Music is such a powerful thing. A song can bring back strong memories, memories of a specific time, place, person, occasion or smell…and Christmas music is no exception – in fact, I think it has… More
Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year, filled with love and magic and family…but what do you remember from being a child, what are those memories that have stuck with you, right into your adult life?
Sure there’s the obvious memories like sneaking into Mum and Dad’s room with our stockings on Christmas morning, and the feeling of utter disbelief and joy when we walked into the living room on Christmas morning to see ‘HE’D BEEN’…but here’s a few others of mine.
Marzipane Fruit Making at School 🍓🍌🍊
The last couple of weeks before Christmas during primary school were AMAZING. We’d alternate each year between either crafts, or a Christmas show. When it was crafts week, we’d make all manner of Christmassy things (you can guess the sort), but the one that’s stuck with me is Marzipan fruit! Shaping and dying it, adding cloves to make cores/stems, and rolling some of them in sugar to make seed effects. I used to love it, and I bloomin love marzipan.
Going On Dad’s Shoulders To Put the Spire Up🎄⭐
Todd and I always took it in turns each year to put the spire on the tree. It was a proper tradition, Mama P even wrote down on the box, year on year, who’s turn it was. But the tradition didn’t stop there! Whoever was putting the spire on top (it turned into a star in our last few years though) had to go on Dad’s shoulders. Which made sense when we were little – but the tradition never died. He was actually insistent on keeping it up, even when we were tall enough to reach the top of the tree ourselves, and even when Todd had grown taller than Dad! Which is why, 2 years ago, at age 25, I was up there again…
Tug of War 🏊♂️📦
A tradition in my home town…pub teams in a tug of war competition OVER the river Nidd…so guess what happens to the losers 😉 It’s a lovely Boxing Day tradition, and although I haven’t gone in the last few years (12pm on Boxing Day? I’ve still been in bed recovering from Christmas Day!), I’d like to introduce it into tradition again…at some point…
So at primary school, in the years we weren’t busy making Christmas cards and marzipan fruit, we were getting stagy – and Bethlehemdale in 2002 will stay with me FOREVER. It does what it says on the tin really – the Mary and Joseph story, but set in Yorkshire. It was one of (if not the most!) favourite things about primary school!
“Eh up, by gum, a change is happening it’s going to come. EY UP, by gum, a change is going to come”!
SHOUT OUT to anyone who KNOWS and sung that line in their heads 😉
Making Christmas Cards 🖍️✂️
I used to love crafts, whether that was at school or home, and I absolutely loved making home made Christmas cards for the fam. Felt tips, paint, stamps, glitter glue, shiny crepe paper – I was in my element!
Santa Visiting 🎅🦌
This has been a tradition in our town for as long as I can remember…a wonderful volunteer group spend the evenings in the run up to Christmas accompanying Santa on his sleigh around the estates of the town. They’ve got their buckets so you can donate (it’s a big charity group in the town), but the MAIN reason is so all the kids can see Santa! I remember waiting in such anticipation, and getting so giddy when Mum would shout ‘Santa’s coming down the street!’. The sleigh would be playing carols, and there he’d be. It was UTTERLY magical. I’ve always managed to miss him in my adult years since moving back here, but I live in hope, that one day, Santa will appear on the estate…
Have you got any specific memories from Christmas Past? Feel free to share below in the comments! Don’t forget, you can also catch up on other Blogmas 2019 posts HERE!
Who else struggles to find new/different/imaginative gifts for their parents or in-laws each Christmas? We know Christmas isn’t all about the presents, but the thought that goes into them, matters. Sometimes, you have the most PERFECT ideas. Other times, you have absolutely no clue. So, I’ve noted down some ideas I’ve used in the past, or think that are nice…hopefully one or two of them might inspire you if you’re struggling!
Wonky Wine Glasses
Practical, fun, and alcohol themed…what’s not to love?! Tbf, they’d make a fun gift for anyone (we have some ourselves!), but they went down a treat with both sets of parents when they got theirs!
Spa Voucher or Nail Treatment
If you want to splash out a little, why not book a spa break, either as a solo trip or duo. And the beauty of these places (as well as the pampering), is that you can make the experience completely their own…just one treatment, a gym/sauna session included too, sometimes an evening meal and overnight stay…
Make a Gift Basket
Keep it personal, and create a Christmas hamper specifically tailored to one person. Food, drink, small games, bathroom smellies, books, DVDs…anything you can think of!
Decorated Wine Glass
I should probably wait a few years before I buy anyone any more wine glasses…but these were fun too! I wrote about these last year in my Best Places To Shop Online post.
