Feelin’ It Friday

Hi, loves! It’s almost September!! I know technically Autumn doesn’t begin until September 23rd, but let’s be honest… I’ve been anticipating the season since last November July and I am READY for it! Now I’m just waiting for the weather to cool down a little so I can break out all of the scarves, boots and chunky knit sweaters… I can’t wait. It is kinda chilly in the mornings now; Matt started work early this morning (hello 6am alarm!) and our room was so cold when we woke up! I just want to say thank you so much for the love on Wednesday’s post – I got SO many lovely messages about it saying you guys felt inspired to declutter now too!

What I’m loving:
Matt was so sweet and bought me this beautiful grilled peaches and vanilla candle last weekend, and we’ve burned it every night since! We were smelling all the candles in the shop and this was by far the nicest, before I knew it he’d took it off to the till and paid for it. It’s sweet but not in a sickly way (Matt hates super sweet scents) and it really fills the whole room. I’ve been a little on the fence with Yankee Candle as a brand because SO many of their candles tunnel down the middle – even when cutting the wick – but this one is burning so evenly! The scent is part of the brunch collection which I think is being discontinued, so if you want to grab it you probably need to be quick! I’ve linked it here on Amazon but you can probably find it for cheaper in stores.

What product is making me happy:
The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Serum-in-Oil. You need it in your life!! This is not at all a new product to me, it’s hands down my favourite ever evening serum and something I talk about tons on the blog. BUT I ran out and was without it for around a week, then picked it up again last weekend and I’m so happy to have it in my routine again! I thought I had a backup and was so sad I didn’t. So I just bought two, hah! You know those products that you love and use every day, but don’t realise how much you rely on them? This serum is absolutely one of those! As I mentioned last week, my skin has been acting up so much recently but it has calmed down a little bit and I’m hoping it’s through the worst!

What I’m feeling good about:
I finally changed my pill! I know my audience is mostly female, so I don’t mind talking about this on the blog. I’ve spoke about this a few times in the past, but I changed my pill around this time last year and it’s made me feel sh*t ever since. Not every day or every week, but generally it wasn’t a good fit for my mental health, not to mention I put on so much weight since changing. (To clarify: I haven’t changed clothes sizes but I just feel ‘chubby’ compared to what I was. Matt is so supportive and sweet; he’s always telling me I look great, but you know when you just don’t feel yourself? That’s how I’ve felt for so long and I’m hoping switching pills will really help! Maybe less late night McFlurry runs would also help, but let’s not be drastic.) I was on the mini pill but I’ve gone back to a combined pill, so while I know it might make me feel a bit rubbish as the hormone levels change in my body, I have my fingers tightly crossed that I’ve made the right decision. I am recording how I feel each day right now, so fingers crossed a blog post may come out of that to help anyone else in the same situation!

What I’m doing this weekend:
Matt is unfortunately at work all weekend (boohoo) so we’re of course making the most of our mornings and evenings together, and taking all of our time together to just enjoy being at home. Tonight we’re making burgers and spending a little time with his parents, I love Friday evenings at the Scotney’s! He doesn’t start work until after 12pm, I’m going to cook us a fun breakfast (I will share with you next week if it’s any good!) and spend a lazy morning snuggled watching The Office on Amazon Prime. I’m spending Saturday afternoon preparing our favourite CrockPot meal for when Matt gets home – he doesn’t get back until after 9pm! – then doing nothing but work on the blog all day. I need to write my pre-planned posts for the next few weeks and take a ton of photos, which I’m actually really looking forward to. On Sunday Matt leaves for work pretty early, so I’m going to do our food shop, run a few errands and have a very chilled day! I also need to list more things on Depop so I’m going to hopefully finish that up too. Matt’s not home until a little later than usual as he’s going out after work for an hour or so, so I’m going to treat myself to a little pamper evening with my favourite face mask and my book, then we have SO MUCH Peaky Blinders to catch up on… I can’t wait!

What I’m reading:
I started reading Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams last week and I’m only around half way through because I’ve only been reading a few pages at at time the past few nights. I LOVE this book so much; it’s funny, the characters are relatable, the writing flows so well and I just absolutely love the story. This would be a perfect beach read, if you’re going away soon I’d definitely recommend picking it up! I also wrote a huge post all about how I find time to read and my book recommendations last Sunday, I’d love if you could check that out. Warning: it’s VERY long. Cuppa required.

