Now obviously, this is completely subjective, and this is done purely from the experiences we’ve had doing up the house. It’s not gospel, and I’m sure there are other great stores out there that we… More
RIGHT, well hello again…I can’t believe how long it’s been! I’d really started getting into blogging over the summer, and then suddenly; nothing. But I promise you I have a very valid reason – WE MOVED INTO OUR FIRST HOUSE!
If you know me or follow me on social media, I’m sure it won’t have escaped your notice, as I haven’t really shut up about it! It’s been a long, tiring, stressful process – how naive was I to think it’d be easy and smooth, and that we’d be settled and back to normal by the end of September?! ❌ I’m not going to go into details of the problems we’ve encountered throughout this process because frankly, I see no point in moaning now we’re finally getting settled, and also, you’d still be reading this post 6 months from now 🙃 I want to focus on the POSITIVES, because as I say, we’re in, we’re settled and we love the house!
My last blog post 25 Discoveries in my 25th Year was published when we were in our little limbo home – we moved out of the flat on 17th September but couldn’t move into the house until 26th September (it’s a new build so it was totally bare – we were waiting on the carpet installation), so spent a week in a holiday home by the river. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but it was pretty and we made it work – and it meant I spent the evening of my 26th birthday on the roof terrace with my Bish, sipping Prosecco ❤️
Moving into a new build is great, because you can TOTALLY make it your own. But when you’re starting with a blank canvas, it takes time to get it done, especially when you’re still working at the same time. We’ve got all the furniture done now (apart from some shelves that need fitting and the TV mounted on the wall), so it’ll just be little homey touches to finish it off – and those kinds of things are best decided when you’ve actually been living in the space! Some of my favourite additions so far – PLANTS! They really lift the feeling of the room, and I’m loving having them around.
I want to give a MASSIVE shout out right now to my parents who helped us with the move – they didn’t need to take time off from work to help us shift all of our crap out of the flat and move it over, but they did. Or to give up their evenings to help us take things to to the tip, but they did. And a SPECIAL mention to my Dad who’s given up EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND SINCE to help us DIY 😳 It’s meant so much to both of us that you’ve been so helpful and supportive, and we really can’t thank you enough ❤️
As we slowly start to get there, we can begin to find a bit of normality in life again (though it’s been up in the air for so long, I may have forgotten what that feels like)! I’m really excited to get back to blogging (I’ve missed it and my blogger friends!), and I can actually get a bit of a social life back! With my job, my social life isn’t particularly thiving anyway, but for too many months now I’ve had to postpone plans with friends. I can’t tell you how many times the phrase ‘as soon as we’re a bit more settled in the house we’ll get something sorted!’ has been used! And I feel awful for having had to do it, I just didn’t realise how long it’d take to be ‘sorted’. I should’ve just sent out an email to my bezzies 3 months back saying ‘SEE YA AT XMAS!’, it’d have probably been more accurate 😂
I’m majorly excited to get back to my chums (because they have so much going on too, so catch ups are a MUST), and also to get back to wedding planning! It had to be put on hold during the move – thank God we got the big things booked 6 months ago, else we’d be in real bother now! With only half a year left, I really need to get cracking! 👰🏻
And I continue to love my job 💖 My ‘academy’ kids performed amazingly in their showcase this weekend – to see how far they’ve come in year just filled me with pride! And my ‘studio’ kids better get ready, because when we get back from half term, we go full whack into rehearsals for our annual show in March! I’ve got some routine ideas that I’m really excited to start, so bring it on! A couple of little extra opportunities have presented themselves over the last couple of months too, which is really amazing, and I feel incredibly grateful. Seeing kids learn, grow, become better people, develop their teamwork skills, have fun with friends and and enjoy themselves is just incredible – I’m very lucky to be able to do such a rewarding job 🙏
And that, my friends, is where I leave you for today. I have plenty of blog inspo that I’ve been jotting down in my Bullet Journal (the journal I meant to talk about at the beginning of September…it didn’t happen then because I didn’t have time, but I WILL be discussing it in my next post)! December is fast approaching too, which means…BLOGMAS! It’s getting cold, I’m loving my new cuddly coat, and I’m proper getting in the mood for winter and Christmas so I’ve started planning for that too! Who else is planning for Blogmas?
Until next time,
YAYYYYY BIRTHDAY! I’m a couple of days late, but I just didn’t have time to post this on the actual day! 🎈🎉🎂
I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do a ‘___ things I’ve learned in ___ years’ for their birthdays, but I’ve decided to note down 25 discoveries (food, beauty, lifestyle, well-being…) from the last 12 months. Enjoy!
1. ‘It’s Just a Story…’
This is a big one for me, and linked to my post about how Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’ helped my anxiety. I go into more detail in the post and explain what the phrase means, but just for a quick insight; I struggle with anxiety on occasion, mainly when dealing with new places/experiences, and applying this phrase to stressful situations has allowed me to cope with my anxiety in a different way. The show is on Netflix and I didn’t imagine when I sat down to watch it that it would make me look at life differently, but this simple phrase when worrying about something… it honestly really helps.
2. Chocolate Wine
YES it’s a thing, but you can only get it in Sainsbury’s! It’s so delicious and yummy, and it’s VERYYYYYYY easy to drink it as you would a glass of juice (definitely try to pace yourself with this one)! Seriously though, give it a go! (FYI it’s in the port section as it’s classed as a fortified product – Ed and I spent AGES trying to find it in the red wine section to start off with)!
3. It’s okay to say no to work
I hate to let anyone down, as I’m sure we all do. But sometimes, when that comes at the detriment of your physical or mental health, you have to say no. I had a situation at the beginning of the year where I’d taken on too much and it was really taking it’s toll. As much as I hated to do it, I said no to a job. But I’m glad I did, because I really don’t know how I’d have coped for the rest of the school year with such intense commitments. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, do what YOU need to do.
4. How To Drive
I never had the time to learn when I was at school, so I started learning a year after I moved back to Yorkshire, shortly before my 25th birthday. I was extremely nervous ahead of time because I felt old to be learning…everyone my age already seemed to know how to drive, and all other learners were doing so in their school uniforms! But I had the most amazing teacher, who’s calming voice I still hear in my head, and getting my car in December has opened up so many doors for me! As a freelance dance tutor, it really is one of the best things I’ve done.
