Photo contains gifted items – please read my disclaimer here
Hi, loves! Today is the last installment in my Christmas Gift Guide series for this year and if I do say so myself, I think I’ve saved the best for last! Stocking fillers are some of my favourite gifts to give and receive; there’s so many incredible options. I love to give one or two ‘big’ gifts then pad out my loved ones presents with smaller items, and everything in this gift guide would be perfect for that, too. I also think there’s something in here for any Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchanges you may be participating in this holiday season.
Also, I’m only sharing a few at the end of this post because there’s SO much choice, but it’s not a good stocking without ALL of the sweets and chocolate… right? 🙂 also – gift cards are my favourite gift to give/receive in stockings! I highly recommend placing a £10 or £20 gift card for the recipient’s favourite store in the bottom, it’ll be the best surprise.
This may be the last in my Christmas Gift Guide series for 2019, but I’m talking in detail about a few of my current favourite budget beauty products in my next Feelin’ It Friday post (coming to you next Friday, November 29th!) which will also make wonderful stocking filler or Secret Santa gifts so make sure to check back for that too!
Photo contains gifted items – please read my disclaimer here
Hi, loves! Today is the first of three gift guides for this holiday season, and I’m so excited to share them with you! I decided to bring you the gift guide for the ladies in your life first, and I really hope this helps you if you’re struggling for gift inspiration this year. Of course there is so much more to Christmas than giving presents, but mixing and matching gifts from any of these categories would make the most incredible present for gal you’re buying for this year. Happy shopping!
Disclaimer: There are a few higher priced items in this gift guide but I promise you it’s because they’re great value for money and really amazing gifts! I really wanted to keep my gift guides affordable and practical, and also very realistic for the average gift giver like myself. Remember Black Friday is coming up and always check for discount codes before purchasing online – you can almost always save at least 10%. I hope you find it so helpful!
If there was ever a perfect word to describe my personality, it’s homebody. I love love love my home comforts, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got this category down. The White Company’s Winter candle is a must-have for me from November through to March! I live in my Ugg slippers that Matt bought me a few years ago; I’d literally wear them to work if I could. Guys… the Dumbo mug? My heart just can’t take it!
Jewelery is a wonderful gift for the ladies in your life, and just looking at the cute Tiffany & Co necklace makes my heart happy! Fun fact: Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze & Glow has been on my ‘wishlist’ for at least three years, and this limited edition packaging? *picks self up off floor* WOW! It’s so dang beautiful. I want need it so bad! Oh, and if you’re wondering why I picked Frederic Malle’s Portrait Of A Lady which is crazy expensive? Stacey Dooley wears it. A girl can dream…
Beauty products are a fail-safe product for everyone. Your mum, your sister, your girlfriend, your grandma. Every lady loves a little pampering treat now and then! Emma Hardie’s Moringa cleansing balm is hopefully going to be my treat to myself this Black Friday (20% off is a steal) and I swear by Laura Mercier’s caviar sticks for quick and easy eyeshadow application! How dang cute is that little set?! Lancome La Vie Est Belle is one of my very favourite go-to scents, and such a sweet gift to give this Christmas season.
If you know me, you know bee prints and anything with bees on makes me so HAPPY. I just adore those bee print oven gloves, they’re so sweet! The marble and copper bar tools set is the most gorgeous gift for any of the cocktail loving ladies in your life and who wouldn’t just adore a whole hamper of Hotel Chocolat products?!
An Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is my number one wishlist product this Christmas, and if it was socially acceptable I’d be writing it in my letter to Father Christmas for sure! The lovely team at Gaston Luga gifted me a Parlän backpack earlier this month and I can’t tell you how much I love it; and it’s perfect for travel! Pixi’s DetoxifEYE eye patches are a must when you’re a little tired or hungover and will definitely leave you looking and feeling your best when you step off any flight.
Have you smelled Capri Blue’s Volcano candle? No? YOU NEED IT. Seriously, it’s gorgeous!! Disney’s Dumbo Pandora charm is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen in my entire life (I kinda love Dumbo, can you tell?!) and oh how sweet is that Diptyque candle snuffer? I’d feel like a rich housewife putting out my candles with that, hah. The candle and snuffer would be a wonderful gift for that gal who has everything!
