What Wellness Means To Me

Happy Sunday, loves!

Can you believe it’s November?! It’s blowing my mind that October has already been and gone, I feel like the year is going SO quickly! Michael Buble is officially my music of choice again, it’s pretty much Christmas, right? I hope you’re having a great weekend, we sure are! My post on Wednesday is going to be another weekend in my life so I’ll fill you in then, but it’s already been SUCH a great weekend, I don’t want it to end! What have you been up to? I hope yours is just as good! Today’s post is very special to me and it’s another personal one!

So, ‘wellness’ is a word we’re seeing everywhere in the media world recently, but what does it actually mean? Well, the dictionary definition is;

wellness
ˈwɛlnəs/
noun
wellness
  1. the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.

…so, we’re clear then, yeah? It’s an ever-growing, ever-changing topic and, to be honest, I think we can all have our own perceptions of how it applies to us and our lifestyles individually. For me, wellbeing means I am happy and content in my life, and by taking time out to do things I love, practice self-care and spend time with my loved ones, I think I achieve that pretty well. It has a positive effect on my mental health, and I’d like to share with you a few things I think are more meaningful to me now, than ever.

I wrote a post all about how I unwind a few months ago, which you can read here if you missed it, and as much as this topic crosses over I think it definitely deserves it’s own post. I think wellness is a branch of self-care, and doing things that make you feel good in turn make you think good.

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Pampering mind and body.
My personal favourite way to unwind (other than cuddling the heck out of my boyfriend) is to indulge in a pamper night. I love to have a hot bubble bath with a Lush bath bomb or bubble bar ideally, use a face/hair mask, carry out an elaborate skincare routine etc. I usually get gel nails every two to three weeks, which is definitely an indulgence, but it’s something that makes me feel so good. (I just got them taken off last week for a ‘breather’ and my nails are ruined!!) For me, pamper nights are not all about the beauty products, it’s also about looking after your brain. I love to read blogs and books, I’ve included a list of all the books I’ve recently loved in this post, and I find it’s one of the best ways to clear my mind. I’m currently reading The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand and it’s SO good, I’d highly recommend picking it up! I also really enjoy watching reality shows like Botched and Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which I’m not sure necessarily stimulates my brain, but they do make me happy!

Listening to Podcasts.
Okay, I hold my hands up and admit, I didn’t think I’d ever get on the podcast hype. I was SO wrong and now I am borderline obsessed! I’ve found they’re a great alternative to music or YouTube, which would be my usual go-to’s. I listen to podcasts getting ready in the morning, on my way to/from work, whilst tidying up, doing the dishes etc – all of the mundane, boring errands and tasks can be so much more fun when you’re distracted with a podcast. My favourite right now is Small Town Murder – each episode tells the story of a murder in a different small town (
no, really?!) but it’s all told in such a humorous way. The guys who run it, James and Jimmy, are HILARIOUS but they never make fun of the victims or their family. I’d highly recommend giving it a listen, and they also have another podcast called Crime In Sports that is just as good! I’m pretty sure Matt is sick of me going on and on about how good STM is, haha!

Voicing gratitude.
As I said in my afore-mentioned post, I started to make a point of writing down things every day that I was grateful for, and it’s been a great pick-me-up if I ever feel down. I’m a very grateful person and also a very expressive person; I tell Matthew approximately 250 times per day I love him and I’m so thankful for everything we have! I mean it so much, and I’m happy that he knows just how much he means to me. I used to laugh and joke that I told him too much, but realistically I don’t think that’s true – it’s important to voice how we feel – good or bad – and I’m happy I’m able to do this. I no longer write down something I’m grateful for every day, but I do as often as I can. I recently read my list back and had a giggle that 90% of it involves Matthew and/or food, I’m a simple gal!

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This photo always makes me giggle! He’s the cutest

Spend quality time with loved ones.
You’ll all be shocked to know that spending quality time with my boyfriend makes me the happiest girl on the planet, I’m sure. Whether it’s a fancy pants date night, a trip/holiday or just our typical evening routine I’m so grateful for everything we have, and I appreciate each minute more than the last. Waking up to him every morning, and snuggling in to sleep with him every night is the best feeling in the world, and it never gets old! We spend lots of time with our families, and I’m so blessed that his family are like my family too! My mam is (of course) one of my favourite ever people and I love spending time with her when we can – we’re both super buys and need to definitely set aside more time together. As we get older we have less free time, and I want to spend it with the people I love most; Matthew, our families and my best friends.