What is changing on the blog:
Okay so I’m not sure if this is definitely going to be the case, but we may have a temporary change where you’ll only see two posts each week from me, instead of three. My Wednesday posts are probably going to be non-existent, and my Sunday posts may be up on a Monday from time to time. Maybe. If that happens, please bare with me! September is a super busy month for Matt and I; it’s our anniversary, we have family visiting, our weekends are crazy busy and both Matt and I have busier than usual weeks at work. I don’t want to rush to put up posts I’m not really happy with, so if I need to I’m going to cut back a little bit, and still hopefully get good quality posts up! Now that I write longer, more detailed posts, they take a little extra planning and they take way longer to write and edit. As always, taking photos is always the hardest thing to make time for (I’m SO BAD at taking photos, too) but it’s about the main written content, right?

What I’m excited about:
I literally can’t believe it’s almost Matt and I’s two year anniversary! Our official anniversary is on September 16th, but we were ‘dating’ for a while before that. We had known each other for years before, and I still can’t believe how lucky I am! We can’t celebrate on the day due to Matt’s work schedule, so we’re just going to have a cute night at home on our actual anniversary. We are however having a mini celebration the weekend before (dinner at our favourite restaurant, of course) and we’re planning a weekend getaway in October when life is (hopefully) a little quieter. We haven’t been able to confirm dates yet but we’re doing a mini UK city break to a city we’ve never been to before, and I’m SO excited! Can you guess where?!

What else is new:
Nothing much, to be honest! Considering it was a bank holiday I feel like this has been a really long week and I really wish it was another long weekend. Aren’t they just the best?! My WIML post from last weekend will be up on Wednesday, we had so much fun in Stamford and I seriously LOVED the place! It was super cute and quaint, and (I think) exactly what Americans think all of England looks like… you know?! Haha, I can’t wait to share our photos!

Thank you so much for reading! I’m sorry this post was a little shorter than most, I promise next weeks will be way more fun 🙂 what has your week looked like? Are you excited for the weekend? I hope your plans are more fun than ours. We are however looking forward to next weekend SO MUCH; I can’t wait to share our plans with you! What are you up to this weekend? Please leave your blog posts from the week below because I’m also going to take a little time on Sunday to catch up on everything I’ve missed recently!

-G x

Feelin’ It Friday

Hi, loves! I’m back with another #feelinitfriday and it feels so good to just sit down and write about my week. I didn’t post last week because Matt’s parents came home from their holiday last Thursday and we spent our whole evening catching up with them, we missed them so much and are so happy they’re back! After missing out on a week’s worth of chatting with you all, I have SO MUCH to say hahaha. I’m so thankful it’s Friday and I’m very excited for this weekend, Matt is finally off work (YAY!) and we have a great weekend planned. Today’s post is a long one, so grab your morning cuppa and settle in…

What I’m happy about:
Well we’ve had a great week so I’m generally happy, but I’m so very happy to have pretty gels again! I treated myself to a little trip to the salon after work last night and I’m so happy to have my gels back. I know it probably sounds a little crazy to some but it just makes me feel good about myself, it’s such a fun self care treat now and then. I chose lilac with silver glitter, because isn’t that just the prettiest combo for Summer?

What I’m proud of:
I’m so freaking proud of my boyfriend! I know I talk about him A LOT on the blog – he’s my better half, sorry not sorry – but I just really need to sing his praises right now. Last week he was given the opportunity to manage two stores (he already managed one) and he is so deserving of success! He works so dang hard every single day and doesn’t even realise how amazing he is. I’m so excited to treat him and celebrate in a few weeks; we’re trying to get a date in the diary to go up to Edinburgh for the day and I can’t wait! He deserves the world, I just love him so much 🙂

What I’m watching:
Matt and I are now on season five of Brooklyn 99 (which we’re SO sad about, we never want it to end!) so we’re trying to watch it a little more sparingly at the moment. We watched Katherine Ryan’s new Netflix show this week and we about died laughing, she is just so hilarious! We enjoyed her original Netflix stand up so much and thought it would be hard to beat but she did it. Last night we snuggled in to watch Stacey Dooley’s new documentary (any regular readers will know how much I love her) which was amazing, I’m so excited she’s back with new episodes!

What I’m excited about:
Speaking of watching TV… we now have a TV to watch our shows again! Our old TV stopped working so we’ve been watching Netflix, Sky etc on my MacBook for the longest time, which worked fine and we had honestly got used to it. Then yesterday my mum and dad bought us a TV! We’re so grateful to them, they’re seriously so good to us. Doesn’t it look so cute with the little Diptyque candle? I never burn my fancy candles because they are the prettiest decor pieces! It’s only a small TV because it has to fit in the teeny space in the built-in wardrobes (that I designed when I was 14 and didn’t really know what I would want in the future haha) but it’s such good quality and it was SO nice to snuggle up in bed watching TV, instead of the laptop last night. We also will be able to take this TV when buy our house to use in our kitchen/spare room or something, so it’s super exciting to think about that for next year.