Hi, loves! Do you ever feel at a loss with social media? I think sometimes it seems as though people live two lives; one that’s their everyday, boring, real stuff, and one that’s perfectly curated to show their best bits on social media. I know this can actually the case; people sometimes literally fake their real life #forthegram, but that’s not how everyone acts. Curating certain aspects of it is one thing, but it really isn’t good for our mental health when we compare ourselves with unrealistic ‘expectations’. I often find myself feeling a bit rubbish after scrolling through Instagram and end up in a funk over nothing. I really try to keep myself in check by discussing this with Matt regularly, and he does everything he can to make me feel good. I really do wonder though, how can we feel so disconnected after scrolling through apps that are made to keep us connected?
Despite sometimes feeling bogged down with it all, I generally love social media, and Instagram is my favourite app to spend time scrolling through. I love seeing other people’s lives, and I also love sharing photographs of my life; it’s like an online scrapbook I can look back whenever I fancy. I appreciate the beautiful photography, gain outfit inspiration and I’ve met some incredible people through it. Instagram stories are my personal favourite aspect of the app, I feel like I can really get to know people by what they post, and I love seeing the behind-the-scenes of people’s lives. It’s almost like a diary, and I like to save my snaps to my feed in highlight reels for each month. I share lots of Matt and I’s life on Instagram, but I think that’s what makes it special; there’s so many real people, sharing real things. I think photos people post on their Instagram grid can sometimes be a different story, and that’s where there’s a weird crossover. People take photos in perfect lighting, shot from the best angles and this is when the comparison game ramps up for me. Social media is meant to be fun; it’s literally meant to be a place to share your thoughts, feelings and experiences, and I wish it was a more positive place.
This post is relevant to most social media outlets, although I definitely reference Instagram a lot as it’s my main social media app of choice. I’m trying to post more grid photos, but not too much as I still want every post to feel genuine and real. However, if you’re an Instagram Stories fanatic like me, and you want to see lots of boomerangs of flickering candles, ideas of what Matt and I are cooking up that night, and at least one Lush bath per week, what are you waiting for? Follow me here.
Be precious with the time you spend scrolling Matt and I decided a while ago that we’d try not to use our phones much whilst we were lying in bed, in the mornings or at night. We wanted to be more present with each other, as we’d often find ourselves ‘having a quick look at Instagram’, then twenty minutes had passed where we hadn’t spoke, and had spent all of that time mindlessly scrolling through various social apps. I think it’s had a positive effect on my mental health by limiting mindless scrolling in bed, as first thing in the morning and last thing at night, my thoughts aren’t at all related to what’s going on in the world of Instagram, or who’s tweeted something controversial. During the day I also make a conscious effort to not spend too much time scrolling; when I’m at work I barely use my phone anyway, and then during the evenings/weekends browsing social media comes second to spending time with Matt, working on my blog or doing yoga, seeing our friends/family and running errands. I think being conscious about what you want to get from social media is the main thing, and being able to switch off (literally, if that’s what you need) is so important. If you’ve already watched every story, seen every tweet or photo, then you’re scrolling through just because and that’s not going to bring you any joy. However, if you’ve not looked for hours there is new content to take in and enjoy, and maybe be inspired from.
Do not compare yourself to others Ah, the age old social media problem. Comparison is the thief of joy, and it will literally ruin your day if you continually compare yourself to the people you follow on your chosen platforms. I wrote a post asking if any of us really had our sh*t together (spoiler: we don’t), and in that I spoke a lot about how social media can have a negative impact on me when I’m already feeling a bit crap. Whether I’m having a hard time with my anxiety or I’ve just had a bad day, I find that Instagram specifically can really put me into a spin where things seem much worse than they are. It’s so important to not compare our lives to those we follow on social media; be inspired and motivated by others, but do not feel like you have to change who you are. People often try to fit a mould of someone else and it’s an endless spiral of trying to be something that’s unattainable. You’re already great as you are, and no amount of self-deprecation is going to help, it’s only going to make you feel rubbish about yourself. Appreciate other’s content, enjoy their stories and be generous with your likes/comments, but never let yourself feel inferior compared to someone on social media. I’m working SO dang hard on this right now.
Make use of the unfollow and mute options If you really can’t help but compare yourself in a negative way or feel down because of someone on social media, it’s time to use that unfollow button. You choose who you follow, and there’s no rules as to who that has to be. The people you follow should create a safe haven, a sense of joy and fun, and excitement to read their captions, view their stories or read their tweets. Sometimes, when those people who make you feel down are ones you know (and maybe even love) in real life, it’s probably easier to use the mute button. You can mute people’s posts without them knowing on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and I’m sure there’s similar options on any social media platform. Put yourself first, and be a little bit selfish: you should only see what you want to see on your feed.