I got mum and dad a metal wall art piece a couple of years back for a gift that was a bit different. It went down a treat and is now hanging up in their dining room 😇 Hopefully they didn’t just put it up because they felt they had to…
These calendars always go down well, especially if you take the time to source some good and meaningful photos. One year my brother and I made one full of kid pictures of the two of us, other times it’s been photos from recent family holidays/events.
Fiction, non fiction, biography, question book, puzzle book, recipe book…whatever suits them best!
Whether it’s a strategy game, euro-game, a game involving technology, or something more chilled like Headbanz or Kazoos, games are a good way to inject some fun into the proceedings! I wrote about the best family games last year, so you can check out my faves there!
Jewellery can be a predictable gift I suppose, but only if you do it a lot. If you’ve mixed up your present genres in recent years, a lovely sparkly gift will be so nice to unwrap.
Chiffon, silk, or woolen, it doesn’t matter…everyone needs a scarf or two in their life 😂
Coffee Syrup and Stencils
I did this for Mama P last year, and is perfect for any other coffee lovers out there! Bring fancy, flavoured coffees into your home easily, and treat yourself early in the morning or on a lazy weekend afternoon.
I feel like parents (especially Dads!) can be tricky to by for, especially when you’re trying to find something new and different for them each year. What gifts have gone down well with your folks or in-laws?
Can you ever have too many Christmas decorations?
The answer is probably yes, but seeing as we’re still creating and growing our home, and this only being our second Christmas in the house (having moved in last August)…it’d be rude not to look 😉 So I’ve noted down 8 of the decor pieces that have caught my eye this year! One or two mayyyyy have been purchased recently – but Bish, can I have them all please, they’re good investments, promise 😇
All of them, totally justified and would make lovely additions to what we already have…CAN I HAVE THEM ALL PLEASE? YES? OKAY? THANKYOUUUUUUUU!
If you’ve missed any of Blogmas 2019, you can catch up HERE.
Disclaimer: This is a gifted experience and contains affiliate links
Hello all, welcome back to Blogmas 2019! As I mentioned in my first Blogmas post, ‘December Bucket List’, I’ve been invited to attend the Country Living Christmas Fair at Harrogate Convention Centre tomorrow!
I’ve never been before so don’t know what to expect…but it sounds amazing and I’m really excited!
The website is really easy to navigate, particularly when looking at the exhibitor info (which is the first place I went). There are so many different companies who are going to be there: we’re talking crafts, jewellery, photography and art, garden, skincare, gifts…but I think we all know the filter I clicked on first…FOOD AND DRINK! I just had to know who was going to be there and what I was going to be eating on the day 😂 Now, there IS the opportunity to have a roast dinner (of either one or two courses) in the Royal Hall, which looks and sounds AMAZING! I’ve only ever visited the Royal Hall in a work capacity, when I’ve been performing or when it’s been a Showcase and I’m there in teacher/choreographer mode…so if I get chance, I’d love to lunch in there!
Lunch slots are already booking up quite quickly, but I decided not to book in advance – mainly because I’m booked into a workshop, and my best girlie’s going to come and meet me for a bit in her lunch hour. I hate having to clock watch and not enjoy experiences fully and properly, so I’ll play it by ear on the day.
I’m particularly looking forward to all the home decor/interior stands that are going to be there! Seeing as I’m actually an adult now (I’ve been denying it for so long, but feel I can’t anymore!), anything home related excites me – but even more so since we moved into our first house last Autumn. Progress with decorating and finishing it off has been slow – which was to be expected with the wedding, but the brakes were put on again when Ed landed the We Will Rock You Tour – we’re a family, we want to do it as a team, so it just felt wrong to do anything whilst he was away. Even though we’re not continuing properly with ‘house things’ until he returns, I can’t help looking. And wishing. And wanting. So it’s not my fault if I ‘accidentally’ make any purchases at these stands… 😉
There’s also a lot of workshops going on, and I’m booked into the ‘How Green Is Your Christmas’ workshop at 11:45am, which, as the title suggests, will provide information on how to have a greener, more sustainable Christmas. This includes reducing waste, recycling and minimising your carbon footprint. This is the first year that I’ll be hosting Christmas (eek!) as we got married this May! I didn’t fancy taking on the challenge of cooking my first ever Christmas lunch for 11 people (plus they wouldn’t fit round our small dining table), so Ed’ll be my Guinea Pig as far as Christmas Dinner is concerned…but the rest of the fam has been invited over for the afternoon. So I don’t think this event and this workshop could have come at a better time!
