Beauty, Lifestyle

Creating your own ‘me’ space

This may seem trivial, but I absolutely love having a space, a personal sanctuary, which is just for me. Simply just a corner in a room and a space for me to sit at, whether that’s in the mornings/evenings to conduct my beauty routine, read my latest book, find inspiration for the next blog post, or simply just to reflect. A place filled with my personal belongings, hair and beauty products, books, notebooks; you name it. I think it’s really important to create this personal space, to allow yourself that invaluable time to reflect, relax and recharge.

When I first moved in with my fiancé, our house was quite small (but cosy!!), so I used to have random boxes stuffed in the wardrobe, under the bed, under the bedside table, (wherever I could fit them, essentially) filled with my things, nothing having its own individual place. I used to be squished on the floor between the bed and the mirror, trying to do my makeup as Marcus had to quickly learn advanced acrobatics to get past me without disruption, and also trying to get himself some airtime in the mirror to do his hair.

So when we finally moved into our lovely new home, I was really excited to be able to create this ‘me’ space. Straight away, I headed to my Pinterest board (which I’ve been adding inspirational ideas to for a while now!!) and picked out the key things I knew would fit the bill. First on the agenda – storage. For all of my products, whether that’s hair, makeup, skincare, notebooks, reading books, jewellery, keepsakes, I needed storage to house all of these items, and organise them exactly how I wanted to. So we stopped by IKEA, where I had seen a gorgeous desk/dressing table combo, with a set of drawers, which fit the profile perfectly! Once I’d got these home, the next item on the agenda was to build it and set it in the corner of our second bedroom, ready for me to fill with my things.

Then comes the exciting part (for me, anyway) – organisation! Now you may have got this from previous posts already, but I’m a very organised person. I like to know exactly where everything is at all times, follow a routine and this is where I am most comfortable. I picked up these great drawer organisers from IKEA and TK Maxx, which meant I could separate out my different products and various other items, so everything had its own little home.

Once I had filled the drawers, the final touches were to decorate the exterior to make it nice and cosy… so candles were an absolute essential! I love how the scent of candles can fill a room, the warmth making it feel so cosy, and how calm and relaxed they can make you feel. I received this beautiful set of Lily Flame candles for my birthday, so this was a perfect addition to my space. I’m also slowly but surely building up a lovely collection of perfumes, so I wanted a nice ‘home’ for these, and found this gorgeous copper tray at TK Maxx (you get the theme here!) which complements the colour palette perfectly.

So there you have it – the lovely space I have created just for me, and constantly adding to. I would love to see and hear about the spaces you have created for yourselves, and how you find these moments and spaces to be calm and have time solely for you.

Beauty, Fashion, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle

Beating those January blues

2018 is finally upon us, and the gloomy shadow of January is here. New Years Resolutions have been made (some broken already!) and the glorious memories of yummy food and mulled wine are fading away, as we all trudge back to work, and the reality that Christmas is over sets in.

So as the taste of that glorious Christmas food becomes but a distant memory, and the January blues set in, it’s fair to say everyone is feeling a bit down.

So considering today is officially known as ‘Blue Monday’, I thought I’d write a post around how to beat those January blues, and make your January just as exciting as any other month!!

Dry January

For the first time EVER, I have committed myself to Dry January. I’ve tried to do this for the last 3-4 years, and every time, I have failed. However this year, I was absolutely determined to have an alcohol-free month, and having not gone longer than a week without some sort of alcoholic beverage over the last several years, this is quite a challenge for me (don’t judge, I love a glass of red, okay).

So even more so, during the first week of January I was feeling more bluey than normal. But I decided I wasn’t going to let this get me down, and in fact I was going to use this time to really take care of myself, my health and body, and also set myself up for the year ahead. So here are a few tips and ideas for making your January that little bit brighter.

A little pamper can’t hurt…

As the mornings are getting colder and the evenings are getting darker, and whatever was left in our bank accounts has dwindled away (because let’s face it, Christmas wipes us all out and it is a LONG way til payday) all I want to do is snuggle under a blanket and stay indoors. So what better than to create your own at-home spa?! I absolutely adore the spa and pampering myself, so this for me is a great idea to have some real ‘me time’ and indulge in some luxurious products.