Change up your following list Whenever I feel a little uninspired or bored of Instagram, it’s probably because I’ve not followed anyone new in a while and I’m seeing lots of the same thing over and over. As I mentioned, I really enjoy seeing people’s real lives and the boring stuff, so lifestyle bloggers are my favourite niche and that’s who I’m always looking to find on the Explore page. I follow tons of accounts I really love, and here’s just a few I’d recommend if you’d like to spruce up your Instagram content: @rosemarinoramsey for all of the giggles @niomismart for incredible food and travel inspo @jadebillington for a TON of good vibes @venetiafalconer for activism @savannah_edmondson for the cutest photos @mrshinchhome for cleaning and organising motivation @rosetintedpics for beautiful blogging photos @quotesbychristie for uplifting messages @rebeccaellenlamb for body (and life) positivity @thehappynewspaper for all the news stories that you don’t see in the mainstream media
Be generous with your likes and comments I can’t tell you how much I appreciate getting likes and comments on posts, and it makes it more likely that I’ll want to upload more photos. Engagement via social media is a little weird, and it’s something that kind of irks me when I think about it. Promoted posts from brands and big bloggers often show on my feed, and my Explore page is usually filled with large Instagram accounts who have already grown so much. I want to see small bloggers, like-minded people and also just regular real life people, showing their love for a new pair of Topshop jeans or a beautiful sunny day at the beach. As I mentioned above, I seriously love Instagram stories, and I’m forever replaying my favourites from that day to Matt – I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care haha! I always like photos from my favourite accounts, and I’m guilty of liking lots of random photos via the Following and Explore pages too. I’m actively trying to comment more often, and I think it’s a small thing we can all do to show a little love. Let’s be social on social media, eh?
Follow hashtags of thing that bring you joy* *Instagram specific. Using hashtags in our captions (or comments) is the best way to get extra likes, and potentially gain new followers, and you can now also follow specific hashtags you’re interested in. If you’re needing a little #OOTD inspiration, or you’re just wanting to see what #pinchofnom recipes people have made recently, there’s a hashtag for everyone’s peak interests. I love to follow hashtags as it breaks up my feed, and I find new accounts to follow this way pretty often. Some of my other favourite hashtags I follow are #seekthesimplicity, #discoverunder1k and #lifestyleblogger as there’s tons of lovely photos here by lovely people, and that’s the kind of content I want to see on a daily basis!
Thank you so much for reading! I hope this post helped if you also sometimes feel a little overwhelmed with social media, it happens to all of us right? What are your best tips to encourage healthy social media habits? I’m always looking for new people to follow on social media, which are your favourite Instagram accounts?
Hi, loves! Another month has been and (almost) gone, and it’s nearly JUNE! How are we nearly half way through 2019?! May has been such a busy month for Matt and I, but wow has it been a good one. We enjoyed two bank holidays, I turned twenty five, we went for a spa break at Ramside Hall to celebrate, we saw our friends, I got my hair dyed lighter, we went on a road trip to Manchester for a family re-union and we spent so much quality time together.
We’ve also been working super hard and it feels like we barely stopped all month, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind but I loved every second and my heart is so full! I’m not looking forward to the start of June as Matt is going to be away for the first week and I’m going to miss him like crazy, I feel so lost when he’s gone! I’m really dreading trying to get to sleep without him there, I realise I sound so ridiculous LOL. But I know he’s going to have so much fun, and I get to pick him up from the airport a week later! I already can’t wait, and our Summer officially starts when he’s back. We’ll get to settle back into our lovely little routine, and two weeks later we go on holiday to Croatia, we’re so excited! Anyway, what have I been loving a little extra this month?!
*Also, apologies in advance that these photos aren’t the greatest. I did everything I said I was going to stop doing in this post, and took these in a rush yesterday morning after Matt had left for work, to make sure I got this edited and scheduled on time!*
The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask I flipping love this face mask, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’ve re-purchased so many times since I first bought it a few years ago and I’ve encouraged so many of my friends buy it. I just read an article last week that said one of these masks sells worldwide every fifteen seconds, which is so crazy! I totally understand the hype though, it’s truly a miracle worker. I’ve wrote a full review in an upcoming post (it’ll be live on the blog next week!) and I raved about it so much in that post, I’m trying to keep this short and sweet. I tend to use this in rotation with Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty, but I think itworks a little better than MoM for me! I have sensitive skin but this mask doesn’t irritate it at all; it leaves my skin fresh, glowy and clears up any blemishes or blackheads. Matt loves this too, it’s his favourite of all the charcoal masks I make him use!
