Today’s post is probably one of my favourites in my Twelve Days Of Christmas series, because I flipping love candles! I have always been obsessed with them since I can remember; ever since I was little I’ve loved helping my mam to choose scents for the house. My tastes have change a little in recent months, and as much as I love sickly sweet scents I definitely appreciate fresh scents a little more. This definitely pleases my boyfriend as he thinks some of the sweet bakery scents I love ‘smell like curry’… well, that’s that then.
I wrote a post similar to this back in September with my Autumn favourite candles – you can still pick up most of those scents right now if you’re interested in reading!
I tend to purchase most of my candles from DW Home at Homesense as I just think they’re such a great range; they burn evenly and smell amazing! I’ve bought lots this season, and I think they’re included in almost every Christmas gift Matt and I are giving this year. I didn’t buy as many candles as I usually would (and also didn’t photograph them all, sorry guys!) as I’m really starting to cut down on my spending and be less wasteful, so I thought this was a happy medium.
Winter – The White Company (my fave!) Peppermint – DW Home Christmas Cookie – DW Home Cinnamon – DW Home Christmas Eve – Yankee Candle Pine, Cedar & Eucalyptus – Next Home Peppermint Bark – DW Home Berry Trifle – Yankee Candle (Matt’s lovely mam Debbie surprised me with this a few weeks ago!) Fresh Pine – DW Home Snow Day – DW Home (Matt’s favourite!)
Thank you so much for reading! Have you picked up any of the candles mentioned in this post? Do you have any must-have candles you think I need to purchase this holiday season?
I can’t actually believe it’s December already! I hope you are having a great weekend, I sure am! On Friday night, I picked Matt up from a day out with the boys and we snuggled in for an early night. Yesterday we had the most relaxing morning watching Friends, then spent the afternoon Christmas shopping and enjoying quality time together. We were so excited for a chilled night at home, cooking steaks and watching Hell’s Kitchen and I’m A Celebrity! Today we’re hoping to go for a nice breakfast by the beach, and spend the day shopping, watching football, and visiting with family. We’re determined NOT go to Costco though (we’ve been twice in the past two weeks HAHA, we’re obsessed). What are you up to?!
Today’s post is another personal one, and it’s one I hope I can really help others with! It is not the most Christmassy of posts, however I really hope that anyone feeling a little nervous about the Christmas party season may find this post helpful. I have always been an introvert, and up until the past few years I wanted so badly to be an extrovert. I wanted to thrive off being in large groups, welcome attention and feel at ease in every conversation with a stranger. In reality, it’s just not going to happen because it’s not me, and I can now accept that’s okay. I have battled with anxiety over the past few years, however over the past 12 – 18 months I’ve felt so much better in myself, and I can confidently say it doesn’t affect me anywhere near how it used to.
My boyfriend 100% falls into the extrovert category. Matt is loud, outgoing and so friendly and welcoming to others, and it’s one of the things I admire most about him. He has so many friends and he never shies away from attention (in the best way). Even though I am completely the opposite, it’s a great balance, and he’s made me come out of my shell in so many ways. Whilst still being introverted I’ve become so much more confident and comfortable with myself. When we first started dating, I was worried that me being so shy would ‘put him off’, I’m never the life of the party and I knew this could be a bad thing in some people’s eyes. However I’ve since learned that I can be myself, and over the past year and a half I’ve definitely taken lots of good tips from Matt. As a result I now feel more comfortable in social situations, Matt’s love and support has made me feel so much more at ease with myself, and I’m no longer as shy, awkward or anxious as I used to be. I’m still never going to be the life and soul of the party, but I can enjoy social situations and not overthink everything like I once used to.
*Disclaimer: the legal drinking age in the UK is 18*
A little background Between the ages of 19 and 22 I completely stopped drinking alcohol. I didn’t drink for a few reasons, but the main one was I was terrified to be out of control of my thoughts or actions, and I didn’t like the fear of the unknown once drunk. The root cause of this was having anxiety, and as a result, I began to miss out on a lot of social situations. Let’s bare in mind this was during my late teenage years and early twenties; a window when everyone is up for a good time; to be even more drunk than the last night out, make stupid decisions and fall into a taxi at silly o’clock in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely done that, but I was a little more carefree and didn’t deal with anxiety at that point. I’m fairly sure this is why I’m not an extrovert, seeing as I missed out on those crucial socialising years, but I stand by my decision during that time period, and I don’t regret it.
Fast forward to now, I’m 24 years old and I happily drink socially. I love a glass of wine (or two) with Matt and his family on a Friday night, I go for drinks with my boyfriend and our friends fairly regularly and really enjoy it, and this Summer, Matt and I looked forward to a fruity cider or two during the week on a sunny evening. This has now filtered through into the Autumn/Winter months and some nights we’ll have a glass of wine or a strawberry and lime cider as we curl up for the evening, wild I know! I absolutely stand by the fact I do not need alcohol to have fun or to be more social, and I’m more than happy to drive for date night or a pub night with our friends, so Matt can enjoy a few drinks. Since I began drinking again, I’ve only been mortal, as we say in Newcastle, once, but that was totally Matt’s fault. HAHA. (We went for a day date followed by a few drinks watching the NUFC game, we made friends with a sweet lady visting from New York City, crashed her evening with her friends and rolled home at 1am… oops!) For me, being tipsy is definitely my happy medium.
As I touched on earlier, the Christmas party season is coming up very quickly, and if you have anxiety, or you’re just a bit nervous/shy (contrary to popular belief, they aren’t the same thing!) but looking forward to meeting new people, maybe enjoying a few too many mulled wines and wearing all of the glitter possible, this post is hopefully for you. I’m going to share with you various things that may help you to feel more comfortable socialising, and how you can lessen any pre-party anxiety you may have.
Spend time enjoying getting ready before going out. One of the most important things for me is to feel good before I go out, as I think having that little bit of extra confidence shows through in my personality. When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good it’s very apparent to those around you. Treat yourself to a mini pamper session; run a hot bubble bath, throw a face mask on, and spend as much time as you like doing your hair and makeup. I know that glittery eyeshadow, a nude lip and a little extra highlighter makes me feel my best! Picking your outfit prior to the event date is also a good idea as it eliminates a little of the stress.
Read reviews/menu’s online. Before I go to a new restaurant, bar, hotel etc I always scour Trip Advisor and Instagram, as well as searching for blog posts to see if I can get any insider information before getting there. I’ve done this since I struggled badly with anxiety, and it’s more of a habit now than a necessity for me. It does take a little of the ‘fun’ out of going somewhere new, but I prefer to have an idea. Matt laughs at me all the time because we’ll go to a new restaurant on date night and I’m all ‘the toilets are so cool inside!’ and ‘their gin cocktail is really popular’ as we’re stepping through the door.
