Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Bring on the Change

Frequent readers will be in no doubt that changes in my life seem to come quick and fast, and often all at the same time. And of course the newest chapter of my life is no different.

A few months before the wedding our business venture became a headache that needed cured and Nick had managed to get himself a job over the summer working down on the beach. As the weeks became shorter and the reality of married life loomed ever closer panic mode started to kick in as to what on earth we were going to do with our lives. After much consideration of interests partnered with job opportunities Nick decided to go back to university to do a Masters degree in Computer Science, and being denied any funding it was up to me to find a job to support us for another difficult year ahead...


Monday, September 01, 2014

Mrs H. at last!

Well, we made it. 

WE GOT MARRIED!!

After 18 long months of planning, more disasters than one person should ever have to deal with, a week of stress induced starvation and a pair of incredibly generous and patient parents, Nick and I finally stood up in front of all of our friends and family and said 'I Do'. 

It was literally the most perfect day of my life from start to end and I will cherish every second for the rest of my days. 

We're off to the Land of Smiles today for our long awaited honeymoon so my Beautiful Bubble will be having a rest. Please take this time to scroll back through my old posts to learn more about the girl who finally became Mrs H. on Saturday, and I leave you with this rather poignant quote from 'Alice in Wonderland'...

'I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.'

xxx

Monday, August 18, 2014

Confessions of a Swiftie




What Taylor Swift has achieved at her mere 24 years of age lies somewhere between sensational and remarkable. Go ahead and call me a feminist if I say she is an inspiration for women everywhere. She's currently the biggest pop sensation on the planet,

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bikini Body Bootcamp!


This is my first beauty post for a while due to being almost entirely occupied with wedding planning as well as a few other bumps and hills (mountains...) in my road. Rest assured, however, that the lack of beauty related posts on my blog does not mean a lack of beauty in my life and I have plenty to catch up on. 

Our wedding and honeymoon are looming dangerously near, two weeks today in fact, so I thought I'd share with you some of my tips for getting bikini-body ready for holidays.

Firstly, I'm a big believer of looking after your body all year round so the bikini season can be any time you like. Why neglect your diet and lifestyle just because it's winter and you're less likely (hopefully) to wander around in a teeny tiny two piece? A consistent healthy diet and lifestyle is key to maintaining the figure you want and it's just good for you! Also, if you're not comfortable in a bikini simply don't wear one. Play up your best features with a swimsuit that flatters your figure. If you feel great, you'll look great. Easy. There's no way I'll be wandering around the beaches in Thailand in my bikini, but I do like one for sunbathing and swimming. A classic one piece with a high waisted cinch is one of the most chic and flattering options this summer, and they're everywhere in the shops. Tropical prints are majorly in fashion and are universally flattering.

Ok, so the title of this post is a small white lie... It should read "Wedding Dress Bootcamp!" When I was measured for my beautiful gown in October last year I was described as a 'spelk' and so, not surprisingly, after months and months of waiting, a long cold winter and a penchant for wine and chocolate muffins, when my dress did finally arrive, it didn't fit. It nearly fit. I was one button and a hook 'n' eye away from perfection. So for the first time pretty much ever, I went on an actual diet inspired by Deliciously Ella. After six weeks I hadn't lost even a single pound but I had slimmed down enough for my dress to do all the way up (woohoo!). After various fittings and decisions the dress was eventually taken out a couple of centimetres and now it fits like a dream.

So my point is, in the last few weeks of desperately trying to lose weight and failing, it is the products pictured above that I truly believe are to thank for finally squeezing into the dress. I've always been a user of cellulite busting creams and gels as well as toning products and firming moisturisers. Some are better than others, obviously, but the key to any of these products is persistence. If it says apply twice a day, do it. And really massage it in until your arms ache (this is pretty good for toning your arms too!) I've been religiously applying my Dr.Ceuticals products for weeks and the results have really been amazing. The Beach Perfect Body Firmer is a seriously rich, smoothing moisturiser that makes your skin feel like velvet and I saw a result on my thighs in just a week. It also smells divine and made me practically irresistible to my future husband... I bought the Tummy Tone and Cellulite Sculpting Treatment when they were on offer at Boots (normally retail around £19.99 and £14.99 respectively) and have been very impressed so far. The Tummy Tone is a tight, tingling gel that is easy to massage in and a little goes a long way. It instantly tightens and smooths and boasts waistline reducing properties as well as fat-cell busting. The same goes for the Cellulite Sculpting treatment which has genuinely reduced my hips by 2cm each! Feeling toned and svelte is such a confidence booster, and fitting more easily into my tight jeans is like a dream. 