5. Twitter’s Amazing Blogging Community
I had no idea until the beginning of summer that there even WAS a blogging community on Twitter! But I’ve met some wonderfully supportive and friendly people, and I love to check out their content and see how they’re getting on. Shout out to my lovely blogger gals 😊
6. Dermalogica Skincare
I included this in a post about clearing up my skin, and I have to repeat it because the Clear Start Toner has made a MASSIVE difference. My skin’s finally cleared up (took long enough mind you) and now I wouldn’t be without it!
7. Mushroom Sauce
This was a discovery from a Google search when I wanted to jazz up a chicken breast. It’s easy and yummy and has made it to my recipe book! This is the recipe I used.
8. The ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Soundtrack
Yes, I know it came out last year, yes I know I’m late to the party, but I don’t care – this soundtrack is gorgeous. The story sends a really important message, and the actual music itself is incredibly special. If you haven’t listened to it, DO. I listen to this at least once a week.
9. Want activewear? Head to Forever21!
Forever 21 was a favourite in our year group at Bird for fancy sports bras, and I’ve shopped their activewear range on occasion for the last 18 months or so (as well as JD Sports, Sports Direct and other branded stores). Now, I tend to head straight for Forever 21, especially for sports bras and leggings. The high waisted leggings DON’T SLIP DOWN, are very flattering and comfy, and I adore the designs too. Most of the time they have a matching sports bra (and who doesn’t feel like they can take on the world when they’re matchy matchy?!), so I’m absolutely in love with this store for my work clothes 💖
10. Multiple planners are a god send
Of course, I’m referring to my wedding! One planner ain’t enough, there’s just not enough room for all the various notes you scribble, questions for meetings, contact information of suppliers, guest list, playlist ideas, not to mention the more fun bits like colour scheme ideas/inspo, guest predictions and memorable dates… I have two but I’m not gonna lie, I’m tempted to get a third!
11. Being on stage with a significant other is THE MOST FUN!
(Credit: Bob McLennan)
Ed and I have done our fair share of shows together over the years, but October 2017 was our first with the upgrade from bezzies to a couple. And it was SO much fun! Shoutout to HSAP, we miss you!
12. How FAB Etsy is
I really had no idea until I started using it last Christmas! I’ve bought so much from there now, it’s my go to for gift ideas and I love browsing all the wedding related stuff to get inspiration too! I’m going to be dedicating a couple of blog posts to my Etsy experience, so keep an eye out!
13. ‘Unforgotten’ (ITV)
The most gripping TV series I’ve watched since Broadchurch series 3. If you haven’t already, get yourself on the ITV Hub and catch up on the last 3 series, because this is such a JUICY drama. And I love murder mysteries so this is right up my street! Ed and I totally binge watched this and cannot WAIT for the next series, because the story lines and performances and just outstanding.
14. How you fuel your body has a massive impact on the way it runs
Potentially an obvious one? We all know that if we spend our lives eating takeaways, we’re going to feel more sluggish and crappy than if we’re eating a more ‘clean’ diet (I put that in inverted commas because I’m not suggesting I eat like a rabbit AT ALL, but now, I’m making everything from scratch so I know exactly what’s in my food). We haven’t necessarily been on a ‘diet’, but recently we’ve re-educated ourselves about what we’re putting into our bodies. Before now, it was very carb heavy – to my mind, active jobs like ours required carbs to fuel us through. Whilst this isn’t necessarily wrong, having spent a lot of my life eating bread and pasta and NOW concentrating on fueling my body with higher portions of protein/veggies/natural snacks – my body feels SO MUCH better for it! I have more energy, I feel less sluggish – and I didn’t realise I was feeling sluggish in the first place! It was a life changing discovery.
15. Rebuilding burnt bridges lifts a weight you didn’t even know was there
So I recently re-kindled with my old high school bezzie. There’s no need to get into the ‘break up’ or any of that miserable business, because the main thing is, it’s all in the past. It was the one thing that really made me sad when I’d look back at it, or imagined what life might be like were she still one of my gals…but I didn’t realise there was a weight there…not until it was lifted! Lots of love has been happening this year and this just finished it off nicely 😊
16. Continuing to learn at work
Vague, but I genuinely learn more every time I’m in the Studio (whichever Studio that may be)! It really is one of those things where you learn on the job – I know I’m probably a VERY different teacher now to how I was 2 years ago when I’d only just started. I’m very lucky to be able to teach a wide range of students/styles/abilities/locations, and am loving being able to learn from some incredible creatives/collegues.
17. I didn’t know what stress was until we bought a house
I have no idea why I ever thought I was stressed before now. Having experienced the stress and rubbish that goes with buying a house, I will never complain about being stressed again! It’s such an important thing hanging over you for so long, something that you have NO control over… I don’t think we can comprehend until we actually go through it, how intense the entire process is. It’s been a rubbish experience regardless of the stress (I’m not going into it though), and can’t wait till we’re actually moved in! We got the keys a week ago and finally, we had a reason to SMILE about the house – it had been fairly miserable up to that point 😂
18. I’m actually quite good at cooking!
I started my cooking life 7 years ago when I moved down to London, and it’s safe to say that it’s been a longggggg learning experience – Jacket Potatoes and Chicken Kievs were my go to for the first year or so 😂 As with anything, it just takes practice, but it’s only in the last couple of months that I’ve realised that I can cook up some mean dishes!
19. I’m shocking at baking
Total opposite of the above. I’ll give it a go, especially when I’m making Ed’s birthday cake or my rent’s anniversary cake – but I’m absolutely awful. I cheat and use the Betty Crocker mixes, but I’m still rubbish 😂
20. Flowers in the home make me happy
I don’t know if it’s the freshness or the colour or what – but it lifts my mood 😊
21. Cherry J Rum
Ed made the discovery in So Bar a few months back, and it’s BEAUTIFUL. You know cherry haribo? Imagine that flavour mixed with coke and ice 😍 You can buy it on Amazon, and if you’re in the mood for that kind of drink, BUY IT!