No 7 Hydraluminous Moisturising Foundation in Cool Vanilla Okay, I’ve been using this foundation since it was released in February (or March?) and I really really love it. I originally bought it as it was on an introductory offer in Boots, and I like trying new foundations. I thought it could be a great alternative product to wear during the days I’m at work, and keep my It Cosmetics CC Cream for weekends/evenings out, but I actually have reached for this pretty much every day since I first tried it. I re-purchased this month, and I also am going to buy another tube one shade darker ready for our holiday in June. I only wear makeup in the evenings on holiday and this will be perfect! It lasts all day, doesn’t settle into any dry patches or give me spots, I really love it. This is hands down the best drugstore foundation I’ve ever tried, and it’s a steal when it’s on promotion!
Evolve Beauty Nourishing Hair Elixir This is the only hair oil I’ve used that has made a noticeable difference to the look, texture and quality of my hair. Evolve Beauty are a fairly small brand based in London, who create vegan friendly and cruelty free products. I’ve been using this oil since March and I only just had to purchase another bottle this month, a little goes a long way. I’m so impressed by this product and it’s so inexpensive, especially considering how much you get out of one tiny bottle! I take two to three drops between my palms every day (well, almost every day) and run through the ends of my hair. I lightly smooth any excess product over the top of my head to get rid of flyaways, and it helps keep my hair nourished and soft. It also smells so beautiful!
Nest Candle Co. Mason du Plage Candle This is one of the most beautiful scents I’ve ever smelled, I wish I could bottle it up into a perfume! It’s the perfect Summer-evening-at-the-beach scent, burns evenly and looks gorgeous in our bedroom, whether it’s lit or not. I purchased this candle when it was first released (there was a little hype in the blogosphere) and I’m going to order another in the scent Soleil. These candles are created by the lovely Becky at Sail Away, I’m so excited for her new adventure! I’m so pleased for her that they already seem to be selling so well, and I see photos all over Instagram pretty much every day. I love supporting small Etsy shops, and I’ll always support fellow bloggers. If you’re looking for a beautiful handmade candle for yourself or as a gift, look no further! They are constantly selling out but stock is replenished often, you just need to keep checking back.
Fitbit Inspire HR I purchased my Fitbit as an early birthday gift to myself, and I’m head over heels obsessed with it. I used to have a Fitbit Alta around two years ago, but it broke and I never replaced it. I’d been thinking about getting a new Fitbit for a few months, then when I seen this model launch in March I knew it was exactly what I wanted. This is such a huge improvement on my old Alta! I mainly use my Fitbit to track my steps, how I’ve slept each night, and my workouts. It tracks yoga which is a huge bonus as that’s my favourite workout, and it’s so interesting to see my stats each day. Matt is equally as obsessed as I am since I never stop talking about it, and he’s just bought a Fitbit Versa yesterday! That’s definitely going to be motivation to go on a beautiful hike I really want to do over the Adriatic on our holiday, yay! If you’re thinking about getting one I’d definitely recommend making the splurge, you won’t regret it.
Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid I swear this is my favourite book I’ve EVER read! I read this in less than a week (which is super quick – I don’t know how people say they read a book in a day?! Unless I’m on holiday that’s just not physically possible with my life!) I cried three pages in and then spent the rest of the book smiling, laughing and crying a little more. The book centres around Elsie, who got caught up in a whirlwind romance with Ben and got married to him in less than six months. Ben is tragically killed nine days after their wedding (no spoilers, you can see all this on the back of the book/on Amazon!) and the story of how they met is told at the same time as she deals with the horrific grief she feels. I love love love the main characters Elsie and Susan, I truly felt their heartbreak! From when I started reading, each night when Matt and I snuggled up in bed I squeezed him a little tighter and kissed him a little more. It’s a very sad story which makes you think of all of the amazing things you have this very second, and a reminder that you never know what could happen tomorrow. It scares me to think that way, but it’s true. I finished this book in the bath last Friday night and ordered One True Loves and After I Do immediately, I’m torn whether to save them for our holiday or start reading when I’ve finished my current book!