In a last attempt to get the best body I can before the big day I ventured into detox territory, landing on Bootea UK's 14 Day Teatox. This £20 kit has two weeks worth of teabags - 1 for every morning, and a bedtime bag for every other night. To be honest, it really wasn't the nicest tea in the world. It tastes like very strong green tea (a little insipid...) and the bedtime one was quite sickly. Anyway I was very good for the two weeks, cutting out bad, processed, sugary foods, alcohol (except for the hen party...) and red meat because the point is you're trying to rid excess toxins from your body. Other users have reported significant weight loss but my experience was, again, no weight loss whatsoever. However my cellulite has pretty much completely vanished and my waist is as slim as ever. My skin and hair look great too. All in all I was quite disappointed but it hasn't been a total waste. A flat tummy and smooth thighs was the aim of the game anyway and I've definitely achieved that! My before and after pics can be seen here.

So with two weeks to go my plan is to continue using my wonder products to maintain a smooth silhouette and attempt to eat as healthily as possible. Saving my wine and chocolate fetish for the big day!

xxx



Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Liebster Award!

I'm quite new to blogging and had never even heard of the Liebster award until I was nominated by two lovely ladies - Rachel from Bella Forcella and Catherine from Counter Pretty.  Thank you so much for introducing me to such a fun blogger community activity and for taking the time to read my little blog. It means the world to me when just one person reads a post so these nominations are incredible!

Ok, so here's what I've found out about the Liebster Award...



There are a few rules to follow:

- You must list 11 fun/random facts about yourself
- You must answer the 11 questions asked my the person who nominated you
- You must nominate other blogs and ask them 11 questions.

So here goes!!

Bella Forcella asked me:

1. What is your 'anthem'?
My signature karaoke song is Dolly Parton's '9 to 5' and people always say they think of me when they hear it!

2. What message do you want to convey to the world through your blog?
My blog is my little safe space where I can express my feelings, post about my interests and share my opinions. I suppose my message could be to encourage self awareness and celebrate being unique.

3. What is your favourite Jo Malone fragrance?
Easy, White Jasmine & Mint.

4. Who are your idols and why?
This is a tough one, I definitely have a few and they're pretty embarrassing on the outset but bear with me... First up is Avril Lavigne - She may not be what many people think of as a role model but when I was a teenager struggling to find myself through crowds of cliques and trends her music helped me so much, and she inspired me to write songs which I still do to this day. Next is Taylor Swift basically because I just want to be her. She's incredible. I'm a keen cook and baker too and I will always do whatever Nigella tells me to! 


5. What's your favourite thing about blogging?
I love to write. I love finding the best words to describe products or emotions and pour them out into legible scribbles. 

6. Where is your favourite place in the world?
My family have taken holidays on the Northumberland coast for as long as I can remember and now our holiday home in Beadnell is something I share with my new family. It's our haven.

7. Which 'Friends' character are you most like?
I definitely have some frantic Monica in me (anxiety and obsessive behaviour...) mixed with Rachel's love of fashion and fun and Ross' love of history and dinosaurs!

8. Who was your childhood style icon?
I grew up in the 90s so it HAS to be the Spice Girls! Platforms, crop tops, joggers and bunches. Oh yes.



9. Would you rather go back in time and give your younger self advice, or travel forward in time and get advice from your older self?
At this moment in time I'm quite content with how my life has worked out. There's been some major bumps in the road though so I would love it if my future self could give me a sign that everything will be ok and to just keep at it. 