So throw in some bath bombs and a purifying face mask, and I’m on my own indulgent journey to relaxation. I love taking the time to unwind in a nice hot bubble bath with my favourite book or relaxing music playing, whilst my Origins purifying face mask soaks in. My lovely fiancé also bought me these gorgeous and fragrant bath bombs for Christmas, so what better excuse to use them?!

Next on the pamper list – hands and nails! This may sound silly but since becoming engaged and spending endless hours staring at my ring, I’ve wanted to make sure my hands are looking their best at all times. So indulging in this glorious Champneys hand and nail spa, followed by a manicure using my new Ted Baker nail varnish (another Christmas quirk) will make sure they are looking their best. Finishing this off with a Clarins hand and nail cream, means they feel as great as they look!!!

Comfortable loungewear

As mentioned earlier, the gloomy darkness of January makes me want to snuggle under a blanket, so again to make me feel my best whilst doing this – some great and comfortable loungewear!!! I received these glorious cotton Victoria’s Secret pyjamas for Christmas, which are perfect for snuggling up in. Paired with my Emu Australia slippers, makes for the perfect evening snuggle on the sofa.

Try something new

Whether that’s a new fitness class at your local gym to sweat out those toxins, or trying out the new art class which has just opened in town, trying something new is always a great way to get something fun and social into the diary. Pair up with a friend, and this makes it even more enjoyable!!

Get organised

Now this, I absolutely love – I love having a big clear out and organising everything, as it makes me feel like I’m detoxing my surroundings as well as my body!!! So whether that’s listing all those unwanted clothes on eBay that you never got round to doing, or making the journey to your local recycling centre to get rid of all the junk and rubbish you’ve been hoarding, along with rifling through new cookbooks to get some meal plan inspiration – all of these are great ways to get you feeling refreshed and like you’re winning at life.

These are my top tips for beating those January blues – I’d love to hear how you motivate yourself during this dark and cold month, and any tips you may have!

Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle

Autumn Essentials…

Autumn; the sun begins to cast a golden glow on the crisp frost creeping over the fields, the vibrant colour of the leaves on the trees begin to turn a fiery red – it’s the beginning of a chilly (and rainy!!) yet magical season, and a real favourite of mine. Shops start stocking up ready for Halloween, fairy lights begin to appear, casting an exciting sparkle as the evenings get darker, spicy wintery drinks start to appear in coffee shops… What’s not to love?! To celebrate the first weekend of Autumn, I thought I would share with you my Autumn favourites, from food, through to beauty products, through to general day-to-day Autumn delights.


To me, Autumn sparks the end of summery salads and invites the start of warm, hearty lunches and dinners. I thought I would share with you one of my favourite go-to autumnal dishes. As you will have seen from last week’s blog post, I’m trying to minimise the amount of meat and dairy in my diet, and I’ve been making lots of delicious meals from Lucy Watson’s ‘Feed Me Vegan’ cookbook. I’ve also been searching around for some other vegan recipes, which fill that hearty-dish-shaped-hole in my stomach, especially for during the week when I’m at work.

Vegan chilli

This one is super easy to make, and the best thing about it – make it in bulk, and freeze it! That way, you are always prepared for weekday lunches. I stumbled across this  One Hour Vegan Chilli. I absolutely love chilli – for me, this is the perfect autumnal meal, as it warms the soul and makes you feel good inside, whilst staying on the healthy bandwagon. It’s super easy to make, with loads of veggies, low price ingredients, and you essentially just throw everything in the pan and let it simmer for 40 minutes.