What I’m buying:
Autumn candles!!! I placed an order for my FAVOURITE Autumn candle (Leaves by Bath & Body Works) on Wednesday and I literally can’t wait for it to get here, I hope it arrives today! I probably buy at least five every year because Matt and I love the scent so much, it’s literally Autumn in a jar and it just makes me happy. I’ll be burning it the second it arrives in the post, and probably ordering a ton more. I’m really waiting for TK Maxx and Yankee Candle to launch their Autumn ranges for this year to pick up some more because the rainy, cold weather has truly got me in the Autumn spirit.

What I’m celebrating:
My (not so) little brother turned 21 this week! He may now legally be able to drink in the US but he’s always going to seem 12 to me, hahaha. We celebrated on his birthday, and we’re all going for a family meal this weekend in Morpeth; we had to fix a date that worked with Matt’s shifts and because he’s off all weekend it worked out perfectly. I can’t wait to eat Italian food and drink lots of gin with my favourite people!

What I’m eating:
This is super random but I’m kinda obsessed with these hummus chips, they’re so yummy!! They’re filling and tasty, and I’ve eaten SO many packets in the past few weeks without getting bored. I’ve only seen the smaller bags in the Co-Op (my favourite shop) but you can also buy huge bags at any supermarket. Of course Matt and I have been making delicious dinners each evening as always. We always sit down to eat dinner together no matter what time it is; Matt works until 9pm at least twice per week and I make dinner for him coming through the door. We really loved the steak stir fry I made on Sunday, it’s so freaking easy and I whipped it up in less than ten minutes whilst Matt was finishing up a little work. I picked up this stir fry pack and it was so good, we’ll definitely buy it again! Also, a little trick to make your stir fry taste better; use sesame oil. We get this one but I’m sure they all taste the same!

What I’ve been up to this week:
Matt and I have both been working every day as per usual, and we’ve been super busy during our evenings too. On Tuesday we celebrated Robert’s birthday so we relaxed and enjoyed being with family, but we’ve just been 100 miles per hour every other day, as always. I’ve also been spending a lot of time doing things for my blog, decluttering the heck out of the wardrobes (a LONG post will be coming on that soon!) and running errands, it’s just felt so busy. Matt and I have savoured every second of quiet time together, and we can’t wait to relax a little this weekend.

What I’m up to this weekend:
Speaking of which… we have such a fun weekend planned I can barely stand it! Tonight we’re finally going to watch The Lion King (and, you know, get popcorn and Tango ice blasts because that’s what date nights at the movies are all about. It’s tradition guys!) Tomorrow we’re sleeping in then going fruit picking at a local farm and exploring the nearby town, then we’ll be heading back to freshen up because we’re going out for my brother’s birthday meal. Sunday is a little up in the air right now but we know we’re going for breakfast at the beach – our favourite Sunday morning tradition – and then Matt may be playing golf in the afternoon. If he is I’ll work on my blog, we’re going for a run, then we so badly want a cosy evening in the house eating Indian food and watching Netflix! I’m thinking about recording another Weekend In My Life for this weekend because it’s been a while since my last one, please let me know what you think?!

What I’m reading:
Okay I just started a new book, but this week I finished reading After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid and oh my gosh I was a MESS through the whole thing! I literally cried through the first thirty pages, then throughout the book I kept tearing up (and sometimes full on sobbing) because the story was written so amazingly well. I said back in May that Forever, Interrupted was the best book I’ve ever read, and this one is up there too! I highly recommend picking this up – it was so raw and honest and heartbreaking, but also filled with hope and love and joy. I said the same after reading Forever, Interrupted but it totally made me appreciate what Matt and I have even more, we’re so lucky to have found each other and I never want to take that for granted, even for a second!

What I’m listening to:
Of course I’m listening to Shagged, Married, Annoyed because I’m forever obsessed with Rosie and Chris Ramsey. No joke. I have also been listening to another podcast that I’ve just discovered (I feel like I’m cheating on SMA…) called Outspoken Beauty. If you’re into beauty blogs and vlogs this is the podcast for you; it’s like having a conversation with a friend and I’ve already laughed and learned so much! I’m just waiting for the day Shay makes a podcast because I just aspire to be her… pretty please?

