Ask anyone what the best thing about blogging is and they will probably include meeting new people in their answer! There's a small group of us who have met through blog events in Nottingham and decided to go out for an early christmas dinner together at the end of November. The fabulous Sherry played mother hen and organised the whole evening for us - she booked a table at Thaikhun (complete with complimentary Prosecco...thank you Thaikhun!) and also put together a little goodybag for each of us...Christmas really did come early!


Red Dog Saloon Nottingham

Last night I was lucky enough to go to Red Dog Saloon for a complimentary meal* as I was unable to go to their launch event last month! Josh and I love going out for dinner for date night, but we often stick to the same places (read: Pizza Express) so we were really excited to try somewhere new. Red Dog Saloon is an American-style restaurant and unlike anywhere I've been before. I've tried 'diners' (like Ed's...who do the best milkshakes ever by the way) but this had a very different feel to it: its dark and spacious with tables for two, booths for groups, a bar and very American, Wild Wild West decor. Think cowboys rather than Danny and Sandy!



My Top Tip for Smooth Shaving

Just a quick little post for you today, as I'm sure many of you will have heard this tip before but for those that haven't... well, I'll say "you're welcome" in advance. My number one tip for inexpensive yet silky smooth shaving is...conditioner. Seriously, don't waste money on shaving foam (does anyone actually buy it anyway?!) and don't reach for the shower gel next time you realise you need to get the razor out! Pick up a cheap conditioner (seriously, go for one thats a pound in Wilkos or Sainsburys or something), smooth it all over your leg and enjoy the smoothest shave of your life. Side note: be sure to rinse your razor extra thoroughly.


Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub

The Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub has been a favourite new addition to my skincare routine recently. I've heard plenty of good things about Lush's lip scrubs before, but never got round to picking one up myself. I added the Popcorn flavour to my wishlist, received it for my birthday and have been using it pretty much daily ever since!



L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Detox Mask

For weeks now, bloggers have been #MultiMasking with the new L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Masks and I must admit, I felt pretty intrigued! I've been having major skin issues recently, so when I saw these on offer for £5 in Boots I couldn't pass up the chance to try one. I opted for the Detox mask because a) I've never tried a grey/black mask and they look cool... and b) it seemed the most appropriate for my skin type and current issues!



The 8 Stages of Fake Tanning

1. Denial - This foundation shade is absolutely fine! Just blend it down my neck a bit...see, perfect.

2. Acceptance - Face it, you look like Edward Cullen, minus the glitter...you can't pull off the English Rose look.

3. Excitement - Ok, I love tanning! Summer glow all year round, what more could you want? And it'll look so natural too - definitely not streaky.


Affordable Acid Toning

I think we can put the increasing hype around acid toners down to Caroline Hirons, who regularly shares her love for them on her blog and YouTube channel. One of the more budget-friendly options  Caroline recommended in the past are the Clearasil Daily Clear Superfruits Refreshing Pads. I've bought maybe 3 or 4 tubs of this in the past year or so and absolutely love them...the only problem being they are becoming harder and harder to get hold of! I bought mine from Amazon for around a very purse-friendly £4 each time, but I can't find them for less than £39 now! Very frustrating. So I thought I'd share some other budget-friendly acid toners that I've discovered, in case you're struggling to find some yourself.


Rush Hair Nottingham

Rush hair are opening a new salon in Nottingham city centre and last night I got the chance to visit the salon before the official opening! We were greeted with a drink and nibbles and shown around the salon before being offered the chance to speak to the staff about cuts, colouring, or styling.



Just Read: The Shack

My mum has raved about The Shack for years, but this enthusiasm has always come with the warning that it is a very graphic and emotionally tough read. After reading What's So Amazing About Grace in the summer, I was craving a fictional read that would challenge my faith and spirituality in a similar way and so I took the plunge and began reading The Shack. Only a couple of days in and this was my Facebook status:



I'm Feeling 22!

In my Hello September blog post, I mentioned that September is my birthday month, which is one of the reasons I welcomed the month with open arms! I turned 22 on the 13th, but my birthday celebrations spanned 10 days, which doesn't usually happen but I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it (ok, that's a lie - I was excruciatingly ill a couple of nights, but other than that I had a great time).



Urban Decay event and unboxing!

Good evening! My Urban Decay Sparkle & Salsa event and unboxing video has finally finished uploading...after 20 hours or so...speedy broadband over here. Anywho, I thought I'd put a quick blog post together with a few photos of the goodies I brought home with me.


Hello September!