22. ‘The one’ wedding dress is a thing
I HAVE MY WEDDING DRESS AND I’M UTTERLY IN LOVE WITH IT and I genuinely thought this was just a saying. Until I got mine on in the store. And OMG. It’s a wonderful feeling. I DON’T WANT TO WAIT ANOTHER 8 MONTHS TO WEAR IT THOUGH 😂👰🏻
23. It’s okay to rely on people
I’ve always been very happy with my independence, and by extension, relying on just myself. In the last 12 months I’ve realised it’s okay to share your burden with someone else – it actually helps! Even if it’s literally just talking through a problem, it’s amazing how much better you feel. I’m pretty sure that allowing myself to let down that barrier and be weak on occasion has actually helped my mental health. And I am forever grateful to my wonderful fiance for being absolutely incredible, and knowing me better than I know myself.
24. Want a cheap bouquet? Head to M&S!
It was a couple of days ago when Ed and I had moved out of the flat that we popped down to M&S to get a nice little tea and some bubbles. At the checkout, one of the ladies who worked there (who was sorting out flowers at the end of the conveyor belt at the time) piped up; ‘Do you want some flowers?’ They were £1.60 for the bouquet down from, can you guess? £16. £16! Which is JUST ridiculous. There were a couple of other bouquets that were starting to brown, so I guess it’ll just be luck of the drawer…but now I know! Go at the end of the day right before closing! You’re welcome 😉
25. Don’t be afraid to cut people out of your life
It’s difficult to cut toxic people out of your life, particularly when you have history with them. You keep them as friends on Facebook or follow each other on Instagram: whether that’s because you haven’t got round to doing a social media cleanse, or whether they meant something to you and you’re not sure if you’re ready to end all communication with them. But life’s too short. I’ve got to an age now where if someone doesn’t add or bring anything to my life, or worse, take away from it, why keep them in it? It feels a bit harsh, but d’you know where I’m coming from? It’s only this year that I’ve found the courage to cut those people from my life. I’ve got a new chapter starting, so this is the perfect time to have a clear out.
And there we go, well done if you made it to the end, I wasn’t expecting it to be as long as that – I guess I got carried away with descriptions 🙈 I hope you enjoyed learning about my discoveries, and maybe learned a thing or two along the way!
Until next time…
So this is exciting! In the middle of all the moving madness and stress last week, I found a spare minute to check my Twitter notifications and realised Mel LaBella had nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award! Which is lovely! I’ve been much less active with my blog and the various social media platforms associated with it because of the chatoic-ness of life/the move. Which is fine, it’s my hobby, but to get this nomination when I’d been a bit quiet was amazing, so thankyou so much chick!
- Thank the blogger that nominated you
- Write a post to show your award
- Give a brief story of how your blog started
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
- Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
- Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created
How Life with Lynette started:
When I came back from London two years ago, a lot of people had asked if I was going to start a blog about life as a dance teacher. The thought hadn’t occured to me, but after some thinking, I decided to give it a go. It was only tiny in comparison to what I do now – I was posting once every 2/3 weeks, and only shared it on my work Instagram account and Facebook friends. My posts gradually decreased until the beginning of this year, where I went 6 months with only one post – I just didn’t have time or inspiration to write.
July came around and I decided it was either time to knock it on the head officially, or commit properly. I popped a poll on Instagram, and the outcome was that people would be interested in reading it, to stick with it, and write about whatever I wanted – not just dance. So that’s exactly what I did! And it was actually really nice to find out people would be interested in reading what I have to say!
Here I am, 2 months later, having done quite a bit of research about blogging techniques/engagement tips, written quite a few fresh posts, am actively making an effort to engage on Twitter and Instagram – and am loving it! As I said, the last couple of weeks have been a struggle, and it’ll be another couple of weeks till I’m back into the swing of things: and I’m missing it a bit! Especially the lovely blogger friends I’ve made!
Advice for New Bloggers No. 1:
~ Just Go With the Flow ~
I’ve seen a few bloggers recently panicking about not having a niche, or specific topics to talk about – worrying that they need to have one. You don’t! If you want to have one for yourself, GREAT, but equally, don’t feel like you have to just because a lot of bloggers do. If you want to just write whatever comes to your mind, DO THAT. It’s much more organic, more genuine, and you (as a writer) come across much better to your audience – forced posts lack passion and aren’t as enjoyable to read. And speaking from personal experience, since switching the way my blog works, I enjoy it SO MUCH more. PLUS, I have much more inspiration, because I’m not pressuring or limiting myself to talk about one thing. It’s your blog, niche or not, do what YOU want.
Advice for New Bloggers No. 2
~ Utilise Twitter ~
I’ve said it before, but I had no idea how vast the blogging community was on Twitter. For sharing your posts, reading others, engaging with people, advertising your other blog related social media accounts… It’s SUCH a useful tool. I only started with Twitter as a blogger in mid July and it was such a good decision! My blog traffic has increased massively, and I’ve met some amazing people! There are so many friendly and supportive bloggers out there – as opposed to being competitive as I originally thought! Shout out to the friends I’ve made through blogging 💖
- Sophie’s Choice
- Elisha Blogs
- Just Sophie
- Tasha’s Lifestyle
- Ellie Blakeney
- My Big Fat Greek Lifestyle/Coffee and Corfu
- Bailey Leah
- Grand Fash Life
- World of Rachel
- Rebecca Faye
- Scrubs and Swimsuits
- Anchored Teapot
- Blog About a Latte
- Kate’s Beauty Home
- Books Nest
I look forward to reading your responses, and I’m hoping to be back into the swing of things soon! Lots of love 💖
Before I start, full photo credit goes to the UK Wedding Event website. I made sure that all of the photos used were taken on the day we were there – so you can actually get a sense of the vibe we were feeling when we were walking round 😊
After we got engaged, the main thing people said to me (after congratulations!), was ‘Go to a Wedding Fayre/Fayres’. A lot of Fayres are on Sundays which is one of my work days, so we only managed to get ourselves to one, back in the Easter Holidays. Which some might think was a shame, but honestly, it was a lovely afternoon, a great experience, and we didn’t come away feeling like we needed to source more ideas – we actually had too many!
I’d already done a fairly substantial amount of research by the time we went to the Fayre, hosted by The UK Wedding Event at the Harrogate Sun Pavilions. It was 6 weeks after our engagement, and by this point we already had the venue booked, colour scheme decided, and I’d sat for hoursssss on Pinterest looking at centre pieces, flowers cake, decor ideas… (Yes, organisation Queen is in her ELEMENT with this wedding planning malarkey!) There’s SO many ideas out there for any kind of wedding, and social media has proved to be a WONDERFUL tool (particularly Etsy, but I’m going to come back to that another time).