What else is new:
I very briefly mentioned this in Wednesday’s post and a little bit in this one, but I’ve started doing the Couch To 5k! I was NOT planning to start, and it was so random – Matt thought I’d had an out of body experience I’m sure, hahaha. I was super inspired after watching Jade’s vlog, downloaded the app and just went out running! I’ve done two runs now, so I’ve almost completed my first week and I’m actually excited about starting the new week. I really found my first two runs challenging because I am not a runner, but I’m so excited to see how I get on with it. I don’t talk about this often on my blog but I have arthritis which affects my knees and hips the most, so I’m not sure how this will work out. I’m not putting any pressure on myself, I just want to enjoy it for as long as I can and see what happens!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you all have the most wonderful weekends and please let me know if you’d like me to record a Weekend In My Life? Now Matt’s still snoozing in bed (he’s off work today) and I’m heading to work, but there’s eight little hours between me and the weekend… let’s do this! Also, I decided to end today’s post with three of my favourite posts of the week, please go check them out and leave the girls lovely comments 🙂
What Up Wednesday-ish – Savannah is back!! She took a few days off for holiday (and was unfortunately poorly) but she is BACK. She’s my all time favourite blogger and I genuinely feel like I know her, her posts are always my go-to… please go send her all of the love and good wishes to be better!
July’s Feelings & Favourites – Chloe writes so beautifully, all of her posts are from the heart and I’m so excited she’s writing more about her personal life, those kind of posts always grab my attention more!
Summer Glow Getters – Gemma takes THE most beautiful photos in every post and this is no exception, all of these products are dreamy and I’ve added a few to my shopping list, she’s so informative about the products in this post.

-G x

Feelin’ It Friday

Hi, loves! Happy, happy Friday!! I can’t quite tell you how excited I am to be back writing again, I missed you guys! Today’s post is another kinda short and sweet one, but they’re still fun, right? Matt and I had the most amazing holiday and I’m so dang excited to share everything with you on the blog next week. If you weren’t following along on Instagram stories, go check out my Croatia highlight saved on my profile for a sneak peak of our trip and what we got up to! We came back feeling so happy and grateful, although we’ve never been so sad to come home from a trip EVER. The holiday blues are real guys! So, what’s going on in my life?!

What I’ve been eating:
After eating a week of incredible quality all-inclusive food, with hundreds of options, we’ve actually really enjoyed cooking since we got back. We’ve opted for our tried and tested favourites of pasta dishes, fish with roasted veggies and lots of comfort foods 🙂 we made enchiladas last night and they were so. dang. good. I chipped the back of my front tooth on holiday (you can’t tell at all but I had a bit of a meltdown when it happened because it felt like a HUGE part of my tooth came out. Thankfully that wasn’t the case at all but this would only happen to me, it’s just my luck!) and I’ve been so scared to eat anything that I have to bite into. I’m even more scared for a trip to the dentist to fix it – it’s beyond a JOKE as a 25 year old woman how scared I am of the dentist! – but I’m being super careful about the food I’m eating so I don’t have to bite into things!

What I’m blown away about:
Whilst we were in Croatia I got tagged in two Summer Bucket List posts – this one by Gemma, then this one by Laura – who were inspired to write them after reading my post. I mean, what the heck?! I read and loved them both, please go spread a little love and give them a read (and follow!) too. I love that this little blogging community is always so welcoming and open to others, and that we really support each other and want the best for each other. Sharing each other’s blog posts, leaving comments, liking posts etc is so important and something I’m truly trying to actively do more. I am really focused on growing my blog more and creating fun, exciting content, and I feel so lucky to have inspired other bloggers in some small way!

What I’m reminiscing about:
Croatia!! Guys, we’re SO sad to be home. We had the most amazing holiday and I can’t quite believe it’s already been and gone, the week flew by! We stayed in the most beautiful hotel, with amazing sea and mountain views that looked like they were straight out of a TUI advert, it was beyond what we expected or even imagined. Our days were spent swimming, relaxing for hours at the beach or pool and soaking up the (crazy hot!) Croatian sun, which is just exactly what we needed. Spending pretty much every second of every day with my favorite person was so good for the soul! We recharged and relaxed, and even though I had a bit of a wobble with my anxiety for one day of our holiday – that was less than ideal! – I’m still in a little bubble of happiness from our trip. I really am so excited to share our photos with you! Here’s a sneak peek…

What I’ve been up to this week:
We spent Monday in holiday bliss, and traveled back to England on Monday night. We had booked a hotel in Manchester for that night because we knew we’d be exhausted, and I’m so glad we already planned that because for a short haul flight our travel day was LONG. We had a two hour coach ride on the hottest, sweatiest bus you can imagine with no air con from our hotel to the airport, then waited three and a half hours at the worst airport we’ve ever been to before finally flying home! The pilot kindly told told us as we sat on the runway that the BACK ENGINE WASN’T WORKING. Anyone who knows me IRL will know this made me freak. out. hahahaha. It was fine, but I mean, who tells a plane full of people they’re about to fly through the air with one of the engines not working?! I held onto Matt for dear life pretty much the whole flight. We grabbed Diet Cokes and Doritos from the airport and snuggled in for a midnight feast at our hotel, which was so needed! Tuesday rolled around way too quickly, so we headed back up North and spent our day catching up with our families, relaxing and preparing to go back to work. From Wednesday we’ve just been getting back into the swing of work, and we’re already counting down to next weekend when Matt is off work and we have fun things planned!

