What’s What! #1

Happy Wednesday my loves! I hope you’re all having a great week and staying warm because it’s SO freaking cold outside.

Today’s post might seem a little out of the blue, because it’s a new (kinda) series here on my blog. I posted Feelin’ It Friday posts every week for a long time and I LOVED writing them, but I just felt like they were a little too structured. I felt a lot of pressure to have new things to talk about every single week and sometimes I wouldn’t be happy with what I’d written but felt like I had to post them because it was Friday. I always got messages from people saying they loved those posts and they tried X, Y or Z because of them, but I never wanted them to become too repetitive or boring and so I stopped writing them. This kind of post is pretty much the same format, the only thing that’s changing is my What’s What posts will be posted completely randomly (either on a Wednesday or Sunday because they’re my uploading days). I hope you enjoy the new format and I’m so excited to get into it!

What I’m obsessing over:
Matt and I have had a mini makeover with our bedding and I’m SO happy with how it turned out. I just wanted to insert a little colour as honestly our bedroom was looking super dark and kinda boring, so I wanted to add in a little pink (of course). I got our beautiful throw from Homesense – sorry I can’t find it online at TK Maxx but they had so many pretty ones in store! – and the quirky face pillow at Matalan. The colours in the throw just make me SO happy, and make me want Spring/Summer to be here immediately. I also added another pink cushion since this photo was taken on Sunday but we haven’t had hardly any day light to take photos. I just want one more big cream cushion to complete it! I also really love our fuzzy cream blanket (underneath the throw) that we got around two years at Costco. We have a few of these in different colours and we snuggle up in them every single night to watch TV, and in the Summer we use them as our duvet when it’s really hot out!

What I’m buying:
So in light of last week’s life update, I have just started purchasing new clothes for my new job! Guys I am SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED to wear cute clothes to work! I can’t wait to dress up a little and feel good about what I’m wearing. I truly believe when you look good you feel good! I’ve only purchased a few pairs of trousers and a couple of tops/blouses so far, but I have a list written out of all the things I’d like to pick up before I start the job, then I’ll add to my work wardrobe each month. I really need some cute ballet flats and maybe I’ll also get a pair of nude loafers that will go with everything! Where do you buy cute work clothes? An old coworker told me to she buys lots of her work clothing from Tesco so I looked the other day whilst grocery shopping… their stuff is so cute! I picked up a pair of grey checked slim fit trousers that I’m so excited to wear. I also really need to get a new work bag and I’m torn between a few from Katie Loxton. I’m stuck between this tote bag, this super cute bucket bag or this slouch bag. Is it wrong to buy them all…? I’m leaning towards the tote bag for work (although I think realistically black is a more practical colour) and the pink bucket bag for… a treat? Just because? Help a gal out!

What I’m burning:
So I have a new love for wax melts! My co-worker has told me how good they are for such a long time but I’ve always been a candle girl and hadn’t really bought into the hype of them. I was grocery shopping after work last week and picked up this cut out heart shaped wax burner, a bunch of tea lights and some Spring/Summer scents from the Scentsationals brand. I started burning Cotton Candy Cloud immediately and wow oh wow, the scent payoff is incredible! It fills our whole bedroom in minutes, and unlike a candle I feel like it keeps it’s same strength the whole time. Now, don’t get me wrong I still love my candles and I’m always going to burn them, but wax melts are such a fun change for me! I can’t wait to try more scents/brands. Do you have any specific ones you’d recommend?!

What I’m reading:
SO MANY BOOKS. I recently read and loved So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter, The Flat Share by Beth Leary, The Beekeeper’s Promise by Fiona Valpy,
Right now I’m reading One Winter Morning by Isabelle Broom and guys I’m so invested in the story. I love love love the main character and the sentiment behind the storyline is so sweet, I can’t wait to see what happens and I’m prepared to cry all the ugly tears! Next on my reading list is Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid; I’ve only heard/seen good things so I have super high hopes. I’m so excited to share my Spring Reading List with you all soon because my list of recommendations is HUGE! I got a message from my sweet blogging friend Chloe this week saying I’d inspired her to buy a Kindle and I genuinely felt like a proud mum. Hahahaha. Feeling like you want to be enabled to buy one too? Read my review rave here.

What I’m wearing:
I cannot stop wearing oversized sweatshirts. I’ve purchased tons of vintage sweaters in the past few months and I’m so happy with my little collection. I normally go for vintage Disney or US colleges / national parks / sports teams etc. That’s kind of my new vibe and I love it! I got this Walt Disney World sweatshirt I’m wearing in the photo above from eBay; it’s a men’s size medium so it’s pretty dang big on me but I LOVE that look. I wear it with mom jeans all the time! It was brand new with the tags still attached and I got it for so cheap, I really love buying second hand. I’m putting together a whole blog post about my tips for shopping second hand which will be up in the next few weeks and I can’t wait to share it with you! Also… the vintage Disney sweaters are so cute, I want them all!