Vegan One hour chilli

Herbal teas

The only thing I can critique about this wonderful season, is it’s usually when all the bugs come out, the dreaded flu epidemic takes over the country, and I come down with some sort of terrible cold/sore throat. One of things I find keeps those colds at bay are herbal teas – full of natural sources of goodness, and generally tasty. The season always triggers the delicious autumnal flavours to come out of the woodwork, which make you feel all warm inside and excited for the season ahead. My current favourites are the Pukka and Twinings herbal teas, as they come in such a huge variety of flavours. A current favourite is the Pukka Apple and Cinnamon flavour – Cinnamon always makes me think of Autumn and the lead up to Christmas, so this is one I certainly get excited about!! The sweet tang of the apple also balances the spicy taste of the cinnamon. Another favourite is the Twinings Ginger Bread Green Tea – the sweet scent and taste actually makes you believe you’re eating gingerbread, so allows you to stave off those sugar cravings!! Last, but never least, is the Pukka Green Tea flavoured with Sweet Vanilla – I find that Green Tea on its own can sometimes leave quite a bitter taste, so the addition of the vanilla completely masks this, and makes for a lovely after-dinner cuppa.

Teas and ntebook

Beauty & Fashion

For those who know me, I’m not the most colourful and vibrant when it comes to my wardrobe. The furthest I stretch to in summer are light pastel colours (which are as close to cream and grey as they can be!!), and in the autumnal months, my favourite go-to colours are camel and burgundy (which is actually quite ‘out there’ for me!). They both really reflect the colours of autumn – the leaves turning to a deep red as they fall off the trees, and the golden sun in the mornings reflecting off the sparkling frost.

Jumpers & Slippers

Again, another reason I love Autumn – it’s the beginning of snuggly clothes season!! I picked up this gorgeous knitted jumper from New Look recently – it’s light enough to be able to wear a coat over the top, yet still warm enough to feel snuggled up and autumnal. The wide turtleneck allows you to snuggle deeply into the jumper, whilst allowing room for the fresh air at the same time if it’s a particularly sunny day. The perfect Autumn combination.

And of course, nothing makes you feel more snuggled and warm at home, than a great pair of slippers. These Emu Australia slippers are the perfect autumn/winter slippers – the woolly interior keeps your feet toasty and are hugely comforting for moseying around the house in.

Jumper and slippers


As the frosty air and chill hits, it can be really hard on our skin and for me certainly, it can really dry it out. So it’s important to make sure you’re looking after your skin, keeping it fully moisturised to protect against the autumnal chill. I’ve pictured below my current favourite skincare products – for my morning routine, I’ve been using the Ren Evercalm Cleansing Milk which wakes up my skin, followed by the Garnier Micellar Water and The Body Shop Aloe Vera Soothing Day Cream. At night, I use the Lancome Bi-Facil Gentle Eye Make Up Remover, followed by the Lancome Gel Eclat cleanser and Tonique Confort to remove my base makeup. Just before bed, I apply two pumps of the Ren Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil, following by the V-Cense Revitalising Nightcream. This really leaves my skin feeling moisturised and healthy, and gives it that ‘glowy’ look throughout the day.


Autumn Nails

To complement the colours of Autumn, it has to be a burgundy nail!! My favourite at the moment is Chanel Rouge Noir. I find their nail polishes are extremely light, perfume-free and easy to apply, along with being long-lasting.


So there you have it – my Autumn favourites, I’d love to hear what you love, and your go-to favourites for this magical yet chilly season!


Taking Care of My Skin… My Daily Skincare Routine

Since I was young, I’ve always been incredibly lucky to be blessed with good skin (thanks, Mum and Dad). As I grew up, and even going through university, I found that I didn’t tend to need to do a lot to it to keep it in such good condition. I never used to pay huge attention to the quality of the skincare products that I used, how well I took my makeup off (especially after a night out – who wants to bother spending 10 minutes scrubbing your face, when you could crawl into bed and worry about that in the morning…?) and also the quality of the makeup products I used. However in recent years, I have noticed my skin hasn’t been as blemish free, and bright as it usually is. One factor that I do believe has made a huge impact, is my diet. I enjoy living a clean, healthy lifestyle, so when I’m eating natural and clean foods, along with keeping myself well hydrated my skin looks bright and glowing with a generally even skintone. The moment my diet starts to slip, and I eat overly processed or sugary foods, I notice myself waking up in the morning with relatively tired skin, that looks slightly dull and overly puffy, along with the odd spot or two which I’m naturally not used to.