What I’m up to this weekend:
Not very much! Matt is unfortunately working all weekend, and I have a ton of stuff to catch up on with my blog so I’m going to be working too. I’m so thankful we make the most of our mornings and evenings together every day, because you just have to be grateful for the time you can squeeze in when life is busy. We hate when he works all weekend, and I miss him so much! Lol, he’s literally only going to be out of the house for just over eight hours each day, but that’s a long time, y’know? I’m excited to write and edit new posts and take photos, and I’m also going to be working on our Croatia photo diary which is going to take up a LOT of time. I also really want to deep clean our bedroom, it needs it! We are however making plans this weekend, which always makes me so excited! We’re booking our tickets to see Toy Story 4 (we can’t wait!), planning a date day and date night and we’re also booking our hotel for a super fun trip next month 🙂 I know we’ve literally just got home but I can’t wait for a few nights away! I love making memories with Matt, and we love having things to look forward to. My personality is that I kinda need something to look forward to, it makes crappy days so much easier to deal with!

What I’m thinking about:
How fun all of the 4th of July celebrations looked! I’ve seen countless Instagram stories showcasing BBQ’s, fireworks and parades, and I’d LOVE to experience being in the USA for the holiday one year! Of course the reason Americans celebrate is because it was the 4th of July, 1776 that they became independent from us, Great Britain. Lol, I see the irony! Still, I love any kind of holiday that involves fireworks, now I’m just counting down to Bonfire Night… I’m actually VERY excited for Autumn, although I realise Summer literally just started. I’m already dreaming of cosy sweaters, riding boots and pumpkin spiced everything!

Thank you so much for reading guys, I’m sorry this week’s #feelinitfriday is so short! I wrote this post up before work as Matt and I were up from 6am this morning because he started work early, and I had SO much fun sitting down and pouring all of my thoughts into a blog post. I’m so happy I started my #feelinitfriday series, and I’m pretty sure they will be more of a weekly thing than every two weeks. Please let me know what you’d like to see in these posts, as I really want to make sure it’s content you enjoy and feel excited to read! Matt and I have tons of fun plans coming up and although we’re very sad our holiday is over, we can’t wait for all of the exciting things we’re going to be doing. We’re going to start checking off our Summer bucket list from next weekend, I just can’t wait! What are your plans for this weekend? I hope you’re not working like us, and have so much fun!

-G x

Feelin’ It Friday

Happy Friday my loves! Surprise… you weren’t expecting this were you?! I’m changing things up a little on the blog, and at least twice per month (maybe more often, I might even do this every week!) you’ll be getting a #feelinitfriday from me. These posts are essentially going to be a recap of my week; what I’ve been doing, what I’m loving and everything in between. I’m so excited to inject a little something new into my blog, and this means some weeks you’ll be getting three posts from me! My regular upload schedule is remaining the same at 6pm on Wednesdays and 12pm on Sundays. Also, can you believe my blog turns one on Monday, June 10th?! Me either! It literally seems five minutes ago since I hit publish on my first post. Thank you so much to everyone who reads my blog, it means the world to me!

I was super inspired to write this style of post by Savannah over at Savannah Said It. She writes What Up Wednesday’s most weeks, originally inspired by Shay at Mix and Match Mama who writes What’s Up Wednesday posts every month, I love the personal feel to those posts! (They’re also two of my favourite bloggers, if you’re looking for some reading recommendations!) I really miss writing about all the things going on in my life as that’s something that doesn’t seem to feature too often on my blog now. As I mentioned in this post, I used to write at least one paragraph at the beginning of every post talking about Matt and I’s week/weekend, but I found it was taking away from whatever the topic was, so I stopped. However, any of my personal posts (weekends in my life, trips etc) get SO many views, and they’re the posts that are re-read a ton.

I’m a little bit sad to say this will also mean I’ll no longer be posting monthly favourites posts, which I just started writing in January this year. I did love writing them, but honestly I’d sometimes struggle to find things to talk about and I felt like I was repeating myself a lot. Most people talk about new launches in those posts, and I don’t try enough new products regularly enough to be able to do that. As many of you already know, Matt and I are saving for our house and buying things I don’t need (or, you know, really really want) is just not a priority anymore. I talk about beauty products I love all of the time in my ‘main’ posts anyway, and if I try something new that is really awesome you’ll see it in a #feelinitfriday. SO, let’s get on with it!