I’ve put together a list of Pros and Cons about the event. Obviously, this is totally personal so I’m not claiming it’s the gospel truth, but I thought you might be interested 😊
Meeting Local Suppliers:
One of the things that Ed and I had decided quite early on, was that we wanted to source as many LOCAL suppliers as possible. For a multitude of reasons, but the main two being:
a) We want to support local business
b) We have so many ties to the area (including him proposing at Knaresborough Castle)…it just felt like a really nice bow to tie our whole relationship together.
THIS was where the Wedding Fayre really delivered. We were able to meet local businesses (it turns out that one company that we’re definitely going to go with LITERALLY lives round the corner from us!), that we wouldn’t have found had we just sat on Google.
This is the main reason for all of my friend’s Fayre recommendations…there’ll be things there that you won’t find scrolling through Google or Pinterest (unless you have a million free hours). There was a guy at ours for example who did engravings and carvings into a variety of objects for place names, seating plans etc etc. I’d never have thought of using a mirror engraving as a seating plan, but there you go!
YESSSSS who doesn’t LOVE a goodie bag?! With The UK Wedding Events team (who organise Fayres all over Yorkshire), you get a canvas tote on arrival with a floor plan of what’s where, and a bunch of wedding magazines and flyers. You’ll pick up more little freebies as you go round, but my fave (obviously) were the food stands 😉 Stood in Valley Gardens, eating strawberry/champagne fudge is NOT a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Spending time with your fiance:
Ed and I live together so we see each other every day, but because of work and house stresses the last few months, we’ve not had an awful lot of time to spend together in a ‘going out and doing things’ sense. I value every minute I spend with him anyway, but getting out of the flat and doing something adventurous or different is always lovely – and fun!
As much as anything else, it’s nice to be able to start your wedding journey together. I know lots of partners will have different plans for who does what, as it’s not possible to do everything together. So being able to spend some time ‘wedding-ing’ (just the two of you as well, without any family or friends present) is really special. Especially when you’re recently engaged and it’s all still new and exciting and a bit weird, and people keep on congratulating you!
Businesses going for ULTRA HARD SELL
I would definitely recommend going with a BIT of an action plan about what you want (or perhaps more accurately, what you DON’T want), because some people will try to do the HARD SELL. And I mean like, jump down your throat before you even get to their stand and won’t let you leave without signing up to their mailing list. So BE STRONG and just say no 💪 (Politely of course, you don’t have to barge past them, by all means have a conversation with them…but stand your ground).
We went later in the day in an attempt to avoid the crowds (although this COULD mean you miss out on freebies, but it was a risk we were willing to take). And it paid off for us getting there at 3pm, but I can imagine it being very cramped in there earlier in the day.
Getting emails MONTHS later from companies you had no idea existed
Kind of linked to the Hard Sell point I made. This is the problem with anyone you show any interest in…they insist on you writing down your name and email address. Which is great to essentially get a free reminder a few days later about the suppliers you liked, but I got a GDPR email from a random company a few weeks ago, which sent me into a mild panic: the name wasn’t anything to do with weddings, and it took me Googling the website link to realise it was a wedding ring company! Panic over, it wasn’t a stalker. But I’d totally forgotten I’d even given them my details. We weren’t interested in the slightest but I felt bad for the guy who had very few names on his sheet, so I suppose I’ve contradicted my earlier statement. At the end of the day though, it’s totally up to you how you choose to spend your experience; a s**t ton of emails might be a help to some, but may be a nuisance to others.
All in all, they’re great events to attend, and whilst there are a couple of cons, they really don’t outweigh all the pros – and this post wasn’t necessarily about reviewing the experience, it was to give you a general idea. I hadn’t read much about what to expect from a Wedding Fayre when I googled ahead of our visit, so I’m putting this out there in the hope it finds someone who really needs an honest opinion. OR, maybe you just fancied a nosey…it seems people are curious about wedding related thangs!
If you’ve enjoyed reading this, stay tuned by subscribing/following my blog because I’ve got plenty of other wedding post ideas! 😊
We love our phones and tablets, and we love how handy they can be. Gone are the days of only being able to send a simple text and play snake (on your mum’s phone of course, that you took with you when you ‘went down the park’). I’m pretty sure I could write this post every 3 months and the content would be completely different!
Obviously there are the big, must haves (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc), but I thought I’d share my current faves that aren’t quite as high up on the pecking order.
One of my absolute all time favourite apps that I’ve had installed on my phone since I upgraded from the Samsung Ch@t (ie. Fakebury) 5 years ago. Especially as a dance teacher, this has proven to be the niftiest app I’ve ever used. If you don’t know already, Shazam is an app that lets you identify any music that’s playing; be it on the radio, on telly, blasting out of someone’s car that you’re walking past… Click the button, wait a few seconds and (providing the quality is good enough, it won’t always work with the telly if there’s people talking too) it’ll find your song, tell you the artist, and even give you the option to purchase it too. I’m pretty sure 2/3s of my iTunes is thanks to Shazam…my big show piece last year was Shazam’d from LOVE ISLAND can you believe! It really is invaluable.
Potentially an obvious one, but seeing as the iPhone already has it’s own ‘Maps’ installed, I never bothered with Google until recently. And the only reason I did, was because I realised that it gives you the option to (essentially) pair searches you’ve done on your desktop computer, to your phone. I’ll give you my example:
I was doing some cover work and was driving to a studio I’d never driven to before. When I’m driving somewhere new, I like to go on Google Maps street view, to have a look at where it is, and get a sense for the roads I’ll be driving on. Having used my laptop to ‘Yellow Man’ my route, I was given the option to email the route to my phone. So then I just opened the link in the email which opened the app, and there it was! If you already know where you’re going, the ‘Maps’ app is ample, but if you’ve been using your laptop/computer first, this is a fab way of saving you some time.
Also, when you’ve picked your route, it will colour code itself to how busy the drive is…so it might start off blue, then turn orange on a moderately busy patch, then turn red at a very busy patch, then go back to blue again…very cool. And very handy, because it’ll let you alter your route if you want to avoid busy areas too!
