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Life: Monthly Summary October

October 29, 2015

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Doing:
  • The month started with a visit to Center Parcs. The rest of the family were in the Sherwood Forest CP for a long weekend and so Chris and I went over for the day. We enjoyed the rapids, a  bike ride and all chilling out in the villa together.
  • We spent another weekend in Lincoln enjoying some beautiful sunshine, watching the last flight of the Vulcan and then attending an engagement party. 
  • Chris' parents also spent the weekend in London. We had a yummy pub meal and did an epic 2 hour walk around beautiful Richmond Park.
  • Spending a whole day very hungover after work drinks. I hadn't been that hungover in ages and spent the day doing literally nothing!
  • Listening to lots of the TED Radio Hour podcasts - really recommend subscribing. 
  • Also listening a million times a day to Adele's new song - Hello. Video is here (with Dixon from 90210!).

Reading:
  • The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. I love a thriller and couldn't put this book down- well worth a read, especially if you enjoy books like Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. 
  • I am loving Rebecca's blog at the moment and enjoyed her recent post sharing '5 books that will inspire you'.
  • Love inspiring quotes and this post by Hannah is full of them.
  • Victoria has written a great post, all about how to be more efficient in life and therefore reducing stress- read it here.

Watching:
  • Game of Thrones - Chris and I were missing having a series to watch together and Game of Thrones seemed like one that we'd both enjoy. We're only on episode 5 but I am really enjoying it so far!
  • Once Upon a Time - I watched this religiously earlier this year and then had a hiatus over the summer months. I'm now back on track and am towards the end of series 3. It is such good escapism.
  • Made in Chelsea - it's back. Hooray!

Fashion: Outfit of the Day - Autumn Outfit

October 27, 2015

I am so in love with all of the Autumn fashion that's in the shops at the moment. I just want to buy everything. I've picked up a few items recently, including the jumper and hat featured above. 

I have been wanting a floppy hat for ages, but have resisted because I've just not been sure when I'd wear it. I gave in when I saw it for £8 in Primark. I love it although it isn't the most practical of hats - today it nearly blew off of my head a few times in the wind, and because of the wide brim it's hard to see what is happening around you! Who needs practical when it's so nice to look at though?! Here is a similar hat from Topshop.

The jumper is another new Primark purchase and cost £14. It's super snuggly and perfect for this time of year - it's quite oversized (I bought it in a size 8). My bag and boots are older Primark purchases (I really need to expand my shopping repertoire!) and leggings are from H&M. 



Home: Our Kitchen Before and After

October 25, 2015
Two years after moving in and we have made a lot of progress on our little London flat! We have finished every room apart from the living room which will be our final project. The hallway has just been redecorated, new oak doors have been hung and we are loving how it looks now.

Our kitchen was actually finished a year ago and I've finally got round to writing a post to share the before and after pictures. 

Before

I couldn't stand the kitchen when we moved in. As you can see from the photo it was old, the layout wasn't very functional and the hob broke a couple of months after moving in so we had to use a camping stove for 6 months! Cooking was not fun and I didn't like being in there one bit! 


In progress


After

 

We went for a Howdens Kitchen with shaker style cupboards (greenwich white) and pewter handles. We sourced our appliances separately from Appliances Online as was about £200 cheaper than going with Howdens own brand- even choosing the more expensive appliances like Bosch. 

I was a bit wary of having wood worktops (we are mucky pups in the kitchen) but Chris convinced me and we do love them. They do need oiling regularly but are worth the upkeep as look so gorgeous and were a lot easier to fit than laminate (I say it like I did this, haha!). We went for a beautiful Belfast sink and also managed to squeeze in a small dishwasher which is a lifesaver. I was torn between an electric and gas hob as electric looks smarter, but gas is so much better for cooking. As you can see we went for a gas hob.

We've kept things simple with white paint - a theme in our flat! Can't get enough white. And also went for metro tiles with white grouting, as we went for in the bathroom (see my before and after post here). I adore metro tiles and they are so cheap too! For flooring we chose the same as we have for our bedrooms, which is a fantastic laminate from Homebase. I love how much it looks like real wood!

I am in so much love with our kitchen and love spending time in there. The layout has really made the most of the space and is a million times better than it was before.

Beauty: Roger & Gallet Gingembre Rouge Fresh Shower Gel

October 22, 2015

I love being introduced to new brands and Roger & Gallet is definitely a brand to know about. They are a French company who have actually been around since 1862. They describe themselves as 'delicately perfuming life' and their creations are made from natural essences which have been extracted for their quality and excellent perfume.