10. What is your all time favourite beauty product?
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.

11. What would your ideal day look like?
A day out with my mister and my dog. Shopping, eating, drinking and a walk on the beach followed by a cosy movie night with sweet popcorn and Pepsi Max. It must also include a Soya Hazelnut Latte... 


Counter Pretty asked me:

1. How did you get into blogging?
I originally started a blog when I was working in a pub and had so many stories to tell after every shift (and they were pretty much all hilarious) so I started an anonymous blog to share my tales. It was various family members who suggested I start my beauty blog because that's what I was interested in.

2. Country or City?
Country for living and relaxing, city for shopping and partying.

3. Lipstick or lipgloss?
I suffer from very dry lips most of the time so I don't often use lipstick, but I hate the way my hair gets stuck in my lipgloss so I usually just go for tinted lip balm but both stick and gloss when I'm getting dressed up.

4. Where is your favourite place to be?
Our summer house in Beadnell on the Northumberland coast. 

5. If you could only use one makeup brand for the rest of your life what would it be?
Chanel. It takes up most of my makeup bag already!

6. If you could only use one makeup product what would it be?
Concealer... no blush... no lip balm! Argh!!

7. Drugstore or highend?
Always highend. Premium beauty is just better.

8. If you could travel anywhere where would you go and for how long?
There are so many places I would love to visit, but I would definitely travel to Southern India and spend a week or so exploring the paddy fields (and eating) then on to the Maldives for at least a week in a beachfront villa. I would also love to visit Bali, New York, Seattle, Tequila in Mexico and Iceland again.

9. What is your biggest achievement?
Landing the perfect husband?! Haha no, passing my driving test. I quit learning when I was younger because it made me so incredibly nervous (sometimes I was physically sick before lessons) but then my fiance encouraged me to have another go despite my crippling fear and with the right teacher, a better car and total determination I passed in a few short months on my first go with only one minor. Yes! The confidence and independence I have gained are utterly priceless.

10. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Answered above!

11. What is your favourite flavour of Skittle?
I don't eat sweets but I do remember the best way to eat Skittles is one of every colour altogether.

Wow that was fun!!

Now here are 11 facts about me:

1. I'm completely deaf in my right ear.
2. I have naturally curly hair.
3. I have a cow's milk intolerance.
4. I have performed in the West End, the Royal Opera House and St James' Park (Newcastle).
5. I have seen Barry Manilow live 5 times...
6. I have very strong prescription reading glasses.
7. I hate fruit pastilles.
8. I can cook and bake really well.
9. I'm a homeowner.
10. I have a Grade 8 Singing certificate.
11. I used to be fat.

I nominate:


And my questions are:

1. What inspired you to start blogging?
2. Are you a cat or a dog person?
3. What is your favourite food and can you make it yourself?
4. Where did you grow up?
5. Do you have a nervous tick?
6. Where is your favourite place to shop?
7. What is your go-to all round beauty brand?
8. You can take 5 beauty products with you on your desert island getaway. What are they?
9. What song makes you want to dance like nobody's watching?
10. What are your current life goals?
11. Are you in love?

This has been one of the most fun posts I've ever done and I can't wait to read everyone elses!

Thanks again for the nominations!

xxx




Saturday, August 02, 2014

All the Lonely People

The Beatles once said - "Where do all the lonely people come from?".  They didn't know then and they probably still don't. 

When I think about all of the wonderful people I have in my life, family and friends be they close or distant, it makes me ponder this very same question. A lot has been going in my life over the last 18 months or so and I can safely say I would have been lost without my unconditional support system. 

When Nick proposed I was surrounded my genuine love and happiness, some people going seriously out of their way to congratulate us. Our families were overjoyed and planning began straight away as we didn't want to wait to become Mr & Mrs.

Not long after our engagement Nick and I made the extremely brave decision to start our own business. Well, a franchise. It turned out to be a total disaster from start to (very short) end and left us confused, miserable and our confidence was shattered. We had no idea what we were going to do next and we're still working on it! We've had to literally hold each other up at times just to make it through another week. 

