time favourite and a brand I go back to so often, so lots of my must-haves are from there! When it comes to Autumn makeup I always think of berry tones first, however I’ve been loving nudes and pinks this year too, there’s just too much choice! I’ve rounded up my top lipstick picks for the season, and I’m so excited to share them with you.

*Disclaimer: please don’t feel the need to go out and purchase every (or any) lipsticks mentioned in this post! I’m just sharing what I have and love*

Syrup by MAC
This has been my favourite lipstick since I was around 16 or 17! It was my first MAC lipstick, and I had no idea how much I’d love it. I have repurchased SO many times – I literally couldn’t be without it. It lives in my bag, and I always have it with me. It’s the perfect your lips but better shade and I’ve never found a good enough dupe for this. You can also apply it so easily without a mirror, which is the best kind of lipstick!

Smoked Almond by MAC
I love this product for this time of year so much! It’s a beautiful dark rosy nude on my skin tone; but blended out with your finger it can be much more muted and easier to wear. I wore this for Matt and I’s date night in Liverpool (you can catch up here if you missed my post all about our trip!) and it lasted through lots of kisses, several gin and lemonades and the BEST soup!  

Mademoiselle by Chanel
I mean I couldn’t do a post on my favourite lipsticks without mentioning this little gem, could I? I’ve talked about this so many times, but basically it’s the best high-end lipstick I’ve ever purchased. You can see what I think in this post or in this one, but to cut a long story short I freaking love it.

Plumful by MAC
This is probably my ultimate favourite shade for Autumn (and Winter). I’ve been wearing this almost every day recently, and it’s such an easy, wearable colour. It’s, as the name would suggest, the perfect plum shade – it’s not too dark and definitely wearable during the day, and it must look nice because Matt always compliments me on this colour too! It fades in the best way, and you’re never left with uneven patches of colour, which is something I usually really dislike about brighter shades. This is my second time purchasing this, I remember a few years ago it was super popular and sold out everywhere, I managed to grab the last one in JFK airport and I was giddy, haha! It’s another must-have in my bag right now, and if you did want to buy one of these lipsticks, I’d suggest this one!

Flaming’rose by Bourjois
This is one of my newest lipsticks and one I’ve been wearing lots over the past few weeks. It’s a smooth, creamy texture but is definitely long lasting, although I’ve worn this a lot with my MUFE lip liner in 54C which may have helped. It’s another your lips but better shade with a little more pink thrown in, and it’s an absolute steal! Bourjois are a great high street brand, and they have so many different formulas. They’ve just released a new lipstick line which I’d love to try out!

Brave by MAC
MAC’s satin formula is the creamiest, most comfortable I’ve ever tried and this shade is definitely a cult favourite for a reason. It is a perfect deep Autumn/Winter shade – it’s pretty dark nude on my skin tone with a slight pink/berry tone to it, and it looks good with any kind of makeup look! I tend to wear this more for an evening look with it being quite dark, but I seriously love the colour.

Nude Embrace by Maybelline
I am so sad to find out this is being discontinued but if you have it in your stash you have to start making the most of it! I am (still) in the middle of a huge declutter of pretty much everything I own, and beauty is the hardest category by far – I just have too. much. stuff. – and this is one of the gems I found! It’s a perfect nude for me and looks so nice with a simple smokey eye. It’s also a wearable matte shade, not one that flakes off your lips (gross)!

Thank you so much for reading! What are your must-have lipsticks this season? Do you love one that I need to add to my collection?! I’d love to share with you the glosses I’m also loving as I have so many lip products I reach for day-to-day!

-G x

Spa Break: Photo Diary

Happy Sunday, loves!

Today’s post is all about what we got up to last weekend; Matt and I went on the best spa break at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool. We really wanted to take some time away together to just relax and unwind; Matt has been so busy with work (and it’s just going to get busier!) so we thought the perfect way to chill would be a spa break. This was also a late anniversary celebration for us, as when we celebrated our anniversary last month we couldn’t get away for the weekend! We seen a little of Liverpool, and a little of Manchester (it’d be rude not to go to the Trafford Centre when we were right by it!) 

I am so thankful for my amazing boyfriend and everything he does for me and for us. I know I sing his praises all of the time, but I promise you, he’s the most dedicated, hard working man I know and I’m so lucky to call him mine. Matthew, thank you for another perfect weekend away, I love you so much!

Sunday 14th October

We woke up to a 6.30am alarm, which normally would feel awful but we were so excited to be headed on a road trip and not to work! We got ready pretty quickly, tidied my room and the bathroom as quick as possible (nobody likes coming back to a mess) and packed up the car. Apologies, this is the only photo taken with a Snapchat filter!

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We left around 7.30am so it was still dark – as much as I love the dark evenings, I’m so not a fan of the dark mornings! – and it was pretty cold. We settled down for the three hour drive, I took provisions of my blanket (I’m secretly five years old) and obviously Swedish fish, we love these so much! We only stopped off once but the drive went by so fast; we spent the whole time singing along to the radio and talking. Matt ‘rapping’ Eminem’s part in Smack That by Akon was a personal highlight! One of my favourite ever things is that Matt always holds my hand for a little when he’s driving. He’s so cute!

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We arrived at the Titanic hotel around 11am and pre-checked in since check in wasn’t technically open yet. We left Matt’s car and our suitcase (one suitcase between both of us, I was SO proud! I totally followed my own tips from this post, haha) and got a taxi straight into the city centre. We walked around the shopping area and I picked up a replacement Nars Soft Matte Concealer, mine was so done! It’s seriously the best concealer ever, it blows anything else I’ve ever used out of the water. Matt was so sweet and bought me the Fenty Beauty foundation, spoiler: I am obsessed with it! We also had to run to Boots because we forgot our toothbrushes… doh! We grabbed lunch at Tortilla; we both got burritos and they were so good! Matt got beef and chorizo, and I got chicken with gauc. Why is guac always extra?!

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Of course we had to go to the Cavern Club whilst we were in Liverpool! If you don’t already know this was the place that The Beatles began playing at and SO many other artists have played here since. All of the walls are covered in signatures and names of all the people who have played or visited. There was a live singer named Richard Batty playing while we were there, and he was incredible. The vibe was so good, we’re not the biggest music fans ever but it was fun to see such a cool place. We went back to the hotel and had a quick drink in the lobby as our room still wasn’t ready, Matt got a cuba libre and I’m sure he was pretending we were back in Kos, he drank them all day every day when we were there, haha!