Their Gingembre Rouge range captures the magical allure of the island of Zanzibar and has had two new additions to their offering. First up is the Gingembre Rouge Fresh Shower Gel* which has been expertly developed to pamper and refresh and is enriched with aloe vera, an extract of ginger root, pomegranate seeds oil and coco betaine. It smells absolutely gorgeous - of sweets and fruit.

The other new product is an Energising Sorbet Body Lotion which is a gently shimmering formula that melts into a water-like texture on the skin and is full of nourishing oils and other ingredients such as aloe vera and avocado oil. Both products are paraben and sulfate free and suitable for all skin types. 

The shower gels costs £9.50 and the sorbet body lotion costs £14. They are available from Marks & Spencer and you can find out more info about the brand and their products on their website.

Life: How I Get Organised

October 20, 2015
I have always been an organised person. I love to write lists, I love to plan and I love stationery so it's a winning organisational combo. I thought I'd share a few tips/tools which help me organise my life, obviously in a list...I could go into great detail on all of these areas but for now I'll restrain myself and keep it more general!

♥  My phone - I use my phone LOTS to help me keep organised. You could go crazy and buy a million apps to help sort out your life. I mostly use the calendar so I know what's going on and can put things straight into my diary, I also use a shopping list app which I use when I'm going round the supermarket and also Reminders for all of my 'to dos'.

Trello - I discovered Trello recently and it has changed my life (this may be an exaggeration, but only a small one!). It is an organisational dream. It's hard to explain but I'd describe it as a project management/to do list tool which looks like a Pinterest board. At work I use it as a to do list and categorise it for the day, week, month and bigger tasks and at home I use it to make lists of to-do's for house stuff, holiday, family and general bits and bobs. It's so easy to use and you can attach documents, images and checklists to your board as well. It's just amazing. I also have the app on my phone which is linked to my desktop board.

Personal Planner - I have been using my planner at the start of the week so that I know what is happening over the coming days and like see what I need to get done. I like having an overview of the week ahead and planning when I will do blog stuff etc. I have also been using the pages at the back to brainstorm new post ideas. The monthly overview pages are also super handy and great for seeing which birthdays are happening that I need to buy cards/presents for. You can read the post on my planner here.
 
Planning meals - when Chris and I do a 'big shop' we plan what meals we are going to have in the week and base our shopping list around what we need for these meals. It makes the shop so much quicker and cheaper too as you don't buy things you don't need or won't use. 

Let me know what you do to keep yourself organised- I'm sure there is some stationery that I'm missing!






Beauty: Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Body & Hand Wash

October 18, 2015

I first tried this hand wash at my friend Flora's house. As soon as I used it, I knew I had to have it. It smells absolutely divine and the scent stays on your skin for ages.

This is the Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Body & Hand Wash. We have just been using it in our bathroom as a hand wash as I fear it would last two seconds as a shower gel. Jo Malone describe the fragrance as the essence of autumn; 'the sensuous freshness of just-ripe pears is wrapped in a bouquet of white freesias, and mellowed by amber, patchouli and woods'.

It is a beautiful scent and when you use it, it fills the whole bathroom with its wonderful fragrance. We had friends over recently and they all commented on how lovely it was. It is also lasting us a really long time, making it well worth the price.

It costs £28 and you can buy it from the Jo Malone website here.

Life: 5 Things To Do in October

October 15, 2015


I thought I'd start doing these posts each month with a little inspiration of what to get up to. I love getting ideas of ways to spend my time - even if it's just a reminder of my favourite way to spend a day/evening!

1) Go for a long walk - October is the month where Autumn seems to be the most present - leaves are covering the ground in all of their golden, crunchy goodness and it makes for the most lovely time for walks. Choose a bright, sunny day to go on a walk and make the most of the beautiful Autumnal colours, fresh air and crunch as many leaves as possible! 

2) Do some Halloween themed baking - make the most of Halloween, and the end of the Great British Bake Off this month with some spooky themed baking. Bring your bakes into work, or wrap them up into gifts for friends and family and share the goodness. Or just enjoy them yourself! I like this baking video from Gabby with her Easy Halloween Treats. Or Pinterest has a world of inspiration.

3) Invest in some new pjs - the weather starts to get chilly in October. It's time to put away flimsy nighties and shorts and vest pjs sets and get some cosy ones on the go. Treat yourself to a brand new pair - The White Company have super gorgeous and snuggly pjs if you want to splurge but if you don't want to spend then Primark is the way to go as they have a huge range.

4) Spend an evening at the cinema - in the Summer I rarely go to the cinema as prefer to spend time outside but when the nights get darker I love spending an evening watching a good film. Stock up on pick n'mix and go and see whatever takes your fancy. I am keen to see The Intern this month.