As well as the exhibitors and workshops, there’s also Country Living’s Live Kitchen and Viking Cruise’s champagne bar to visit (I shall be LEAPING over the crowds to get my fizz) and the opportunity for VIP experiences and afternoon tea are available too. The beauty of this event (apart from it being Christmassy and guaranteed to get us all in the festive spirit!) is that it can be tailored entirely to suit yourself. Spend as much or as little of your day there as you want, with the most or the least amount of fuss (whichever your preference).
This is my absolute FAVOURITE time of the year, but I rarely get the opportunity to attend these kinds of festive events because they tend to clash with my work schedule. This year however, I made an agreement with myself that I would attend at least one fair and one market – and was so excited when the invite came through! I can’t wait to feel UTTERLY festive!
Who else wants in?!
Book here for 20% off tickets!
Go on, you know you want to 😉 Merry Christmas!
December is here which means the return of BLOGMAS! Maybe I should’ve started yesterday on the 1st, but I spent half the day at work, and the other half of the day DECORATING! Because the house HAS to get gotto’d (I’ve used it as a verb before, and I’m using it again coz I like it!) as soon as December hits!
As I did last year, I’ll be posting every other day up until Christmas. I know some bloggers manage one a day, but that’s just too much of a commitment for me! On the days I don’t publish something I’ll be sharing one of last year’s posts in case you missed them.
So, to kick Blogmas 2019 off, instead of doing an introduction like last year, I though it’d be fun to write a December bucket list. The list is as much for me as it is for you I guess, I want to FILL my December with plans and merriment, particularly as Ed is away. Here we go…
💡 Decorate 💡
Self explanatory, and I nailed it already. TICK ✔️
🎶 Play Christmas playlists on repeat 🎶
Apart from when I’m at work (and sometimes AT work in the last few lessons of the year), it’s the only music I’ll play! I love it and gets me RIGHT in the Christmas spirit.
💃 Christmas Crackers 💃
No, not the home of plastic rings and miniature nail clippers, the Studio’s annual Christmas show. Which is always absolutely lovely, and although I can’t make all of the performances this year because of other work commitments, I’ll definitely be there on the Saturday night to support the Studio fam, and more importantly, my gorgeous Junior and Senior Contemporary/Lyrical classes who’ve worked so hard on their routines.
💝 Visit the Country Living Christmas Fair 💝
I’ve never been before, so I’m very excited to be going in a couple of days time! It’s being held at the Harrogate Convention Centre from Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th, and if you haven’t got your tickets yet but want a JUICY 20% OFF (I KNOW!), book your tickets through this link.
🐮 Panto 🐮
It isn’t Christmas without a panto! The last few years I’ve ventured to various parts of the north to see Ed in panto, but seeing as he’s not in this one this year, I’m heading to Wakefield’s ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at the end of the week, to support a gorgeous girlie friend of mine and some of my Academy kids who are taking part! I’m hoping to find time to visit Harrogate panto as well!
❄️ Watch the Nutcracker ❄️
I adore this ballet, more than I can express in words. Always have, always will. I’ve never managed to see it live, it’s never been at a theatre near home at Christmas (apart from when I was living in London, but there’s no way I could’ve afforded a ticket to the Opera House)! It’s festive and totally magical, and one of my favourite traditions.
🌨️ Knaresborough Christmas Market 🌨️
I never get to go to Christmas markets, they’re always on weekends, and I work weekends! 😢 And by the time I break up for Christmas, they’ve all finished! This year however, I’m putting my foot down. I’m going to have to go in my work clothes straight from my Wakey Sunday session…but I WILL BE THERE, even if it’s for the last 30 minutes (which it probably will be)! 😂
🎄 Christmas Eve Walk 🎄
Again, one of my favourite traditions.
🥂 Christmas Drinks with Friends 🥂
Duh. Drinks with friends are good any time, but even MORE so at Christmas.
🎥 ALL the Chirstmas films with Baileys 🎥
I even wrote a list so I didn’t miss any! So that’s at least one, if not two or three, for every day up until Christmas. That’s a lot of Baileys…
🦃 Cook my first Christmas Dinner 🦃
Yep. This is the year. First year married, first year to cook Christmas dinner! Wish me luck…
✨ See the lights ✨
Who else’s parents used to make detours in the car to see the lights? Whether that was lights in town or some horribly tacky OTT houses on the way back from your Grandparent’s house, it was part of Christmas, and a guaranteed way of making you feel festive.
🛍️ Shopping Day 🛍️
I love Christmas shopping. I don’t have the money to do it, but I still love it! A nice wintery outfit, a crisp cold day, the hustle and bustle of town, the smell of chestnuts in the air, Christmas music floating out of shops or down the street from a choir or singer…I just love it.