Throw into the mix a young puppy in the form of Sully the Springer Spaniel and we had a recipe for sleepless nights and chronic fatigue. Adjusting our lives to include our tiny little ball of utterly helpless fur was not easy. He completely took over our home, our routine and our minds as every choice we made throughout the day involved his whereabouts or welfare. Many, many tears were shed, voices were raised and long walks on the beach became a chore rather than one of our favourite pastimes. Sully slowly became a very important member of the family and we sometimes look back and wonder what all of the fuss was about. I certainly found his company during the early stages of the business invaluable. Now he's our special little guy who loves us no matter what.

Wedding planning has had it's ups and downs. Fights with my Mum and forever changing my mind obligatory. At one point it seemed like every single thing was going wrong, being cancelled or was winding me up so much I retreated away from it all. My anxiety levels became unbearable. If it hadn't been for my very patient and generous parents and my very understanding fiance I would have gone crazy. It's amazing how grounding the people close to you can be.

More recently I've had some very emotional personal issues with a friend which have affected me in an irrevocable way. I've been amazed at how supportive and understanding all my friends and family have been. Even my wedding correspondents and friends of my parents have given me wonderful advice and a friendly face to talk to. 

So here is my question. Where do all the lonely people come from? I look around me and I don't see any lonely people. I don't see loneliness, I don't feel loneliness. I see love and understanding and I feel loved, cherished, appreciated. How could I ever be lonely.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me through the past year, there are far too many of you to mention.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mini Life Update

Good morning beautiful readers! 

Unfortunately due to some personal goings on in my life I haven't been blogging for a week or so (nearly two?) so I'm sorry you haven't had any joyous sneek-peeks into my ever adventurous life. I've been in a pretty bad place and sometimes even my little slice of the net is not the best outlet for my emotions, the whole world doesn't need to know. I still have quite a lot to sort out this week and I'm swamped with wedding plans (5 weeks on saturday!!) but I plan to back up and running ASAP. 

I have plenty of posts to catch up on and I have all of your lovely blogs to catch up on too so hope to see and hear from you all soon!

xxx

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Summer Senses

I bet most people have some sort of sensory reaction to certain scents without even realising. Your sense of smell can evoke extremely powerful emotions mostly linked to memories. For instance the smell of freshly baked cookies or shortbread might remind you of visiting your Grandparents, or a waft of fresh flowers smells just like hugging your Mum. On a deeper level you might remember how a smell made you feel. You'll probably know exactly what I mean if you smelt the perfume you were wearing on your very first date, or the smell of candles being blown out at your younger birthday parties. Our whole lives are filled with sensory influences that completely overpower us at times. For me, smell is the strongest influence and can stun me into submission. I never realised until recently that the smell of smoke reminded me so much of my Grandma. My parents have smoked my whole life but after living away for nearly four years, walking into their house takes me right back to bounding in to my Grandma's house when I was just a bairn. My fiancé is transported back to the Hilton in Iceland whenever I wear my Jimmy Choo Flash perfume - we got engaged there so it's a very special memory.

With Summer as my topic I am going to go through a number of sensations that evoke that sunshiney feeling. 

First up is SMELL: 

I'm probably not the only one who finds coconut a major summer-evoking scent. It simply smells like holidays! I don't know if all Suncream was coconutty when I was little or what but it will always, always make me feel like I'm on holiday. 

Next up is garlic. Now this might seem strange to some people, but it doesn't matter how many times I smell it, cook with it or eat it, I am always transported back to the various streets of Europe where I spent my family holidays growing up. The smell of Italian food, Spanish Tapas or delicious curry wafting out onto the pavement is one of the simplest pleasures there is, and an ultimate summery feel good moment.

Last but most definitely not least is flowers! The smell of wild flowers and freshly cut grass just makes my day when I leave the house. Even if the sun isn't shining I can happily bask in my summery sense of happiness when surrounded by these delicious natural scents.

Now for TOUCH:

Think about that feeling you get in your skin when the sun is shining directly on you. Not burning, not tingling but a gentle warmth that spreads right through you, relaxing your muscles and your senses. THAT is summer in a moment.