Cooking.
I’ve been banging on about cooking a lot recently, but I really am enjoying it so much. As I mentioned in this post, it took Matt and I so long to even broach the cooking world, but now we’re chef’ing it up on a daily basis and it brings me so much joy. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still partial to an M&S Dine in for Two or a Chinese takeaway now and then, but I definitely feel better on the nights we spend time cooking together. It’s the best feeling when we make something new and it works! The first time we made a BBQ Pineapple Chicken dish it went terribly (pink chicken, anyone?) but now we’re making new dishes most weeks and they’re turning out great. You can read how to make our favourite side dish this Autumn here – it’s so easy! 

Exercising.
I realise that ‘exercise makes you feel good’ is not exactly ground-breaking news, but it’s true! I really enjoy gentle exercises, like yoga and country walks/hikes when we have the time (which also means more quality time with Matthew, do you see a pattern?) but I’m thinking I may step it up a notch. I’d love to try a boxing or spin class or something different to my normal routine, I just need to get the courage to do it! For now, yoga has become something I adore, and I really look forward to spending twenty minutes to an hour when I can, just zen’ing the F out. Spoken like a true Geordie.

Appreciate alone time.
I think it’s extremely important to enjoy time alone; time to collect your thoughts, relax and just
be. For me, taking time for a pamper evening, reading my book or catching up on my favourite girly shows are the ways I enjoy spending time alone the most. Right now I’m all about re-runs of Gilmore Girls and the new series of Riverdale – I LOVE that show! I occasionally like a solo shopping trip or driving alone, as I can shop at my own pace. Spending time alone allows you to re-set in a different way, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying being by yourself for a few hours.

Blogging.
I am so glad I ventured into the blogging world, and every time I get another like, a new follower or, the best, a comment, I know I made the right decision. I’ve received lots of messages and love from people who read my blog, and it’s an indescribable feeling for someone to enjoy the content you put out. For a hobby, it’s a lot of work, but it’s something that brings me happiness, and I enjoy it more and more. I never struggle from writers block as I have so many ideas and as I only post twice a week (usually) I’m chomping at the bit to write my next post. Branching out into style content over the past few weeks – there’s some exciting things coming up! – has been extremely fun, and I genuinely think it’s making me a better person, as my passion is stronger than ever.

Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know what wellness means to you? How do you nurture your mental health that little bit extra, to make it a priority?

-G x

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

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

Five Goals To Achieve Before 2019

Happy Thursday, loves!

Given that it’s mid-September it probably seems a little silly to be setting goals to achieve by the end of the year, but bear with me. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about things I want to improve on and things I want to do, but I have just been putting these off in the hope it’ll get done ‘at some point’. I decided to set myself a few goals and I’ve already put some of these into practice. 2018 has been such a good year, and I’m hoping 2019 will be even better, so I’m giving it the best chance possible with a little head start. I also encourage you to look at areas of your life you’d like to make better, in some form, and set yourself goals to achieve in the next few months!

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Focus on Hobbies

As lame as it probably sounds, I didn’t really have any actual hobbies until this year. Well, I didn’t set aside any time to enjoy them anyway. I started my blog in June because I wanted a creative space to talk about the things I love and enjoy, and to branch out into a world I’ve admired for so long. I watched from afar as people posted exciting content and I’m so excited to be finally part of that – assuming my content is somewhat exciting, that is! I love that the whole process is so enjoyable; having the idea for each post, writing and taking photos; and then I really appreciate that I get a good response in relation to each post. I’m so thankful that people are showing interest in my blog, it really means the world to me. I’ve said this before, but it has become an outlet I didn’t know I needed, and I want to nurture this space just as much, if not more over the coming months.

Since I was a child, I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm, but over the past two years I’ve really upped my reading game. Whenever I get the chance for a long relaxing bath I love to read my book, or on an early Saturday morning when I’ve seen Matt off to work I’ll spend half an hour cosied up with a cup of tea and my latest paperback. I’m now actively setting time aside each day to read, even if it’s just for ten minutes on my lunch break. Another hobby I’ve recently started taking more seriously is yoga; I have practiced on and off for around three years now (self taught, Yoga with Adriene is incredible) and I really want to commit to doing it at least three times per week. I make excuses so that I don’t have to, then I regret not taking 20 or 30 minutes out of my day to relax and enjoy it.