🎁 Spend an evening wrapping presents 🎁
Baileys is crucial, and it has to be accompanied by either a Christmas film or Christmas music…I think I always change it up, dependent on how I’m feeling.
☕ COPIOUS amounts of yummy hot chocolates ☕
I tried some new recipes out last year, have a look… 😍
🥧 Country Pub Lunch 🥧
I haven’t had a country pub lunch for longer than I can remember, and Christmas seems a good time to end that dry spell! Log fires, beams, Christmas decorations, good food, good drink…I’m an eager beaver so I’ve already got it booked in…I haven’t seen Pearson properly since the wedding (in his words, “we’re literally the worst best friends ever” 😂), so it’ll be a gorgeous afternoon.
🎅 Host Christmas Day 🎅
It’s not the first year in the house, but it’s the first year married, and this was the right time to change Christmas for the family. So Ed and I get to enjoy Christmas morning and Christmas dinner as just the two of us (YAY, I’ve been looking forward to this for so long), and the fam will come over later in the afternoon. I’ve already started planning my buffet… Naturally. #OrganisationQueen.
I’m sure there’ll be more activities that I think of over the next week or so, but I’m SO looking forward to all of these already! 😍
Thankyou for reading, see you for Blogmas day 2!
Hiya lovelies! 👋 It feels like such a long time since I last posted…
So, back in summer, I had a very smug morning when I managed to plan out all my blog posts for the rest of the year. I didn’t write them, but they were all planned out, and knowing what a hectic few months I was about to have, I felt really on my game…
…and here we are now, 3 months later, after an unintentional break 😂 Life became incredibly busy and stagy (more so than usual), so I didn’t have time to write! And, I’ve always stood by the fact that blogging is my hobby, and I should only be writing if I’m enjoying it and/or inspired to do so.
I DID however have time to think about my new venture, my VLOG 🎥 It’s been much easier to work on than the blog, coz I’ve just gone around filming bits of my life with my phone! Yes, editing is time consuming, but it’s easy to leave and come back to when I have small pockets of time (it tends to be late on a night when I’m winding down from work). I can’t do that with the blog, I need to have time to sit and focus my mind on writing without distractions or having to break off. I’ve done 6 so far, all which have a ‘come with me’ kind of feel to them. That wasn’t the intention when I first started it, but with how life’s played out the last few months, it just seemed to work. CLICK HERE to get to my channel if you missed any/all of the vlogs.
So if you haven’t been anywhere near me, my social media or my vlog, I need to give you a quick update.
The biggest most exciting bit of news, is that my INSANELY talented hubby headed off to London at the start of August to start rehearsals for the 12 month We Will Rock You UK/Ireland tour! 🤘 That’s when I started the vlog – the aim was to have something to keep me occupied whilst he was away. It proved to do just that, and I really enjoy it! LOOK AT MY SUPERSTAR, I’d have fan-girled so hard 😂
September came and went in a whirlwind of classes and rehearsals 💃 At this point, I was working my normal job (and in that rehearsing for my Sunday Academy kid’s Showcase in October, and also starting to workshop ideas for the Studio’s Christmas Show and annual Showcase in 2020). Rehearsals for Footloose were in full swing (3-4 nights a week), and I was also spending my Sunday afternoon in Shipley rehearsing for Shrek.
Life was an absolute blur of staginess 🎭
It was wonderful, but I had no time for a social life or family – so you can understand that there was no hope for the blog! Shrek happened at the beginning of October in Bradford (you can see my show week video here), then 3 weeks later, Footloose opened in Harrogate (and you can see behind the scenes of show week here).
November appeared as if by magic, the shows had ended, the Academy showcase was over, and suddenly, life got that bit more calm (by comparison!). I’ve had plenty of things to do though, and it was only last week that I got a weekend (the first since summer, so it was VERY much needed). I gave the downstairs bathroom a complete makeover (without using a drill, some of you will be very relieved to hear!), and I’ve got on with all the adulting things I’ve been putting off for the last few months (tax return, new car insurance, gardening – oh yeh, I know how to party) 🎉
And suddenly, Christmas is nearly upon us! 👏
It’s been a crazy few months, and as well as it being ridiculous fun and allowing me the opportunity to work with some absolutely incredible people, it kept me distracted from the lack of Ed in my life. He’s been home a couple of times (when the show went to Sheffield and Newcastle and he was able to stay at home and commute over), and I just had him home for 2 weeks because WWRY was in Leeds! WHICH by the way, I HAVE to plug now, because it’s AMAZING. 🔥
The show’s always been one of my favourites, but I was blown away, and that’s not just me being biased…though, I have to say, my hubby’s a ROCK STAR, particularly when he went on as Brit! 😍 The show’s been staged brilliantly, the band are amazing, and the TALENT of every single person on that stage is mind blowing. Please, just go and see it. If you can find spare tickets that is…
So the tour continues, I miss Ed like mad, but we make it work, and Whatsapp voice notes are our favourite thing. It’s like the personal touch of a phone call, but without the hassle of having to wait until you’re both free – which is perfect for our lifestyles. Rehearsals continue during lesson time at the Studio, both Academies are into skill building term, and I have no cover work lined up. So it’s all plain sailing!