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We were so impressed with our room, it was seriously HUGE! The photos really don’t do it justice; there was a queen sized bed, sitting area, TV, table, and then a huge bathroom too. I was so excited eye-ing up the bath because we knew we’d be headed right there post spa! The building was formerly a warehouse, so they’ve kept the industrial vibe where possible (hence the metal bars through the ceiling) and it’s one of the most beautiful hotels we’ve stayed in. I loved the exposed brick everywhere, it looked so beautiful and the decor was kept super simple to compliment it. Tip: I would say if you’re going to go, don’t bother paying extra for a ‘dockside view’ – it’s literally a view of the derelict building opposite!

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The rainfall shower was AMAZING

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We headed down to the spa and had the most relaxing two hours of our life! It was seriously so tranquil and chilled, we were so happy. The spa was underneath the hotel, it felt like we were in an old cave or something, which I’m sure was the kind of vibe they were going for. We were obsessed with the Jacuzzi area and one of the saunas that pumped essential oils through, even though we were SO flipping hot every time we went in! Two hours went by so fast, and we came out of the spa feeling almost drunk because we had been that relaxed. It was so needed to unwind, we loved every second!

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A super sweet girl took photos for us, she literally took about 40! Be that girl!!

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As sad as we were to leave the spa, it was time for a bath!! One of our favourite things about staying in nice hotels is taking a bath together, it’s the best. One huge requirement for our future house: a roll top bath. In our dreams! We enjoyed a bottle of champagne (I bought this one for Matt to celebrate his promotion back in July, and we just got round to drinking it!) and I mean come on, it was the best start to date night.

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You can see the afore-mentioned derelict building in the background… NOT CUTE!

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After our bath, it was time to get ready for the evening! We were planning on heading down for dinner in the hotel restaurant so spent our time leisurely getting ready, however we couldn’t get a reservation, which sucked. We instead headed to Gino’s My Restaurant, which we were certainly not disappointed with. We’d visited a different branch when we went to Harrogate back in May (remember this post?) The food was SO good again, and this soup was to die for! I want it right now!!

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We headed back to the hotel quite early and after doing my full skincare routine (*pats self on back*), we snuggled up in bed to watch TV. We’re wild, I know! But, this break was all about relaxing and unwinding after lots of busy weeks and weekends, so that’s exactly what we did. I would say if you’re planning a break to Liverpool any time soon it’s definitely worth getting Uber’s not taxis, they were literally half of what the first taxi cost! We fell asleep and had the best nights sleep in forever…

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😍 I love this handsome guy SO MUCH!

Monday 15th October 

Morning came around far too quickly, however we slept until our 8.30am alarm!! That NEVER happens, we’re such early birds. 8.30am is a serious lie in for us, so we felt so much more refreshed and ready for the day. We may have spent another hour or so lounging in bed, but we were allowed, right?!

Matt and I are so lucky to be able to go for nights/ or weekend trips away quite often and we never ever take it for granted!

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Matt needed to fill up on petrol and we’d already spotted a huge Costco right by the hotel the previous day (we’re like magnets to the place I swear) so we may have found ourselves heading there, just for a quick browse! It’s definitely got to be the first time we’ve been to Costco and not purchased anything. How beautiful are these books?! They’d make a great Christmas gift!

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Once we were back on the road, Matt was determined to drive past Anfield Stadium. We found it even though we were seriously doubting Google maps, it’s literally in the middle of a housing estate which was so weird to us as our stadium (NUFC represent!) is in the middle of our city. Our time in Liverpool was short but oh-so-sweet, and we were headed back North. We had already planned to go to the Trafford Centre on our way home as it’s 10,000 times better than any shopping malls around where we live! I treated Matt to lunch at Bill’s (one of our favourite places) and it was SO. GOOD. Matt got steak and eggs with fries, and I got mac n cheese – if you know me, you’ll know it’s my favourite ever meal! We intended to ‘browse’, but of course I got new underwear from Victoria’s Secret, I was a happy camper! Matt got a new shirt, he finds the best deals every time we go shopping. I wish I was as good at bargain hunting as he is! Why is he just so good at everything?!

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Not a bad shot from a moving car, right?! Can you see my blanket in the reflection? Haha

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Sadly it was now time to make the drive home! We left around 4pm, and naturally hit lots of traffic… we luckily had Cadbury’s chocolate buttons (our fave) to make it lots better! The drive went by so quickly again, we just enjoyed spending time together.

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We made it back in good time, so went to see Matt’s parents for half an hour, which was so nice. They’re so good to us! We snuggled up on the sofa and caught up on each other’s weekends, then headed back to home for Domino’s and football. We caught up with my mam and dad, then showered and watched the game, we won 3-2 yay! We did have an early night as Matt had a 6am start the next day. I have to say I secretly love it when Matt’s super tired because he is extra kissy and cuddly, it’s the best!

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As you can see, we ate super healthy over these two days… NOT! I guess that’s part of the fun of a mini break, right?! I’ve actually wrote a week in my life for the remainder of this week which will be up next Sunday! I’m so excited to share it with you, it’s been really fun to write so far, and I hope it’s somewhat interesting!

Thank you so much for reading, and for following along on our weekend trip! Have you been on a spa break or weekend away recently? Have you got any trips coming up?!

-G x

 

 

 

A/W Coat Wishlist

Happy Wednesday, loves!

Since my last few posts have been very long, I thought I’d even things out a little bit with a much shorter, less ‘wordy’ post! I’ve been thinking a lot about fast fashion and my own part in consumerism over the past few months, as you may have seen from this post and this post, so I really don’t have the urge to buy three new coats this season! I am however having great difficulty in picking one coat…

I talked a little bit about fabrics/materials in my last post, however I think it’s worth nothing that as you don’t wash coats, man-made fabrics aren’t as detrimental to the environment. Again, as I said in that post, I’ll be talking about it in it’s own post as there is just so much information. I’m currently writing that, so if you have any questions, please let me know!

I’ve got several thin jackets and I’m really not in the market for a new one. When it comes to coats, I have a Zara biker jacket (more of a coat, right?), a long olive parka from Miss Selfridge that I picked up at least three years ago and it still looks almost new, and a Zara puffed jacket. I really would like a more structured coat, and possibly a teddy coat once it gets really cold. I thought I’d share some of my top picks with you, and I’m sure you’ll see whichever I choose on the blog over the next few months!