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Cooking More

Over the past few months, Matthew and I have started to branch into the world of cooking (yes, it took us 24 years)! We are trying lots of new foods, learning together and having so much fun in the process. Don’t get me wrong, we will always love an M&S Dine in for 2 deal, but making meals together is fun and exciting, and we get to pretend we’re on Hell’s Kitchen for an hour or so – what’s not to love?! Being serious, I really love cooking with him as we get to spend quality time together, whilst being productive and learning at the same time. We were both under the impression cooking anything other than pasta (which everyone can make, right?) was extremely difficult, however we were so wrong! We’re always on the hunt for new quick and easy recipes;,any recommendations would be much appreciated. Also, I’m planning to share a few of our go-to recipes with you – our potato and chorizo side-dish that I often post on my Instagram story has been requested several times and will be up soon!

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Limit Social Media Time

This is a hard one for me; generally speaking I love social media and really enjoy posting/seeing others’ posts. I especially love Instagram stories and I often browse through location tags of places on mine and Matt’s ‘to visit’ list! (We’re going to Liverpool next month and I’ve already got a few places I can’t wait to see IRL). However, I am so guilty of spending more time than necessary mindlessly flicking through my social apps, and I’m going to make a conscious effort to stop doing this in the evenings. I’m hoping this will filter through into the rest of the day in time. Each night, Matt and I spend our evenings winding down from the day; cooking, watching a show or a movie, running errands, catching up on our day etc, then we sit on our phones for at least 10 minutes before we get into bed. We read tweets out loud to each other, browse through Instagram posts and laugh at Facebook memes, but by the time we get into bed our minds are buzzing with the world of social media again and all of our unwinding is undone! I appreciate our quality time so much, and I want this to be to focus of our evenings, rather than Kylie Jenner’s latest makeup launch. I’m also hoping as mentioned in this post, this will have a positive effect on my mental health.

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Start to Live More Sustainably

I’ve already began to put this into practice, and I’m excited to see how well this comes along. I’m currently in the middle of a clear out of epic proportions; I have gone through all of my clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and am currently mid-way through skincare, makeup and haircare. It’s a very big task and one I’ve been doing over several weeks to limit the mess and improve my success rate. Doing everything in one go would definitely leave me feeling exhausted and I know I’d have given up by now. Little wins seem better, right?! My goal for this is mainly to have what I love, and love what I have.

I had so much crap lying around, and most of it does not get the love or attention it deserves. Also, this will be a huge help for when Matt and I buy our house; I don’t know where I’d start with the moving process with all of the junk I used to own! I am selling and donating the items that no longer serve a purpose for me as there is no need to hold onto things that don’t benefit me. Going forward, I’m going to apply this mind-set to any clothing purchases I make; I want to buy things for a purpose, of good quality fabrics, and stop the hoarding nonsense I somehow became accustomed to. I also am going to stop buying items with a high polyester or acrylic count. I don’t have the budget to completely cut these fabrics out of my purchasing but minimal quantities are the best option right now. I’ll definitely be going into this in more detail in the coming weeks! I’m hoping this will filter through to all my spending in every category.

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Become a More Mindful Shopper

This follows on from my above point, and it makes me equal parts nervous and excited, and I’m not sure I can explain why! I’ve touched on my love of the idea of a capsule wardrobe previously, and as much as I’d love to give it a go, it’s just not for me. I am however going to become more mindful with all of my future purchases, not just clothing related, and I’m excited to see if I can meet the challenge. As I mentioned previously, I just had too. much. stuff. I have known this and joked about it for a very long time, but I feel like now enough is enough. I was buying new clothing, accessories, beauty products etc very regularly and during my clear outs I’ve been gobsmacked to find clothes I hadn’t worn with tags still attached, and items I’d forgot I’d even bought. I really love shopping and I know I’m going to struggle at first, but I think I’ll feel happier putting this into practice (my bank account will definitely benefit, too). My new mantra for all items – clothing, beauty and everything in between is quality, not quantity. *Spoiler: a post all about my wardrobe declutter will be up in the next week!* I’m currently writing a post about this in way more detail, and it’ll be up in the next few weeks.

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to know your thoughts; are you inspired to set a goal or two for the next few months? I’m going to write another post at the end of the year and revisit these goals; I hope this will help to hold me accountable and help me achieve these!