What I’m watching:
Matt and I are watching season two of Narcos: Mexico and so far (three episodes in) it’s absolutely as good as the first season! We always get so addicted to the shows and binge watch them too fast though which kinda makes me sad. We’re still watching The Office, we laugh our heads off at every episode and it’s just the perfect feel good show after a long day! And guys… can we talk about the Friends reunion?!? I could pee my pants I’m so excited!!! What do we think will be the plot line? Do we think it’ll be just as funny? I’m pretty sure Ross and Rachel would have gotten married and had more children, and I just can’t wait to find out. Also, I really want to watch Dumplin’ this weekend, have you seen it? Would you recommend for a chilled evening in?! Matt’s heading up to Edinburgh to visit one of his best friends who recently moved there so I’m flying solo on Saturday night! I also have A Cinderella Story on my to watch list because I just found out it’s on Netflix and it’s one of my favourite movies! Is it so sad I’m already excited to pick him up from the train station on Sunday afternoon? He hasn’t even gone yet hahaha.

What beauty product I’m recommending:
An oldie but a goodie, I just can’t tell you how much I love this product. Do I actually think it helps me get a better nights sleep? No. Because my sleeping pattern is terrible and I spend at least two hours in the middle of every night staring at the ceiling whilst Matt snoozes happily cuddled into me. I swear I have insomnia on some level! BUT, I do bloody love this product. My favourite ever evening moisturiser that I only use once or twice a week is Sleepy from Lush; it’s a vanilla/lavender scent but it’s not at all overpowering, and it’s so dang moisturising! I really would love to use it every evening but it’s a lil’ spenny y’know?! The scent does make me feel really calm and relaxed and it’s just really comforting to me, I don’t think anyone would regret buying this for a little luxury in their evening routine!

What I’m looking forward to:
I just am so excited for Spring! Spring means lighter days, warmer weather and new beginnings… like my new job! I really am so terrified/nervous but I’m pushing past it to focus on all the exciting things that come with a big change like this. I really am trying to push myself out of my comfort zone and I just want to do #allthethings that make me happy. I’m genuinely so excited for warm weather, I cannot wait until I can leave the house without my huge parka coat! I’m really an Autumn kinda gal but this year something in me is so excited about all things Spring and Summer.

Thank you so much for reading friends! What has been going on in your life? What are you loving right now? Also, please help me with the bag options… which would you pick?!

-G x

Five Favourite Beauty Products Under Five Pounds

Hi, loves! I’m so excited to share today’s post with you because all of these products are fantastic value for money and also really great products. Like, if they were three times the price I’d still purchase them good. Y’know?! All five of the products I’ve used for a long time and always have/will re-purchase, and also I feel like inexpensive items like these can easily be overlooked. I stick to a pretty tight beauty budget these days (because it’s just SO easy to get carried away if you don’t set a budget!) so I only really splurge on items I know are worth the money. This means I’m generally a little more likely to try new things that are inexpensive, and if you have any great beauty products under a £5 I’d love to know!

Carmex Lip Balm in Strawberry
I have a confession. I am a lip balm junkie. I would never leave the house without lip balm even though I have like three in my car, I apply it religiously and I love to try new brands/scents! I try super inexpensive lip balms and I try super expensive lip balms, but no matter what I ALWAYS come back to Carmex. I really like many lip balms from the drugstore; EOS, Burt’s Bees and Palmer’s are all really good and ones I’d also recommend, but there’s something about Carmex that gets me. My favourite scent is the strawberry one because it just makes me happy, and I really love the applicator too. This is great in the warm weather or on holiday, as it’s not a stick it doesn’t melt all over the place even when it gets super hot. It also has SPF 15 which is so incredibly important!! I think Carmex is very comparable to Glossier Balm Dot Com, which is my favourite high end lip balm, although it’s much more affordable and easily accessible. I really love this lip balm under lipstick or lipgloss too; it’s moisturising and makes a really good base for product to be applied on to without being sticky.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair
This is the ONLY concealer I buy to cover spots/pigmentation/scarring on my face. Around a year ago I completely stopped buying my previous Nars concealer because this is just amazing and works even better (in my opinion)! I would personally never use it under my eyes as it’s quite thick, but I know lots of people do and really like it for that application. I love the doe foot applicator, the coverage and the price point; it’s truly such a great concealer. A tube lasts me forever too, I have no idea how because I used to go through high end concealers so quickly I felt like I was purchasing one every month! I’ve been using this concealer for so long I still call it Collection 2000. Does anyone else remember that?! I don’t know when or why they dropped the ‘2000’ but I’ll probably always call it that, hah! I also remember all those YouTube videos where US beauty vloggers would come to the UK and they’d literally buy twenty of these concealers because you couldn’t buy it in the US! I’m guessing you can now because it really has a cult following, and it’s for sure worth the hype.