5) Cook a roast for friends - Invite your friends round and cook them a delicious Sunday roast. We did this recently and it was a super lovely way to spend a Sunday, especially when followed by an early evening Autumnal walk.

Beauty: Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist

October 13, 2015
Getting a good night's sleep is so important and with stress being so prevalent at the moment, it's even more important to have that time to rest and recover from each day.

Neom have embraced all things 'sleep' and have introduced a new range called 'Scent to Sleep' which uses a new blend of their hugely popular Tranquility fragrance. They also have a three step sleep programme and have even collaborated with the Sleep Council to offer a free e-book with more tips for getting the perfect night's sleep.

The Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist* utilises the new Tranquility blend to aid sleep. The new blend has been packed with 25 times more chamomile oil which works as a mild sedative due to its ability to calm nerves and reduce anxiety. It also has three times more patchouli which acts as a relaxant and the new formula has a huge 48% of lavender oil as research into insomnia has found that lavender can improve sleep quality.

Neom's sleep expert recommends that you spritz your pillow with three sprays, and then place your head back and inhale in through your nose for 7 seconds, and out through your mouth for 11. This will stimulate the body's natural relaxation mechanism which prepares you for sleep. As you sleep, the oils will continue to release with your natural night-time movements to help ensure that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

I adore the tranquility scent and this pillow spray is just beautiful. It is super relaxing and has really helped send me off to sleep. I also think that by using it each night on your pillow you are training your body to prepare for sleep.

The Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist costs £20 and can be purchased here from www.neomorganics.com.




Life: My New Personal Planner

October 11, 2015

Meet my new personal planner - completely enabled by Mikhila. She reviewed it on her channel recently and I knew I had to order one straightaway. 

The main attraction for me was how customisable the planner is. You can choose your own cover, or upload your own image - as you can see I uploaded a collage of some of my favourite Instagram photos (created on ipiccy). You can also customise the back of the planner so I uploaded an image of four different inspirational quotes.

You can add text to the inside cover and then in the main planner you can choose the layout for each week which includes picking the colours for the band at the top of the pages (I chose pink with white stars) and fonts etc. There is also space at the bottom of these pages and you can choose three different 'modules' for this section such as a To Do list or graph paper - I just added lines so I can use it for notes. Another great option is to add key dates such as birthdays to the planner- a really handy feature.

At the back of the planner you can choose extra pages for it which include lots of fun options like pages of Sudoku, or even colouring pages. I was pretty boring and just chose the 2016/2017 year overview and lined paper as thought it would be most useful! I also chose to add a monthly overview page which is inserted at the beginning of each month.

A final bonus is that you can start the planner from whichever month you wish - mine runs from September 2015 to September 2016. 

I'm not sure how I'm going to use it yet- whether it be for life planning, or blog planning - or both! You can order yours here.




Life: A Trip to the Science Museum

October 08, 2015
Chris and I have had a couple of weekends recently where they have been consumed with boring house admin (visits to Screwfix, Homebase and the recycling centre to be precise). We decided last weekend to see some London culture. Our initial plan was to visit the Saatchi Gallery (it's one of my favourites) and so we ventured to Sloane Square to find that it was London Fashion Week and the gallery was closed. We did enjoy watching everyone head into the shows looking very glamorous.

We decided to walk across to the Science Museum instead as hadn't been in a while and we always find it super interesting. I really recommend a visit if you haven't been as there's lots of see, and they have some great rooms. We particularly enjoyed the space exhibition, and an area showing IT through the ages - such geeks! It's always lovely walking around the Chelsea area too as the houses are so beautiful.

I'd love to say that we finished our wander around the museum and had a delicious late lunch somewhere glamorous - however we were starving and ended up in MacDonalds! The triple caramel McFlurry was so worth it.

Beauty: My Favourite Lip Products

October 06, 2015



These are my favourite lip products - as you can probably tell by how much they have been used. You can really see how heavy handed I am when applying my lip products! These are the ones I use all the time and I am in total love with- as you can see I like to wear a mix of pinks and nudes. 

♥  Revlon Colourburst Lacquer Balm Demure - these chubby lip pencils are so easy to apply and I love this subtle pinky shade. The colour burst lacquers are super moisturising and have a balm like texture, but still give you a great colour. I like to wear this on 'low maintenance' make-up days on its own, or on top of a more matte colour to give it a bit of gloss. Find it here for £7.99.

Seventeen Stay Pout Lipstick Just a Fling - this matte lipstick was recommended as a Kylie Jenner lip colour-a-like and it is great teamed with a nude lip liner - I use it with Rimmel's 1000 Kisses Spice liner. It lasts on your lips for ages and has shea butter in the ingredients so feels very moisturising. Find it here for £4.49.

Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink - I have spoken about this a lot recently on my blog so won't bore you any more but in short, this is a beautiful shade wrapped in the most beautiful packaging. Read my full review here.

NYX Butter Gloss Merengue - I bought this in Florida and love it for three reasons. Firstly, the scent is incredible and is just like diving into a bag of sweets. Secondly, the colour is a beautiful bright pink and perfect for summer and thirdly, the formulation is a gloss but it is so long-lasting. Unfortunately you can't seem to buy this in the UK but is $4.99 from Ulta.

Seventeen Mirror Shine Lipstick Beehive - this has been a favourite for years and years. My taste has changed and I've moved on from MAC's Creme de Nude and St Germain, however Beehive has stayed strong in my make-up bag. It's a very subtle, glossy nude lipstick and I love that you can apply it without a mirror. Find it here for £4.79.

Maybelline Baby Lips Pink Punch - I really like the Baby Lips offering from Maybelline and Pink Punch is my favourite summer lip balm. It's a bright pink which is foolproof to apply as is fairly sheer and it looks fab with a tan! Even better is the price as it's only £2.99 here.




Life: 10 Things I Love About Autumn

October 04, 2015

I'm still feeling a little sad that summer is over so at the start of October, to get me excited for Autumn, I've made a list with ten things I love about the new season.

1) Hot chocolate - I drink hot chocolate all year round but in the colder months I really step up my hot chocolate game and enjoy a cup most nights, preferably with a big helping of whipped cream. I also love it when the coffee shops bring out their winter flavours of hot chocolate- Costa do an amazing orange hot choc!

2) Getting cosy inside - it's such a nice feeling to be snuggled on the sofa whilst it's cold and rainy outside, knowing you don't have to go anywhere and can stay cosy.

3) Autumn TV - in September all of the Autumn/Winter TV comes out and I love it. X Factor, Strictly, Downton Abbey...bring it on!

4) Scarves and hats - it's acceptable to bring out the warm scarves and hats. I love being bundled up as warm as possible.

5) Hibernating - in the warmer months I always feel guilty if the sun is shining and I am indoors watching YouTube videos. In Autumn you can stay indoors all day and hibernate as much as you like, guilt-free!

6) Halloween - last Halloween we had a fun family party at my parents house. I think we are doing the same again. Love getting dressed up and playing silly Halloween games!

7) Candles - over Summer I don't use candles so much but when it hits the colder months I have them on all the time. 

8) Indulgent baths - I also have baths all year round (I just love them) but in Autumn I like to go all out with my bath pampering routine. Baths are so amazing after being all chilly outside, and I like to use bath oils and Lush products to make them extra special.

9) Comfort food- there's something about the cold that makes me want to binge on all of the carbs. Pies, pasta, spag bol - so much delicious comfort food!

10) The C word - dare I say it, Autumn means that Christmas is creeping ever so nearer! 

Beauty: Current Favourites

October 01, 2015


Here are the products that I've been absolutely loving recently - a mix of hair, bath and make-up products which have been making me very happy. So without further ado...

M&S Eastern Escape Cherry Blossom Bath Foam - this bath foam is incredible, I think it's the best bath product I've tried in a long time. It smells so beautiful- I can't describe it but it makes the whole room smell like a luxury spa. The foam creates lots of bubbles too. It's my go-to for whenever I want an indulgent bath (which is basically every day because I just want to use this all the time, haha). Sadly it looks like M&S no longer stock it but hopefully it will return!

Bumble and Bumble Seaweed Shampoo & Conditioner - a few weeks ago, Georgina messaged me to say that she had bought the Bumble and Bumble Seaweed shampoo and conditioner but they just didn't work on her hair and asked if I wanted to give them a try. Of course I said yes and am so glad that she thought of me because I adore them. It completely shows how products are so individual and work differently on everyone as my hair looks so much shinier and sleeker after using. There is a very subtle seaweed scent and it just feels like it's giving my hair a great clean, without stripping it completely. Love! 

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Penelope Pink - you can read my post all about this lipstick here but safe to say, it's a beautiful lipstick which is very moisturising and I can't stop wearing it. 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blusher in Blissful - I recently rediscovered this blusher from Tarte. It's a gorgeous shimmering warm peach which looks perfect with post-summer skin and always perks up my look. It's long-lasting (not quite 12 hours as claimed though!) and very pigmented. 

Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara - I bought this purely because I needed a waterproof mascara, and was impressed straightaway. This has had rave reviews and I can see why. It gives you dark, glossy lashes with volume and a great curl. Buy it from Boots here.