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Short Faux Fur Coat in Turquoise*
*Definitely not turquoise  

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Detachable Faux Fur Collar Coat with Tie Belt in Navy

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Parka with Detachable Faux Fur Liner

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Faux Fur Trim Parka

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Trevail Parka

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Relaxed Coat in Grey

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Wool Blend Coat in Black

Thank you for reading! I have so many other coats on my radar, I just didn’t want to list literally every single one. I have no idea which I’ll choose, although I really do love the grey structured one from Topshop… I’m a basics gal through and through! What coats have you bought for the A/W season? Have you got another on your list I must see?!

-G x

Why I’m Changing The Way I Shop

Hi, loves!

As you may be aware from previous posts (like this one and this one), I’ve recently been thinking a whole lot about consumerism, what I’m buying and the way I’m buying. As I’ve touched on several times, I’d love to be a Capsule Wardrobe Girl (Anna and Rebecca, I’m looking at you) but I know it’s just not for me. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t be more mindful when it comes to shopping, and I’m going to share with you the ways in which I’m hoping to achieve this. 

Matt and I are saving for our first home, and I am trying to cut back spending in various ways. My disposable income is unfortunately not unlimited (wouldn’t that be great?) I’m very conscious that over the past few years I’ve spent way more than I should have, mainly because I was so wrapped up in the world of consumerism. I also want to be more mindful of the environment, and how my shopping in the past may have had an affect on this. This post was originally centred around clothing, however it now filters out into lots of areas of my purchasing, and I hope it may inspire you to shop differently too. Warning: it’s a long one!

*these photos were taken last weekend during a woodland walk with Matthew, they have pretty much nothing to do with the post! Yes, we wore almost matching tops and yes, he’s the cutest thing I ever did see, my heart can’t take it*

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Buying Sustainable Fabrics. This is a complete minefield of a topic and one I’m going to delve into in more detail in its own post over the next few weeks. To keep it somewhat short and sweet, I want to cut down on buying man-made, bad-for-the-environment fabrics. The two I’m staying away from most actively are Polyester and Acrylic. Unfortunately, I do not have the budget to completely cut these fabrics out of every item I buy, so I’m looking to cut this down to buying items with smaller fabric content of each of these fabrics. It may not be perfect, but it’s a start, and it’s something we all can do. I wasn’t aware until very recently, that when you wash clothing items made with Acrylic (among other man-made fabrics), teeny tiny particles are sent into the water system, that then end up in the ocean. I was so surprised finding this out, it just wasn’t something that ever crossed my mind.

Limit Plastic Usage/Purchasing. Okay so we’re all very familiar with those Blue Planet scenes, and as a result we have become a plastic-hating nation. Plastic isn’t necessarily the problem, however the way we dispose of it is. Matt and I always recycle, as do our families, which I have thought was a small step in the right direction. What I didn’t know was that actually so many household items (even water bottles!) cannot be recycled and end up in landfill sites. I think we all could be more aware of plastics in our environment, and do what we can to limit or completely cut out our plastic usage, especially when it comes to single-use plastics. When I go food shopping, I have a plethora of re-usable bags in my boot (M&S ones are the best – they’re lined and zip up, so they keep food cold for so long) so I never need to purchase a plastic one-use carrier bag. I have canvas totes I now take clothes shopping, and I try not to buy bottled drinks when I’m out, and opt for cans instead. I also found out recently that Starbucks’ takeaway cups are not recyclable, as they’re coated inside with polyethylene, which is not biodegradable, so I’m going to aim to carry a reusable cup when possible. I realise these are all small things but I’m excited to introduce more changes into my day-to-day life, and I think if all of us play a very small part it can make a very big difference. I definitely slip up from time to time, but I think educating ourselves on these kind of topics will hopefully be the stepping stone to begin making our planet a better place for us, and our animals, to live.

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Buying Better Quality Items. I now take a quality over quantity approach to my wardrobe and beauty stash as I’m becoming more aware of what it means to live sustainably. Purchasing better quality items generally means they will last longer, wash better and in turn you get more wear out of them. For me, I’ve found I use and appreciate what I have more, therefore decreasing the desire to buy my thirteenth grey jumper. I am taking care of items I buy more than ever before – I even invested in a ‘sweater comb’, check me out – and I feel that I appreciate what I have more than I ever did before. I’ve always been a high-end beauty lover, however there are some fantastic products available in the drugstore that are eco-friendly. I think it’s very important to clarify that ‘better quality’ does not necessarily translate to ‘higher prices’ – yes, some items will be more costly, however the cost per wear/use can justify this to some extent.  

Identifying ‘Wants’ From ‘Needs’. Okay, I can admit that the second a new eyeshadow palette is released I’m the first one to say I need it. In reality, I use one or two matte brown eyeshadows on a daily basis, have just thrown away/donated fourteen eyeshadow palettes that I no longer used or required, and I definitely do not ‘need’ it. In the world of beauty consumerism we’re all so used to, this is a very hard pill to swallow, and I feel like acknowledging the difference between wanting or needing an item has been a learning curve for me. I used to think I ‘needed’ a new outfit for every evening out. As soon as a restaurant was booked for date night, I’d head straight to the Topshop to buy a new outfit. Now, I can confidently shop my wardrobes for situations like this, and let’s be honest, Matt couldn’t care less what I’m wearing! If, however, Matt and I decide to book a ski trip to the French Alps (between my arthritis and his twice-dislocated knee this is highly unlikely) then I would need a whole new outfit, as surprisingly I don’t have a spare ski suit knocking about.

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Operating a One In/One Out Policy. I touched on this in my wardrobe declutter post, however this is something that I know will make a huge difference to my wardrobe. I’ve still got a few items to purchase for the Autumn season, and when Winter rolls around there will be a few new additions, but other than that I’m very happy with what I have. As and when I want to purchase a new item that isn’t a ‘necessity’ for the season, I’m going to ensure I get rid of something I already have to make way for the new piece. I know this will mean I’ll end up with a carefully curated selection of pieces I love, as I’m going to struggle donating or selling something that I enjoy wearing. This will also reduce the need for decluttering, and it can be something done between seasons only – I have the space to store everything I have for Autumn/Winter together, then Summer/Spring together – so this means roughly every six months I can review on a much smaller scale.