Garnier Intensive Body Lotion in Mango
I made a commitment a few years back to always moisturise my body when I get out of the shower or bath, and now it’s such a part of my routine that I couldn’t imagine not doing it. Beforehand I would sometimes moisturise, maybe like every third time I showered or bathed, but my skin was always dry and felt uncomfortable because of it. I figured that I spend so much time and effort with my face skincare that my body deserved the same love! It makes me feel so good and I’m truly happy I began doing this, but I started to go through body lotion like you wouldn’t believe. My ultimate favourite moisturisers are from The Body Shop; either the Mango Body Butter or Hawaiian Kukui Cream from the Spa Of The World collection; but I’d spend a fortune if I used those every single day, especially the latter! I tend to mostly save those for special occasions like date nights or a really nice pamper evening. I’ve tried many budget moisturisers and haven’t loved many of them, but this one is incredible and the mango scent is absolutely my favourite. It’s extremely moisturising, smells gorgeous (like Summer!) and really soaks into my skin quickly so I can put pj’s/comfy clothes on straight after I apply it. I also love the coconut scent, I tend to pick up a few of each when they’re on offer and they’re such a steal. If you’re looking for a new moisturiser this beats so many high end ones I’ve tried, I promise you won’t regret it!

The Body Shop Sheet Masks
If I’m having a little pamper evening one of my favourite things to do is throw on a sheet mask! We all know most sheet masks are not great for the environment, but I only buy sheet masks from The Body Shop as they’re biodegradable and they also are by far the best I’ve tried. My favourite is either the Aloe or Vitamin C; both give fantastic results and I also just love how cooling they are on my face. I really appreciate that after a hot bath! Matt loves to join in on a sheet mask with me too, the Seaweed one is his favourite because he has oily skin and every time he uses one his skin looks SO good the next day! We always use these at night; we leave them on for around fifteen minutes, then rub in any excess that’s left on our skin and then I go in with my evening skincare routine as normal. I’ve told so many people about these masks and everyone who tries them seems to love them as much as I do.

CYO Loose Powder in Translucent
I picked this up in December because I was almost out of my Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder and did not need to spend £30 just before Christmas on a makeup product. I did however need a setting powder to set my makeup each day so I wandered into Boots looking for an inexpensive alternative. This was my first product I’ve ever bought from CYO (which I think may be a Boots own brand?) and guys, it’s incredible! This powder is finely milled, bakes concealer really well, helps my makeup last throughout the day and a little goes a long way. The only thing I would say is that although it’s marketed as translucent I feel it does have a little colour pay off; I’m super fair and it doesn’t look orange on me but it definitely darkens my foundation just a tad. This doesn’t bother me at all but it’s definitely something to be aware of if you’re going to purchase!

Have you tried and loved any of these products? What is your go-to inexpensive beauty product(s) that you feel doesn’t get the recognition it deserves?! I’d love to try some new budget beauty items! Also I’d love to know if you’d like to see a ten beauty products under £10? I have so many favourites from the drugstore and I’d be so happy to share them with you!

-G x

Life Lately

Happy Wednesday my little love bugs!

I’m so happy to be back. I missed Sunday’s post and as you all know I HATE missing a post! It doesn’t happen very often but I had a pretty crazy week and I just couldn’t do everything I had to do in real life, rest/unwind and schedule in blogging time. It happens, right? I had two HUGE life changes (to me) happen last week, and I’m so excited to tell you all about them!

Last Friday night after I finished work I went to pick up my new car! Isn’t it so cute?! I guess getting a new car to most people isn’t that big of a deal, and if it is it’s just because it’s so exciting. For me though, I was devastated to be saying goodbye to my old car. I had my little red Viva for almost four years, and it was my first car! I loved it SO MUCH. I realise it’s definitely not a ‘special’ car but to me it was my pride and joy!

When I first passed my driving test four years ago I was such a nervous driver. I’d never had that ‘I want to drive right now!’ feeling and honestly couldn’t understand how anyone could enjoy driving or how I’d get to that point. I struggled so much with my driving lessons and although I passed with no minors, I thought I was a terrible driver. Getting my first car was not a fun experience for me. My mum and dad came with me to view lots of cars and hand on heart, the only things I cared about was that it had cup holders, USB ports and bluetooth. Adulting, right?!  

I used to cry before I got in my car to drive to work, and cry when I pulled in the driveway after work. I just found it so stressful and my anxiety related to driving was at 100% for literally months. I can laugh about it now but I don’t think anyone except my mum realises how big of a deal driving was for me. For around six months I drove to work and home, and not really anywhere else. If I needed to go to somewhere like Tesco I’d wait until after 7pm because I knew the roads would be less busy and the car park would be clear. I don’t think I’ve ever spoke about this on my blog before but I would be happy to write a post on getting over driving fears/anxiety if that’s something you’d be interested in!