The plan now, is to get really festive! It’s my absolute FAVOURITE time of the year, so as soon as I get back from work on Sunday (festive Costa in hand), the tree will be going up, and the house covered in fairy lights.
🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄
Then, next Thurday, I head to the Country Living Christmas Fair at Harrogate Convention Centre! It’s on from Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th, and you can get 20% off tickets if you click on my little link just here 😊
🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄
We have the Studio’s Christmas show in a couple of weeks, then work will finish for Christmas shortly after. I’ll then be enjoying some long awaited time off!
I’m sleepy, I’m run down, I’m not sure how I’m still functioning – but I feel very happy, and so lucky. I need to take this opportunity to thank every single person that’s shown love, care, support and understanding to myself and Ed over the last few months – you know who you are and we appreciate and love you so much ❤️
NOW…BRING ON BLOGMAS! 🎅 I’ll be posting a Christmas themed blog every other day during December and on the days I don’t post, I’ll be sharing one of last year’s blog posts!
Welcome to my birthday post! I turned 27 at the weekend, so it’s time for ’26 Discoveries in my 26th Year’ 💖
A lot of bloggers do ‘__ things I’ve learned in __ years’, but last year I wanted to keep things a bit more light hearted for my birthday, so I posted ’25 Discoveries In My 25th Year’. And I enjoyed it so much, I though I’d make it an annual thing 😊 So, this post is a cocktail of lifestyle, beauty, fashion, food, drink, general musings and life lessons. Enjoy!
1. Tying the knot is THE MOST INCREDIBLE FEELING
IT IS HONESTLY THE MOST MAGICAL DAY OF YOUR LIFE. I struggle still to express in words how incredible the feeling is, and how you’ll feel like you could just burst with love! The entire day is amazing obviously, but that feeling of saying ‘I Do’ to your soul mate doesn’t compare to anything you’ll have felt before.
2. Gym shark leggings are the best leggings
No arguments. They just are 🦈 Yes, you can get other leggings cheaper elsewhere, but I’ve never found another brand that does such gorgeous, flattering, high waisted, seamless leggings. And naturally, you have to get the matching sports bra too – because we feel like girl bosses when we’re all matchy matchy, right? 💪
3. Plants and flowers in the home really do help brighten and lift the mood
I saw Sophie do a blog post on this ages ago when we were still in the flat, and thought ‘ermmm okay…?’, and didn’t really get it. That is, until we moved into the house (1 year ago tomorrow!) and added a couple of plants. Because since then I just haven’t stopped! It makes the place brighter, fresher, and we can never have too many!
4. Adding fried onion to scrambled egg is magic
YUMMMMM. Fry your onions first, and only when they’re done to perfection do you add your eggs. You’re welcome in advance 😇
5. Planning a wedding is SO STRESSFUL
I’ve written about it plenty of times before during The Wedding Series (click to get to the blog post which includes links to every post in the series) – so I’m not going to go into detail again. But OMG. It’s crazy. It makes me stressed to even think back to some of the problems we had to deal with!
6. Moving house is SO STRESSFUL
Planning a wedding and moving house within 6 months was never going to be plain sailing, and bloomin heck did we have our fair share of stressful house problems too! It was worth it in the end, just as everyone promised, and we’ll be forever grateful to the fam, (our parents in particular), for your support and help during this time 😘 But WOW is it a stressful experience, I honestly don’t think I knew what stress was until we had to deal with the ins and outs of buying a house!
7. Vlogging is fun!
A week or so after Ed left for London, I had a sudden lightbulb moment, and decided to try my hand at vlogging. I already enjoy blogging and I’m familiar with editing on Premier Pro – so I thought, why not give it a go? It’d give me a project to focus on when I’m not working, and hopefully serve as a distraction when I feel lonely. And so far, it’s proved to do both those things, and I’ve loved it! If you’re interested, go check and the Life With Lynette Vlog out.