Fair warning: this is probably not the best week to begin a fun new series because I have been MISERABLE. Haha, Matt is out of town on an amazing trip with the boys. I’m so happy he’s having the best time, but I literally can’t tell you how much I’m missing him. I promise every post won’t be this boring (read: whingey). LOL!

What I’m loving:
SO many products from The Body Shop! As I said above, I don’t really buy new products unless it’s something I need (or want real bad) and as a result I’ve started to really appreciate the products I already own and use so often. I’ve loved The Body Shop since I was really young, and I think it’s just so underrated. I posted a round up of my most favourite products this past Wednesday, which you can read here if you missed it! If you’re looking to purchase something new I’d recommend everything in that post, but if you buy just one thing please make it the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, you won’t regret it!

What I’m thinking about:
Sunday. Sunday. Sunday. I can barely wait to pick my love up from the airport on Sunday morning!!! It’s what has been getting me through this crazy long week, kissing him goodbye last Sunday morning when he left for the airport literally feels a lifetime ago. I’m so grateful we’re able to keep in touch all day (technology is great, isn’t it?!) but I just want to kiss him and squeeze him SO BAD! I’m also thinking about the blueberry muffins downstairs in the kitchen and willing myself not to grab one before work…

What I’m excited for:
Sunday! LOL, I’m aware I sound like a broken record. I’m also very excited for a good night’s sleep, I’ve slept so bad all week! I really hate sleeping without Matt and I’m very thankful it’s so rare we’re apart at night (literally only if he’s on a trip or away with work). I know he’s super tired too and I have a feeling we’ll be passed out way too early on Sunday! No complaints about that though 🙂 we’re #oldies at heart.

I promise there’s granola under all that yogurt, lol! #terryLOVESyogurt (if you know, you know)

What I’m eating:
I’ve not really been cooking this week as it’s just been me. I have however ate a ton of Quorn nuggs, spinach bites and rice! I’ve really been enjoying granola, Onken vanilla yogurt and berries most mornings, and I’m trying to eat better before we go on holiday so I’ve not really snacked much. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things next week. I also found some new recipes I know Matt and I will love, and I can’t wait to make them with him!

What I’m watching:
Lots and lots and lots of my YouTube subscriptions. Some weeks are so busy I can barely keep up with my favourite YouTubers (The Anna Edit, Rebecca Lamb, Allie Glines and Ellie & Jared, if you’re wondering) but with all of the extra time I’ve had this week I’ve watched way more videos! I also caught up on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, watched lots of reruns of Friends and I’m binge watching a show called Instant Hotel on Netflix, it’s kinda bitchy and really funny! I can’t wait to watch lots of Brooklyn 99 when Matt comes home, we’re mid-way through season three and it’s getting JUICY! (I love Amy and Jake being together so much!)

What I’m listening to:
Rosie & Chris’ podcast, Sh*gged, Married, Annoyed. Is anyone surprised?! I love this podcast, it’s the funniest one I’ve ever listened to and 100% my favourite! There’s a new one out today which I’m going to listen on my way to/from work, I genuinely get so excited for Friday’s to hear the new episode! I cry laugh on my drive to work every Friday morning *not necessarily recommended* – those two are so hilarious and relatable! Also, if you don’t follow Rosie on Instagram, you really should. Her stories make my day and I’m always making Matt watch them too!

What I’m buying:
ALL of the last minute holiday bits! Over the next few weeks I need to pick up new bikinis, a few more clothing pieces to wear in the evenings, a pair of pretty sandals and a cute beach cover up. I still need to grab all of our sun lotions, a few makeup items and our toiletries! Matt just got me these adorable headbands last week from Primark, how flipping cute are they?! I kinda feel like a five year old but I’m super excited to wear them all Summer, I think they’ll be especially cute around the pool!

What I’m wearing:
Honestly this past week, I’ve not really worn anything except my work uniform and loungewear. It’s been pretty dark and and a little bit rainy this past week (definitely matched my mood, haha) and I’ve been loving curling up in oversized sweaters and sweatpants. Not the cutest look, but who doesn’t love comfy clothes?!

What I’m reading:
As well as watching a ton of TV/Youtube, I’ve also read lots! I love reading and always try to make it a priority, usually when I have a little extra time to soak in the tub in the evenings. I finished Paige Toon’s latest book, If You Could Go Anywhere on Tuesday night, which I really enjoyed and was kinda shocked by how the story turned out. I’d definitely recommend picking it up! I’ve just started another book which I really like so far, it’s laugh-out-loud funny and I’m already hooked. I’ll share my thoughts on it with you in the next #feelinitfriday!