Okay guys. I realise this is the weirdest thing but I am SO HAPPY to have a boot big enough to have a little storage basket in there! Hahaha. My old boot was teeny tiny and just about fitted one or two grocery bags, so in comparison this boot feels huge. I hate when grocery bags roll around in the back and this little basket makes me feel so organised!

Fast forward four years; my confidence has grown so much and I love driving. BUT, I felt very attached to my little Viva because that’s the car that taught me how to drive on my own. Obviously it wasn’t actually the car teaching me, I just finally felt comfortable driving. I don’t know how to explain it, but I’m super sentimental haha. When I had to hand over my keys at the garage last Friday night you can bet I cried. So silly, I know! I was so scared driving away in my new car for the first time but honestly after just a few days I’m really loving it. It also has fun features like heated seats and a heated steering wheel that my old car didn’t have, and everything is just a little newer and interesting to me! It feels huge compared to my old car but I know I’ll get used to it in time. 

So, that was a really big life change for me. But in the same week I thought hmmm… maybe that’s not enough change. Let’s get a new job too! GUYS!!! I got a new job! I just accepted the position last week and I don’t start for four more weeks, but I’m so excited about making a leap, putting myself first and trying something completely new. I have been at my current job for six years and I’m so ready to experience new things! It’s funny because I actually really don’t like change – I’m such a creature of habit – but I’m a whole mix of excited and nervous at the thought of going somewhere new, meeting new people, learning new things etc. I know it’s going to be so good for me and I’m pushing myself to embrace ‘all things new’. Having said that I don’t think I want any more change for a LONG time, ha!

In general I’m not the most confident person (read: I’m not AT ALL confident!) but I’m really trying to push myself out of my comfort zone this year. I want to do things that make me happy, and if that means being a little bit selfish and putting myself first I’m going to do just that without worrying what others think. I can’t wait to share more ~working life~ things with you all too, like my experience starting a new job, what I wear to work, my morning routine, how I stay motivated etc. It’s going to be fun to have a whole new topic to talk about! I’m going to have more time during the week to write because the hours at my new job are different. I actually don’t start work until 12pm on a Friday… what the heck!? I’m so excited for a new chapter in my life. 

This weekend Matt and I spent so much time out in my new car! I really just wanted to get used to driving it and we drove SO MUCH. We went to Tynemouth (one of our all time favourite spots), did a little grocery shopping, ate lunch out, went into town and went out for drinks with Matt’s sweet family. We did have dinner and drinks planned at one of our favourite restaurants but Storm Dennis ruined our plans 😦 hopefully we’ll get to go soon and continue the celebrations later in the month! (Also… Storm Dennis? Literally the most British thing I’ve ever heard).

Lastly I just wanted to give a little shout out to this handsome guy. Matthew started an Instagram account, NUFC Vintage, showcasing his love of both Newcastle United and football shirts a few months back and it’s growing so quickly. He works a very busy job and still makes so much time for his side hustle, his friends, his family and me! I’m just so proud of him and I love to see how many people are invested in his account too. Matt has been working so hard on growing his account, collecting more shirts and sharing them with his followers. If you or anyone you know is into football and/or vintage pieces please go support him! We’re going to work really hard in the next few weeks to get some new photos to post too, if anyone has any fun ideas (especially that incorporate our home city) please let me know!  

Wow… this is a B I G post! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed sitting down to write (it’s currently Monday evening) but it’s been so long since I just sat and wrote about everyday life! Almost all of my posts are pre-written and about a specific product/topic, planned out with photos. I’d be so happy to share random weekends in my life with you again if that’s something you’d find interesting? Thanks so much for all of your support as always, I appreciate it more than you know! What’s been going on in your life lately? Have you had any fun big life events happen?! 

-G x

Beauty Spotlight: Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Mask Treatment

Hi, loves! I decided this year that I want to share more beauty related posts with you, because that has been my favourite blog ‘niche’ to read since I first discovered blogs. Every time I find a product that really blows me away, I’m going to share with you by shedding a little Beauty Spotlight on it! I really only try products nowadays that are things I think I’ll love, whether that’s based on blog reviews, YouTube videos, chatting with a salesperson in store or friends/family telling me they enjoy the product. I still try the odd new thing here and there without doing my research – especially if one of my favourite tried and tested brands has a new release! – so I think this will be so fun to share with you all the new things I find. So, the first product that blew me away this year is…

…the Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Coconut Oil 3-in-1 Frizzy Hair Mask Treatment. Phew, what a title! I picked this up somewhat on a whim, as I’d heard lots of good things about their banana hair mask since it’s release but hadn’t purchased as I wasn’t looking for another hair mask. I was browsing in Boots, as you do, and after smelling this product and reading the claims on the packaging I couldn’t put it back down. I had to have it! My hair is dry, but it’s also extremely frizzy and quite honestly has a mind of it’s own. My hair is naturally curly but it’s not the kind of curl I can do much with as it’s so messy and wild! I truly relate to Monica in Barbados.