Have a (rough) plan. It will probably benefit you to have an idea of how your night will go, and what you’ll be up to. Most introverts thrive off plans and lists (guilty!) and much like checking out menus and reviews, you can feel at ease if you have an idea you’ll be going to A Bar, B Bar and C Restaurant throughout the night. I would say to be careful you don’t rely on this too much as, much to my dismay, plans often change last minute. You can also have an ‘escape plan’ with your partner/friend/colleague in case anything gets a bit too much for you. I am very happy to say I’ve not needed an ‘escape plan’ during nights out for well over a year now, however this used to help me so much because I knew I wasn’t trapped anywhere, and I could always get out if needed.
Book taxis prior to going. Along the same lines of planning, it always helped for me to know what time I’m going to be somewhere, and what time I’m roughly going to be back cosy in bed with bae. Again, this doesn’t affect me so much now, however it used to be a God-send, and I’d definitely recommend anyone with social anxiety to do so. It’s always a good idea to book in advance anyway as you can usually get set fares, it’s a win-win!
Go with someone you feel comfortable with. It may seem obvious, but where possible I’d always recommend going out to social events (whether it be a night out with friends or a networking event) with someone you love and trust. I know if I’m anywhere with Matthew I feel safe, protected and I enjoy my night so much more. I have this same feeling with my close friends, and I’m very grateful I am able to lean on people to find comfort if I was to feel nervous or anxious throughout the evening.
Take time out to re-fuel if you need to. If you need to walk around the room, pop to the loo (any excuse to touch up your lippy, right?) or just step outside for five minutes, that’s okay. Pay attention to how you feel, and let yourself have a few minutes of alone time if required. It’s also nice to sneak off with your partner and have your own little chat (and a quick kiss), sometimes when you go out in a group it feels like you spend half the night apart!
Join in with small talk. One of the most difficult things for me, even now, is making small talk with people I don’t know. Depending on who I’m with I sometimes find it easy to join in, although I do find it very hard to initiate. Don’t be afraid to voice your thoughts and opinions, people want to get to know you! It’s all about faking it until you make it – I’m doing that, too – and it’s really important to push yourself out of your comfort zone sometimes. This is one of those times! Stick to neutral subjects; mutual friends, your boyfriends bad dancing (love you, babe!) or, if worst comes to worst and you’re frozen on the spot, talk about the weather. Brits love to talk about the weather.
Don’t feel the need to keep up with the crowd. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it’s fine not to drink alcohol if it’s not for you, and it’s also fine to not ‘keep up’ with those around you. Who cares if Sarah is onto her fourth G&T in an hour and is begging the DJ to play Spice Girls – Wannabe? It’s not your problem, and if you are drinking I’d recommend drinking at your own pace. Let everyone else have their own fun, and you have yours. Also, if you don’t drink alcohol, it can be quite amusing to see how your friends or peers act when they’re drunk, it used to always give me a giggle!
Make sure to enjoy quality time with a loved one (or by yourself) after. That’s it, you’re home and you’ve had a great night! Now you can chill the F out. It’ll be no surprise to any of my usual readers but being with my boyfriend is my happy place, and planning in (see?) quality time with him is one of my favourite things. It’s not too often I feel shy, nervous or anxious enough to not want to go out anymore, however knowing Matt and I will get to snuggle up at the end of the night makes me feel so much better. Make your room cosy for coming home; fresh bedding, a cosy blanket, water on the bedside table in case you’ve had a little too much to drink. All of the home comforts will mean so much more to you as you’ll likely feel physically exhausted.
Thank you so much for reading! Did you find any of my tips helpful? Do you have any extra tips to add, that may help me or my readers? Please let me know!
I hope you enjoy the party season, and please drink responsibly if you choose to do so!
I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! I spent yesterday Christmas shopping and catching up on my shows while Matthew went out with the boys for the afternoon, then we had a cosy evening enjoying a takeaway and watching a few more episodes of Making A Murderer! I’m so excited to spend today relaxing together, maybe going for a walk at the beach and definitely out for a Sunday roast! Tonight we’ll be snuggling in to watch I’m A Celebrity, I’m really excited to see how Holly and Dec’s dynamic will play out, I love her on This Morning and I’m sure she’ll be great! Are you going to be watching?
Today’s post is exciting because using a face mask is one of my favourite self care/skincare routines, it genuinely makes me happy! Real talk: Matthew and I love a pamper evening together, and around once per week after we dinner we quite enjoy throwing a face mask on and snuggling in to watch a show (or three) on Netflix. Matthew has pretty great skin all year round, and let’s be real he’s not too fussed on which masks we use, but I’ve finally found three masks I’d recommend over anything else and I’m sharing them with you today! If you fancy treating yourself to a little pre-Christmas night out pamper, or if you’re looking for stocking fillers I think these are a great purchase!
Garnier Skin Active Replumping Shot Sheet Mask
This is hands down my favourite sheet mask EVER, and actually the reasoning behind this post! First of all, it’s pretty much the perfect size for my face. One of my biggest pet hates about most all-in-one sheet masks is there is always so much extra material that either bunches up on your cheeks or hangs awkwardly around your neck… not cute.
The two masks in this range are the first DIY sheet mask on the market – high end or drugstore – and I just know over the next few months lots of other brands will release their own versions! The mask is separated in the packet – the sheet mask is dry when you purchase, and the serum to saturate the mask is in it’s own pocket in the bottom. To mix the two you fold along the lines on the back, and push the serum through into the dry sheet. I tend to shake the packet to make sure the serum is fully coating the mask, then open and put on my face. I probably made that sound way more complicated than it is, I promise it’s super easy and there’s step by step instructions on the back of the packet. There is 30ml of serum in this mask – THIRTY!! That’s the same as a whole bottle you’d use over X amount of months, but all in one go! The serum is Hyaluronic Acid which works miracles for my skin, it is so hydrating and moisturising. My skin always looks glowy and fresh after use, it’s the perfect pre date night mask and it’s a great product to add a little more hydration in the colder weather.