Buying Basics. I already do this around 90% of the time, but I’d like to do it as much as possible. I’m steering away from fast fashion in as many ways as I can, and buying the new It item is something I definitely do not need to partake in. I am a neutrals girl through and through; I love blacks, greys, whites, beige and navy. It’s something that my friends have laughed at for years, because it makes me a little bit boring, but hey if it works for me and I get better use out of each item, I’d say it’s nothing to sniff at! I have also noticed any clothing that is heavily patterned (stripes being an exception, obviously) is something I tend to not wear as much. I love how polka dots and florals look, but realistically I know if I buy too many patterned items a) they can’t be worn with too many options, and b) it’s very obvious this is a piece I’m wearing over and over again. Buying basic items – plain designs, neutrals, classic pieces etc – means it’s much easier to mix and match, and get more from my wardrobe.

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Taking Advantage of Discount Codes. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you it’s better to buy something when you can pay less than full price, however I am very impatient and before my spending detox began, I’d think nothing of placing a £100+ order on my favourite website just because I wanted the items ASAP, instead of waiting for the next offer to come around. I even used to pay for next day delivery without a second thought because I was so impatient! There are some brands I love, but will only shop when there’s 20% off – for example, Whistles – as I can’t justify spending full price no matter how much I love the items. It makes sense to shop during sales, and with Black Friday coming up I’d highly recommend holding off on any larger purchases – whether that’s for yourself or someone on your Christmas list!

Using up Beauty Products. I am pretty embarrassed to admit that I would think nothing of having five primers, four mascaras and three cleansers on the go at any one time. I had no respect for what I was using, how much I was using, or the price these items cost. Using up all of the products I had already opened was a huge eye opener for me. Don’t get me wrong, there are some exceptions to this – for example, I like to use various perfumes throughout the weeks/months, I change up my foundation now and then, and I do enjoy a variation of makeup products like lipsticks, eyeshadows etc. As any regular readers will know, I live between my house and my boyfriends, (have I mentioned that?!) so I often have two of the same products open at once – such as shaving foam, a body butter etc, however these are being used and loved on a near daily basis, and are not being wasted. I know which brands/products/scents I like – especially for toiletries, and I’m making a promise to myself not to buy the Next New Thing on the market, just because it’s been raved about all over the Internet. As and when one thing is used up, I can then purchase whatever I like going forward, but the need to have so much stuff is no longer there for me.

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Keep up with the Kardashian’s on TV, but don’t try to keep up with the Jones’. The age-old saying of keeping up with the Jones’ couldn’t be more applicable in today’s society. Vloggers, bloggers and social media influencers are constantly posting clothing hauls, make-up hauls and PO box openings. We live in a world where teenagers are expecting to get Gucci bags for Christmas, for goodness’ sake! The world of luxury living is more accessible than ever, or so we think. Through your laptop screen it may seem that your favourite blogger is living the life because they have luxury goods coming out the wazoo, however you do not have to emulate their life onto yours. The reality is the big social media stars make a lot of money, and to them buying a three grand handbag is most likely the same, contextually, as us mere mortals heading to Topshop and paying £30. I have been guilty of feeling like I needed to have the new product releases, the newest It clothing item of the season (yes, I am talking about that Zara bag) but in reality that is not true. Your stuff does not define you, and there is no need to feel obliged to purchase on the same level as people you see on social media. Also, it’s worth noting that so many of the big bloggers and influencers are gifted lots of items – beauty products, clothes, shoes, even mattresses these days – that is amazing for them and they work hard for it, but it is not relatable to those of us in a regular 9-5 job.

Loving and Using What I Have. This is the main goal from changing the way I shop; I want to feel content with the items I have, and to fully love and appreciate each item. I’ve always been a very grateful person, however this never transpired into my shopping – buying thing after thing just because is fine for some people, but it’s no longer something I want to be a part of. The reality is haul videos/posts are going nowhere – people will always love to watch them, myself included, however I do fully believe we all need to be a little more conscious of our environment and the effect we are having on it. Living a less consumer-based lifestyle is not for everyone, but it’s a journey I’m looking forward to experiencing, and (little) step by (little) step I hope I can achieve my goals.

Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know if this post gave you a little food for thought? Do you try to implement any of these ways of thinking into your shopping habits? Do you have any tips for me?!

-G x

The Autumn Tag

Happy Friday, loves!

I’m so incredibly excited it’s almost the weekend! Matt is back from his work trip this afternoon and I just can’t wait to head home to kiss his cute little face!! We’re going to have a snuggly smushy night and I’m pretty much giddy about it, I’ve missed him so much. We also get to have a lazy Saturday morning together, then I’m heading for lunch with my lovely friend, Meg. Matt and I are driving down to Liverpool first thing on Sunday for a spa mini-break, as if the weekend wasn’t dreamy enough. Any recommendations for Liverpool would be great as we’ve never been before! I’ve been reading lots of Savannah‘s blog (I love her!) and figured I’d fill you in on my plans similarly to the way she does in her #WhatUpWednesday posts. What are your plans for this weekend?!   

I’m posting out of my normal schedule again, because I just couldn’t resist getting this post up ASAP! I have so much content planned/scheduled right now, and at the rate I’m going with ideas coming out of my ears, I’d not be getting this post up until December. The lovely Abbie tagged me in her Autumn Tag, I’d suggest you head on over to check it out ASAP! My favourite recent posts of hers are this one and this one, she’s such a great writer and I laugh out loud reading her posts all the time! Now, without further ado…

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What signifies the start of Autumn for you?
Okay, so any regular readers will know I’ve been anticipating the start of Autumn for a very long time, it’s my favourite season! I wrote a post all about the things I was excited for in August for goodness’ sake. I know Autumn didn’t really start until 23rd September, however for me I think from mid-September it really started to feel like Autumn. The leaves were beginning to change colour, the weather was cool and crisp, and Homesense was stocking all of the pumpkin candles!

What is your favourite Autumn scent?
I have a lot of favourite Autumn scents, I can’t pick just one! My favourite bath/body scent is absolutely anything from The Body Shop’s Vanilla Pumpkin range; their body butter is my favourite moisturiser. Any and all of the Autumn scented candles from DW Home are right up my street, my current favourites being Sea Salt Pumpkin, Pumpkin Bourbon and Frosted Leaves.

What is your favourite Autumn colour?
Assuming leopard print isn’t a colour as such, I love to wear lots of dark emerald greens, navy, deep burgundy’s and anything camel coloured. Of course I embrace my inner witch, and wear lots of black, too!

Are you a fan of a PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) ?
I unfortunately don’t like any coffee, I just can’t get into it. I do love a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice hot chocolate though, which isn’t technically on the menu but it’s delicious. As I said in this post, I always ask for it extra hot, and I get it without whipped cream!