Seriously, hahahaha. I’ve straightened my hair since I was around 12 or 13, which is actually funny because before that I was SO AGAINST the idea of straightening my hair. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t love my curly hair either, but the idea of literally ironing my hair was just so weird to me. Just before I was given my first pair of GHD’s, my mum took me to the hairdressers and told the stylist to straighten my hair after drying it. I didn’t know this and freaked out – I’ve no idea why I thought it was such a bad thing – but literally fifteen minutes later when it was finished I loved how it looked. *Cue a life of over straightening my hair*

As I use so much heat on my hair, literally on a daily basis, my hair could always use a little extra TLC. I’m religious with washing my hair every two to three days, and try to stretch it out between washes by using dry shampoo and opting for a messy bun when I can no longer stand it! Washing my hair less has really helped with how dry/frizzy it can feel, but overall that’s just my hair type and there’s always going to be a natural element that I can’t control.

I’ve been looking for the ‘perfect’ hair mask for a really long time, and although I’ve had a favourite in the past this one truly blows it out of the water. First of all, this treatment smells incredible. I love the smell of coconut in general, but this is like Summer in a tub, which just makes me so happy! Secondly, the formula is 100% vegan/cruelty free and 98% biodegradable, which is seriously incredible for a drugstore brand. As you may know I’ve been opting for vegan and cruelty free products where possible, and I’m really thinking about where my beauty products come from. Being conscious of what you’re putting on/in your body is something I think we’re all experiencing more and more, so knowing that a product is ethical makes me want to try it more.

There’s three options on the back of the tub for how to use this treatment, and I’ve tried all three ways. I’ve used it in place of my regular conditioner, as a quick mask on wet hair for three probably more like ten minutes and as a leave in treatment during a particularly long bath! I love all three ways as I saw great results each time, but my favourite way is to use it as a mini mask treatment, for around ten minutes. I like to do this as I first wash my hair in the shower, then apply the mask and exfoliate, shave, in-shower tan etc whilst the treatment is working it’s magic.

I let my hair air dry for a little post-shower, whilst I do my skincare and apply my moisturiser/gradual tan (just depending on the day), then I blow dry to leave it with a smooth-as-possible finish. The first time I dried my hair after using this mask I was truly blown away at how silky and smooth my hair felt. It felt nourished like I’d just been to the salon! On the nights I wash my hair, I always straighten it before I go to bed as then I find it much easier to tame in the morning. I couldn’t believe how soft it felt post drying, and that made it super easy/quick to straighten. I felt like my GHD’s glided through the hair and even Matt commented that my hair looked really nice!

One of my biggest concerns when using hair masks it that by day two of my hair washing schedule I can already feel it’s a bit more greasy and heavy than normal, although I’ve never experienced that with this product. The difference has been noticeable in the days following washing too; my hair seems to stay straighter for longer, my flyaways are less visible and I love that my hair looks so healthy! The scent lingers in my hair even after using my hair oil and leave-in conditioner which I personally really love. I think the price point is amazing; as a drugstore brand it’s already inexpensive, but right now there is an introductory offer where all of the masks are being sold at half price.

I’m so excited to pick up the banana mask too as based on reviews/what I think of this one, I’m pretty sure that will be just as incredible! Have you tried the new hair mask treatment range? Are you as blown away as I am?! If you haven’t I’d definitely recommend picking up next time you’re browsing haircare, and be sure to let me know what you think!

-G x

My Current Favourites

Happy Sunday, loves! Today I am sharing with you my beauty and lifestyle favourites, and it’s been a hot minute since I wrote a post like this. I really like chatty, honest favourites posts; they really feel nostalgic to me and I just think it’s so fun to share everything I’ve been loving over the past few months. I took these photos during Matt and I’s stay at Hotel du Vin and I loved how the exposed brick looked so much, I’ve been so excited to share them!

The Flat Lay Co. Makeup Bag
I always store my everyday makeup in a makeup bag because it just makes it so easy! Everything is one place, if Matt and I are travelling or staying at his parents for the night I don’t have to worry about packing everything up, and I love to do my makeup in random places in our bedroom. Is that weird?! I have a vanity table (which was my dream since being a little girl, it still makes me so happy!) but sometimes I really like to sit on my fluffy rug, in front of my full length mirror and get ready. I think it kinda reminds me of high school and having friends stay over all the time, I don’t know why but I enjoy it so much! This makeup bag is genius; it opens up by loosening a drawstring into a large flat circle, and everything is just there right in front of you. No spillages, no rummaging through to find what you need. I love it, I really need to invest in more for travel!

