Monday 27 April 2020

The After Lockdown Bucket List

I never thought I'd be writing one of these, I had Spring and Summer bucket lists planned but with everything up in the air and us all staying home they've firmly been put on the backburner so a little twist on the original will do. To be honest, this is now the one I'm most excited about because it's full of all the special things I can't wait to do once this strange period of time is over. 

It's full of family, friends and new adventures - the start of 2020 may be a washout but there's still time to turn it around or at least I hope there is as long as we all stay home and comply with social distancing.

Although at this rate we might be going from Christmas, New Year, Lockdown and back to Christmas!

Sunday 26 April 2020

Lighthouse Clothing - The Ideal Jackets come Rain or Shine

This is a paid partnership with Lighthouse Clothing - see disclaimer.

When it comes to getting out and about with kids, having the right clothing is more important than ever. My days of running out in heeled boots and an umbrella are long behind me when I have to battle the elements with a pushchair that needs two hands or walking with a little toddler hand in mine. The heeled boots have been replaced with practical converse, I now own sturdy wellies and of course, the much-needed raincoat. 

Lighthouse Clothing is somewhere we've purchased clothes from when Joshua was just a year old, we wanted a practical raincoat for him and we loved the styles that Lighthouse Clothing had so we've just naturally gone back to them as Joshua has grown. 

It also meant they were my go-to for my own practical raincoat too.

Friday 24 April 2020

Latest in Beauty Sunday Times Style Beauty Awards Box

Features press samples - see disclaimer

It's that time of year again! Latest in Beauty along with The Sunday Times have created a beauty box that has had everyone scrambling to get their hands on one. The Style Beauty Awards Box launched this month over two different edits featuring some of the BEST beauty products to grace the beauty pages of the top title. 

The mega lineup of award-worthy brands is still available to purchase now and the best bit? They've had a price drop so you can get your hands on the box featuring six of your chosen products for just £20.00! The box is only available until the 4th May and with names such as James Reed, Giorgio Armani and Espa still available, there's never been a better time to treat yourself.

Friday 17 April 2020

My All Time Favourites from Glossier

I took my place on the Glossier train rather late, there was so much buzz and excitement that I wanted to hang back and see how the reviews held up six months or so after the initial UK release date and then decide if there was anything I wanted to try. 

Turns out that buzz just kept going so I finally placed my first order and haven't looked back. I'm now firmly in the Glossier fan club and have repurchased a couple of products since my first order so it's finally time to share my thoughts after all these months.

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Five Fab Books by Paige Toon

If there is one author I recommend time and time again it's Paige Toon. She's a best selling author having sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide and has written fourteen women's fiction novels, a three-part spin-off series and a collection of short stories. 

I can't remember how I discovered Paige Toon or the name of the first title I read but since then I think I've almost managed to get through every last one of her releases - I just enjoy them so much. Excitedly, May sees the release of her latest title so, with that in mind, I thought I'd share some of my favourite titles with you. 

If you enjoy smart romantic fiction then you'll absolutely adore Paige Toon!

Monday 13 April 2020

Ten Uses for Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream

Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream has been in my beauty drawers for longer than I can remember, actually that's a lie - I've been using it since my teens so a good 18 years. I used to save up pocket money and anything I had from my Saturday jobs so I was never without a tube. Fast forward all these years later and it's still one of my cult products and worth every penny of the £28.00 price tag. 

Its scent is unmistakeable - loved and hated by many in equal doses (I'm in the love camp) the cream works like nothing I've ever used before and does everything it says on the box which is a rarity. The Eight Hour Cream doesn't just moisturise elbows, lips and dry patches - it also helps keep brows in place, fix split ends and stop glitter from going everywhere.

It's the one-stop beauty product that everyone needs in their kit.

So here are ten uses for Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream (£28.00)...

Sunday 12 April 2020

Reasons I'm Grateful for Right Now

In the midst of uncertain times and the ever-present urgency to stay at home, life has an unexpected way of enabling you to really appreciate the smaller things in life and be grateful for what we do have. 

I'm quite lucky I suppose, I have a loving partner, a wonderful son, amazing family and friends and a job that enables me to work anywhere all while being the primary carer. Sure, a little more money might help or a holiday home in a far-flung hot country but overall I love the life I've built with Arran and the ease of our day to day lives but there's nothing quite like isolation to really make you take stock of what you have. 

Over the last week, the stresses of the world have taken their toll - I've cried, shouted and curled into a ball but I've also laughed and smiled a lot, I feel like I've gone through every emotion over the last week as the reality of what is happening hits closer but it's also shown me what I'm grateful for and so in the spirit of positivity I wanted to share five reasons why I'm grateful for this strange time we've all been thrust into and remind you that it's not forever, it's just for now. 

I couldn't start this post without a very special nod to the wonderful small businesses that have helped my sister and I collect a huge amount of sanitary wear donations for our local hospital. Emily came to me one day about the struggles herself and her colleagues were facing when trying to buy sanitary wear in the first initial rush of panic buying in the UK. I decided to share a tweet and see if anyone could help and we were met with an incredible response - eight small businesses and one charity came forward to help in our time of need and the sheer amount of donations was overwhelming, we were so grateful. On the day eight huge boxes arrived from Bloody Good - I sat in a pile of tampons, liners and sanitary towels and cried happy tears. Our mountain of donations have now made it to two of the main hospitals in Southampton and our excess has been donated to The Homeless Period Southampton. Kindness really does prevail in times of need. 