What is your favourite Autumn drink? 
Other than a PSHC (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?) I love the Bonfire Spice hot chocolate’s from Costa this year, they’re one of the best things I’ve ever tasted! Matt and I have a cup of tea together every morning – in bed if we have the time – and I love that more than anything, although that’s more the quality time with him than the drink, I think. I’m a sap.

What’s your favourite coffee shop and their drink of choice?
Lots of drink related questions! I’ve been a loyal Starbucks lover since I can remember, but Costa have sneaked in there at the moment with their Bonfire Spice hot choc. They also do the best ham and cheese toasties!

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Apple pie or Pumpkin pie?
I love both, but I’m going to have to say apple pie with lots of cinnamon and custard. Matt and I had the most amazing rhubarb crumble the other night, which I’d actually choose over apple or pumpkin!

What TV show, new or old, are you looking forward to in the next few months?
We are so behind the trend, but Matt and I are going to finally start Power in the next few weeks! We’re also really excited for the new Narcos: Mexico series as we loved the first two seasons so much. We’re still obsessed with Hell’s Kitchen, and as I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been re-watching Gilmore Girls, it’s giving me all of the Autumnal vibes!

What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?
Leopard print everything. It’s a favourite all year round, but it’s so popular right now and I’m in my element! I also love all of the chunky knits, scarves, chunky heeled boots… the list is endless.

What is your favourite comfort food to enjoy in the colder months?
Ooh I have so many! Any kind of sweet sugary crumble with custard is a winner. I love soup with tiger bread for lunch; my favourite is M&S Tarka Dahl, it’s so warming on the cold, dreary days. For a good hearty dinner, Matt and I often go for patatas bravas with garlic bread, and we’ve really been into cooking various pasta and chilli dishes.

What is your favourite Autumn activity?
Autumn is the best season for cosy nights in with my favourite person (Matthew, obviously) before the Christmas party season begins. I’m so not ready for the madness of being out almost every night! We also love morning walks and going for breakfast, it’s so fun when it’s a little chillier and we can cosy up with a hot chocolate after. Another favourite is going to watch Newcastle United, we love to go to the matches together!

Are you a fan of horror movies?
My kind of Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus… Matt hates it but I love it, and he loves me (so that means we get to watch it)!

Do you ever do anything fun for Halloween? 
My mam’s birthday is on Halloween (my younger cousins really think she’s an actual witch, it’s the cutest/funniest thing) so we typically go out for a family meal around the date. Up until I turned 20/21, I’ve spent almost every Halloween in Florida, exploring Disney World. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a personal favourite, but it’s very different here, and since I got older. Last year Matt and I just had a cosy night in which was perfect, this year will be the same unless our friends talk us into other plans.

What was your favourite part about Halloween as a child?
Obviously the sweets, what a silly question! Also, spending most of them at Disney World was pretty damn good.

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Are you a bigger fan of Bonfire night or Halloween?
Probably Bonfire Night. Matt and I went to an amazing local display last year and we’re planning to do the same again, although this year I’m making a mental note to wear thermals because it was so cold. We also spent a lovely night with our friends setting off fireworks and eating food, so fingers crossed we’ll get to do that again!

Where is your dream destination to visit in the Autumn?
Much like Abbie, I’d love to go to Banff! It’s on Matt and I’s travel wishlist and I know we’ll go one year, the sooner the better. I’d also like to go to Amsterdam, another place on our wishlist, although I think we’ll probably head there in the Spring.

Do you always forget about the clocks going back?
Yes! All I know is it’s the ‘good one’ meaning we gain an hour of sleep. And that means we gain an hour of cuddles. Winning!

When do you usually start preparing for Christmas?
I typically start buying any time from now, as in the build up to Black Friday lots of websites and shops start having good sales/discounts. I already know pretty much everything I’m buying for people this year and I’ve (naturally) made lists, so I feel quite organised.

What is your favourite clothing item you’ve purchased for the Autumn months?
Without a doubt, my grey jumper from & Other Stories, one I’ve been banging on about for the past ~however many~ blog posts. I’m going to buy the blush one soon as it’s beautiful, and I know I’ll get so much wear out of them both!

What are three of your must-have beauty products for the season?
I am currently really loving my Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede perfume, NARS Madly blush and Pixi Glow Tonic. I also really flipping love Eliabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, but I just raved about it in this post, so I’m not going to say anything else on the matter! I’m desperate to get my hands on Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk eyeshadow palette which is just absolutely beautiful, but it’s currently sold out.

What does your perfect Autumnal, rainy day look like?
Okay I’m thinking this would be a weekend day; Matt and I would have a lazy morning (more than likely watching Soccer AM – I’m too soft!) and go out for a late breakfast with very good hot chocolates, followed by a cute woodland walk. Our afternoon would be spent shopping and wandering around town before going to watch an NUFC match, maybe (definitely) grabbing a donut! We’d head back to Matt’s for a cosy night in watching a film, splitting a bottle of wine (or two) with his parents and I’d also like a Chinese takeaway because, well, we love Chinese food!

I loved doing this tag, I found it so much fun and very reminiscent of the old YouTube trend of tag videos. They were some of my favourite videos and it was so fun to participate in my own way! I added three questions of my own on the end, just for fun. I’ve tagged a few girls whose content I truly admire, I’d love to see you guys do it!

Jade from Bella Inizio

Sophie from Soph Hearts

Emily from Emiline Loves

Rebecca from Rebecca Rose

Hayley from Life of Hayley

Savannah from Savannah Said It

Suzanne from Suzanne Suzanne Suzanne

Claire from Harwood & Rose

Abby from Abby Uppington

Malyn from Keaton & Ko

Katie from Katie Emma Beauty

-G x

 

 

Autumn Favourites & Essentials

Hi loves!

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How is it already Wednesday?! I’ve loved the beginning of this week, however at the time this post goes live I will be taking Matthew and his colleague to the airport as they’re heading off on a work trip. I’m so excited for him to have a great time with his colleagues but I know I’ll already be counting down to being reunited on Friday evening! Being apart, even for two nights, sucks! Hopefully your week is more fun?! Anyhow, on with the post… if you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll already know I love Autumn, and everything that comes with it. I talked about all of the things I’m most excited for in this post.

I love reading monthly favourites posts, and of course watching monthly favourite videos on YouTube, but I just don’t think I use or try enough new items month-to-month to be able to share with you, and keep it somewhat interesting. If it’s something you’d like to see, I’d love to do these kind of posts on a seasonal basis? Today I’m talking all about my current favourite products, activities and items during the past few weeks, it’s all about the cosy Autumnal vibes!