Yes, with the dash after as well. We all love a filter, but I don’t use this app for that reason – I use it for the blur tool. It was one of my students who’d recommended it to me, when they’d shown me a cool edit of a picture taken during the show they were performing in. They’d blurred the background with 6 or 7 dancers in, and left the foreground of the picture with a featured dancer, un-blurred. I can’t show the picture of course, so I’m hoping you can visualise instead! I haven’t found many opportunities to use it for work related purposes like this example, but it’s a good way to blur out the background of a selfie, or your yummy meal at a restaurant. I know Instagram Story has recently released a similar ‘Focus’ tool, but honestly, I forget most of the time.
The one game I have installed on my phone! Kind of does what it says on the tin. You’re a snake, you bash through walls of certain amounts of points, if you smash through a wall with more points than your body, you die (so for example, if you only have 4 body parts and you smash through a wall of 5, game over), but you pick up body parts on the way too. It sounds really boring typing it out, but it’s SO addictive, especially when you can end up having more than 100 body parts…
TAKE A BREAK
I’m leaving you with a chilled one, and again, an app that’s been installed for as long as I’ve had a smart phone. It’s a meditation app, and you can choose to have it play you the sound of waves or a stream or something, with or without the chilled out American lady doing some mindfulness exercises: ‘Let’s begin by letting go of everything you’ve been doing…’. I’ve turned her off now coz she annoys me, but when I can’t sleep, I play the sound of rain. And it’s lovely 😊
Does what it says on the tin I guess, no need for a massive introduction! I have no idea whether this is going to be of any interest or not, but seeing as having a full week of absolutely no work is so rare for me, I wanted to document it. So here we go!
Summer school finished on the Friday, I spent the Saturday planning for Autumn term, so we’re starting the week on Sunday. I’m going to give you a couple of little insights to each day…obviously, I won’t have spent my entire day doing these things, I fitted telly watching/laundry/grocery shopping/meal planning/general chilling into my days as well…but this isn’t a diary, so I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty things 😊
I started the week with a GORGEOUS catch up with my best girl and Maid of Honour, whom I haven’t seen properly in months! (The coffee was too yummy on a cold day to take a pretty pic first, hence the empty cups you get instead 😉). I can tell you right now, I love adulting, and I love my job, but the two together means it’s near impossible to find time to socialise 😳 I think we all struggle, in our own ways. But it was so lovely to see her and a laugh! So after we’d had a cuppa and a good old natter, home I toddled to make soup, and sat down for the afternoon with my book. Following my Summer Reading List post, I’ve finished one book and am half way through the second! Quite an achievement for me in this short amount of time! Go and check out my list if you’re curious.
The evening was finished off PERFECTLY with a beauts Chicken Thigh recipe from Alice’s first book, red wine, The Hobbit (Part 3), and my Bish 😊 (Which, by the way, is the nickname Ed and I have for each other. We’ve been friends for over 9 years now, and we’ve never called each other by our first names. Never. I have no idea where ‘Bish’ came from, and to refer to, it’s easy to call him Ed…but to his face…NAH. WEIRD. He’s Bish 😊)
I had THE ULTIMATE BANK HOLIDAY MONG. Lots of sitting around doing nothing and watching Primeval (one of my August Hauls). Ed went out to get us a takeaway from So Bar (one of our faveeee places to eat, they do the most INSANE burgers), drank wine, and watched Fellowship of the Ring. Followed by a banoffee brownie (also from So) for pudding WHICH WAS AMAZING, especially after this ‘cleaner’ plan we’ve been on recently! It was a long time since we had a yummy, cosy night in like this together, and I’d really missed it.
Voldy (my little Viva) was getting her first MOT (ever, and with me) on the Wednesday, so we went out to check over things. And to give her a wash. I CAN’T WAIT TILL WE MOVE so I don’t have to park under a tree anymore…white car + tree = leaves, bird mess, and a new natural habitat growing at the bottom of your windscreen between your wipers and bonnet. GROSS. I hadn’t driven for 6 weeks either, so that didn’t help! But never mind, she got some TLC.
Today is ALSO the day I started my Bullet Journal! I’d been sooooo excited to get organised (I’d been making blogging notes on my phone and iPad, but that wasn’t cutting it anymore). I planned it all out, I got out my new fine liners, I got artistic and started drawing too…I genuinely had loads of fun, I love drawing and colouring.
The day was finished with painting my nails with my new varnish from Prism Polish UK – again, I included this pic in my August Haul, but LOOK AT THAT COLOUR 😍
Voldy went for her MOT, passed, and came back even sparklier than before! In the time I had free , I went window shopping (with the new house in mind) in TK Maxx/Homesense, Matalan Home, Boots and Next, and finally finished up in Costa to have some lunch. I really enjoyed it actually, it’s been a long time since I got out to do something like that by myself. I really must try to do it more often (she says as the most stressful and manic couple of months begin 🙃😰)
August Haul was written, photos taken, and published. Doesn’t sound like much but this blogging malarkey really is a time consuming hobby! The rest of the day was spent filling in more of my journal, watching more Primeval, and trying to just chill out and wind down. I felt very pent up today, I’m not sure why…
Was a day of adulting, followed by a trip to the theatre. First off, it was the first time I’d driven on the Motorway at 6pm on a Friday…well THAT was an experience! I’m used to travelling on a Sunday morning, when the traffic is fairly light, so creeping along some stretches nose to tail at 20 mph was a bit of a change! Not gonna lie, I was anxious about the journey ahead of time, and during, but I’m proud of myself for cracking on and not giving in, because now I can tick the ‘stressful motorway drive’ off the list of accomplishments!
Also, I have to do a quick shoutout to the show I went to see…Wakefield Youth Music Theatre Group performing Les Mis. I’m still relatively new to the Wakefield theatre scene, and have only seen one production before now (which was this time last year)…but…WOW.
I think it’s natural to go to a youth group show with good (but perhaps not exceptional) expectations. HOW WRONG COULD I BE. I have learned, that when you go to Wakefield, you expect the best AND YOU’LL GET MORE. (I mean, to be fair, it’s a Louise Denison/Jim Lunt production, so OF COURSE it’s going to be incredible!) I genuinely couldn’t believe the passion and energy pouring off the stage from this group of kids and the standing O they received was totally deserved. If you’re in commutable distance of Wakey before the show closes at the end of this week, I URGE you to go, you won’t be disappointed. AND the other lovely thing, was that I got to see one of my girls who I hadn’t seen in nearly a year 😊
I spent the first part of my day editing my ‘1 Second a Day’ video. I’d seen some friends post their 2017 videos at the beginning of this year and thought it was a lovely idea! I know that you can get apps that do it for you, but when I already pay my monthly subscription to Adobe for Premiere Pro, I figured I’d get my money’s worth and do it myself! Which is actually quite fun!