Sanctuary Spa’s venture into the skincare world is so underrated in my opinion, I’ve tried a few products from their newest range – I love their bath and body produdcts already – and everything seems such high quality. This mask is great for drawing the impurities out of your skin, but I can’t tell you how weird the sensation is on first use! This mask is in two separate parts – I apply the first part to the top of my face first, then put the bottom half on. When you take the mask out of the packet it’s a dark grey colour (and smells divine!) then it gradually turns light grey/white as the mask begins to bubble. The bubbling sensation isn’t too noticeable after the first 30 seconds or so but you can definitely feel it happening, it’s quite a weird feeling! I love to use this mask in the bath as it’s a little messy, but it is such a fun concept. It’s not a gimmick product as it may sound, it really draws the crap out of my face! I’d advise if you are wanting to try this out to use it at least three days prior to an event or night out as it always leaves me with spots the next day, but then my skin looks/feels better than ever a few days later. I’ve not tried the Bubblemask from Glamglow, although I assume this is very similar and a great alternative!
This is the first under eye mask I’ve found to really make a difference, and I’m obsessed with it! I apply this under my eyes and leave on for around 10 to 15 minutes, usually whilst I’m pottering around, making Matt and I a cup of tea on a weekend morning! I really love using this mask on a weekend morning, as it means I can then massage the residue in after use and apply my skincare and makeup. If you’re a regular reader you probably already know I have dry, irritated skin under my eyes and this (along with my favourite eye cream – you can read about that in this post!) is making a huge difference. I find my makeup goes on SO much better after, it’s like it completely rejuvenates the skin under my eye. There is a note on the back of the packet to try putting the mask in the fridge prior to use, and I’m definitely going to try that next time!
I hope you’re all having a great week, I sure am and I can’t wait for this weekend! I’m planning to spend it doing a little Christmas shopping, a date night with Matthew, and a whole lot of cosy QT with him too. Also, Victoria’s Secret opens in our local mall today and I’m giddy about it, I can’t wait to go browse (and probably buy lots as I just had a huge clear out) at the weekend!
Today’s post is one that’s very close to my heart, and something I’ve already touched on a few times in recent posts. Living sustainably is something, in my opinion, we should all strive to be doing, and it’s a complete minefield of a topic. For me, I’m trying to implement lots of little ways in which I can live a more sustainable lifestyle, and I’m excited to share these things with you too. Some of the things in this post I already do, and some I’m slowly introducing and trying to be better at. We’re not perfect and we’re certainly going to make slip ups and mistakes, but that’s okay! Being knowledgeable about this topic is the first step in taking action, and you’d be surprised at how teeny little changes in your day-to-day life can make such a huge difference to the world we live in.
Sustainable living describes a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources, and one’s personal resources.
Buying re-usable bags
…and using them! In my opinion, one of the easiest things we can do is buy canvas bags or bags for life and use them every time we go shopping. Matt and I keep several in the boots of our cars, so they’re out of the way and we never have an excuse to not use them. I love the M&S ones especially – they keep food cold for ages! They also zip up so nothing gets wet when you’re taking your items back to the car in the rain, and let’s be real it’s always raining in England! Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda etc all have so many options, and the Christmas themed ones out right now are super cute. The UK implemented charges, starting at 5p per plastic one-use carrier bag, a few years ago, and that alone has reduced our waste from the UK massively.
Limiting one-use plastic purchasing Following on from the above, one-use plastic is a huge contributing factor to the problems we’re facing with our planet right now. Real talk, my job is based in Accounts, but in the plastics industry, and I’m so tired of hearing how we must all hate plastic. Plastic is the worst material for us to use/purchase. Plastic is killing our planet. No, no and no! This is not true, and after that Blue Planet documentary, the UK has gone crazy in a ‘war’ against plastic. In reality, plastic is a great material and is a necessity in our lives nowadays. The issue is how we dispose of plastic, and the fact that so much waste was being sent abroad and literally being thrown into rivers. Obviously, this meant the plastic packaging eventually ended up in our oceans, and as a result is killing all of our marine life. Small things like buying cans instead of bottles of fizzy pop, not buying the afore-mentioned cheaper plastic bags and not using plastic straws can make a world of difference.
Recycle household waste
I’m pretty sure this is a very obvious suggestion, but it baffles me that some people still don’t separate cardboard, plastic, glass etc at home! Every council will be different, but as far as I’m aware all councils provide a standard bin and a recycling bin, check with your local council to see what should go into each. You can also take extra waste to bottle banks and cardboard recycling units, it’s easy and a small change that can make a big difference. The other issue with this is when items go to recycling plants, most materials end up in landfill and as great as it is for manufacturers that plastic is long-lasting, unfortunately those long-lasting effects mean they’re stuck in landfill sites for YEARS. This is a whole other issue that we cannot personally help with, but at least separating our waste is a start.
Shop more sustainably
I already wrote a whole post on this, and it’s a topic with many layers. You can read that post here for lots more detail. I personally am trying to purchase from ethical, sustainable brands where possible, Selected Femme, Matt & Nat and Patagonia are great options that sell fairly affordable products. The issue is that when you shop sustainably, the items cost more because the production costs are higher, making this less possible for everyone to adhere to. Other things you can do to shop sustainably on a budget, is to buy clothes that you know will last you a long time, for seasons to come instead of just the current one. You can swap with friends or hey, if you’re crafty you could even make your own!
Shop more sensibly This is slightly different than shopping sustainably, as what I mean by this is to shop in a way that suits you and your lifestyle, but in a sensible manner. You don’t need to buy a new outfit every time you go out, and buying items that will last you for a long time is sensible as you’ll re-use items, and they’ll stand frequent washing and wearing. My number one tip that I’m now trying to stick to whole-heartedly, is to buy better quality items, and to shop less in general. Buying better quality items of course means they will last longer, and in turn means you have less of a ‘need’ to shop, so this covers both bases. I touched on this in my Wardrobe Declutter post and I’m going to have a whole post up about shopping sustainably on a budget in the new year!
Carrying a re-usable cup This past week I’ve just put my favourite Starbucks re-usable cup in my car, so I don’t have an excuse when I’m out and about to get a paper cup. Let’s hope I remember to put it back in the car after each use! Another bonus of using a re-usable cup in a coffee shop is you get a discount, which I know is 25p at Starbucks and that’s a pretty good saving. The whole issue with takeaway coffee cups is inside the lining of them is a thin polyethylene lining that cannot be easily removed from the cardboard, therefore making it unrecyclable. Or of course, the best option would be just to make your own hot chocolates, teas and coffees at home more often!