Now I don’t think this is completely down to my diet – I do think this is also down to the years of using just a makeup wipe to take my makeup off (or not really taking it off at all!), with no proper cleansing routine, and not paying attention to what is actually going into my skin. So I decided now was the time I really needed to take proper care of what was going into my body in terms of my diet, but also the products I was using. One brand I have always heard great things about is Ren Skincare. It’s what I’d call ‘premium high street’ – more expensive than the likes of Nivea and Simple, but not too much that it would break the bank. Now that I have tried and tested these products, I truly believe that it is a worthwhile investment to buy great skin care products – a friend once said to me, you wouldn’t think twice about spending money on an expensive handbag which you may use for one season, and then it goes into your wardrobe and doesn’t come back out – however, your skin is something that stays with you, and you’ve got forever no matter what, no matter what state it’s in – so why wouldn’t you invest in it? This has really stuck with me, so it’s something that I truly believe you should prepare to invest in and do your best to take care of.

I have listed below my whole skincare routine, the products I have been using, how they’ve felt on my skin and the results I have had since using them.

First of all, I splash my face with cold water to wake myself up followed by scrubbing my whole face with a flannel, using just lukewarm water. I then take one pump of the Ren Evercalm Cleansing gel, and spend about 2-3 minutes, massaging this into my face with my hands. To wash this off, I scrub my face again with a flannel and use luke warm water until this is all off.

To follow, I apply my Micellar cleansing water with cotton pads- I absolutely love the freshness of my skin after I have used this, and I am currently using the Garnier Micellar water. Once applied, I then take half a pump of the Ren Skincare Evercalm Gentle Face Cream. This is quite a thick cream, which is why you will only need half a pump as it does go a long way. I then apply this with just my hands. Once this has been done, I then proceed to apply my daily makeup.

1st photo - skincare

I have finally ditched the makeup wipes (hurrah!) after realising how many different chemicals are used in them, and coming to the conclusion these simply cannot be good for my skin. I also noticed that however hard I scrubbed, in the mornings I would always have makeup residue left on my face, so clearly they did not do a great job at cleansing my face properly.

Now I begin my evening routine with the Estee Lauder oil-based eye makeup remover. I dab around 3 drops onto a cotton wool pad, and place it gently on my eye, leaving it for 30 seconds to let the makeup dissolve. I then carefully rub the makeup away from each eye. Following this, I take three pumps of my Estee Lauder cleanser onto a warm damp flannel and scrub my face. When all of my makeup is off, I then cleanse my face again, using the Ren Evercalm Cleansing gel. Once this has been done, I place a few drops of the Ren Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil onto my hands and massage this all over my face, followed by half a pump of the Ren Skincare V-Cense night cream.

2nd image - skincare

After just a week’s application, I noticed how much clearer and brighter my skin was, from waking up right through to going to bed. It felt so much more hydrated and clear, and I finally felt I was on the road back to having happy and healthy skin. Now I know this sounds quite tiresome, but I promise you, as soon as you have started doing this, you will notice the amazing difference in your skin even after just a week.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and I’d love to hear about your routine and which brands work for you.



Beauty Buy of the Week – Guerlain Eyeliner 

I’ve always been a bit makeup lover. That’s not to say I’m actually any good at doing makeup, so I will never protest that I am!! One of my favourite things to do is watch YouTube videos online, including product reviews and tutorials to get some inspiration, and generally to try and improve my makeup skills. Contouring genuinely baffles me, and I have just made peace with the fact I will never be able to do it! I do think it comes down to the fact that I was never good at art – I know that sounds silly, but to me, makeup is truly an art.
As a teenager in the noughties, my go-to makeup was Miss Sporty foundation, Collection 2000 eyeliner and some blue eyeshadow, and over the years thank god the quality of my makeup has got a lot better! I’ve used a huge variety of brands for foundation, including high street brands such as Bourjouis and Rimmel, and the more premium high street brands – my current favourite is Estée Lauder double wear, which is truly gorgeous on my skin, and I never need to reapply this throughout the day.