-G x

 

 

Date Inspiration

Welcome back, loves!

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday – I for one am very glad it’s the weekend!

If you’re anything like Matt and I, planning date days/nights to look forward to can really get you through a long week. This weekend we had a lovely double date with my bestie, Jessy and her boyfriend Tom, and we’re spending the rest of it just enjoying our time together. (Apart from the match – I was ditched for that 😉 ). We love to plan things for each other, and together. I’d love to share with you some of our favourite dates – some we do often, some we can’t do as much – but they’re all so fun!

Dinner & Drinks

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Going for dinner and drinks with your partner has to be one of the most well-loved dates, but also one of the best. Matt and I eat out a lot, especially for a couple saving up for their first home – oops! We do however eat out at all different price points, and we never go overboard by doing it too often, so it never gets boring. I realise price points are subjective to each couple, so please take this with a pinch of salt. Going out for dinner with Matt makes me so happy, we’re very much a cutesy hold-hands-across-the-table couple (I mean, are you really surprised?) and it’s nice to spend one-on-one time together. We are also adventurous with food options now which is something I’ve never really done before; we try new foods all the time, and 9 times out of 10 we love them!

Ever since Matt and I got together we’ve shared our date nights out evenly; Matt pays one time, I pay the next and so on. We’ve never been a split the bill 50/50 kind of couple; sometimes we get a few cheaper meals in a row, sometimes a few higher – it really doesn’t matter. Whatever you like to do is perfectly fine, although one of the best things about doing it the way we do is it’s much easier to plan date nights to surprise each other. We actually booked the same restaurant to ‘surprise’ each other one Friday night – luckily we can’t keep secrets so I excitedly told Matt about our plans and his face fell; thankfully because he’d done the same thing, not that he didn’t want to go!

There are so many amazing restaurants that are fairly inexpensive, and worth every penny anyway. One of our favourite relaxed places to eat is Lola Jean’s – there is one in Tynemouth and one in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre, and they’re both incredible. Without a doubt the best burgers in the North East, and they also do great cocktails! Our favourite local date night restaurants are hands down Branches, Ora, Fratelli’s and Babucho’s – great atmosphere, great food, great staff! There are so many places to go for drinks we really have too many to share. The few bars in Ponteland, Tynemouth and Grey St, Newcastle our favourite spots; it’s nice to go for chilled date night drinks and not have to yell at each other across a crowded bar. We also love going for a Sunday lunch, as you will see below!

Cosy Sunday

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The Badger, Ponteland

Sundays with Matthew are my favourite days ever. My ideal Sunday is as follows; waking up without an alarm and cuddling back in for another hour or so, leisurely getting ready (this involves Matt staying in bed snoozing while I shower/do my hair/makeup then jumping up as I say I’ll be done in 15 minutes), going for a walk in the country or at the beach followed by Sunday dinner, then spending the evening snuggled up on the sofa watching crap TV with his parents. We spend a lot of Sundays like this, and I am very grateful for that. This is clearly not the most strenuous of days but my god we don’t half sleep well on Sunday nights, it’s a wonder Matt doesn’t have to carry me upstairs to bed. That saying ‘A Sunday well spent brings a week of content’ could not be more true for us; cosy, lazy Sundays make me very happy!

Our Typical Evening

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Matching M&S dressing gowns… I hate us too

Not every date night has to be a planned-out special affair. My favourite kind of nights are the ones that are very minimal effort – our typical weeknights where we laze around the house and just enjoy quality time together are second to none. Any night can be a date night if you make it one; I think just spending time together one-on-one is a date in itself, to be honest. The kind of nights where we both can curl up together in our comfies; no makeup, messy hair, not a care in the world in that moment; that’s love!

Coming home from a long day at work to my boyfriend is, and always will be, the happiest feeling. We love to cook together or for each other, eat dinner and catch up on each other’s days. The way we spend the rest of our night differs day by day but I especially love the nights we spend just snuggling up watching Neflix! It’s really a case of it doesn’t matter what we’re doing, because we’re together. We appreciate our quality time so much – and I’m so thankful for that. The most exciting thing that might happen on these kind of nights is a spontaneous McFlurry run… I’d say we’re living the life!