Try ‘naked’ toiletries
A range of products I’m excited to explore is Lush’s ‘naked’ range; essentially the product acts as the packaging too, and it eliminates the need for a container, which would generally be made of plastic. It’s a great idea and a road I think many other companies will venture down in time, as it reduces their carbon footprint also, and entices the customer more. They make shampoo bars, shower gels etc which follow this concept, and it’s something I can’t wait to try. I am a Lush fanatic – their bath bombs, regular shower gels and bubble bars are my jam! I’ve even got Matthew into them, he loves a bath bomb HAHA.
Buy from ethical and/or cruelty free beauty brands
This is a topic that many people feel strongly about, and it’s a huge part of saving our planet. Many brands still test on animals, even some brands I have purchased from, although I’m really going to be more mindful of this going forward. There are SO many beauty brands that get the ethical stamp of approval, and unlike clothing this category does not necessarily mean higher priced products. Some of my favourite ethical, cruelty free brands include; The Body Shop, Lush, Pixi, Liz Earle, Clean, Drunk Elephant, Hourglass, It Cosmetics, Real Techniques, The Ordinary, Kat Von D and Too Faced.
Donate items you no longer require
Donating items is a win-win situation; you clear out items cluttering up your space, and someone can receive those items for free via a charity, or buy them second hand for a much better price. This applies to pretty much everything you may want to clear out – clothes, shoes, bedding, electrical appliances, even extra toiletries as charities and shelters always have a demand for such items. If you’d like to donate toiletries please ensure they’re fully sealed and have not been used!
Drink tap water
It may sound silly, but again it cuts down usage of plastic bottles, and it’s free! I really do think water tastes different, and my family buy water bottles all the time from Costco, but Matt and I are at leas doing our part by drinking tap water most of the time. Similarly to taking a re-usable coffee cup in the car, a re-usable water bottle is also a great idea! There may be occasions when you’re out and about and purchase a bottle of water, but that’s few and far between. Also, I seen on Instagram a company has just recently released canned water, with a nifty resealable lid, so maybe items like that will become more popular too.
Don’t be so quick to turn the heating on Another obvious one, but before you stick the heating on, throw another jumper on or your dressing gown! I live for my dressing gowns (and Matthew’s!) and pretty much any time we’re in the house I’m wearing one anyway, even over clothes. Yep, I’m that person! Having your heating on a timer – maybe for an hour just before/as you’re getting up in the morning, and an hour before you come home in the evening is often enough to warm the house through. Of course, once it’s icy or snowy every day this might not be possible but it’s something worth thinking about.
Save water I’m the biggest advocate of a bath (or cuddles from my boyfriend) being the number one way to de-stress and chill out after a long day, but of course taking showers is much better for the environment. I probably take a bath two to three nights per week, and the other nights/mornings I will take a shower. I know three baths per week may still be excessive to some, but it’s definitely a lot less than what I was doing! Modern toilets are designed to help save water too with the dual flush option, and most new shower heads are designed to use as less water as possible.
Buy loose fruit and vegetables, and don’t put them in plastic bags
A simple way to make a change is to buy loose fruit and vegetables where possible, and just put them in your trolley/basket as they are. They don’t need to be housed in a thin plastic bag to go from the supermarket to our houses either – whether that bag is free or not – as it doesn’t really make much difference. It’s generally cheaper to buy by the kg, and you’re almost definitely going to have less waste as you’ll buy what you need and not need to throw other products away after. If you have a farmers shop or something similar close by that is better than shopping at a supermarket too, but unfortunately that’s not something we have easy access to.
Another way to cut your food waste is to meal plan. Matthew and I roughly plan out our meals for the week on a Sunday, and then I’ll go and buy as many of the ingredients as possible in one go. We go through fresh produce like vegetables quickly, and it’s items like peppers or potatoes we need to pick up through the week. Meal planning is a simple way to save money as well as help the environment, and we love to try to new recipes! We’re setting ourselves a goal in the new year to have at least one day a week where we don’t eat meat (probably Monday, because #MeatlessMonday is a thing for a reason) so I’m hoping we can stick to that.
Change up your cleaning products I’m sure you’re all fully aware who Mrs Hinch is (if not, what?! Have you been living under a rock? Please go check out her Instagram RIGHT NOW @mrshinchome) and as a result, sales in cleaning products is through the roof! Minkeh’s sold out and were going for literally £20 on eBay, it was a crazy time! (If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, I can guarantee you have a busier life than me HAHA). Sophie talks about so many products during her Instagram stories, although not all of them are good for the environment. Brands like Method are environmentally friendly, and although they tend to cost a little more they are a safer product to use. Do your research and change out a few products accordingly, but I’d highly recommend anything from Method when you’re Hinching – they all smell divine!
Carpool or walk more
Driving is of course the most convenient way to get around, but it’s not breaking news that it’s not very good for the environment. Where I live, public transport is not accessible (and in my opinion, the whole point of driving and having a car is to use it!) however where possible you can carpool with friends, family or co-workers. Something that may help in a small way is on a weekend, when Matthew is off, we only use one car instead of two, so we’re slightly reducing our carbon footprint.
Thank you so much for reading! Do you try to do any of the things mentioned above, or are you wanting to put any of these ideas in place? Do you have any extra tips to share with me and my readers?
I hope you are all having a great weekend, I sure am! I took Matthew for a little surprise date night on Friday, we went to one of our favourite Italian restaurants and we had such a fun evening! We definitely went home early to snuggle up and watch Making a Murderer HAHA, we just started this week but we’re already obsessed. He started work late yesterday so we had a super chilled morning, (if you’re a regular reader, yes we DID have bacon sandwiches!) and I spent the afternoon doing a little work on the blog, running errands and ticking a few more Christmas presents off my list at our local mall! I also found out yesterday that my sweet friend Eilish got engaged to her lovely boyfriend (now fiancee!!) Alan, and I couldn’t be happier for them both! I feel like Matt and I heard so much bad news recently it feels ten times better to hear something happy! Matthew’s off work today so as this blog post goes up we’ll be snoozing up a storm, yay for Sunday lie ins! Also, it’s Remembrance Sunday today, I’m thankful for our servicemen today and every day and appreciate all they do for us to live the lives we do. Matt and I are going to spend the day running errands, doing more Christmas shopping and hopefully going for a Sunday roast in a local pub. That sounds like a pretty dreamy Sunday to me. What are you guys up to?!
Today’s post is all about my current beauty must-haves, from bath and body products, to makeup and skincare, and I’m so excited to share them with you! I decided to talk about these products in more detail because I feel like everyone NEEDS to know about them, it’s a good feeling when you truly love a product and it should be shared, right? As I mentioned in this post, I really love reading monthly favourites posts, and although I don’t use enough new products day by day to write my own, I like to share with you as and when I have specific products to talk about.