Sheets. Crisp, white, cotton sheets. Soft and smooth against your skin. Cool yet comforting. Bliss.

Bare feet on warm ground or sand. It doesn't get more summery!

SIGHT:

Whilst pastels makes me think 'spring', brights just scream 'summer'. The gradual change from neutrals to pastels to brights in all the shop windows, marketing emails and supermarkets gently ease me into a laid-back summer feeling. 

Blue sky, fluffy clouds and sparkly waters of the river and the ocean where I live.

Sunkissed hair and skin.

TASTE:

Fruit, fruit fruit! Strawberries and cream during Wimbledon, juicy apricots and lots (and lots!) of wine.

French fries. Really salty and preferably served poolside in a basket.

Seafood. We adore seafood in our house, but perfectly cooked salmon fillets or calamari takes me back to summer in Italy in a second.

SOUND:

My fiancĂ© has a summer playlist on his iPod which is just perfect for cruising in the car with the sun streaming in. Santana is a particular summer favourite, and Lissie will always remind me of the Uruguayan wilderness. 


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Packing for my Summer Jollies!

Packing. Panic. Packing! Panic! PACKING! PANIC!

This is what happens every single time I pack to go anywhere, be it two weeks abroad or one night at my mother-in-law's. I don't like packing. I always feel like I've forgotten something incredibly important. Surely one night away requires two spare pairs of underwear, layers, germolene and plasters and extra painkillers for emergencies...? Maybe not. But this is, and will always be, my approach to packing. Be prepared! I always take too much, always take things that don't even get taken out of  the suitcase and always seem to come home with twice as much as I went with (I think this is a very common travelling phenomenon...)

I'm getting married in a few weeks and will be jetting off to sunny Thailand for two weeks of honeymoon bliss, and we are both attempting to 'pack light'... Everyone keeps telling us how much we'll buy when we're there and it's so hot we'll hardly need many clothes, just a couple of swimsuits and vests etc. But it's just not that easy, is it? A couple of swimsuits equals one tropical print bikini, a reversible neoprene bikini and a monochrome one-piece (for watersports) and I have enough vests to start my own business! I tend to pack in outfits so I'm guaranteed to have something that goes with everything, avoiding those lonely pretty tops that never get worn and or the jazzy kaftan that clashes with everything. Not to mention that we're travelling, not just hitting one resort, so I need different attire for sightseeing in Bangkok (trainers, shorts, loose t-shirts), jungle trekking in Elephant Hills (waterproofs, hiking boots, Indiana Jones-style hat and shirt) and finally chilling by the beach in Koh Samui (bikinis, flip flops, floaty dresses.) Then there's cosmetics to deal with. I definitely need at least two sets of haircare, one for dry days and one for oily days. I'll obviously need a variety of sun-creams too - body cream, body spray, SPF 20, SPF 30, P20 once a day, face cream, BB cream with SPF... Don't even get me started on make-up! I always take beautiful summery shades of everything then end up using nothing but tinted lip-balm the whole time. That reminds me I need tinted lip-balm...

This year I have vowed to be better. I've been trying to keep everything very simple and sophisticated. You only have one honeymoon so I've treated myself to a few luxury items instead of a tonnes of cheap rubbish. First up is my immaculate new Tripp suitcase, possibly the new love of my life - I've gone for sunshine yellow in the medium size. This is to a) keep the weight down and b) physically force me to pack less.


I'm using this old pink Harrods weekender as my cabin bag. I wouldn't normally take something so large but we've got two long haul flights with Dubai duty-free in the middle so I need plenty space for all the essentials. That brings me nicely onto my flight essentials.