Going To A Football Match

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Matt is a diehard NUFC fan, and now I’m following suit! I’ve grown up watching football – my mam and brother are football crazy – but they are huge Manchester United fans (my mam is from there so it’s acceptable, ha)! I’d never been to local games until Matt and I started dating. This is especially weird because I worked at St James’ Park for a few years when I was younger, so I did get a sneak peek now and then. The day we went to our first match together was actually the same day we became officially boyfriend and girlfriend – and ever since it’s been something we really love to do. 

My dad’s lovely friend arranged for us to meet some of the players at one of the last matches of the season (one we won 1-0 against Arsenal, yay!) and I don’t think any other match will beat that day. Seeing Matt’s face light up meeting the players was so sweet – like a child seeing their favourite character at Disney World, haha! I had to actually ask if my boyfriend could get a photo and an autograph as he was so shy, would you believe it?! He’s the cutest. We also like to go out for food before or after each match which makes it a really nice afternoon/evening out. I especially like going in the Winter – wrapping up in lots of layers (UGG’s are essential), enjoying a hot chocolate and snuggling in together. Then, going home to warm up and having a cosy night in – perfect!

Shopping

It seems so simple, but shopping dates really can be so much fun. Our favourite place for a shopping date is hands-down Costco! We enjoy our Costco trips a little too much; we spend too much money every time so it’s not exactly cheap but it’s definitely worth it. One of our favourite things is seeing how many samples we can get – the best time to go is always early on a Saturday evening; they have tons of samples still out and they usually give you two! Yes, this really is exciting for me… We really enjoy food shopping together too; it’s even better if we’re trying a new recipe and buying the ingredients for that. Clothes shopping dates are just as good – Matt is worse than me when it comes to buying clothes, and insists on trying everything on! We love a little wander around the Metro Centre, even more-so before we go on a trip or holiday.

A Staycation

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Hotel Du Vin, Quayside, Newcastle

This one is a special one, and definitely not something to take for granted! We love to go away for one or two nights to explore a new place, but you don’t always have to go far to have a good time.

Matt and I have been very lucky to have a lot of staycations already… and I’m very thankful for every one of them. We live just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne and have stayed in the city several times; our favorite hotels are Hotel du Vin and The Vermont Hotel. I’d highly recommend either; although Hotel du Vin is perfect if you’re after a more romantic weekend – there is a bath in the room and enjoying a bath together is quite obviously the best start to any date night. Every Hotel du Vin we’ve stayed in has been perfect, but the Newcastle one was our fave. We’re biased.

We also stayed at Ramside Hall, Durham a few months ago; this is slightly different as you can spend the whole night in those grounds without leaving – so you’re in the little bubble of the hotel for the night. We really enjoyed Ramside; this also had a bath in the room which was lovely. If this is something you’d fancy doing I’d highly recommend signing up to the hotels websites and using booking.com – you’re more likely to get early deals and discounts this way. Also, booking very late can be a good thing, we once booked a night at Hotel du Vin on a Saturday morning for a steal, then went that night! It’s fun and exciting and this is something we probably won’t ever do when we have our own house; so we definitely like to make the most of it while we can. 

The Beach

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We are very lucky to live right by the beach! In fact, we’re extra lucky because 10 minutes one way is the beach, and 10 minutes the other is the countryside. Going to the beach is such a nice way to spend an afternoon; regardless of the weather. To be honest, no matter how hot it is inland, the beaches in the North East seem to be consistently freezing. We really enjoy getting fish and chips at the beach – although my God the seagulls don’t half ruin the romantic vibes!

Sometimes the beach is an even better place in the Autumn/Winter months (can you tell I’m excited for the change of season?) – when it’s cold and fresh and your nose turns Rudolph red! I think being by the sea is very calming; we tend to just walk along the sea front hand in hand, chatting and enjoying the view. It’s a good way to reconnect and spend time together, as well as getting a little exercise. I know this will be ten times more fun when we finally get our little dog – if you have a dog please know I’m very jealous. We’ll also offer to dog walk any time you like, ha!

Well, there you have it – my favourite kind of dates with Matthew. We do so much more; it’s hard to summarise everything!

I’d love to know your thoughts on this post – maybe you have inspiration to take your boyfriend or girlfriend on a different date than you’ve done before? I’d love to know your favourite date ideas, and any date spots if you live in the North East of England! Matt and I are always on the look out for new places – it’s always fun to try new things. 

Thank you so much for reading! 

-G x