Bath & Body
Dior Blooming Bouquet Rollerball Perfume. I have a confession. I love perfume! I really have too many favourites to count but this one, Lancome La Vie Est Belle & Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede will always be my top three. Recently, I’ve been reaching for this on an almost daily basis. It’s a very light, girly scent and it’s one that I never tire of; it can be worn day or night, and even though it’s probably more suited for Spring/Summer I’ve worn it all Autumn! I love that this is a rollerball as it makes it easy to carry around day-to-day and to travel with. Finding rollerball perfumes in the UK is so difficult and I don’t know why, because in the US they’re so readily available. I’m running low and definitely need to repurchase soon, I’m hoping to get it for a steal in the Black Friday sales this year! (Anything’s better than full price, right?)
Lush Cheery Christmas Bath Bomb. I have a new favourite bath bomb this year and if you haven’t tried it you’re seriously missing out! This is amazing, it creates the most beautiful pink princess bath and the whole bathroom smells incredible. I am a sucker for bath bombs and Lush’s Christmas range always knock it out of the park, I love the pretty snowflake design. This smells like blackcurrant (it’s a similar scent to another favourite product, The Comforter bubble bar) but it’s not overpowering at all. I’ve used so many of these already this season, I may as well give Lush all my money at this point! Side note: I also love Golden Wonder (obviously), Snow Fairy Jelly Bomb, and Matt and I both love the Butterbear!
Lush Snow Fairy Body Conditioner. Okay, I am a sucker for anything Snow Fairy related. The shower gel is a go-to every year and I definitely stockpile, but my goodness this product is amazing. I’ve used the Ro’s Argan body conditioner before which is great, but it doesn’t smell like Snow Fairy… This product is such a clever concept, basically you apply before you get out of the shower and rinse off (I use shower gel, wash my hair, shave then apply this!) and it acts as a moisturiser on your skin. I’ve already used one tub and I have two back ups, I may have already asked Santa if he can leave one in my stocking! It leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised, and it’s so handy at this time of year when if you’re standing around naked after a shower, waiting for a lotion to sink in, you’re freezing cold! I do sometimes still use a body lotion after (this is my favourite) but if I don’t want to, I definitely don’t have to.
Estee Lauder Micro Precision Brow Pencil in Brunette. I was so pleasantly surprised when I got this product a few weeks ago, and I was so excited to tell you all about it! I have been a loyal lover of ABH Brow Wiz for years and years, and I’ve always stuck with the brand no matter what. My last three pencils have snapped several times (I never have them wound out too far) and to be honest I was a little fed up of spending money on a product that didn’t really come through anymore. A few weeks ago on my lunch break, I browsed blogs and various websites for a different brand and I happened to find this one by chance! I’m a firm believer in Estee Lauder’s products and of course this was another great buy. My eyebrows fill in so much easier with this product, it’s soft and easy to apply, but doesn’t snap or smudge on my face. The spoolie is a little more dense than the ABH option, and I find it brushes the product through lots better too. It lasts SO good throughout the day, and creating hair-like strokes is so easy!
Nars Blush in Madly. For me this is the perfect blush colour! I never thought I’d love a shade as much as I love Nars Orgasm, but this is even better in my opinion. In the pan it’s a fairly boring beigey nude (? great description) and to be honest, it doesn’t look anything special. However, once applied to the apples of my cheeks it just makes my face look put together, it’s a simple colour and can be worn with any makeup look. It has a super fine shimmer running through it but I don’t think it’s visible when applied. The shade will definitely appeal more to those of us with fair to medium skin tones, and for any of fair skinned girls out there it will never look muddy or cakey! I also really like shades like this in the Autumn/Winter, as if I wear a pink blush my cheeks look SO flushed when I come in for the cold, it’s not a good look!
Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Primer. I’ve used and enjoyed this product on and off for at least two years, but after repurchasing on a whim in October (Matt and I went to Liverpool for the weekend and I forgot my primer) I’ve realised just how much I love it! I use this through my T-Zone day-to-day, or all over my face if I’m going out on a date night and want my makeup to look it’s best for a long period. It’s a thick formula but it sinks straight into the skin when applied, which means foundation and concealer lay so much better on top of it. It’s super affordable and just as good if not better than any high end primer I’ve tried.
The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream. I’ve been using this product for the past few months, alternating with my Clinique Moisture Surge. I actually picked this up because I feel like I go through my Clinique one so quickly, and as much as I love it I can’t justify buying a new one every 6 weeks! (I never used to purchase that often, so I’m not sure why I suddenly do, but I mentioned this to a lady on one of the Clinique counters and she said she believes it’s been reformulated and that may be why, as it’s a thinner product now). I wanted a more affordable option, and one that was a little easier to take between houses – if you don’t know by now, come on! – and I was so pleasantly surprised with this. I’ve just repurchased a new tub, so I feel like I can fully tell you about it now. It’s a fairly lightweight moisturiser but so hydrating, and a great balance for my combination skin. It sorts out dry patches over night, but never makes my skin look or feel more oily. The Body Shop skincare is SO good!
Pixi Glow Tonic. This is the most recent addition to my skincare routine, and it’s making my skin better by the day. It’s formulated with Glycolic Acid, which is great for removing impurities and any dead skin – which of course you do not want lingering on your face! I’ve played around with using this just at night, or morning and night, and now my skin can definitely handle it being used twice per day. I apply to a cotton round, and wipe it over my face. Since I began using this I’ve definitely seen a decrease in blackheads and my pores seem smaller and smoother, it’s a great product. I know it’s working wonders because even Matthew has noticed my skin is looking so much better! I do have pretty sensitive skin and I think the first few times I had a little reaction – nothing too bad, just redness – but now I can use it twice daily without issue. I’d used a trial size sample years ago and couldn’t remember how my skin reacted to it, so just bought a mini to try although I’m definitely going to purchase the larger size next time I’m in Boots!
The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Eye Mask. Again?! I know, I’ve already raved about this product here and here, but I can’t stop telling people about it! I have talked about it on my blog, and I’ve recommended it to my friends, coworkers and anyone that views my Instagram story! I just LOVE it. Along with the Vitamin E Serum-in-Oil, this is my (joint) number one product from The Body Shop and it’s made such a difference to the skin under my eyes. For the past few years my under eye area has been super irritated and dry, and I’m very prone to styes which makes it worse. Since using this product I’ve noticed a huge difference; my skin feels much more soft and supple, and my concealer/powder applies better than ever.