Chilly’s Water Bottle in Pastel Green It’s a bold claim, but this water bottle might just be the best thing I’ve ever bought! I’ve spoken several times on my blog about the fact I really need to drink more water, and it’s something Matt and I talk about all the time. I drink Diet Coke like my life depends on it, and although I loveDiet Coke and will absolutely not be stopping my obsession, I’m really happy to be drinking more water. Some days I really didn’t drink any at all, and that just can’t be good for me! I’ve used my Chilly’s bottle every day since I got it – I’m always trying to do my bit to help the planet and live more sustainably, and I really hate purchasing bottles of water (or more realistically, bottles of Diet Coke) when we’re out and about. Now I don’t need to! Also, it really does keep your drinks cold – I’ve not tried putting hot drinks in yet – for so long, up to twelve hours. Through the night, even when it’s been super hot (where did the warm weather go?!) if Matt or I take a drink it’s like it’s fresh from the fridge. I love that the technology of this bottle means you don’t get any condensation on the outside, and it’s leak proof so you don’t need to worry about throwing it in your bag!
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you had the most amazing month, what have you been up to? What items have you been loving this month? I’m so excited for all of my Summer and holiday-related content which will begin this month on the blog. I have pre-written lots of posts already and I have so many other posts planned – I hope you enjoy it too!
Happy, happy Wednesday loves! I’m so happy to be back! I know I only missed one upload (more on that in this post) but wow it’s felt SO long, I missed blogging and I missed you guys! I love love love writing photo diaries and Weekend In My Life posts, and I appreciate that they always get such a great response from my readers! You can read my latest WIML post from way back in February here, and if you type ‘weekend’, ‘week’ or ‘photo diary’ in the search bar at the side, a ton more posts will come up!
Thursday May 16th
Thursday was my last day at work for the week, which meant early birthday celebrations! The girls in my office are so sweet and thoughtful, and as always they totally spoiled me with so many lovely gifts, including a Lush gift card that I’m super excited to use!
I finished work a little earlier than usual, and headed straight to the salon for an update to my balayage! I was there a good three hours, and I’m so so happy with how it turned out, my hair is WAY lighter and feeling ready for Summer. Erin at Rein & Co is the best; she’s so sweet and knowledgable, and there’s something about having your hair done that just makes you feel so dang good. I’d really recommend visiting the salon if you’re in the Newcastle area! I drove home via the beach (literally the sunset was SO pretty – I pulled over in the worst spot to take a photo but trust me it was beautiful. I love the beach so much!) While I was on my way home, Matt headed out to pick up Indian food for dinner for us and my parents, we always go to the same place and their food is delicious. After the quickest shower ever, Matt and I snuggled in to watch a few episodes of Brooklyn 99 and got an early(ish) night in. It was the perfect ending to my last day as a 24 year old!
Friday May 17th
I turned 25!! I woke up to Matt being the cutest ever (I mean, he is every morning, but he was extra cute on this day). We woke up around 7ish – no lay in for us! – as he was so excited for me to open my presents LOL. I love our little tradition on birthdays, Christmas and our anniversary of opening gifts in bed, it’s so cute. I also usually feel super awkward opening gifts from people, but when it’s just us two I don’t feel like that at all. Matt was SO generous and spoiled me like crazy, I love him so much and am beyond grateful! We spent a little time with my parents opening gifts from them and other family members, then my mum had to go to work. We ate birthday cake for breakfast (a must, right?), got ready for the day and packed up for our weekend getaway.
We visited with my grandma for a little while which was lovely. She absolutely adores Matt, it’s so sweet to see! We said our goodbyes and set off for Ramside Hall. We got there around 1.45pm and, as our room wasn’t ready, took a little time to relax in the bar area and grab lunch. Matt got a Heineken (of course) and I opted for a strawberries and cream gin with lemonade, and we both ate club sandwiches. We got cosy in the bar until our room was ready, then went up to have a look around. We’d stayed in this hotel before – I booked a surprise trip for Matt after he’d had such a busy time at work a year past April – so we had an idea of what to expect, but our room was way bigger this time! There was a HUGE bath – it doesn’t look as big in the photos at all, we were super excited to jump in haha.
After we’d unpacked (well, Matt unpacked. He’s the cutest and the first thing he does when we get to a hotel is unpack everything and hang his clothes up. I just love him!) we quickly threw on our bikini and swim shorts, and headed down to the spa. It was so warm and relaxing, we lay by the pool for a little then Matt went for a swim whilst I spent five minutes catching up on birthday messages (I was so overwhelmed with the sweet messages I recieved – thank you so much!) I joined him in the pool, and we spent a while just messing around, it felt like we were back in Kos for a split second! We stayed around the pool area for around an hour, but that huge bath was just calling our name. We caved and headed up to our room to take a long hot bubble bath and chilled the F out. It was bliss!