I also figured I should start organising for when we move. So the afternoon was spent upstairs, sorting, packing things into bags and disassembling the storage rack (which, by the way, I’ll share at another point, probably in a ‘new house’ related post, because it’s so handy)!
I know I started on a Sunday too, but WE WENT TO DUNELM MILL AND IT WAS AMAZING! First off, it was a day of adulting with my fiance, and I don’t think I can ever stress enough how special times like this are. The last time I visited Dunelm was when Mum, Dad and I were kitting out my flat in Sidcup, so that’ll be at least 5 years ago now, if not longer! The house Ed and I are moving in to is a new build so it’s a totally blank canvas – which means we can do everything from scratch and make it completely our own. With the wedding next year too, this is the start of a new chapter of our lives – and it really is quite exciting 😊 I don’t want to get too carried away now (which would be very easy because it was so fun!), because as I said, I’m reserving ‘house things’ to another time.
I rarely get that ‘Sunday feeling’ because usually I work Friday-Tuesday, but after a week of absolutely no work and back to classes tonight, I was definitely feeling it a bit!
Hope you all had a lovely summer – let’s get back to it! 💪
So I wasn’t sure if doing a haul post was really my kinda ‘thing’, but seeing as I’m making my own rules, and have a few things I really loved this month, I figured I’d just go for it 😊
1. Bullet Journal
If you saw any of my tweets earlier in the week, you’ll know I was getting very excited about the arrival of my first bullet journal. I’d seen bloggers talk about them before and often wondered if I should get myself in on it too (up till now I’d been using the Notes app on my phone and iPad for blog planning). As I started to get more into it (and because I was working less and found some free time to sort it out), I figured I’d invest. AND I’M SO GLAD I DID! I feel so mega organised now with everything blog related, not just planning posts; Stats at a Glance, Category Tracker, a 2 page monthly calendar spread to organise posts properly…I’m getting ON THIS and loving every minute of it! Bought from Amazon for a fiver! (More on the bullet journal another time).
2. Prism Nail Polish in ‘Soul’
I have no idea how I happened across this as I was scrolling through Etsy, but I did, and it’s one of the best finds! First off, the colour is amazing. I love Rose Gold and before now, I hadn’t found a nail varnish that delivered on good colour when it promised Rose Gold. It’s nice and thin when it goes on, but isn’t weak in colour/coverage, so it goes on smoothly and easily with no streaks, and with 2 coats I’m IN LOVE WITH THE COLOUR! It wasn’t the cheapest nail varnish I’ve bought, but when I saw the product image online, I thought I’d treat myself. And it was so worth it! I will definitely be buying from Prism Polish UK again! I think I’ll be wearing this every day for the foreseeable future, I mean…look at it! 😍
3. Pretty Little Thing Jumper
So who else went to their wardrobe last weekend to get something warm and snuggly, and realised they’d ditched a lot of their jumpers/winter wardrobe at the end of last year 🙋 Some of the stuff I had last year had been with me since before I went away to train (over 7 years now!) and my winter wardrobe needed a new lease of life. Only problem being, I didn’t replace anything when I’d taken it all to the charity shop. So when I went into the cupboard to choose a jumper (YES, in August, but it was 11 degrees!), I had 3 choices; 2 of which were big and chunky, and designed for snowy kind of temperatures. So I headed online to see if I could get a couple more.
You don’t have to be an expert to know, but trying to find nice jumpers in the summer holidays, isn’t the easiest task 🙄 I had no luck at any of my usual sites, so I headed to ASOS – and was pleasantly surprised! I got 2 jumpers that were reduced (one from Pretty Little Thing, one from Boohoo), and I’m obsessed with my new colour block jumper! I love a baggy sleeve so this is perfect, and it’s soooo comfy. I’m pretty sure this is going to turn into an autumn staple! Though I’ll be teaming it with jeans, not cycling shorts…
4. Baylis & Harding Frosted Sprinkles Hand Wash
Baylis & Harding always remind me of my Nan, because I always remember their products being the ones to adorn her bathroom. I don’t always buy, but I always like to have a look and a smell when I’m in Boots. THIS ONE caught my eye (I’m sure you can understand why), and I had to give it a go! It smells absolutely yummy, and we always like to have a ‘fun’ soap in the bathroom – this is replacing the Palmolive soap with the fish in it. This’ll probably change when we move mind you, and I decide I want matching soap dispenser and toothbrush holder…but we’ll see 😂
5. Meal Planner
I’m not going to talk about it too much, but over the summer, Ed and I have re-educated ourselves about the food that we’re putting into our bodies. I’m cooking everything from scratch, barely any processed foods have touched our lips, and we’re finding healthier alternatives to what we ate before. And to be honest, I’m loving it. I’ve felt a shift in my energy levels and feel better within myself – just because we’re better at fueling our bodies! And because of all of the extra time I’m spending with food, I felt we needed an efficient planner to help stay on top of it…because it’s easy to slip, and before you know it, you’ve had pizza one night, Chinese the next, burger the next, and you wake up the following morning in a disgusting food coma. A body in it’s mid twenties just doesn’t deal as well with that kind of food as it did in it’s teens 😂 (same as alcohol I guess, though I can’t talk from experience because I’m not a big drinker). This only arrived yesterday but I’m excited to start using it!
6. Missy Empire Jeans
THE FIRST JEANS I’VE OWNED THAT ACTUALLY FIT ME PROPERLY! Jeans are SUCH hard things to get right, and I’ve always had the problem of if they fit by bum and thighs, they’re too big on the waist and too long in the leg (my old trusty pair of jeans that I’ve just thrown away had to be rolled up 3 times to get them to a decent length). So when THESE arrived, fit like a glove on waist, bum, thighs AND were the right length…I couldn’t believe it! Clearly Missy Empire is the place to go for jeans!