I love this photo because it’s genuinely candid! My brother took it a few weeks ago whilst we were all in Manchester. I love how happy Matt looks 🙂 he’s so handsome and I just feel so. dang. lucky.

What I’ve been up to:
Work has been busy this week, which has been a pretty good distraction. The days have felt so long and it’s been so weird not being with Matt, I really feel like my right arm has been cut off! I’ve spent so much time working on my blog, and I’m really happy with my content for the next few weeks. I’ve cleared out lots of my clothes and started to set things aside ready for our holiday (anyone else make piles of things you’ll need to pack way before you need to, but end up causing yourself more hassle in the long run? Me too.) I’ve done a little yoga everyday too, and I’m hoping by some miracle it will make me feel good in a bikini in a few weeks! Probably not.

What I’m up to this weekend:
Erm… I may have mentioned Matt COMES HOME?! I’m giddy at the thought, and thankfully I don’t feel near as upset anymore because I’m so excited. Tomorrow I’m heading to the Metro Centre to (hopefully) finish my holiday shopping and have breakfast with my sweetest friend, Jessy. Afterwards, I’m going to run all of my errands so everything is ready for Matt coming home, and I want to finish up on Sunday’s post. Sunday morning I’ll be up bright and early because I’m heading to the airport to pick Matt up first thing *insert all of the heart eyes emojis right here*. We’re planning on spending our day snuggling, watching the football and eating Chinese food. Heaven.

What else is new:
One last thing I really wanted to mention, have you guys heard of Amazon Smile?! NOT an advertisement (as if Amazon need little old me to advertise, lol) but it’s an amazing addition to the Amazon website we all know and love. I’m not sure if it’s only available for Prime members, but if you shop through http://www.smile.amazon.co.uk a percentage of every item you buy will be donated to a charity of your choice. It’s super small at 0.5% of the cost, but when you consider how many people purchase items on Amazon every day, I imagine that adds up like crazy! I chose Make A Wish UK, and you’re able to change your charity of choice whenever you like. I’m not sure when this was released as I only found out at the end of May, but I just wanted you all to know anything I link via Amazon will be linked through Amazon Smile! Also, it doesn’t affect any prices, so you don’t need to worry about that.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed the beginning of my new blogging series, I’m so excited to inject a little spontaneity into my blog. I promise they won’t all be this long, or this whingey! It is a little scary to me to do something without a specific, set plan, but I’m trying so hard to not let it get to me and #gowiththeflow. LOL I’m so not a go with the flow person. AT ALL. Anyway, what have you been up to this week? What have you been loving?! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I know we will! I’ll see you on Sunday with a new post!

-G x

Meal Planning: The How’s And Why’s

Hi, loves!

Meal planning is a huge part of Matt and I’s week, and it’s something we now do every week without fail. I love routine, I love organisation and I love being able to do things in a quick and effective way. Matt isn’t as fussed, but what we’re having for dinner each night is something I had always made the decisions on, because Matt is super indecisive! Now, through changing our habits and meal planning, this makes it a joint decision for both of us. I’ve mentioned meal planning many times on the blog, and been asked lots of times for recipe ideas and why we do it. I’d love to share a week’s worth of dinner recipe ideas, so that will definitely be up in the blog in the next month or so. Today I’m focusing on the how’s and why’s of meal planning for us, and asking some of the questions I see popping up over and over again. Is it actually beneficial to our lives? Should you be doing it? What does it even mean?

What is meal planning?
It’s pretty self explanatory, but meal planning is literally to plan – usually for the week ahead – the meals you (and your partner/family) will be eating. Some people do this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, however Matt and I only really focus on breakfast for Matt (I generally eat at work), dinner for both of us with leftovers for lunch the following day and healthy snacks/desserts. I’m not really a baker at all, but I made this banana bread last week before I picked Matt up from a night out with the boys and it was so good! Also, no bake desserts are great, and they’re super quick and easy when your evenings are busy.

How do you do it?
On a Sunday, Matt and I sit down for twenty minutes to talk about what we want to make the following week, and plan our shopping list(s). We look at Matt’s shifts as this has an impact on what we make; on the days he works until 9pm I make dinner ready for him coming home, so we tend to go for meals that go in the oven and can be timed perfectly (for example, cod and roasted vegetables or a good ol’ pasta bake). I make a list in the Notes app on my phone of what meal we’ll make each evening, writing underneath all of the ingredients required to make the meal. I don’t include items like sauces or spices which we use in every meal as we already have those, although if I had to re-purchase something during my shop that week then I’d write them down too. Miscellaneous items like almond milk, protein bars and bread are bought every week, so I keep a generic shopping list I buy from too. I love that I can tick off the lists as I go through my shop, and have even started writing in the order that I’d walk around the shop, that’s dedication LOL. I grocery shop twice per week, sometimes a third time if we’ve ran out of anything, and I can get round the store in fifteen minutes or less every time.