Afterwards, we got ready for the evening (I’m SO mad we didn’t get a good photo together) and headed for dinner at Fat Buddha. It’s one of my favourite places to eat – their honey chilli chicken is incredible! We spent the rest of our evening out at a place nearby called Missoula that had the prettiest decor, and really good music. We had a few drinks and were beat, so headed back to the room to snuggle up in bed with a drink from the bar. #25goingon85. We watched an episode of The Force: Essex and fell asleep, we’re so cool. Honestly, we aren’t always like that but I kinda love when we are, I wouldn’t have it any other way! I had the BEST day and I am so thankful for Matt making every day feel so special, not just my birthday. I love you so much, babe!
Saturday May 18th
Since we’d gone to bed pretty early the night before, we were up early and ready to take on the day. It was POURING rain out, so our plans to go for breakfast in Durham were unfortunately squashed as everything is outdoors, and we didn’t bring coats or appropriate footwear. #packingfail. Instead, we checked out, packed up the car and headed to the Metro Centre for a few hours of shopping. What else are you supposed to do when it’s pouring rain and freezing?! We ran a few errands, shopped in our favourite stores and ate lunch at our favourite place, Wagamama’s. I always get the same thing (either teriyaki chicken donburi or chilli steak ramen) and Matt ALWAYS gets chilli steak ramen, however this time I branched out! I got teriyaki steak soba noodles (without onions) and it was incredible, I think I’ve found a new favourite dish! We spent so long browsing Waterstone’s – book shops are one of my favourite places – and I picked up a few new books, I can’t wait to get stuck in! (I also made an Amazon order for even MORE when we got home as they were way cheaper on Amazon, I think I’m good for a while… LOL)
We left the Metro Centre, and headed home via Tesco, our second favourite shop. Costco is obviously number one, we literally LOVE walking around buying crap we absolutely don’t need, haha. We were in and out pretty quick, just picking up groceries to make dinner that evening (and my favourite chips and dip… I couldn’t resist). Matt’s parents were away for the weekend so we were staying there the whole time and when we got home Matt went out for a run whilst I snuggled up with a cup of tea and my new book. Although I was in tears by page three – it’s so sad, but also heartwarming, moving and kinda funny – I’m completely hooked. I also kissed and snuggled Matt extra hard for the rest of the weekend, if you read it you’ll know why! And if you haven’t, I’m linking it here and saying you need to buy it immediately, you won’t regret it. (Well, I hope not. I’m 145 pages in when I’m typing this up on Monday evening, and it’s honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read up to now).
Matt got home from his run and we watched the opening ceremony to the Man City match, I really love how exciting the atmosphere feels at big football games! We watched for a little while, then Matt got a post-run bath and I went straight back into reading my book. I really struggled to put it down! Matt ran me a bath (and he put a Lush bath bomb in, what a cutie!) and I soaked with a face mask on… yep, whilst reading my book. I used The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal purifying glow mask which is one of my absolute favourites, it always makes my skin feel SO good afterwards. Matt usually joins in on face mask night but he was not feeling it this weekend… party pooper! After I’d had a lovely bath, exfoliated, shaved and washed my hair, I jumped out and got ready for the evening. We made dinner – roasted veggies with ham and mashed potato – and got cosy on the couch to watch a few more episodes of Brooklyn 99, we’re seriously obsessed! We went to bed pretty late, and snuggled in for a loooong sleep.
Sunday May 19th
Okay, so Sunday is where I FAILED with the photo taking. I’m sorry, I was on a roll for the first part of the weekend but then I was a #badblogger. To be honest, I felt a little bit off all day – I was really anxious and a little teary randomly. I’m not sure why as there was no specific reason but Matt was so good to me. He loved me a little harder all day and I thankfully felt so much better by Sunday night. We still had a lovely day, I just felt super anxious. So, what did we get up to? We lay in pretty late, and after a little too long snuggling I finally got out of bed to make Matt breakfast. We slowly started moving to get ready, and booked a hotel for a pretty spontaneous trip to Manchester this coming weekend! We’re road tripping down for a family reunion, and I’m so excited for Sunday’s post… can you guess what it’s about?!