8. Those people who you cut out last year? You don’t miss them one bit.
It was one of my 25 Discoveries in 25 Years. And I’m so glad I did it, coz a year on, I feel fresher and lighter from removing toxic people from my life. It’s such a good (and quite empowering) feeling.
9. Madeiran wine is hella tasty
Who knew?! Well, we do now after Madeira! It’s almost a sherry, a really sweet sherry, and it was so special to find a specific taste which we’ll forever associate with our honeymoon. I want to go back…
10. TCM scar gel
I discovered this at the start of the year when I started panicking about wanting to have perfect skin for the wedding. I’ve always had problems with my skin, one of which being the red scar marks that stay with you forever after a breakout. Bio oil can be good for this, but it takes a long time to work, so when I saw TCM advertised on Facebook, I figured, why not give it a go? And OMG. It WORKS! It really works! Within a couple of weeks I saw massive improvements, and now, I wouldn’t be without it. I recommend it to anyone.
11. I’m much better at managing my anxiety
It’s not something that’s disappeared completely, but I’m so much better at managing my anxiety these days. Compared to a year ago, yes, but even MORE so compared to 4 years ago. There’s been a few occasions over the last year where I’ve said yes to doing things (both work related and social), that I know I couldn’t have done before. It makes me sad that it took hold of my life as much as it did when I was in London, and potentially spoiled a few friendships…but that can’t be helped, and the fact that things have improved so much is amazing.
12. Schwartz carbonara mix
I mean, I’m sure there’s thousands of yummy carbonara recipes out there, but when I get home late 5 or 6 times a week because of work and/or rehearsals, I just can’t be bothered to cook properly. So when I already have lardons in the fridge (part of Adult Life Hacks Part III!), all I need to do is add the mix to semi skimmed milk, and chuck it in a pan with the cooked lardons and mushrooms. BOOM.
13. The love for your friends grows so much more when dealing with adult problems (as opposed to small high school dramas)
I don’t think there’s anything to explain, it just does. And I want to thank my closest friends for being so amazing, supportive and understanding (as always), but particularly since Ed’s been away. You all know who you are, and I can never thank you enough.
14. My cardio’s rubbish
I mean, as dancers (and especially as a teacher), it’s rare to spend more than a couple of minutes prancing around without stopping. But with all the Musical Theatre that’s been in my life recently, I’ve had to get used to full out routines whilst singing again…which has been interesting, because I haven’t done it for a few years – I’m a bit out of practice! 😂 I’ve been having such a stagey time recently and it’s wonderful, but it’s just highlighted how unfit I am, and how reliant I am on my anaerobic life!
15. Spotify’s Chillstep playlist is perfect for any mood
Credit to Ed for discovering this. If I want some chilled background music playing whilst I’m cleaning the house, doing my makeup, or just need to chill out (and I’m not feeling my Ludovico Einaudi playlist), Chillstep is the way to go. And it’s now a playlist I associate with my Bish, our house, and our wonderful honeymoon ❤️
16. Unicorn Shimmer
They have so many colours, you can put them in ANY drink, and it’s just a bit of fun if you want pretty drinks for a party, special occasion…or because it’s Tuesday and you fancy it 😂
After all my years in theatre, I can’t believe I didn’t know about this before this year! And my main reason for falling in love with it, is that I struggled for (literally) months trying to find my wedding day lipstick – I just couldn’t find the perfect shade that was long lasting. If you aren’t familiar with Lipcote, you sweep it onto your lips once you’ve lipstick’d and blotted and it’ll hold your lipstick in place, regardless of whether you’re eating, drinking (or kissing)! The only drawback is that after a few hours it can become a bit flaky, but you can just wipe your lips off, start again, and you’re all set.
18. Gardening is really satisfying
I think it’s for a combination of reasons, starting with the fact that it’s a good distraction (I spent my entire day in the garden the day Ed left). Getting rid of weeds, moss and grass growing between the paving slabs feels so satisfying, particularly when the root comes out really easily. And when you stand back at the end of the session, whether you’ve been weeding, planting flowers, rearranging, or adding fresh stones to your border – you feel good. You can admire your beautiful garden, knowing that you were the one who made it look like this, which makes the feeling even sweeter.