Does it save you money and/or time?
YES. As we plan ahead and have a shopping list, I literally buy to the shopping list. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a sneaky bag of Haribo or Cadbury’s buttons will find their way into the trolley – I’ve no idea how – but most of the time I stick to our list. I tend to do almost all of our grocery shopping as it just works easier that way, and I enjoy buying based on a list as it saves so much time. It also cuts out any extra deliberations in store where I ring Matt and say “is X okay for dinner tonight? What do you fancy for tomorrow?” I also have the flexibility to go to more than one supermarket when I can, as I know what I need to get and we prefer certain items from certain places. Aldi and Lidl are great for freshly baked bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, and they also have great deals on pasta, spices and yoghurts. When it comes to chicken and meat, we always buy from Asda as I feel you get more for your money there, and we buy specific branded things like rice, almond milk, frozen goodies, and sauces there too. To be honest, I generally do most of our shopping at Asda as it’s nearby work, but I should get better at buying from various stores. However if we’re ever having a cheat night and eating rubbish, we love the Taste The Difference flatbread pizzas from Sainsbury’s (with a tub of Halo Top or Alpro ice cream thrown in, obviously)!

How do you get your ideas for recipes?
This has built up over a long time of trial and error of trying out new foods, as we now have our own little (mental) portfolio of go-to meals we love. We don’t eat much red meat and it’s something we’re actively trying to cut down on, and we generally favour chicken or fish dishes if we’re not eating vegetarian. When we’re not cooking a tried and tested favourite and want to try something new, I firstly look through our three favourite cookbooks. Our go-to’s are Pinch Of Nom by Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone, A Year Of Beautiful Eating by Madeleine Shaw and Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape by Gino D’Acampo. Whether we follow the exact ingredients and method, or take inspiration to create something else I can almost always find something that looks good. If nothing was to take our fancy from those cookbooks we’d then look online at BBC Good Food, Pinterest, Tesco Real Food and of course, social media.

Do you find it easy?
I really do, and I would advise anyone who is thinking about giving it a go, to just try it. It took us a long time to start cooking with fresh ingredients, and we were regulars at M&S Food Hall for their dine in for two offer (we ate those almost every night!) for our first year of being together, but now that’s definitely a treat and something we do on the nights we really have no time. We didn’t know how to cook at all prior to last Summer, so we’re self taught (well, with the help of Matt’s lovely mum). I hear people say all the time “I don’t know how to cook” but honestly you just have to give it a whirl and practice lots, it gets easier and now we love every aspect of it. After we got the methods down, it took us a little time to tweak how we do things each week, but after a little trial and error it works perfectly for us. We’ve also been eating way healthier since we took meal planning seriously, as it’s developed a new interest in creating new meals, and we’re forever trying new things. I’m very interested in eating more vegetarian meals, and Matt’s on board to try whatever I want to try too, which is great! We’re thinking of eating vegetarian only for a week, pretty much just to see if we can do it, and if we do I’ll definitely share my thoughts on it with you on the blog.

Does it work every week?
Yes, for us it really does. We look at the week ahead, so if we’re heading out for date night on Friday we know we don’t need to buy anything for that night, or if we have plans with friends on the Saturday we’ll more than likely grab something when we’re out. If Matt’s out for the evening with the boys I also take great pleasure in having a kid’s tea before I go pick him up (Quorn crispy nuggets, Strong Roots spinach bites and a whole lot of this amazing BBQ sauce, if you’re interested) and those are the kinds of food we always make sure to have in the freezer, and I replace without fail on an almost weekly basis (especially those spinach bites, we literally eat them with almost every meal HA). The best part of meal planning is that it works around your life and your schedule, and it’s very flexible as a result. You could definitely just do one shop per week but we buy so many fresh vegetables and fruit it means by the end of the week items are out of date or just not as good as they should be, so I’d rather not waste food and just go to the supermarket two or three times per week.

I hope this post was informative and helped in some way! I love seeing what people eat for dinner, and what must-have recipe they recommend to others. I can’t wait to share with you a week’s worth of dinners for Matt and I. If you’re wanting to get a start on meal planning, I’d really recommend the three cookbooks photographed/linked in this post! Do you meal plan? Do you have any extra tips that may help me or my readers?!

-G x