Now one thing that I’ve always struggled to find, is a good eyeliner. In all honesty, I haven’t varied much from Collection 2000, and that genuinely was one that I always found stayed on my eyes the longest. I tried the likes of Mac, Rimmel and Bourjois but they all rubbed off on my lids within minutes of me applying, so always went back to my trusty Collection 2000. However recently, to my utmost horror, something changed with their eyeliners- I don’t know if they changed an ingredient or the consistency, but it just didn’t have the same amount of stay time- it would crack and crumble off my lids and by the end of the day I hated how I looked, so messy. So I knew it was time for a change. I took myself onto YouTube, and I noticed quite a few of the bloggers I follow and youtubers were raving about this new Guerlain eyeliner. One of the things it was championed for was stay time, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Sickeningly more expensive than what I’m used to (£28 rrp) but I’d already spend the equivalent on four wasted eyeliners so I thought why the hell not?! First of all, look at the packaging. This alone is absolutely stunning, so when it arrived on my desk at work I was slightly worried that this is where my money was going. I just love the beautiful gold gilted lid, and it’s such a gorgeously elegant bottle, with a matte glass. Now for application- I’m used to pen eyeliners, and this one was a brush so I was fairly worried about this; however, application was so so easy- it glided across my eyelid leaving a beautiful, satiny yet matte finish. The brush was fantastic as it allows me to get the cat-like flick, which is part of my signature makeup look. It allows you to touch up any bits you may have missed really easily without messing it up.

Now for the real test- stay time. And I am SO impressed. From the beginning of the day at application, right through to make up removal before bed, it stays the entire day, with no signs of wearing. It is definitely a worthwhile investment, and one I will 100% be carrying on with. If you’ve tried this product, I’d love to hear your views, or if you’d like to try it I’ve popped a link below.

Guerlain Eyeliner

Beauty, Lifestyle

Destressing after a busy week…. Time to hit the Twilight Spa

If I have a busy and stressful week, whether that’s to do with work, studying or anything else that may have cropped up, I hate entering my weekend with that stress still weighing heavily upon my shoulders. I like to thoroughly enjoy my weekends, making them as stress-free and care-free as possible. The weekend is my ‘me time’… To truly relax and rejuvenate, so when Sunday night comes around, I feel recharged and ready to take on whatever the week ahead has in store for me.

Now for most of us, when 5pm hits on Friday, we have that exhilarating feeling that now, we are free, and the weekend has begun. We can leave work with a spring in our step and start to celebrate this next two days of bliss. For me, I used to destress by going to the pub after work, enjoying a few drinks with my work colleagues which inevitably led to dinner, more drinks and then stumbling into bed at around 12am. Now whilst at the time, I thought I was letting my hair down and destressing, in the morning it was an entirely different story. I wake up feeling groggy, a bit heavy-headed and with absolutely no energy. I’d waste the best part of my Saturday in bed, watching trash tv and sipping on a cup of coffee. The stresses of that previous week are still playing on my mind, and I don’t feel like I’m truly relaxed and ready to go. Now don’t get me wrong, to some this would be the ideal way to spend a Saturday. But for me, as quite a generally anxious and stressed person, This isn’t the best way for me to leave the week behind. This is something I only discovered recently, when I started to truly try to take care of myself , so I started to try to make some changes to the way I destress after a busy week, so that I could really enjoy my weekends. This week, I found myself lucky enough to be heading to a spa evening with one of my best friends, and to me this was absolutely the perfect way to spend my Friday night.


As we entered the spa, we were greeted by a friendly therapist who sat us both down in the dining area, with a glorious cup of tea and handed us our complimentary robes and towels, with a list of treatments for us to enjoy. We had both pre-booked a relaxing body scrub, and I was SO looking forward to it!! We had an hour until our treatments, so we chose to relax for half an hour in the outdoor jacuzzi. I couldn’t help but feel the sense of glee that this is how I was spending my evening.


We then took a slow walk up to the treatment area, where I was greeted by my lovely therapist for evening, and the indulged in a 30 minute glorious body scrub. This is the moment where I could truly let my mind switch off, focus on my breathing and surroundings, and truly begin to relax.