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Autumn scented candles.
I’m a sucker for a scented candle, and my favourite time of year to buy them (and burn them) is always during the Autumn/Winter months. As you may have seen from this post, I went a little crazy buying candles in the last few weeks, but no regrets… right? Matthew and I have candles burning from the minute we get home and they’re definitely an essential for our cosy nights in. When it’s cold and dreary outside, having a candle lit seems to make everything a whole lot better! My favourites are from DW Home at Homesense as they smell incredible, last for so long and, let’s be honest, they’re very aesthetically pleasing. I’ve been loving Frosted Leaves, Sea Salt Pumpkin and Apple Cider, especially. 

My evening skincare routine. 
This combination of products has been my ultimate favourite to help my skin cope with the colder weather we’re experiencing. Since buying the serum back in June, and the eye cream just a few weeks ago, I can’t recommend these products highly enough. Moisture Surge is absolutely my favourite moisturiser for the colder weather and one I use religiously during my day-to-day evening skincare routine. I’ve already raved about these products in previous posts, so I’m not going to repeat myself too much, but I can’t recommend them highly enough!

Chunky scarves.
Scarves and bobble hats are my favourite accessories to pair with my Autumn/Winter outfits, but sadly it’s not quite cold enough for a bobble hat just yet. It’s still that awkward kind of weather where it’s freezing cold early morning and late at night, but during the day the temperature sits somewhere between 12 and 16 degrees, so dressing appropriately for the weather is hard! Plaid and leopard print scarves are my favourite (naturally), and I feel like they go with any outfit. Leopard print is a neutral, right?

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Berry toned lips.
I love nude lipsticks/lip glosses as much as the next girl, but boy do I like a berry toned lip at this time of year. Mademoiselle from Chanel, Kristen from Anastasia Beverly Hills and Dolly from Buxom are my top three lip products for the season. Dolly lip gloss also smells like cinnamon, which just makes it perfect. I think berry-toned lips paired with gold or copper toned eyeshadow looks so pretty, it’s such a good season for sparkly makeup! Spoiler: a post with all of my Autumn make up favourites will be up in the next few weeks.

Chunky jumpers.
Okay, so my love of chunky jumpers is absolutely not limited to Autumn, but it is finally getting cold enough to wear thicker knits and my obsession is bigger than ever. This one from & Other Stories is perfect; it’s made mostly of sustainable materials and it’s so warm and cosy. I love wearing grey, especially with blue jeans! This jumper is just perfect, and I’m definitely going to buy the blush coloured one at some point. I’ve already raved about the jumper in this post and you’re definitely going to see it all over my Instagram and blog for the next few months! Sorry, not sorry. I’ve also had several compliments whilst wearing this, which makes me very happy.

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Options Belgian Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.
I love hot chocolate and the colder weather means I’ve been enjoying them much more often. I have been a huge fan of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice hot chocolate for the past few years and I highly recommend, tip: ask for it extra hot. This year I’ve discovered the bonfire spiced hot chocolates from Costa and oh my goodness they are literally Autumn in a cup! Unfortunately I can’t camp out in Costa, so when I’m at home I opt for an Options salted caramel hot chocolate. Matt loves the Options White hot chocolate, which is also so good! They taste best when made with milk, and of course adding marshmallows is a necessity. We’re also mildly obsessed with Lotus Biscoff biscuits recently, they are just the best! *How amazing is this mug – a reminder we all need in our lives!*

Cosy nights in with Matthew.
Again, definitely not a favourite just during Autumn, but I’m welcoming the cooler weather and in turn, all of the cosy nights in! There’s a weird pressure to be outside more during the Summer months, but when Autumn rolls around it disappears. Matt and I always love a cosy night in no matter the weather, but it does feel even better when it’s cold, dreary and rainy outside. Spending our evenings cooking, cuddling and watching Netflix are the norm again, and we are loving it! We’re together every night (yay for Matthew’s new work schedule!) and we tend to stay at his house one night, mine the next, and so on. As we’re getting up in the mornings for work I’m usually already counting down the hours until we can snuggle back up… I’m a such a creature of comfort (and I really like cuddles *shrugs shoulders*).

Autumnal bath products.
Okay, so we all know Lush and The Body Shop are the places to go for anything bath-related, and their seasonal ranges are always my favourite. The Vanilla Pumpkin range from The Body Shop is incredible; it’s a light, vanilla based scent, and the products are such good quality. I especially love the body butter; it smells amazing, is so moisturising and the hydration lasts all day. My picks from Lush’s Halloween range have to be the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar and the Lord of Misrule bath bomb, they’ve been favourites for the past few years and I always repurchase lots before they disappear until the next year. Also, not bath-related, but I love The Body Shop’s Vanilla Pumpkin hand cream, and Bath & Body Works’ hand sanitizers, too. My favourite is Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, it literally smells like Autumn in a pot!

Enjoying treats.
Much like the pressure to go outside being lifted during the Autumn/Winter months, so is the pressure to eat super healthy. Matt and I are partial to a few snacks during the evening, we get peckish after dinner! Percy Pigs are Matt and I’s favourite treat, but let’s be honest, they taste even better in Halloween form! We absolutely love them, and go through packets a lot quicker than we’d like to admit, they are just so addictive. We recently have eaten lots of Godiva chocolate and Malteser truffles, definitely our current favourite chocolates. (I didn’t even have any truffles to photograph as we’d eaten them all, oops!) We were also very happy to find out last week Smarties McFlurry’s are back at McDonald’s, they’re our favourite and we’ll be making the most of them before they’re gone again!

Another favourite is absolutely a potato side-dish Matt and I have been making pretty much every other day, that I’m going to talk through in an upcoming post. It’s definitely a comfort food, goes with anything and it’s delicious. I can’t stress enough how much I’ve been enjoying Gilmore Girls (for possibly the third? fourth? time…) I’ve been watching it whilst getting ready in the morning when Matt has left for work and I just love it. Lorelai is one of my favourite TV characters ever, Stars Hollow is just a dream place! Hell’s Kitchen has been Matt and I’s TV show of choice for the past few weeks, and after missing out on the hype for the past few years, we’re definitely on the Gordon Ramsay train.

As you can hopefully tell, I tried to step it up a notch with my photos for this post and I’d love to know what you think? What are some of your current favourite products? Do you have any Autumn essentials I should check out? Thank you so much for reading!

-G x

Autumn Wardrobe Staples

Hi, loves!