When we finally got ready, we headed to Aldi to grab a few groceries we needed for the beginning of the week until I do a big shop mid-week. I typically grocery shop by myself when Matt’s at work or when I’m on the way home from work, so I always appreciate when we get to run errands together. We went to see my parents and open a few extra birthday presents that had been dropped off (my family are so generous!) and caught up on what we’d all been doing over the weekend. After, we went up to see my godparents – we love being at their house, it’s so beautiful and they’re so lovely! We stayed for a while, and got some puppy cuddles in with Phoebe. Isn’t she just so cute?! We went home via a pit stop at the Co-Op (I’m literally OBSESSED with going into any Co-Op we pass, whether I need something or not. It’s become a running joke between Matt and I, then my godmother said she totally gets it and loves going in too! HA we’re so weird. They just have everything you could ever need) and Matt got on with some work whilst I read some more of my book and started editing photos for this post. We showered, cooked the most amazing steaks for dinner and snuggled in for a night of TV on the couch with some yummy snacks. We of course watched a few more episodes of Brooklyn 99, then A Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health, featuring several football players and Prince William. It was so insightful, and if you haven’t seen it I’d definitely advise watching it – and recommending it to any men in your life!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed a look into my life from this past weekend! We had so much fun, and I’m always so grateful for all the quality time Matthew and I get together. Our schedules have been jam packed lately so we’ve had to make the most of our mornings and evenings, and he’s going away the first week of June – I miss him and am counting down to picking him up from the airport already! LOL. We’re enjoying every little moment together more than ever right now, and we’re SO ready for our holiday together at the end of June! How was your weekend, what did you get up to? I’m counting down to this weekend already, I can’t wait for another weekend with my love, and to spend time with family!
I’ve been feeling super anxious, stressed and a little bit down in the dumps recently, and it’s a feeling I just haven’t been able to shift. I’ve lost count of how many hours I’ve spent crying to Matt, and us both knowing that nothing can be done to make me feel better, the anxiety just has to pass. I feel like every time I write about dealing with anxiety or feeling stressed I need to write DISCLAIMER: MY LIFE IS STILL GREAT. It’s almost like I feel guilty for having anxiety, for feeling a bit crap when really I am so happy with my boyfriend, our families and friends, and I have a dang great life. No matter how bad my anxiety can sometimes feel, no matter how many panic attacks or tense moments I may have, I know there is good in every day. Sometimes changing my perspective on things can help keep my anxiety at bay, so I challenged myself to recording nine things each day that made me happy in the moment, and I challenge you to do the same too!
I’m so lucky that I have a platform to share my thoughts and feelings, and I choose to share those because I want to help other people. I wrote a post very similarly to this one here, and I received so many messages from people saying they loved it, and that it helped them in various ways. Knowing I’ve made someone smile, see a different perspective or that someone really related with what I wrote beats every ounce of judgement I feel against the topic of anxiety.
Saturday 4th May – seeing how happy Matt was that I made him breakfast before he left for work – an hour long yoga session – I spent my morning writing and editing blog posts snuggled in bed, whilst the wind and rain hit off the window – I fully hinched our room before Matt got home from work – the smell of Method Wild Rhubarb all purpose cleaner – Matt and I ran errands together – we visited with my grandma for a while and she was so funny (she’s pretty poorly and sadly going blind, but she’s at that point where she just couldn’t care less what she says or how she says it. It’s fantastic) – wearing my Birks – at Aldi we picked up ‘big daddy’ steaks for dinner. They were so good – we snuggled in to watch the NUFC match with a homemade pick n mix (let’s just not talk about the score)
Sunday 5th May – Matt and I got to lay in for the first time in so long! We slept for ten and a half hours and boy did we need it – we had the laziest morning – I caught up on Jade Billington’s vlogs whilst getting ready, her videos always make me feel so motivated and happy – we got to spend a few hours with Matt’s grandma and mum, some of my favourite people – watching KUWTK whilst Matt was out for a run/in the bath post-run – making/eating Diet Coke chicken – relaxing with a face mask on (Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty if you’re wondering) – we got to snuggle on the couch all evening watching Mary Poppins Returns – Emily Blunt *insert all of the heart eyes emojis* she’s my ultimate girl crush