I’m being super sneaky and holding back another skincare range that is blowing my MIND at the moment, as I have a whole post dedicated to the product(s) coming in the next week! Trust me, you’re going to want to know all about it, and they’re so inexpensive!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a wonderful Sunday! Do you use or have you tried any of the products in this post? What products are you currently loving right now? I always love to get recommendations!
Today’s post is a little round up of what Matt and I got up to this past weekend, and I’m so excited to share with you. Since I got such a good response to my photo diary of Matt and I’s spa weekend and my last Week In My Life post, I figured I’d follow the same format. Spoiler: our weekend involves a lot of eating and so much fun! Is it bad that it’s only Wednesday and I’m counting down to this weekend too? It’s been a week, guys!
Friday 2nd November
Waking up on Friday morning is always exciting; there’s an eight hour work day between me and the weekend, and I’m ready for it! This morning Matt and I were lucky enough to have a little lie in because he’s off all day (alright for some!) and we spent the morning snuggled up in bed, pretending I didn’t have to go to work.
We stayed curled up for as long as we possibly could, before I went to make us cups of tea. I really love our morning cuppa together, it’s such a great start to the day and lets us spend a little quality time together. I got ready whilst Matthew snoozed, I was so jealous he could stay in bed because it was so cold and icy out, I was already counting down to snuggling back up in bed in the evening!
My morning at work went pretty quickly and I got so much work done in a short amount of time, which always seems that little bit harder on a Friday. It was of course Takeaway Friday and today’s choice was Greggs, a little bit boring but I was so happy because it’s been a LONG time since we got lunch from there. The day flew by, as Friday’s usually do, and before I knew it, it was 5pm, and time for the weekend to officially begin.
I headed back home (home being my second home, at Matthew’s house!) to get ready for the evening as Matthew and I were going into town. We had plans to go to Stack and I was so excited because we’ve never been, and some of our friends were joining us too! Stack is a huge outside bar, filled with heaters, fires, and lots of food and drink places – it’s such a cool concept, and sorry my photo doesn’t do it justice! My lovely friend Laura came with us, then we were joined by Keith, Nathan and Jordan (they love to joke around about my blog but they were adamant they got a named mention, HAHA). Matt, Laura & I shared pizzas from Eatalia, they were so good and I’d definitely recommend if you find yourself in Stack anytime soon. We were wrapped up in all the layers and enjoyed a few drinks with our friends, it was such a fun night!
Saturday 3rd November
We had a relaxed Saturday morning, and lounged in bed with cups of tea before getting ready for the day. Again it was SO cold outside, it may still technically be Autumn but it sure feels like Winter! Matt was a little worse for wear, so we definitely chilled for longer than necessary, but I wasn’t complaining!
Today we had super fun plans, we were heading to watch the football at St James’ Park. We LOVE going to the games together, and we wish we were able to squeeze more in but due to work commitments it’s not possible. It’s also exciting to me to get wrapped up (ALL the layers were required!) and spend lots of QT with my favourite person, so I was happy as Larry.
Matt drove into town and we grabbed McDonald’s on the way in because (as per usual) we were running late, but surprisingly there was almost no traffic and we made it to the stadium an hour before the game. We had so much fun (and we won 1-0, YAY!) Matt jokes I’m his good luck charm because every time we go together we never lose! I’d managed to arrange with my dad’s friend for Matthew to meet the players again, I so badly wish I could have kept it a secret to surprise him but I told him as soon as I found out last weekend! We did this back in April, and Matt was literally as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. Last time he was a little shy, which is not at all his personality, but he wasn’t this time because he knew what to expect, and it was even better! I was so glad I managed to pull it off because seeing him so happy made me so happy, he’s just so cute I can’t take it! We also got to see DeAndre Yedlin again (he’s literally the nicest person ever, and definitely the sweetest player we’ve met!) and that was so fun.
We stayed in the players lounge for an hour or so, then we were in a serious rush to make it to the beach in time to watch the firework display! We were going to watch Bonfire Night fireworks in a nearby town, and I can’t actually believe it’s been a whole year since we last did this. I love Bonfire Night and all of the celebrations it involves, even if it is always absolutely freezing. I was however very excited to wear Ugg’s for the first time of the season HAHA!
We made it to the beach with minutes to spare, and the firework display was amazing, even better than last year. We loved spending the evening watching them together, and it’s so fun to continue traditions! (Sorry guys, getting photos of fireworks on an iPhone is so damn hard!) When the display finished, we picked up Chinese food and headed home for a cosy Netflix night. This was such a perfect day and definitely one of my favourite days of the whole year! We snuggled in to eat our food, drink strawberry and lime cider (it’s our fave) and watch Michael McIntyre followed by MOTD. We both went to sleep with our hearts so full and feeling so happy!
Sunday 4th November
After a few hectic weeks/weekends and a busy day yesterday, we were super lucky to not have many plans for the day, other than spending most of it together, so we decided to have a lazy morning before getting ready for the day. We snuggled for a while, Matthew did a little work before this evening (he had to head into work for a meeting and a team night out) and I caught up on a few YouTube subscriptions. I was so excited that a new package of Swiss Miss arrived I couldn’t wait to have one – it’s the best hot chocolate ever and you can’t buy it in the UK! I always order off eBay and it’s so worth the inflated price.
Probably the best part of our day was heading out on a little venture to Home Bargains to find goodies for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. This is such a worthwhile charity and if you’re looking to give back this Christmas season it’s a great way to do so. You can find out all of the information here, but you’ll have to be quick as the deadline to hand shoeboxes in is November 18th! Matt packed a box for a boy aged 5 to 9, and I packed a box for a girl aged 5 to 9. It was such a joy to do this and I really hope the children that receive these boxes enjoy them, and feel all the love we put into them! We’re including photos and a little note about ourselves in our boxes too, so the children that receive them know a little bit about where they came from.
I posted about this on my Instagram story on the day we went and I was a little nervous to do so, as some people think if you discuss or share giving to charity you’re doing it for the wrong reasons – I completely disagree and think it’s something we should share more often, and encourage others to give too! We also picked up new Christmas stockings for each other (these ones, they’re so cute!!) I can’t WAIT until we have our house and the can hang on the fireplace. *insert all of the cosy, mushy feelings here* LOL.