Missoma Amazonite Necklace*
Cute, dainty necklaces are my thing! I love love love Missoma and I always go for silver; because it suits my skin tone best and (I think) I’m allergic to gold. It’s a weird one, ha! This necklace layers perfectly with my initial necklace I wear every single day, and I love the pop of green. Amazonite is a stone that is believed to have physical and emotional healing properties, which honestly is something I could really do with right now as my anxiety has been through the roof!
*similar linked, mine is in silver on a bobble chain but is sold out

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid
My go-to skincare ingredient for the past six months has definitely been hyaluronic acid. Wow. It makes my skin feel/look so plump and smooth, and I’m slowly building my perfect selection of products that just work so well for my skin. I use this every day on top of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo and underneath The Body Shop’s Aloe Soothing Moisture Lotion (another two products I adore) and it makes the most incredible difference to my makeup. My foundation sits better on my face and lasts longer through the day, I don’t get as oily in my T Zone and I just find my skin to look really good even after I take my makeup off. This is a bargain and I really can’t recommend it enough!

The White Company Winter Candle
This is a candle I always purchase during the build up to Christmas, but this was a sweet Christmas present from my boyfriend. I had already burned one through November/December, and I’m so happy to have another to burn in the new year! The scent is so cosy, warm and inviting (kinda just like Christmas, to be honest), and it’s a scent that just makes me feel cosy and happy. I love how simple and pretty the design of their candles are, it looks so lovely whether it’s lit or not. Although the biggest perk has to be that once lit the scent fills our bedroom in minutes and can be smelled long after it’s been blown out!

Daniel Wellington Sheffield Watch
This is an oldie but a goodie for me, I must have bought it at least three or four years ago and it still looks brand spanking new. I used to wear a watch every single day then went through a stage of just not wearing one, and now I’m so back on that bandwagon. I really like the look of a watch; I feel like it dresses up an outfit nicely, is a great compliment to my Pandora bracelet that I wear every day and I also really love the classic rose gold hardware with the black strap. I feel like this watch is really versatile as it goes with everything that I wear, although I LOVE this style too, and I really want to invest in another in the next few months!

Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser
I have a whole post coming on this in the next few weeks so I really don’t want to say too much, but this cleanser has changed my life! Seriously! I was SO EXCITED for Jordan Samuel Skin to be released on Cult Beauty (more on that in the upcoming post) and to finally have and use some of his products is just the most exciting thing for me. I really like using this to take off my makeup and it’s also great for a second cleanse every evening; it leaves my skin feeling clean which is a given, but it makes it so incredibly soft, nourished and hydrated. The smell is beautiful, it’s great to travel with and I really love everything about Jordan and his brand. Come back for my full review. I promise I’ve got so much to say on this beauty!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
The one that got away. The one I always go back to. My holy grail mascara. Seriously, I freaking love this stuff. I only buy it a few times per year as I just use Maybelline Lash Sensational in-between (it’s pricey) but every single time I get to use it again I swear I fall in love all over again! The wand is perfect for creating thick, fluffy lashes, and I love how black the mascara is. It doesn’t smudge on me – although if you’ve tried it and it smudges there is also a waterproof option – which is such a huge plus, and I find it really easy to remove without irritating my eyes.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and getting a little look into some of my very favourite things right now! Have you tried any of the products I talked about in this post? Do you love them as much as I do? What are your favourite products of the moment?!

-G x

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: An Honest Review

Hey, loves! I am SO FREAKING EXCITED about today’s blog post, because I really am so in love with my Kindle. Oh, that was kind of a spoiler wasn’t it? As I’m sure you already know because I haven’t shut up about it, Matthew very kindly bought me a Kindle for Christmas and it’s quite literally become my pride and joy. I had tried the Kindle concept a little in the past as I had dabbled with reading on my iPad, although I really didn’t love that and still favoured a paperback or hardback instead.

I have to admit, prior to my first time reading on my Kindle, I was really apprehensive if I would enjoy it because I love books. I could – and still do – lose hours walking around a book shop, I love the feel of a ‘real’ book and I also really like that you can pass them on to friends and family once you’re done with them. Books also have a very nostalgic, beautiful smell to me which I know some people may think is bonkers, ha! I’ve been a bookworm since before I can remember, although when I was younger I definitely wouldn’t have shouted it from the roof tops because I was so consumed by what people may think. That’s crazy to me now, I couldn’t be more proud to be a book nerd!