Love is a funny ol' thing, isn't it? Love doesn't just mean your partner, it can mean so much more to so many. I'm grateful for being home with Arran and Joshua - I'm so glad I have them with me as we go through this but I would give anything to be with my parents, sister and grandmother too. I would love to be able to give my friends a reassuring hug and a pep talk or just *try* and snuggle my parent's cat (he hates me). Arran and I have a relatively easy relationship, we've always been employed throughout our time together so have had separate work lives, we have our own friends and hobbies that we do apart so our own time has always been quite valuable to us, even as we became parents. 

Being thrust together 24/7 at first was an adjustment, it seems silly doesn't it? We've been together eight years and love each other dearly but, and I'm sure there are many couples similar to us, we do a fair bit separately too. All of a sudden we couldn't tell each other about our days or something silly I saw while in the city, we've had to juggle us both working from home around Joshua and Arran's experienced more of what life is like for me Monday to Friday with a toddler, housework and everything in between and it's been eye-opening. I think if anything we've begun to appreciate each other even more and potentially even love each other more than we already do. 

I didn't realise isolation would show more hidden qualities to our love and relationship but it has. 

The one thing we're definitely not short on at the moment is time right?! I've really enjoyed being able to do all the little jobs I've not had the time for or were putting off because it would be difficult with Joshua around. I've started on a huge spring clean, deep cleaning each room one by one, I've been able to make a dent in my reading pile which is totally out of hand, I've baked with Joshua, eaten cake for breakfast, cooked long-leisurely dinners, started a new skincare routine, found a love of home workouts again - it's just been bloody lovely to be able to everything I've not been able to because I'm always drowning in other things because I've had to take a backseat and stay home. 

I want to make this time so much about my family and doing things we love. I've found there to be an immense pressure the last few weeks about needing to achieve something during this time but to be honest, I don't want to. If I get to read, bake with Joshua, relax with Arran and just enjoy being at home then for me, I've achieved enough. I'm the worst for always having to be busy or not knowing when to stop. I feel guilty if I'm not always working since I'm now doing a job I can't leave at the front door and being self-employed with a lot of work that's been cancelled has been the hard wake up call I needed to just sit back and chill out. Okay - it's not ideal but I'm home, happy and safe.

It has also highlighted to me just how quickly time passes us by, we're already approaching the halfway point of April which is mildly terrifying and I think we still have a long way to go but our time at home is being spent in the best possible way and for that I'm grateful. 

May seem a little odd to include my home but it's only in recent years I've really become to appreciate the wonderful city we live in. Being on lockdown has obviously hindered a lot of our day to day lives but I'm grateful that Southampton is so incredibly green with beautiful parks and right on the water. Before things became more intense with staying at home and only popping out for essentials I was still able to take Joshua ten minutes down the road and be on the shoreline or a twenty-minute walk over a bridge and be able to boat spot in the marina and I cannot wait to do those things again. I want to breathe in the sea air, run away from seagulls trying to nab our chips and roll around in cut grass. I'm so glad the sun has made an appearance over the last week because being able to get outside has made such a difference to all of us. 

I hope you're all staying home and that you're safe - my inbox is always open.


Wednesday 8 April 2020

7 Fabulous Products from Lush perfect for Inducing Sleep

Features press samples - see disclaimer

I don't know about you but I'm finding sleep rather difficult at the moment, there's a lot going on in the world and it's meant my nights haven't been as restful as they once were so I've been making some changes with the help of some very useful products from Lush Cosmetics

I'm sure we all heard the buzz around their cult product, Sleepy a few years ago and they've expanded on this by introducing even more products that aim to aid you in the fight for a restful nights sleep. I've rounded them up in this handy post so you know exactly what's available - it includes some legendary products as well as some new ones that have quickly found their way on to my love list. 

Strap in and prepare to catch some zzz...

Sunday 5 April 2020

What I've been Reading Through March

I feel as though everyone is reaching for a book at the moment, we have a lot more spare time than usual so it's the perfect time to do just that. I've been cracking on with my reading challenge for 2020 and throughout March I've read some really incredible books - ones that have made me laugh and cry. I've really enjoyed everything I've reached for and spending more time at home has really given me the motivation to get through my huge pile waiting to be read. 

If you need even more recommendations then be sure to check out my Books tab above. 

Friday 3 April 2020

The Urban Decay Naked Honey Palette

If there's one brand I always look out for when it comes to new beauty releases, it's Urban Decay. The Urban Decay Naked Honey palette was released in 2019 but after putting a self-imposed beauty spending ban on myself, I held off purchasing the gold encased palette of dreams. Fast forward to Christmas morning and I opened up my very own from my sister and I couldn't wait to try it out. 

The Naked collection by Urban Decay is the most well-loved collection of makeup palettes available with the first three in the collection gaining cult classic status. Naked 3 is still one of my all-time favourite palettes but with the release of Honey, it's hot on its tail of taking the hot spot for me. 
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