September is finally here! At least, that's how it feels to me. The summer has been so so long and I'm feeling ready for autumn and a fresh start. Don't get me wrong, I love having a long summer break but after 3 full months I'm feeling a bit restless! Here's what's in store for me this month:



Makeup Removal: 3 Ways

In the past year or so I've incorporated a more thorough skincare regimen into my beauty routine. My skin has been in all sorts of camps this year: it has gone from dry and flakey, to blemish-prone, to combination...I can't keep up! One thing I have noticed though is how switching up products seems to help, so I have a few different products on rotation in each skincare category to try and keep on top of any blemishes and problems as they arise. Today I thought I'd share my three favourite types of products to remove makeup with: an oil, a cleansing balm and a micellar water.


#NottsAlzheimersMeetup - Brands, Goodybag & Prizes!

In case you've missed it, I've already blogged (and vlogged!) about Saturday's #NottsAlzheimersMeetup - click here to have a read or here to watch. That post was super long, so I thought I would dedicate a separate blog post to the amazing brands who were involved in the meet up in whatever capacity.

The first brand that I have to mention is Weleda, a natural skincare brand. Weleda Advisor Clare Heyting talked to us about Weleda's philosophy and a range of their products, including their hero product: Skin Food. We were each lucky enough to receive a tube of Skin Food in our goodybags as well as a sample sachet of Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash. I was also lucky enough to win a box of Weleda body lotions which is excellent timing (if you read this post you'll know why!). Thanks so much Clare (and Weleda)!



On Saturday I headed into Nottingham city centre for the #NottsAlzheimersMeetup: an event to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer's Society whilst also getting the chance to meet and mingle with other bloggers. The meetup was single-handedly arranged by Ellie (of uniquelovestyle.com), who I had met at a previous Nottingham-based blog meetup in 2014. Ellie did an incredible job with no detail missed: the venue was spot-on, involvement from brands was excellent and the afternoon consisted of a perfect balance of beauty-blogger-chat and informative fundraising.

We had the back room of Edin's Deli Café Nottingham for the afternoon: with a table laden with raffle prizes, a table for the guest speaker and a table for us to sit, eat and natter it was the perfect intimate and informal setting. I arrived with Molly and Lora and typically food was my first priority. After far too long spent deliberating (it all looked so good - between the set menu, other main meals and the tapas I just couldn't decide!) I opted for the set menu: melon and parma ham to start, followed by the roast tomato and feta risotto. The food was delicious and the set menu was incredible value so I was a happy bunny from the get go! 


Be Your Own Coach

So many bloggers are talking about "wellness" nowadays: self-love, positivity, wellbeing, fitness... I am constantly both inspired and overwhelmed by the wellness industry and have been approached by coaches many times over the past few years as I've followed their journeys, and I've declined their offers of courses and coaching for various reasons that I might go into in a separate post. While I'd love to work with these people one day, it just isn't where I'm at right now but I am still passionate about my own wellbeing: mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. So where does that leave me?

“A lot of people ask me how I started my self love journey, what I did or how I knew where to go and how to look for information, and honestly, I went into self-love with the mentality that I was gonna have to be my own coach.”


3 Budget Beauty Buys

I never thought I'd say this, but the other day I ran out of body butter. In recent months I've become a little obsessed with using some form of body moisturiser every morning after my shower and it has got to the point where if I don't use anything I feel like crepe paper...high-maintanence? Perhaps. Nonetheless, I made a note to pick some form of body butter up during my next supermarket pitstop, so when I visited Sainsburys the other day I headed to the beauty aisle - a place I usually try and avoid in order to protect my bank balance. While I was there I naturally remembered that I just had to pick up a couple of other products (which is why aforementioned bank-balance-protection-measures are needed - I enable myself far too easily). In my defence, multiple skincare items have been running dangerously low recently, and I did look for the friendly red sale sticker when making my choices.


How To Handle Health Visits (2)

In my previous blog post all about how to handle health visits, I mentioned that I have narrowed down my pre-appointment stress/anxiety/nerves to three broad causes: embarrassment, pain and results. In order to save that blog post from being novel-length, I thought I'd share a more in-depth exploration of those three causes here. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts, so tweet me or leave me a comment and we can chat!

How To Handle Health Visits (1)

Health visits can be stressful, but they’re necessary, so its worth finding ways to handle them.

A bit of a backstory...

From simple check-ups, to surgery…I think most people would say that health visits cause at least a little stress or anxiety. As a child, I visited the doctor about as much as the average child I would imagine - for check-ups, antibiotics, etc - and then slightly more when I had to see specialists for my back, and for what I now think were the very early signs of my Crohn’s disease. I was pretty healthy as a teen and didn’t see health professionals much at all during my high school days, but that all changed when I turned 17. I won’t give the full story (I might do in another post if anyone is interested...?) but as of late 2011 I started seeing health professionals very regularly, began having multiple tests, ended up staying in hospital and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2012. My condition has been under control since then, which I am very grateful for, but that process really threw me in at the deep end in terms of becoming confident with health visits.