I made little notes in the Notes app on my phone so I could remember my thoughts and feelings to share with you guys on the blog at some point. The very first thing I wrote down was that my Kindle was so small and light. I hadn’t even held a Kindle before so really I had no reference but I expected it to be a lot heavier, and I just couldn’t believe how teeny tiny it was. This for me is definitely a positive thing; so many books are released in hardback first and the paperback version doesn’t come out for up to a year after that, so I’d lost count of how many times I’d struggled to hold up heavy books for long periods of time. I should probably go to the gym LOL. I love that the device is very compact which makes it easy to carry on-the-go and perfect for travel; one of my (only) pet hates about books is the they’re so bulky and annoying to travel with! I did buy a case (this one, if you’re interested) and I love it, it works perfectly.

Buying books has become a completely new experience for me, which wasn’t something I’d thought about. I was used to logging into Amazon, ordering whatever took my fancy and thanks to the Prime Gods, new books would turn up at my door the following day. I thought that was SO fast. Now, I download my chosen book(s) through the Amazon Kindle Store and they sync straight to my Kindle in seconds. Wi-Fi is just the best technology ever, right?!

Prior to having my Kindle I had no real reference of how inexpensive Kindle copies are in comparison to the paperback/hardback copy, as I’d only read a few books on my iPad’s Kindle app. Almost every single book you purchase through the Kindle Store is a fraction of the price in comparison; when I first started loading up my Kindle I spent £12.99 … but if I’d bought paper copies of those books it would have cost me £62.49. That is NUTS! This is already proving to be huge cost saving for me, because I read books pretty quickly (I’m currently reading book #8 of 2020… I think I’m going to have to write the most epic round up of all the books I’ve read at the end of the year if I cary on reading like this) and that’s a great bonus I hadn’t anticipated. Not to mention, e-books are way more sustainable than paper books!

I really enjoy the whole reading experience on my Kindle. The text is super clear and easy to read, and you can also make changes if necessary to suit your needs better. I personally kept everything as it came because that works really well for me. One of my very favourite things about reading on the device is that there is a small percentage marker at the bottom of the screen, which shows how far you are through the book. You can also swipe to see how far you are away from finishing that specific chapter, which is great if you’re like me and can’t stop mid-chapter. I also find it really motivating to see how far I’ve read in X amount of time, because I am #TypeA.

I always try to intentionally make time to read each day. My bed has always been one of my favourite places to read as I love to read for at least twenty minutes before I go to sleep, but if Matt was super tired I felt bad having our bedside lamp on so often didn’t bother. I often wake up in the middle of the night (that’s a whole other post) and I always thought it would be a great time to read until I could fall back to sleep, but putting the lamp on then isn’t really an option either. Now that I have my Kindle this hasn’t been an issue at all! The screen has a built in light which makes reading convenient anywhere, and I know this will also be great for airplanes when I don’t want to disturb any sleeping neighbours by using the overhead lights. If you do have a light above you when you’re reading, the screen is glare free guys, they’ve covered everything. There is also no blue light emitted from the Kindle Paperwhite, which helps to reduce eye strain and eye pain!

Another of my favourite places to read is in the tub. I love my baths filled with bubbles and bath salts, and I like my bath water hot. Like, if I’m not bright pink when I get out it wasn’t a good bath, LOL. I figured reading in the bath would be a little tricky with a Kindle but no… it’s fully waterproof. W A T E R P R O O F. This was the realisation that made me really fall in love with it I think! If you’ve ever used your phone in a bath, hot tub or sauna you’ll know what I mean by saying it makes the phone screen wet and almost cloudy. A phone screen cannot cope with the heat, water or steam and it’s just easier to not bother using your phone. However, the Kindle is completely oblivious to the Satan level heat being emitted around my bath, and it works perfectly! There’s no pesky fingerprint marks, no trouble with the screen not picking up where I’m tapping, and absolutely no need to throw it out of the bath and grab a paperback instead. I know this means it would be great for a spa day or by the pool on holiday – no matter how hot the weather may be – and that my friends is why I’m going to say this is the BEST technology I’ve ever owned. My inner nerd is psyched!

The last thing I wanted to mention is that the battery life is fantastic. I use my Kindle every single day, for anywhere from twenty minutes to over an hour, and I’ve barely had to charge the device since Christmas. Maybe four times?! Unlike my phone – which I’m pretty sure I sometimes just look at and my battery goes down by 10% – this is a great feature, and I hope it continues to last as well once I’ve used it for years!

So… are you on Amazon ordering yourself a Kindle Paperwhite yet?! Apologies for any enabling that may be caused by this post, they’re really just the best things ever. Do you love to read as much as I do? Have you already invested in a Kindle? What’s your favourite thing about it?! Be sure to check out my reading list I shared last month, there’s so many great books in there!