19. Pink clay mask
Again, I got this at the beginning of the year when I had a freak out about my wedding skin. The pores on my nose just love to say hello to the world and I hate how friendly they are. There’s a well known brand that does these pink clay masks, but I couldn’t justify spending that amount of money when a more affordable brand might do the job just as well. And this does! My pores shrunk and redness was massively reduced. It’s effectiveness has been highlighted even more since forgetting to use it…because those pores have started being friendly again recently 🙄
20. How to turn off the gas…
We’re not going to go into detail, but Handy Andy was round, we were trying to mount a TV bracket on the wall, and there was an argument between a gas pipe and a drill. I’ve never run so quick in my life, but I know how to turn off the gas the new house 🙈 Safe to say, we gave up on the TV bracket idea and went for a unit instead…
21. Wide leg trousers are a wardrobe staple
It was back before the wedding when I was trying to work out what to wear on our flight to Madeira – I wanted something that was suitable for a cool Yorkshire morning, comfortable for a flight, and not too warm for a hot country. A pair of wide leg trousers in the sale from Boohoo were the answer, and I loved them! So much so, they turned into a go-to outfit during summer, and I invested in a couple of other pairs, one of which I wore round the pool…
22. Candy Crush
I know it’s been around for years, but I didn’t download it until a couple of months back. And now I’m wondering why I never had it in my life before!
23. Gin. All the gin.
Yep, I wasn’t a gin drinker until 2018. I tried a G&T yearsssss back and didn’t like the taste, but last year realised it’s actually the taste of tonic that I don’t like. So, I use lemonade as my mixer instead! Which is quite dangerous, because now I can drink ALLLLLL the gin 😉 Current favourites are Parma Violet, and Rhubarb & Ginger. I love the nice, sweet, flavoursome gins, so if anyone has any more to recommend, drop me a comment!
24. Shazaming TV shows backing music is genius for routines
I wouldn’t be without the Shazam app, and this is the main reason why. I can’t believe that my big ‘Montagues and Capulets’ piece came from Love Island, but (for those who know it) it was worth it, right?! #LetTheGamesBegin. And this year I did ‘Deeds Not Words’ with my Saturday Academy kids, part of which I heard on the ‘Suffragette’ film 💪
25. Britney is my fave daytime perfume
I can’t believe that out of all the perfumes I tried in Boots and Superdrug, our favourite new smell for me is Britney Spears. Although, it’s worked out quite nicely – it’s much more afforable which is good for an every day smell that gets spritzed every few hours. If I were doing that with my two Versace perfumes I’d be burning a massive hole in my pocket 😂
26. I need to believe in myself more
I’m not sure whether I will, but I know that I should.
Bring on 27 💪
I haven’t done a beauty post in a while, so I thought it was about time I did. And today, one of my faveeee things because I love my nails to be pretty 😊
Barry M Iron Mani
For strengthening and hardening, I haven’t found another product as good as this for it’s price. I’ve been a strong Barry M fan when it comes to nail varnish for longer than I can remember, and what you get for the price, is one of the main reasons. If you’re struggling with weak nails that keep breaking or refuse to grow, give this a try.
Barry M Gelly
I love that the Gel look nail varnishes really do look like what they promise, and I’ll always go for a Barry M Gelly when I want a really nice neutral look.
Rimmel French Manicure Super Gel
It doesn’t go on as pink as the bottle looks which is a shame (but to be fair, when does a nail varnish come out the same shade/colour/intensity on the brush as it looks in the bottle). But it’s lovely if you want your natural nails to look that bit prettier.
I happened across this last year whilst browsing on Etsy for a nice Rose Gold colour (why isn’t rose gold nail varnish a thing in Boots and Superdrug?!) I loved it, there’s so many different colours – and you can see from the picture how the light and the angle can alter it’s look 😍
So whilst I loved the Prism polish, it wasn’t quite Rose Gold enough for my wedding and honeymoon nails! This is an American company so it’s that bit more expensive for shipping, but it was so worth it. I finally got my perfect Rose Gold shades, the varnish itself goes on thinly, smoothly (much better than I’ve ever found with any other brand), and I’d really recommend ILNP (maybe as a treat for yourself, because it’s that bit more expensive).
Who else loves having their nails done? 🙋
So Ed’s been away for almost 6 weeks now, and with a funky sleep pattern anyway, trying to get off to sleep every night is still a struggle for me (it just feels weird and I can’t settle). Which is just plain annoying. Different things work for different people, but whatever your reason is for being unable to drift off, here are some techniques that I’ve tried – maybe they could help you too.