We headed home and ate bacon sandwiches (I really do make a good bacon sandwich!) and Matt did a little more work, then unfortunately he had to go into work for a little while. When he left I worked on the blog for a few hours, then spent the rest of my evening catching up on Riverdale, Coronation Street and KUTWK. I put fresh bedding on for us, which always makes life seem ten times better, right?! I also squeezed in a Lush bath as I still had a little time, my arthritis is really playing up (I’m pretty sure it’s because of the cold weather but I feel like an eighty year old) and my knees are especially affected, a hot bath helps SO much!
After I got out the bath and dried my hair, I snuggled up to catch up on a few of my YouTube subscriptions and eat Tarka Dahl soup (Matt was going for Indian food as part of his night out – we never eat dinner apart so this was so weird HAHA). I only managed to watch a few Ellie & Jared vlogs before Matt arrived home, so now we’re about to snuggle in to watch a show on Netflix and eat some treats. My dad bought us a box of Celebrations chocolates, and opening them feels like cheating because it’s not Christmas! Snuggling in to watch a show is one of my favourite ways to end the night, it really is the little things that count the most. We’re probably going to have an early night as Matthew starts work at 7am tomorrow! I already can’t wait for a snuggly Monday evening…
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you had a great weekend too? I had so much fun this weekend and I wish I could go back to Friday night and do it all over again so bad. What’s your favourite way to spend the weekend? I think this will be my last ‘In My Life’ post for a little while as I have so much content planned in this month and next, but if you’d like to see another, please let me know and I’ll try to squeeze it in!
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!
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!
-spicy chorizo – I’d recommend Lidl’s Deluxe range!
-garlic (powder or the real deal)
-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
Step by Step:
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.*
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).
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
Take the potatoes out of the oven to serve! Bon appetit.
Yes, it really is that easy.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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*
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?!)
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!
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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?
Today’s post is a fun one, I am such a lipstick obsessive. There are so many brands I love, although MAC is an all time favourite and a brand I go back to so often, so lots of my must-haves are from there! When it comes to Autumn makeup I always think of berry tones first, however I’ve been loving nudes and pinks this year too, there’s just too much choice! I’ve rounded up my top lipstick picks for the season, and I’m so excited to share them with you.
*Disclaimer: please don’t feel the need to go out and purchase every (or any) lipsticks mentioned in this post! I’m just sharing what I have and love*
Syrup by MAC This has been my favourite lipstick since I was around 16 or 17! It was my first MAC lipstick, and I had no idea how much I’d love it. I have repurchased SO many times – I literally couldn’t be without it. It lives in my bag, and I always have it with me. It’s the perfect your lips but better shade and I’ve never found a good enough dupe for this. You can also apply it so easily without a mirror, which is the best kind of lipstick!
Smoked Almond by MAC I love this product for this time of year so much! It’s a beautiful dark rosy nude on my skin tone; but blended out with your finger it can be much more muted and easier to wear. I wore this for Matt and I’s date night in Liverpool (you can catch up here if you missed my post all about our trip!) and it lasted through lots of kisses, several gin and lemonades and the BEST soup!
Mademoiselle by Chanel I mean I couldn’t do a post on my favourite lipsticks without mentioning this little gem, could I? I’ve talked about this so many times, but basically it’s the best high-end lipstick I’ve ever purchased. You can see what I think in this post or in this one, but to cut a long story short I freaking love it.
Plumful by MAC This is probably my ultimate favourite shade for Autumn (and Winter). I’ve been wearing this almost every day recently, and it’s such an easy, wearable colour. It’s, as the name would suggest, the perfect plum shade – it’s not too dark and definitely wearable during the day, and it must look nice because Matt always compliments me on this colour too! It fades in the best way, and you’re never left with uneven patches of colour, which is something I usually really dislike about brighter shades. This is my second time purchasing this, I remember a few years ago it was super popular and sold out everywhere, I managed to grab the last one in JFK airport and I was giddy, haha! It’s another must-have in my bag right now, and if you did want to buy one of these lipsticks, I’d suggest this one!
Flaming’rose by Bourjois This is one of my newest lipsticks and one I’ve been wearing lots over the past few weeks. It’s a smooth, creamy texture but is definitely long lasting, although I’ve worn this a lot with my MUFE lip liner in 54C which may have helped. It’s another your lips but better shade with a little more pink thrown in, and it’s an absolute steal! Bourjois are a great high street brand, and they have so many different formulas. They’ve just released a new lipstick line which I’d love to try out!
Brave by MAC MAC’s satin formula is the creamiest, most comfortable I’ve ever tried and this shade is definitely a cult favourite for a reason. It is a perfect deep Autumn/Winter shade – it’s pretty dark nude on my skin tone with a slight pink/berry tone to it, and it looks good with any kind of makeup look! I tend to wear this more for an evening look with it being quite dark, but I seriously love the colour.
Nude Embrace by Maybelline I am so sad to find out this is being discontinued but if you have it in your stash you have to start making the most of it! I am (still) in the middle of a huge declutter of pretty much everything I own, and beauty is the hardest category by far – I just have too. much. stuff. – and this is one of the gems I found! It’s a perfect nude for me and looks so nice with a simple smokey eye. It’s also a wearable matte shade, not one that flakes off your lips (gross)!
Thank you so much for reading! What are your must-have lipsticks this season? Do you love one that I need to add to my collection?! I’d love to share with you the glosses I’m also loving as I have so many lip products I reach for day-to-day!
Today’s post is all about what we got up to last weekend; Matt and I went on the best spa break at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool. We really wanted to take some time away together to just relax and unwind; Matt has been so busy with work (and it’s just going to get busier!) so we thought the perfect way to chill would be a spa break. This was also a late anniversary celebration for us, as when we celebrated our anniversary last month we couldn’t get away for the weekend! We seen a little of Liverpool, and a little of Manchester (it’d be rude not to go to the Trafford Centre when we were right by it!)
I am so thankful for my amazing boyfriend and everything he does for me and for us. I know I sing his praises all of the time, but I promise you, he’s the most dedicated, hard working man I know and I’m so lucky to call him mine. Matthew, thank you for another perfect weekend away, I love you so much!
Sunday 14th October
We woke up to a 6.30am alarm, which normally would feel awful but we were so excited to be headed on a road trip and not to work! We got ready pretty quickly, tidied my room and the bathroom as quick as possible (nobody likes coming back to a mess) and packed up the car. Apologies, this is the only photo taken with a Snapchat filter!