7. Primeval Box Set
I LOVEDDDD Primeval when it came out, so I wanted it to be a permanent fixture in my life! Especially seeing as Series 1 came out so long ago (watching it, you can tell it was before ‘HD ready’ was a thing 😂). It was nowhere on Sky or Netflix, so Box Set Series 1-5 from Amazon it was! I’ve been totally binge watching it with my week off and have NO REGRETS! 🦕🦖
8. Blush Luxury Candle
Bought from The Melting Pot Candle Company on Etsy, it not only looks nice (#ROSEGOLD!!!) but it smells divine. It came well packaged, the buyer was friendly, and also sent a message to check it had arrived okay and that I was happy with it. It’s been lovely to light on an evening, and there’s loads of gorgeous other designs that they offer, so I’d definitely shop here again!
9. L’Oreal Fine Flowers Milk
I read a blog post recently about an evening skin routine, (and I’m really sorry, I can’t remember who it was so I can’t link you! 😫 If it was you, or you know who it was, please let me know!) and it made me feel guilty about how I take my makeup off. I’ve gone through phases of using cleansers to take off my face, but when I run out, I’ve just fallen back into the habit of using wipes. Which are fine, but not at all as effective, and I know that, but…yeh 🙈 When I saw the review for this, I thought I may as well give it a bash…and thankyou because I’ve fallen in love with it! It gets SO MUCH dirt and makeup off your face you wouldn’t believe (even when I had 2 days makeup free, I used it on an evening and there was STILL muck coming off my face)! It’s soothing, smells gorgeous, and I’ve got Ed using it to take off his stage makeup! No more face wipes in our house!
Finishing with an important one…
10. ‘Conquer from Within’ TShirt
Bought a couple of weeks ago having seen it/the brand/the idea on Instagram. I think it’s such an important message to get out there, and the fact that a clothing company has got on board to produce t-shirts like this to spread awareness is fab (10% of sales go to The Mental Health Foundation too). I adore the phrase and really think they’re words to live by. We must always be kind. #MentalHealthIsTrending. More styles are available at Heartknoxx.
I hope you enjoyed my little August Haul, if you have any comments, please leave them below…and depending on how well the post does (and how exciting September purchases are), I’ll see you in a month!
I’ve always hated my skin.
I’ve always been prone to spots, and deep pores on my nose, even now in my mid twenties. When I was a teenager I always thought I’d become an adult, and they’d magically disappear (and was quite disappointed when that didn’t happen). But 9 months ago, I happened across the first product I’m going to talk about, that started to change my life (a drastic statement perhaps, but I’m sure anyone else who’s unhappy with their skin can relate to how much it knocks your confidence and/or is an embarrassment).
I really wish that I’d known about these products a few years ago and I’m hoping that by sharing this, I may help someone who feels the same as I used to!
Because here I am, with my skin in the best condition it’s ever been in, and genuinely happy! So I just had to share my miracle products.
No. 1 – Dermalogica Clear Start Toner
I’d just done a dance gig, and as part of the ‘thankyou’ present, had been given a voucher for Harvey Nics. Now, you don’t have to know me well to guess I’m not a die hard Harvey Nics shopper, so I really wasn’t sure what to do with the voucher I’d been gifted. It was coming up to Christmas and I knew Ed was going to be working away from home, so thought, why not treat myself to some fancy smellies for those long nights in alone (that are a bit pricier and not things I’d ordinarily buy). So I did just that. I bought a yummy smelling shower gel and also – Dermalogica’s Clear Start Toner. And this is what’s changed my life.
Within a couple of weeks of using it, I saw a noticeable difference in the amount of spots I was getting – and it’s the same now. I’m still yet to find a superhero product to prevent or quickly get rid of those big, under the skin spots (that hurt like a mother!) that I get when I’m stressed…but on the whole, my skin has improved MASSIVELY. It’s £17 plus P&P, so is by no means the cheapest treatment out there, but after at least 10 years of hating my skin, trying all the affordable products out there and getting nowhere…I don’t really care. Because you can’t put a price on confidence.
No. 2 – Biore Charcoal Cleanser
A new purchase that I bought from Amazon. The Clear Start toner had turned into a staple to combat breakouts, but I still hadn’t found a product to minimize my pours. At £3.50 I thought there wasn’t much to lose – and I’m so glad I did, because I’ve fallen in love! It leaves my skin so smooth and it really has helped minimize my pores, particularly on my nose – I can actually SEE a difference! And that’s the first time I’ve ever SEEN a difference when using a blackhead/pore product. It’s also got menthol as one of the ingredients, so it leaves my skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated, and a little bit tingly 😊
No. 3 – Bio Oil
I’ve mentioned Bio Oil previously in Adult Life Hacks Part I, but I have to say it again. And, as I said then, full credit to Ed for introducing me to it! I’ve been using it on spot scars for a good year or so now, and whilst you don’t see overnight results, it really does help clear up redness. Which, along with the other products I’ve mentioned, has really improved my skin confidence.
Full disclosure, I’ve recently changed my diet a little too, and eliminated processed foods from my life…I’m pretty sure that’s been the cherry on top of the face clearing cake!
Before now, I’d never have left home without makeup on. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t put lashes, lippy and bronzer on just to pop to get some milk, but I would have never been seen dead outdoors without AT LEAST some concealer.
NOW, I can just get up and go! I do still wear makeup most of the time anyway, but feeling I have the OPTION for the first time in my life is amazing. And don’t get me wrong, my skin isn’t perfect, but when the change has been so significant, I HAD to share my experience with these products with you all!
If anyone has any questions about the products or miracle products of their own, please feel free to share below!
So whether you’ve just gotten engaged, have been engaged for a while, are married and are feeling nostalgic, or single and just curious…this post is for you! Getting engaged is such an incredibly special time, and is exciting in sooooo many ways! There’s a lot of love flying round and when it was such a big part of our lives, it seemed only right to share with you lovely lot 😊
Being a Princess 👸🏻
Whether you’re trying on sparkly jewellery, walking round a Manor House, meeting vendors or the big one, trying on wedding dresses – it’s all just utterly magical. You’ve imagined how it might be for years, so you can’t believe it’s actually happening – it feels like a fairytale!