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Today I’m taking you through the top twelve pieces in my wardrobe; items that are a must-have for me personally, and things I think all of us ladies should have in our wardrobes. I recently decluttered my wardrobe, as I talked through in this post, and I’m really focusing on buying key pieces; timeless, chic items that will go with things I already own and be wearable season to season.

I’m looking to only buy sustainable, good-for-the-environment (little to no Polyester, Acrylic etc!) and good-for-me pieces going forward, although I’m not discarding anything I had previously which doesn’t fit into this category. A blog post all about changing the way I shop will be up in next week, it’s a very long one and I’m very excited to share my thoughts with you. 

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A Slogan Tee
I am a sucker for a slogan tee! I have several, even after the Great Wardrobe Declutter of 2018, and I really think they come in so handy. They’re not a seasonal piece, and you can pair them with any bottom – I love wearing a fun slogan tee with a midi skirt and leather jacket at the moment, transitional dressing between seasons is actually quite fun! This one was a present from my lovely boyfriend for our anniversary, and I bloody love it. It’s from Whistles and it’s a perfect fit/shape for me. I have to admit, slogan tees with French writing might be the ultimate fave! 

Slogan t-shirt (similar)

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A (Faux) Leather Jacket
Whether I’m heading out day or night, dressy or casual, my go-to throw it on cover up always has been and always will be a leather jacket! You can’t go wrong with a classic black one (I especially love that this one has silver detailing also, as I only wear silver jewellery). I am a neutrals girl through and through; black, white, greys, beiges and navy are all right up my street. I picked this up from Zara’s TRF range in the Spring (a great range if you want to pick up a bargain, in my opinion). It has such a smooth, buttery feel and I think it looks way more expensive than it is! It is the perfect cut on me; lying just between my waist and hips, so although it’s a boxy fit it doesn’t make me look too wide.

Leather Jacket

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A Breton Top
I say ‘a’ Breton top, but what I really mean is all the Breton tops you can justify purchasing. If there’s one thing every girl needs in her wardrobe, in my opinion, it has to be a striped tee! I have tons – short sleeve and long sleeve, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll always purchase another, no matter how many I have. (The whole curated wardrobe concept hasn’t completely sunk in yet, I guess)! This one from & Other Stories is perfect and it’s 100% cotton; versatile and sustainable. I like to throw a Breton top on with skinny jeans for a casual day of running errands, I just feel like it’s a very simple look but feels chic and put together without much thought. Pair with white converse and you’re good to go!

Breton Tee

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A Thin Knit
The perfect go-with-everything piece for this time of year. This does the same job as a slogan tee, it’s just a little more understated and will keep you warmer. My favourites are always from Zara’s basics collection – they’re £19.99 and worth every penny. I find these wash well, never bobble or lose shape, and I definitely get a lot of wear out of these each year from early Autumn through to Spring. I have several colours, but camel, grey and black are essential for me – they go perfectly with jeans, a skirt or fitted trousers, and are very cosy. I, like with pretty much any top I wear, like to go for a half-tuck in the front, and leave the sides/back out – the only exception being if I was tucking into a high-waisted skirt.

Zara Knit (similar)

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‘Classy’ Lounge Pants
Yes, you read that correctly! While the general consensus of this post is all for cute, chic dressing when you leave the house, there’s no reason you can’t do the same when you’re in the house. These lounge pants from Next are my favourite – they are so incredibly soft, comfy as can be and wash really well (always a bonus, in my opinion). I picked up a grey pair around two months ago, then picked up a black pair in the last few weeks, and I’d like at least one more pair! I think it’s worth noting I’m one of those people who likes to take their makeup off and get into comfy clothing as soon as I know I’m not required to leave the house for the rest of the day. During this time of year especially, the second we get home from work Matt and I love to have a hot bath and get into our comfies to enjoy our evening, as the nights get colder the desire to be warm and cosy is stronger! At £22 they won’t break the bank, and if you’re after some pretty swish PJ pants – that you can also run to Sainsbury’s in without getting a death stare – I’d highly recommend!

Lounge Pants

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A Plain Bodysuit
Bodysuits are a funny category for me; I see so many styles that I love, but they almost always come with a full-knicker style bottom, and I hate that! I do not like nor do I own any underwear other than thongs and I just can’t stand the thought – something my friends get a laugh out of as I’m so particular about it. Bodysuits are a must-have because they can be worn with pretty much anything, and there’s never a risk of a bulk in your clothing where a top is tucked in, and you also don’t have to worry about it coming untucked. I love this one as it’s so plain and comfy – I can wear it day or night, with jeans, trousers or a skirt. This also will work well as a layering piece in colder months under jumpers!

Black Bodysuit

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A Good Pair of Skinny Jeans
Topshop Jamie jeans are my go-to! I also really like Zara’s TRF Mom style jeans (the ones that are £25.99) but I don’t think they’re as versatile as a good pair of Jamie’s. I have several pairs of these, and am always looking to pick up another as I wear them approximately every other time I leave the house. They are high-waisted and a very flattering style; they hug my bum in the best way and aren’t too tight that I have to undo the top button after a big meal. Been there, done that. The black ones do fade pretty quickly with regular washing – as do all black jeans – but I dye mine back black every few months and they look good as new. Also, skinny jeans go with all of the tops mentioned in this post – if a dog is man’s best friend, a good pair of skinnies are definitely a woman’s. And maybe diamonds.

Jamie Jeans in Black
Jamie Jeans in Blue

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Statement Boots
If you had have asked me a year or two ago, statement boots would certainly not have made it into my ‘must-haves’ but now I couldn’t recommend them more! My three options here are all with a chunky heel which is my preference, I love a good block heel as they’re way more comfy and means nights out don’t end in Matthew carrying me to the taxi because my blisters have blisters. (That being said, alcohol consumption may lead to an occasional carry to the taxi, ha!) I think a good pair of statement boots – whether that be print, texture or decoration – can really jazz an outfit up. I especially love wearing them with a super plain outfit, like a black cami and black skinny jeans, as it keeps the focus on the boots.

Leopard Print Boots

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The Perfect Jumper
In my opinion, finding a good jumper is hard. I picked this one up from & Other Stories (one of my favourite stores and one I wish I could browse IRL – come on, Newcastle!) a few weeks ago and I’ve already worn it three times. Does anyone else do that? Get a new clothing item and wear it to death because it’s just so exciting to find something you really love?! This is the perfect shade of grey for me and it goes perfectly with any shade of denim I wear. I love the crew neck shape and cosy sleeves, I think the design gives it a little more shape than your bog-standard jumper. One thing I especially love is that it’s not too long, which means I can easily tuck it into skirts, or do my standard tuck-the-front-in-to-jeans style with no issue.