We left around 7.30am so it was still dark – as much as I love the dark evenings, I’m so not a fan of the dark mornings! – and it was pretty cold. We settled down for the three hour drive, I took provisions of my blanket (I’m secretly five years old) and obviously Swedish fish, we love these so much! We only stopped off once but the drive went by so fast; we spent the whole time singing along to the radio and talking. Matt ‘rapping’ Eminem’s part in Smack That by Akon was a personal highlight! One of my favourite ever things is that Matt always holds my hand for a little when he’s driving. He’s so cute!
We arrived at the Titanic hotel around 11am and pre-checked in since check in wasn’t technically open yet. We left Matt’s car and our suitcase (one suitcase between both of us, I was SO proud! I totally followed my own tips from this post, haha) and got a taxi straight into the city centre. We walked around the shopping area and I picked up a replacement Nars Soft Matte Concealer, mine was so done! It’s seriously the best concealer ever, it blows anything else I’ve ever used out of the water. Matt was so sweet and bought me the Fenty Beauty foundation, spoiler: I am obsessed with it! We also had to run to Boots because we forgot our toothbrushes… doh! We grabbed lunch at Tortilla; we both got burritos and they were so good! Matt got beef and chorizo, and I got chicken with gauc. Why is guac always extra?!
Of course we had to go to the Cavern Club whilst we were in Liverpool! If you don’t already know this was the place that The Beatles began playing at and SO many other artists have played here since. All of the walls are covered in signatures and names of all the people who have played or visited. There was a live singer named Richard Batty playing while we were there, and he was incredible. The vibe was so good, we’re not the biggest music fans ever but it was fun to see such a cool place. We went back to the hotel and had a quick drink in the lobby as our room still wasn’t ready, Matt got a cuba libre and I’m sure he was pretending we were back in Kos, he drank them all day every day when we were there, haha!
We were so impressed with our room, it was seriously HUGE! The photos really don’t do it justice; there was a queen sized bed, sitting area, TV, table, and then a huge bathroom too. I was so excited eye-ing up the bath because we knew we’d be headed right there post spa! The building was formerly a warehouse, so they’ve kept the industrial vibe where possible (hence the metal bars through the ceiling) and it’s one of the most beautiful hotels we’ve stayed in. I loved the exposed brick everywhere, it looked so beautiful and the decor was kept super simple to compliment it. Tip: I would say if you’re going to go, don’t bother paying extra for a ‘dockside view’ – it’s literally a view of the derelict building opposite!
We headed down to the spa and had the most relaxing two hours of our life! It was seriously so tranquil and chilled, we were so happy. The spa was underneath the hotel, it felt like we were in an old cave or something, which I’m sure was the kind of vibe they were going for. We were obsessed with the Jacuzzi area and one of the saunas that pumped essential oils through, even though we were SO flipping hot every time we went in! Two hours went by so fast, and we came out of the spa feeling almost drunk because we had been that relaxed. It was so needed to unwind, we loved every second!
As sad as we were to leave the spa, it was time for a bath!! One of our favourite things about staying in nice hotels is taking a bath together, it’s the best. One huge requirement for our future house: a roll top bath. In our dreams! We enjoyed a bottle of champagne (I bought this one for Matt to celebrate his promotion back in July, and we just got round to drinking it!) and I mean come on, it was the best start to date night.
After our bath, it was time to get ready for the evening! We were planning on heading down for dinner in the hotel restaurant so spent our time leisurely getting ready, however we couldn’t get a reservation, which sucked. We instead headed to Gino’s My Restaurant, which we were certainly not disappointed with. We’d visited a different branch when we went to Harrogate back in May (remember this post?) The food was SO good again, and this soup was to die for! I want it right now!!
We headed back to the hotel quite early and after doing my full skincare routine (*pats self on back*), we snuggled up in bed to watch TV. We’re wild, I know! But, this break was all about relaxing and unwinding after lots of busy weeks and weekends, so that’s exactly what we did. I would say if you’re planning a break to Liverpool any time soon it’s definitely worth getting Uber’s not taxis, they were literally half of what the first taxi cost! We fell asleep and had the best nights sleep in forever…
Monday 15th October
Morning came around far too quickly, however we slept until our 8.30am alarm!! That NEVER happens, we’re such early birds. 8.30am is a serious lie in for us, so we felt so much more refreshed and ready for the day. We may have spent another hour or so lounging in bed, but we were allowed, right?!
Matt and I are so lucky to be able to go for nights/ or weekend trips away quite often and we never ever take it for granted!
Matt needed to fill up on petrol and we’d already spotted a huge Costco right by the hotel the previous day (we’re like magnets to the place I swear) so we may have found ourselves heading there, just for a quick browse! It’s definitely got to be the first time we’ve been to Costco and not purchased anything. How beautiful are these books?! They’d make a great Christmas gift!
Once we were back on the road, Matt was determined to drive past Anfield Stadium. We found it even though we were seriously doubting Google maps, it’s literally in the middle of a housing estate which was so weird to us as our stadium (NUFC represent!) is in the middle of our city. Our time in Liverpool was short but oh-so-sweet, and we were headed back North. We had already planned to go to the Trafford Centre on our way home as it’s 10,000 times better than any shopping malls around where we live! I treated Matt to lunch at Bill’s (one of our favourite places) and it was SO. GOOD. Matt got steak and eggs with fries, and I got mac n cheese – if you know me, you’ll know it’s my favourite ever meal! We intended to ‘browse’, but of course I got new underwear from Victoria’s Secret, I was a happy camper! Matt got a new shirt, he finds the best deals every time we go shopping. I wish I was as good at bargain hunting as he is! Why is he just so good at everything?!
Sadly it was now time to make the drive home! We left around 4pm, and naturally hit lots of traffic… we luckily had Cadbury’s chocolate buttons (our fave) to make it lots better! The drive went by so quickly again, we just enjoyed spending time together.
We made it back in good time, so went to see Matt’s parents for half an hour, which was so nice. They’re so good to us! We snuggled up on the sofa and caught up on each other’s weekends, then headed back to home for Domino’s and football. We caught up with my mam and dad, then showered and watched the game, we won 3-2 yay! We did have an early night as Matt had a 6am start the next day. I have to say I secretly love it when Matt’s super tired because he is extra kissy and cuddly, it’s the best!
As you can see, we ate super healthy over these two days… NOT! I guess that’s part of the fun of a mini break, right?! I’ve actually wrote a week in my life for the remainder of this week which will be up next Sunday! I’m so excited to share it with you, it’s been really fun to write so far, and I hope it’s somewhat interesting!
Thank you so much for reading, and for following along on our weekend trip! Have you been on a spa break or weekend away recently? Have you got any trips coming up?!