Take a Break (App)
This is my first go to, and actually something that happens a lot even when Ed IS here. A meditation app. You have lots of options for what you want to listen to and for how long, but this is a screen shot of the options I choose. The 7 minute meditation (a calming voice directing your thoughts), the sound of rain in the background, and I set it on a loop so that when she shuts up, the rain continues. Sometimes I opt out of listening to the meditation lady and stick with the rain – I have it on a loop so it’ll keep playing away to itself for a couple of hours (I think)…I’m always fast asleep by the time it goes off so I don’t know for certain! I’ve always struggled to sleep without white noise, but especially more so now that I’m sleeping in a big empty house. So, if you’re struggling, give it a try.
This is another go to to calm down and unwind – which is particularly handy when I’ve been working or rehearsing late, it’s gone midnight and I’m still wired!
I’ve spent many occasions googling tips on how to get off to sleep faster, and an idea that’s always there is reading. Personally, it has the opposite effect as it’s waking up my brain and stimulating my imagination, but I know it works for others.
If the heat isn’t helping (like in quite a few instances over this warm summer we just had!), invest in a spray bottle and keep it next to your bed. Give yourself a spritz if you’re feeling overheated, paying particular attention to the backs of the knees, wrists and neck (these are the best places for cooling you down quickly). If you happen to have a fan, this is a bonus, as the two coupled together can feel like an icy breeze from the arctic!
Keep Your Curtains Shut
Linked to the above point if your bedroom is too hot – keep your curtains closed during the day to stop the sun coming in and heating it up.
Jasmine green tea has the most incredible aroma, which really helps calm you down and alleviate stress. I’ve found it particularly useful on those evenings when I’ve got in extra late and I’m struggling to wind down.
Keep a Notebook by Your Bed
One of my girls suggested this yearsss ago, because it’s a good idea to have one there for any late night thoughts about work or to do lists. We’ve been told so many times that staring at a screen late on a night isn’t good for our sleep, so clear your head by jotting your thoughts down in a notebook instead.
A warm shower
(One for the cooler months)…Get nice and toasty whilst you wash the cares of the day away, then bundle down in a duvet cocoon. You’ll soon feel yourself drifting off when you’re all snuggly and warm.
One thing my over-active brain loves to do, is just think about ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING when I switch off the light. Whether it’s work or personal, it’s like pressing⏪▶️⏩ on my mind/memory – whether it’s reliving something that’s happened, or cooking up potential scenarios in my head – it does it FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON and it’s bloomin’ annoying. To catch myself and stop my brain running away with itself, I focus on my breathing. Long, slow breaths to help me unwind, AND to give me an excuse to focus on something that isn’t going to wake me up more (like what should come after the circular spring, pas de bouree in PA4’s travelling routine, for example)… 🙃
We’re all different, we all have our own ways of drifting off when we’re not ready to sleep…what are some of yours? If you haven’t tried some of mine and are struggling, give them a go! Happy sleeping… 😴
11. Command Strips 🖼️
After a dramatic experience when trying to mount a TV bracket on the wall last year involving gas, a hole in the wall and living off takeaways for a few days (I’ll let you fill in the gaps!), we just couldn’t be bothered dealing with the STRESS of banging 17 picture hooks into THE SAME WALL when we put up some wedding photos 😬 SO, Command Strips it was! Genius things, easy to use, and nothing’s fallen down yet (touch wood)!
12. Save Money on Flowers: Buy an Orchid 🌸
I love having plants and flowers in the home, it really brightens the place up. I love having a vase of flowers on the coffee table, but it really does add up if you’re having to replace them every week. Maybe one day I won’t notice the flower shaped dent in my bank account, but for now, a one off purchase of an orchid was a great idea! Just got to remember to water it (I’m not so good at that, but I’m getting better)!
13. Always Have Lardons in the Fridge 🥓
I mentioned it in my first vlog a couple of weeks back, but they’re honestly such handy things to have around. They only take 3 minutes to cook, so when you’re not sure what to make for lunch or tea, it’s easy to throw them in a salad, some eggs, a pasta dish…the possibilities are endless! Unless you’re a vegetarian I guess… 🙈
14. Use a Potato Masher to Close the Windows 🥔
#ShortPeopleProbs, I can’t close the kitchen windows when they’re open in summer because I’m too short to reach over the counter 🙃 Instead of walking outside to push them in (which I’ve done a couple of times), grab your potato masher to yank them in again! Credit to Mama P for that idea!
15. Damp Paper Towel for Bird Poop 🕊️
Crediting my Dad for this one…we had a lovely deposit left on the back of the house, but apparently this hack works on cars too. Dampen a paper towel, pat it onto the ‘stain’ and leave it for a few minutes. You still might need to give it a firm wipe or little scrub (depending on whether you’re dealing with glass, metal or brick), but it’ll be MUCH easier to get rid of then.