I then made my way to the relaxation room, where I was offered some refreshing cucumber and mint water, reclined on the most comfortable seats, and treated myself to a catch up on the latest edition of Elle magazine. I relaxed here for about half an hour until my friend came out from her treatment, and we then made our way to the main dining area, where we sat with yet more refreshing cucumber water and relaxed even further.


We were then invited to dinner at the spa’s restaurant, so we got ready and made our way across the courtyard. As we walked in, we were greeted by the smell and heat of a roaring fire, candlelit tables and a warm, comforting yet buzzing atmosphere – straight away falling into the comfort of the dining chairs, we sat down and ordered a delicious dinner. We treated ourselves to some delicious haddock fish cakes (pictured below!!) with sautéed spinach and poached egg, followed by some mango and passion fruit sorbet decorated with rich berries. We devoured our delicious dinner, then relaxed for half an hour, soaking up our surroundings and truly enjoying our evening.


I arrived home at 10pm, feeling completely relaxed, fell into bed in a blissful 8 hour sleep, and woke up this morning completely refreshed, relaxed and ready to start my weekend.

That’s my way to destress after a busy week, and for me this is sheer bliss. I’d love to hear how all of you end your working week, and enter your weekends stress-free.



Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle

Spring Handbag Essentials..

Spring.  The flowers are blossoming on the trees, the evenings are longer and it makes my morning run seem so much more appealing, knowing I’ll be stepping out into the crisp morning air, with the sun shining down and the birds chirping away. One of my favourite things about Spring, is that I get to be outside. You can’t beat taking a leisurely walk around the park, sitting in the sun or catching up with friends. So, to be prepared for a change in season, I thought I would share with you my top five spring handbag essentials.


Well the sun is out, so what other excuse do you need?! I personally feel that sunglasses add the finishing touches to any outfit, as well as the fact that British weather can be so unpredictable, I’ll carry my sunglasses everywhere I go.  I also take massive pride and joy in my sunglasses – they were a birthday present last year, and I had been hankering after them for ages. So any chance I get to wear them, out they come! Seriously though – look at them. Aren’t they beautiful!?

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As you’ll come to learn, I am extremely organised. I will take my diary everywhere with me, consult it on a regular basis to ensure if I am booking in appointments, socialising with friends or scheduling in some R&R, I’m not going to be accidentally double-booking myself. It is also a great way for me to keep track of my blogging. I use it to jot ideas down  when I’m out and about shopping, or just daydreaming whilst having a wander on my lunch break. This way, I have somewhere to write these ideas downs straight away so I don’t forget, and I can go back to them later.

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Christian Dior – Miss Dior

As well as being my all-time favourite perfume, this also holds the perfect scent of Spring. It has a very fresh yet floral scent,  and Dior packaging  is always so beautiful and lady-like. I just adore the bow detailing on the lid of this bottle, and the fact they make the bottles perfect handbag size, allowing me to take it everywhere I go. I love how just the hint of a scent that you recognise  can bring back so many memories, or remind you of someone. Personally, the smell of Impulse body spray takes me back to my teens where I used to wear blue eye shadow and glitter across my cheeks, but we will leave that embarrassing story for another time….

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Chanel Powder

This powder is an absolute life saver, and again this is the perfect powder for spring. It provides a sheer and light finish, whilst maintaining a matte look. You only need a light dusting to top up your make-up, and it doesn’t leave your skin looking cakey, like so many other powders on the market right now can do. Its light powder puff concealed within the packaging allows for practicality of taking this out and about, so you can top up throughout the day.

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Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – Intensive Repair Balm.

On the weekend, my go-to beauty product is a classic matte lipstick. I love how they make your lips look so velvety and pristine. The only downside however is that they’re the main culprit for me when it comes to dry and cracked lips.  My lips are very susceptible to it, so during the week, I treat my lips with the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Repair Cream, and apply this three times a day – once in the morning, once halfway through the day, and once before bed. Now I must say, this was one of the best investments I ever made!! It retails at £23, so a bit pricey for a lip cream, however it soothes, moisturises and heals my lips within days – much quicker, and much better than any other standard high street lip cream has ever done.

So there you have it, my top five, extremely necessary (of course) spring handbag essentials.