-G x

Sustainable Valentine’s Gifting

Hey, my little lovebugs! Happy month of luuuurve! I love *love* and everything about it, and I think it’s so fun to celebrate Valentine’s Day (even though it’s a kinda ridiculous marketer’s-dream holiday). However, I am not about to tell you buying tons of crap for your loved ones is the best way to go. It’s not! Just like birthdays and Christmas, I think it’s important to try and think of the recipient and what they would really like. Although you can never go wrong with chocolates, right?! We all know the typical ‘dinner and a movie’ date idea (dates are totally gifts too!), so I thought I’d throw in a few other suggestions…

*Disclaimer: of course the practicality and sustainability of any gift is subjective, so please take these ideas with a pinch of salt and tailor them if necessary! They are all things I personally/people I know would love. I’d love to hear other ideas in the comments section!*

Jewellery
One of my very favourite gifts to give and receive is jewellery. There are so many options for both men and women, you can pick something with meaning, you can pick something on a small budget or a large budget… there’s just so many options. My go-to jewellery brands to browse for women are Missoma, Monica Vinader, Aleyole, Daniel Wellington and Olivia Burton. For men I’d suggest looking at Monica Vinader, Ted Baker and Thomas Sabo. It’s also handy if you know if the recipient has a preference, for example I only wear silver jewellery because I’m allergic to gold! (I really don’t like gold jewellery either as I’m so fair skinned, so this works out pretty well hah).

A candle
Candles are my love language. Seriously! Candles set the mood for romantic evenings, make a room feel so much more welcoming and are honestly just an integral part of my morning/evening routine. I burn candles every single day, they just make me so happy! My very favourite luxury candle brands are Jo Malone, Diptyque and The White Company, although I love more budget friendly brands such as Waitrose, Dovecote (which are a local brand and I’m so happy to support them), and Aldi’s own brand just as much. If your significant other already has enough candles *cough, no such thing, cough* I think reed diffusers and room / linen / pillow sprays also make wonderful gifts.

An experience
I’m not exactly suggesting you sign yourself and your partner up for a life art drawing class – although each to their own – but doing something together that’s different than your norm is SO MUCH FUN. And, er, you get the benefit of the gift too. Whether you know your way around a kitchen or you’re likely to burn toast, taking a cooking class is a sure fire way to heat things up between the two of you! Maybe going to see a sports game is more up your street, or a trip to the theatre, or even a spa day. Whatever floats your boat, surprise your loved one and book something they wouldn’t be expecting. Almost two and half years ago Matt and I went to Go Ape and it was one of our best ever date days, I’d totally recommend that!

Fragrance
Another of my most favourite gifts to give and receive is a beautiful fragrance! Perfume is such an important part of getting ready for me, as I think it is for most people, and it’s such a beautiful gift. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, my favourite ever perfumes are Lancome La Vie Est Belle, Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt and MAC Turquatic, although I’ve been eying up Dior Joy for the longest time… maybe that will be my V Day present to myself! There are so many incredible men’s fragrances, although I think my personal favourites would be Bleu De Chanel (I bought this for Matt two years ago for Christmas and he treats it like it’s gold dust!), Mont Blanc Legend and Dior Sauvage. Don’t be afraid to buy someone a scent they’ve never tried before either – if you like it and it makes you think of that person I think that’s such a sweet gift!

Breakfast in bed
If there’s one day that practically screams ‘let’s have breakfast in bed’ I’m going to safely say it’s Valentine’s Day. Whether you go all out with poached egg and avocado on toast (my fave!) or stack pancakes up high drizzled with maple syrup and all the berries or Nutella (Matt’s fave!) there’s so many options and so many choices. If, like us, you’re working on Valentine’s Day even a cup of tea and an extra five minutes of snuggles in bed is a special treat that will be so appreciated. Whoever gets the short straw to make breakfast in bed just has to make sure they get a little something in return!

Flowers (or a plant!)
Plants are incredible gifts to give because they have actual health benefits! Plants help to purify the air, boost your mood and even can relieve stress or anxiety, and let’s be honest… they looks so dang pretty! You can even buy a cute plant pot to house the new plant in, which is a very thoughtful 2-in-1 gift. Flowers are a great gift for yourself too; I love to buy myself flowers and I don’t care if that’s not something people ‘normally’ do. Occasionally when I’m doing our weekly grocery shopping I’ll pick myself up a bunch or two, although I have to admit there’s something a little extra luxe about M&S’ flowers! You don’t have to spend a fortune either; most bunches are less than £10.00, and if you’re giving them as a gift delivering them personally is way more inexpensive fun than sending them by courier.

I hope this post gave you a few ideas if you and your partner are giving gifts this year. Maybe you’re celebrating galentine’s (on February 13th) with your best girlfriend and want to give them a little treat, there’s so many possibilities! Please just don’t feel stress about gift giving, or the day itself. You can always treat yourself… What is your favourite sustainable gift to give or receive? If you’re in a relationship, do you and your partner celebrate Valentine’s Day?

-G x