Acrylic Makeup Storage

Acrylic Makeup Storage was at one time a must-have for beauty bloggers as it is both affordable and aesthetically pleasing - two very important things. I've recently given my makeup collection a little overhaul and sort out, putting my two acrylic makeup holders to better use and I'm pretty pleased with how they look!


Letting Go of Toxic Relationships

Last year I made a choice.

I decided to be selfish in terms of my friendships and relationships with other people. I was becoming increasingly irritable and negative as university went along, until the Easter break rolled around and I had a month away from certain people. My mood changed, I became positive and upbeat again and I couldn’t help but notice the correlation. I had already realised that some of the people I was spending my time with made me feel shit with the way they spoke to me and with their energy in general. Don’t get me wrong, these individuals are probably perfectly nice people and have friendships that they really give a lot to and are valuable in. But for me, their energy and personalities did nothing but drag me down. So I cut them out. My confidence, self-worth and search for positivity is worth more to me than friendships that don’t benefit me.



'Eat, Pray, Love' Book Review

Thirty-something year old Elizabeth Gilbert has a life that other women would dream of: she has a husband, a New York family home and they’re trying for a baby. So the realisation that she doesn’t want any of it a bitter pill to swallow. After finding herself sobbing on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night for the countless time, she speaks to God. God replies, and Liz goes back to bed. A tortuous divorce, a passionate yet painful love affair, and months of grief and confusion later, and Liz begins her journey of recovery through Italy, India and Indonesia.


At-Home Fitness

I’m not a fan of the gym. I’ve tried it in the past, and I might try it again in the future, but it just doesn’t really work for me. I feel too self-conscious and out of my depth with all the equipment and other people around. Because of this, my living room has become my at-home workout space! No equipment needed, just some floor space, some DVDs or even YouTube.



Kat Von D Shade & Light Palettes Review

When I realised we would be visiting Barcelona during our trip to Spain, I became very excited for one reason in particular: the chance to visit Sephora. I know, I know, that sounds rather pathetic, but I have to admit that I'm not all that clued up on culture and sightseeing and all that jazz. Don't get me wrong, I was super excited to see Barcelona and explore, but the girl who has been watching American beauty gurus for 6 plus years was definitely more excited at the prospect of actually getting to visit a Sephora! I've never been to the states or any major European cities before, and I've never been able to justify the risk of customs and postage etc. with Sephora online, so this was my first opportunity to shop there.

Now we've got the back story out of the way, lets move on to my choice of products: the Kat Von D Shade & Light contour and eyeshadow palettes. If you're an avid beauty trends follower, then you'll know that Kat Von D is actually launching in Debenhems in the autumn...well, this news was announced literally a couple of days after my trip to Barcelona, so I went ahead with my purchases blissfully unaware of the fact that they weren't going to be all that *exclusive* for much longer. Nonetheless, I'm so happy I bought them both, as I know I probably wouldn't have been able to keep hold of the pennies I'd set aside to pay for them until their release here in the UK anyway.

Kat Von D is a very hyped-up brand: so many bloggers and YouTubers rave about the products and the person herself. Out of all her products these are the two I was most desperate to get my hands on (although the cult classic Everlasting Liquid Lipstick shade Lolita was not far behind!), so I had high hopes for them. I'll try and keep my review of each palette fairly short, sweet and to the point!



“Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets”

"if you’re not eating clean its like 'who are you?'"

If you’re an avid user of social media you’ve more than likely seen the words ‘clean’, ‘healthy’ and ‘plant-based’ attached to images of (predominantly green and/or sweet potato-fied) food, which probably sit among a gloriously bright and colourful feed of smoothie bowls, positivity quotes and yoga poses. I for one have felt both inspired and demoralised by this trend, which is why I was so eagerly anticipating the release of "Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets" on BBC Three with Grace Victory.



2016 | Goals and Update

Well hello there! Things have been very quiet around here recently haven't they? I absolutely loved doing the #screamhome posts in October but then, yep, you guessed it - things kindof stopped as far as blogging was concerned. I had some Uni assessments in November which took over my life, as well as renewed inspiration and excitement for my future in terms of goals and careers etc which led to a lot of time spent away from social media, listening to podcasts and online workshops and spilling all my ideas into a huge notebook...which was very exciting but led to some blog neglect!

*a little life update*
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