Chick-lit. I'll give anything a go but at the minute I'm very into my wedding related books! I always travel with a journal or diary. I love to write down all the things we did every day, the food we ate, activities we enjoyed so that we can look back and re-live the happy memories. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with passport holders. They're great for keeping ticket stubs, cards, extra money etc. safe but these days you have to take your passport out of it's holder when you're at the airport which can be really annoying. I still always use mine though as well as a travel wallet to keep everything together and organised. My favourite in-flight beauty product has to be a multi balm, that you can use on lips and skin and has a relaxing fragrance. These little beauties are great for keeping skin plump and glowing through hours of moisture-sapping flights and airports and are just as useful when you're on holiday too. I also always have a pashmina or cashmere wrap for comfy snoozing, my Ipod filled with my favourite tunes (I normally make a holiday specific playlist) and my camera to start capturing memories as soon as the adventure begins. 

Here are a few other holiday essentials I'll be packing this summer.


Beautiful summer make-up pallette.



Designer facewear. Obviously.


Floral scent.


Fun bikini and denim cut-offs


Fruity, fresh candle to make our villa home.


I use these amazing drawer liners in my suitcase to keep my clothes smelling fresh. It's the most amazing thing when you unpack!





Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fit for Summer - The Scottish Adventure!

I reckon getting 'fit' for summer is on pretty much every girl's wishlist. Unless of course you've already achieved it in which case feel free to continue reading looking amazing in your bikini and sipping your sugary cocktails...

Anyway getting back to the point, getting fit for summer means different things to different people. Everybody wants to look bangin' in their swimsuit and summery clothes, with lean limbs and a natural tan. For me, I wanted to get healthy. I wanted to literally get fitter. I started a health-food diet and cut out all processed foods including sugar. I've always been a healthy eater but I really boosted my intake of fresh fruit and veg as well as nuts, seeds and pulses. Unfortunately this kind of diet is quite high in calories so being more active comes hand in hand. I wouldn't call myself lazy by any means, but I don't do regular intense exercise. I walk my dog every day and I do toning exercises and that's pretty much it. So when I was challenged to climb Ben Nevis this summer I said yes without really realising what I was getting myself in for!

My fiance, Nick, completed the Three Peaks challenge last year and has wanted me to join him on a Ben Nevis hike ever since. We finally managed to sort ourselves out and recruited our cousins to join us for our Scottish adventure. We drove up to Fort William on saturday and started our ascent early Sunday morning...



The first 400ft or so was incredibly gruelling, adjusting to a higher heart rate and giving your glutes a good workout. 




After a while it levels out a bit and you can see how far you've come up the valley. Trying to stay cheerful helps a lot!



Here you can see the path in the distance.



I found so many heart shaped rocks but this one was my favourite!


Doing my stretches...


None of us were expecting snow near the summit! It was like a different climate.



Nearly there...


"Harry, I've reached the top!"



Whoop whoop made it to the summit in about 4 hours, not bad for my first time!


Very happy to be heading down, although going down wrecks your feet and joints.


Almost there...


7 hours 35 mins later we arrived back to the starting point, exhausted and elated. I can't believe I did it!

So there you go, I didn't just get fit for summer - I achieved something that I thought was beyond my reach and had a total blast doing it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Bucket List

Hello lovelies! I'll get straight to it and say there is simply one, rather special thing on my bucket list this summer... 

GET MARRIED!!

I'm getting married in August and going on honeymoon on 1st of September so this summer I am swamped with wedmin, appointments and intensive beauty regimes. I am dieting and working hard to get my bikini body for Thailand as well as knocking my mister's socks off in my sensational wedding dress! A lot of time and energy is required to plan the perfect wedding, and with help from my wonderful Mum we are well on track for the kind of fairytale wedding dreams are made of. She really has been a lifesaver, I don't know what I would have done without her. She's so generous and understanding, making sure everything is perfect. My bestie Hannah has also planned the most amazing Cocktail Making Class for the hen party, just bought my outfit today - excited!

I suppose the only other thing I would like to do is get a new job. I'm working on it, and have even been looking at going back to college (I only studied to A-Level). My mister is working hard too of course, he has to provide for my expensive taste after all!

We finally had our big BBQ get-together with a welcome World Cup theme, and I intend to overdose on strawberries and prosecco during Wimbledon but that's about it.

Lots of sunbathing and chilling with the dog in the garden are in order until our big day arrives, then it's off to Thailand to eat, sleep and soak up the culture. Oh, and play with the elephants! 