Admiring your ring at every opportunity 💍
It feels so weird (and very grown up) to have something on that finger, and 6 months later, I still find myself playing with it. FULL CREDIT to Ed for picking the most gorgeous ring ever, I’ve been in love with it since I clapped eyes on it, and will be for the rest of my life. Cringe? Maybe, maybe not. But this is a wedding post, if you weren’t expecting a bit of mush then…well I don’t have any words, because mush is GOING to happen! 😂 Please feel free to click close now if you don’t want mushiness. Because there will be more 😉
Getting special Wedding Planners 📚
I’m super organised anyway, so this is SO FUN. I actually have two different books, plus a checklist on my iPad (I’m totally ON THIS 😂), and they’re a great way of:
a) The obvious one, planning (Guest List, Colour Scheme, Vendor details etc.)
b) Scribbling down potential ideas (that may come to nothing, but are good to have: signature cocktail, signage ideas, decor thoughts, etc.)
c) Noting down special meetings, dates or thoughts, to look back on in years to come.
Plus they include fun pages! One of mine includes ‘Our Wedding Guest Predictions’ (where we can guess who’ll cry the most, who’ll be the first on the dance floor, and who’s most likely to be found at the buffet). They also include space to write your vows (if you’re doing your own), plan your fitness regime (if you want to do one) and a colouring page, for when you’re mega stressed and need to chilllll.
Seeing beautiful venues 🏰
This was our first port of call when it came to planning, and it’s a bit of a surreal experience…
You get to see beautiful places, gorgeous grounds, get treated like royalty (because everywhere you view wants your dolla)! We thoroughly enjoyed our venue viewing experience, not just for those reasons, but it was the first time it was actually ‘real’. And the love is allllllll around 😊
Browsing on Pinterest 📸
I can’t believe how much you can find on there! My favourite thing has been to put in our wedding’s colour scheme and get ideas for venue decor, flowers, cake design…the list is potentially endless with so many things on there!
Following Wedding Dress Boutiques on Instagram 👰🏻
I’ve never Insta stalked as much as I have on the Bridal Factory Outlet‘s account. Before I got my dress, it was just amazing to get ideas and get wrapped up in wedding-ness. Now, it’s a comparison game, and basically thinking everything is mediocre compared to yours (in the least horrible way possible I might add!)… there are SOOOO many gorgeous dresses out there, but surely, if you’re still falling in love with other dresses, your dress isn’t YOUR dress. So, the feeling of ‘well it’s lovely, but not amazing’ is just a sign that the dress you bought really is ‘the one’. Which by the way, I thought was just a turn of phrase. Until I put mine on. And now I can totally vouch for the fact that it’s not, and ‘the one’ is a genuine thing.
Starting to Check Things off your to do list 📝
I mean, I love a checklist anyway, but when your wedding checklist is SO long (I had no idea how much there was to do until I started planning, there’s so many things you wouldn’t think of), it feels good to start making a dent in it.
Browsing through etsy 💻
Until I started planning, I had no clue about the amazing-ness of Etsy! For ANYTHING, not just wedding decor, stationery and gift ideas, there’s THOUSANDS of things on there! Things you’ll never have known existed, let alone thought of before; and what’s best, is that you’re supporting small businesses (more on this another time)!
Being in an engagement bubble with your beloved 👩❤️💋👨
The first month or so of our engagement became a whirlwind: we were running out of room in the fridge because it was full of Prosecco (#priorities) and everything in life seemed to have a shimmery haze around it, just because there was so much LOVE flying around! It’s almost cringey, and almost movie script worthy, but it really is such a special time, and I had no idea how magical (and insane!) it was going to be. Plus, I had NO idea that Ed was going to propose, so it took quite a while to actually believe it was happening! I was speechless that day (which has NEVER happened before), and I really struggled to be sociable at our celebratory meal that evening with my parents 😂
Wedding plans have been put on hold for now (we’re distracted with work and moving), but all the BIG things that need booking way in advance, have been done! Which is VERY exciting! More on these another time…
If anyone has any fun planning memories or something they’re looking forward to, please feel free to share below!
I’m a bit late to the party with this one (can someone PLEASE tell me how we’re half way through August already?!), but today is the first chance I’ve had this summer to nestle down, grab a cuppa (coz it’s gotten cold again) and get into a book. Now, I’m a slow reader, so I only have three books on this list. God knows if I’ll have time to even make it through all three – but I want to try!
1. Where Have All the Boys Gone – Jenny Colgan
This is an oldie but a goodie for me… Mama P passed this on to me after she’d finished reading it yearsss ago (she gets through a lot of books and I tend to get the hand-me-downs of the ones she thinks I’ll like – AWW 😊). I absolutely loved it then, and have read it from cover to cover at least 5 times. It’s come with me to every house, flat and studio I’ve lived in, and is my absolute go to read. I don’t know why I have such a soft spot for it, but you know it’s good when you’re onto your 6th time and aren’t bored of it yet. The blurb is as follows:
2. Sleeping Arrangements – Sophie Kinsella
I’ve read a couple of Sophie Kinsella’s other books before (I got given a set of 3 as a gift a few years back), but this is the one I haven’t got round to reading yet. I had a quick look at Ms. Kinsella’s website, and this is what she had to say…sounds perfect for summer reading!
3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – JK Rowling (as if I even need to state the author!)
Now then, I am a MASSIVE HP fan, I’m an honorary Hufflepuff (#HuffleBUFF!), member of Pottermore (I have my wand and Patronus charm), been to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour twice (and gotten plenty of merchandise), and seen ‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child’ in London (just part 1 though, I was poorly and couldn’t see part 2 💔). So I think it’s CRIMINAL that since reading the books when they came out, I’ve only just started (in the last year or so), reading them for a second time. I started book 1 last Easter and it’s taken me nearly 16 months to get through the first 5 books. I adore reading, but I just haven’t had enough time in the past year to settle down on regular occasions, with book and cuppa in hand. And the fact I’m such a fan but haven’t read this book since it was published 9 years ago is CRIMINAL.
When I read, I like to have a few a hours to put aside so I can really get into it. I don’t enjoy it as much when it’s just half an hour here or there – that’s not long enough for me to be ‘transported’ – and that’s one of the things I love about reading! I’m praying that I find time amongst the workshops, summer schools, wedding planning and house moving to finish AT LEAST 2 of these.
If anyone has any other recommendations, let me know!