Grey jumper

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A Black Jumpsuit
Move over LBD, the LBJ is in town! I love jumpsuits, and nine times out of ten I do prefer them to dresses. No risk of cold legs or flashing your underwear – what’s not to love?! The only issue I do have with a jumpsuit is the whole getting-naked-to-go-for-a-wee situation, but I can deal with that. My favourite kind of jumpsuits are tailored and nipped in at the waist; it’s a flattering style and makes me feel dressed up in seconds. The cigarette leg on this particular jumpsuit is also very flattering, it’s fitted but not tight, meaning it’s comfy, roomy, and hides the bloated stomach I often am blessed with after one too many gin and lemonades! I picked this one up last year from Miss Selfridge and have worn it so many times since. It is the perfect throw-on piece for a spontaneous date night or drinks with the girls. 

Black Jumpsuit (similar)

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A Cami
If Matt and I are going out on the weekend and I need an outfit to go from day to night, my go-to outfit will pretty much always be a cami tucked into high-waisted jeans or a midi skirt with a pair of heeled boots. I’d wear this with my afore-mentioned leather jacket during the colder months, and go without when it’s warm. I picked this one up from Topshop and I just love it, the square neckline is so flattering. Most importantly it can be worn comfortably without a bra – something I love as when possible I tend to not bother wearing one, nobody likes boob jail! I am currently in the market for a plain black cami with lace in the front and I think I’m going to purchase the one linked below.

Black cami (similar)

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Trainers
Not the kind you’d wear to the gym (although I do love a good pair of Nikes), the kind you can throw on with any given outfit and feel comfy, but still put-together. My favourites are either my (previously) white Converse or black Old Skool Vans as I think they’re the most easy-to-wear shoes with any casual outfit, and as you can see they’re very well loved. Over the past few weeks I’ve worn my Converse with midi-skirts a few times and was surprised by how much I liked the look. It took me a long time but I’m ever so slowly getting into mixing casual and going-out clothing and I am a big fan. You just can’t go wrong with either (or both) of these.

White Converse
Black Old Skool Vans

Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know what your essential pieces are? Do you have all of my top twelve pieces in your wardrobe currently, and do you get lots of wear out of them? I would love to do a similar style post all about jewellery and accessories if that’s something you’d like to see!

-G x

Lip Balm Loving

Hi, loves!

Today’s post is a round up of my top five lip balms, which are definitely my favourite beauty item. I am a lip balm hoarder and up until this year I was always trying out something new, and trying to find one better than my current favourite. As a result, I’ve tried and tested a lot of products, and I’ve got a good stash I absolutely love and can’t be without. 

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As the weather is now getting a lot cooler, lip balm is becoming more important than ever in our beauty routines, and with so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s hope this post may give you a few ideas (and they’d all make great stocking fillers for Christmas… oops I said the C word!)

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Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
This is my favourite moisturising, thick lip balm, and I can’t say enough good things about it. I take this everywhere with me like I do with my phone, it’s a necessity! During August my lips were very chapped and this worked miracles to heal them so quickly; I use this morning, night and throughout the day, and I love how soft it makes my lips. It is a very thick, almost goo-ey texture, but that makes it work so well. This is also a skin salve, and is a great multi-purpose product. Matt’s secretly a fan of this product too, shh!

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Nuxe Reve de Miel – Ultra Nourishing
This is the newest addition to my lip balm collection, but already I feel like it could give the Eight Hour Cream a run for it’s money. It’s made by the number one brand in French pharmacies, and as the French ladies know their beauty/fashion stuff it’s not surprisingly become a cult favourite. The only con with this product is the packaging; it’s a glass pot, and you have to stick your finger in to get the product, which doesn’t make it very friendly for being on the go. That being said, I’ve used this every night since I got it and I feel like it does a very similar job to my beloved Eight Hour Cream, yet it’s less than half the price. I have however been carrying it round in my handbag as I’ve stayed at Matt’s the past few nights (usually we alternate between my house and his every other day) and I’ve been reaching for this over anything in my bag.

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Dior Addict Lip Glow
I’m not generally a huge fan of tinted lip balms, but this is an exception, and blows any other product I’ve tried out of the water. I own a few shades, but my favourites have to be 001 Pink and 007 Raspberry. I picked up the Raspberry shade on a whim in the airport when Matt and I went to Dublin, and it’s become one of my favourite ever lip products. Like everything from Dior, the packaging is just beautiful, and it looks so chic and classic. It’s a product that I tend to throw in my handbag (which, let’s be honest is 90% lip products, and the other 10% is more than likely Matt’s things that he’s asked me to squeeze in!) I’d definitely recommend picking one of these up, and I’m sure I’ll add more shades to my collection in time. I have the new NARS Orgasm lip balm on my beauty wishlist as I think it may be similar, too.

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Glossier Balm Dot Com
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, this will be no surprise to you as the balm dot com features in most of my beauty related posts, (like this one and this one *push, push*). We all know this is a cult favourite lip balm among the millennial generation, and for good reason. This is the perfect texture to wear under lipstick; it appears matte on the lips (except the Birthday and Cherry flavours) and I just love the formula. I own all six flavours, and I have one on my bedside table, Matt’s bedside table, my desk at work and in my handbag, whilst the other two float about in my beauty stash! This is also a skin salve, so it’s great for your cuticles and any pesky dry skin patches. It’s a go-to lip balm for me, it’s easy to travel with, and I can’t wait until Glossier inevitably come out with more flavours in their lip balm collection. You can bet I’ll buy them!

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Carmex Wild
A fantastic option, that is definitely budget-friendly. I love the design of the pot; the leopard print design is adorable! I have purchased Carmex products since I was in middle school and first realised that lip balms were a beauty love of mine, and I feel like I’ll never stop purchasing them. Although, because this is in a pot application is a little more fiddly, but I do think the formula is better than the stick format it also is sold in. In my opinion, the hydration doesn’t last too long on the lips, and you do need to re-apply a little more often than the others mentioned in this post, however at £2.79 a pop, you can’t really complain! 

Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know your favourite lip balm? Apologies in advance if you now feel the need for a shopping spree, thankfully it’s just been pay day! Please tell me I’m not alone and you have a lip balm you need in your bag at all times too? 

-G x