I'm pretty sure this is going to be the best summer of my life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

May Favourites

May was an incredibly busy month! Lots of wedmin to attend to as well as health and lifestyle changes. I had a huge number of favourites this month but I narrowed them down. 

First up is my new blender, without which I couldn't have embraced my new raw food, clean eating lifestyle.


Bathroom favourites this month include Good Things Five Minute Facial and Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask (firm new fave!), Soap and Glory 'The Firminator', Garnier Summer Body, Rimmel Sunshimmer and Ultimate Blends The Colour Illuminator.


Make-up favourites this month include MAC matte lipstick in Please Me, Carmex pomegranate lipbalm, Benefit Gimme Brow, Benefit Hoola and YSL Babydoll mascara.




Fashion favourites this month include my new sunny yellow Primark sandals and the comfiest pair of boy-fit jeans ever courtesy of H&M.




Foodie favourites this month definitely go to baked sweet potato with king prawn cocktail, avocado and olive salad, and avocado and peanut butter on gluten-free toast with chilli flakes. 



Last but not least, my most favourite thing of all this month has to be my new Hazelnut Coffee Yankee Candle. It's so delicious to light in the morning during breakfast, a real treat like walking right into a coffee shop. As you can see it's well used!







Summer Trends

Summer is finally here! The sun has had his hat on for a good couple of weeks now up North and ,despite some heavy rain every now and then, summer fashion has taken a firm hold. I've not always been one to follow trends per se, preferring instead to stick to what I know and love. I tend to find that being a bit short, having tubular legs and offensively pale (read: translucent...) skin hinders my ability to pull off particular trends, especially summer ones when lean limbs and glowing skin are practically obligatory. However, as my blogging has progressed I have discovered all manner of new wonderful things to try and have, thus far, been very impressed with my findings.

For instance, glowing skin can easily be achieved through various creams and lotions aimed at tanning, enhancing, shimmering etc. So a good exfoliation followed by a firming cream and a tanning moisturiser three-four times a week has left me looking like I can go out in the sun without bursting into flames. This is my summer dream-team...

Soap and Glory 'The Firminator' - Garmier Summer Body - Rimmel Sunshimmer


Secondly, I've finally seen the light when it comes to nail polish and started using colours that suit my skin-tone or enhance my tan. I'm in love with all the neon brights that are gracing the shelves this summer, particularly Barry M's Gelly Hi Shine collection, which is so easy to use and gives incredible results. Here are a couple of my faves: Key Lime (green) and Papaya (bright peach).


Thirdly, it turns out that every trend is replicated in hundreds of ways across a huge variety of both premium and high-street stores, so finding an item of clothing to suit my body shape need no longer be so painful. I scoured Primark for hours attempting to find the perfect cut-off denim shorts. My thighs are, shall we say, less than perfect so I needed a flattering fit that wasn't too long or too short. I eventually found a pair of soft, ripped up, high-waisted shorts that fit like a dream and are a perfect light blue. I shall be teaming them with a cool Rio vest-top, Soap and Glory 'The Firminator' and Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan for our World Cup BBQ on thursday.


Maxi dresses have been around for a while now and they don't look like they're going anywhere fast. I've always been a fan. They're so universally flattering, slimming and a cool, fun way to rock a trend. I personally love adding a cute tee and plenty of jewellery for a personalised look.




Summer diets should be classed as a trend. They come and go like everything else, loved for a time then left forgotten once the next new thing rolls around. Clean eating, or raw food diets seem to be massive right now which is exactly the foodie trend I have gone for this summer. My wedding dress disagreed with me the first time I tried her on so out went lattes and muffin and in went matcha green tea and smoothies. I was inspired by deliciosulyella.co.uk and have not looked back. I'm pretty sure it won't last forever though, I'm getting married after all so there's one day of clean eating out the window! Two weeks in Thailand might have something to say about said diet too...

The amazing Ella Woodward of deliciouslyella.co.uk

Matcha green tea latte

Super berry breakfast smoothie

Whatever you decide to do this summer, enjoy yourself!!