Monday 6th May – waking up to Matt’s cute little face. This makes my day every day, ngl – Swiss Miss hot chocolate – we had ‘laptop club’ before Matt went to work. (Matt works and I work on the blog, it’s a fun way to get stuff done but still be together :)) – my mum and dad came home from a trip away with their friends and we got to catch up on our weekends – I edited two blog posts and took photographs for them both – a Lush bath – finishing another good book – picky tea (including the best flatbread pizza) – we got to spend a few hours in the evening with Matt’s parents after barely seeing them recently
Tuesday 7th May – I got to stay snuggled in bed for an extra 45 minutes after Matt left for work – my hair styled perfectly straight – the perfect tuna mayo sandwich – my work day went so quickly – how soft my Brandy Melville Newport jumper is. I’ve had it for years and it’s just so comfy and cosy – Matt’s phone call to say he was on his way home – snuggling up with bae – Liverpool winning in the craziest match – falling asleep to rainforest sounds (we play waves or rainforest sounds every night. It’s becoming an obsession to the point we’re genuinely considering taking one of our Echo Dots on holiday hahaha)
Wednesday 8th May – Matt and I woke up to the sound of rain hitting so hard on the window. I love rainy days – having a little extra time to edit my blog before getting ready – Twining’s buttermint tea – I got our food shop done for the rest of the week in less than twenty minutes before work – planning my blog posts right up until we go on holiday in June! – eating a Wispa Gold – looking at our holiday countdown and reading all of the Trip Adivsor reviews on my lunch break – when I finished work Matt and I went for a little shopping trip so I could get myself an early birthday present! I got the Inspire HR Fitbit and my first impressions are great: I’m so happy with it – receiving the sweetest message about this post that went live today – having a super cosy snuggly evening
Thursday 9th May – we got to lay in for a little while – my godmother called me as I was driving to work and we got to chat, catch up and get some plans in the diary for Matt and I to go see them – having just enough Alpro almond milk left for my cereal – coming home from work to the smell of dinner in the Crock Pot (thanks to Matthew making Spanish chicken for us. It was SO GOOD. We make it slightly different each time, but I listed a recipe way back in this post) – getting fresh gel nails – having a hot shower and getting into my comfies after a long day – an idea I had for my blog. Keep your eyes peeled, I’m super excited about it – getting my first badge on my Fitbit, lol! – watching Ambulance with Matt and his parents
Friday 10th May – Matt and I woke up a minute before our alarm went off (this literally makes me giddy hah) – driving to/from work listening to the new episode of Chris & Rosie’s podcast, Sh*gged, Married, Annoyed – eating Burger King for lunch with the girls at work – receiving the cutest text from my cousin after she got a parcel! Matt and I sent her some goodies from The Body Shop and she was so happy it made me happy – fresh bedding. I got us a new set from Amazon, although I definitely should have ironed it first LOL! I just need to pick up some fresh throw pillows to spruce it up a little – Matt arriving home after the longest day – knowing that a week today Matt and I will be at Ramside Hall celebrating my birthday – Ed Sheeran’s new song with Justin Bieber
Saturday 11th May – we went to pick up Matt’s new glasses and he looks SO HANDSOME in them (obviously) – getting our grocery shop done in record time – hinching our bedroom whilst Matt was at work – wearing mom jeans – Savannah‘s Instagram story. I’m so close to booking flights for Matt and I to explore Manistee, her beautiful home town!! – getting Matt some treats whilst I was out (I definitely bought him Percy Pig’s too knowing he’ll share them with me…) – the sweetest lady in Boots giving great customer service – using The Body Shop banana hair mask and having a little pamper evening. It’s the best – snuggling up with Matt, eating sugar cookies and watching Brooklyn 99 after dinner
Now this brings us right up to today, Sunday 12th May. Today I made Matt breakfast in bed before he headed to work, and I’m just about to go to Homesense to pick up some new candles! I have a day of working on the blog planned, followed by yoga, a bubble bath and a cosy night at the Scotney household… I can’t wait! Do I feel better than I did when I began writing this last Saturday? YES. Do I have a fresh perspective on all of the wonderful things in my life? YES. Do I feel extra happy and grateful and blessed for the life I have? YES. Do I still feel a little bit anxious and stressed? YES. Life unfortunately isn’t about moderation; you can feel lots of things at one time, and that’s okay. I love this quote I came across on Instagram a few weeks ago, I think it sums up my thoughts/feelings perfectly:
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it made you smile just a little bit. I hope you’re feeling good, and you too try to focus on the little things that make you happy more in the upcoming week! What has made you happy this past week?