Hitting the Reset Button

It’s amazing how calming a walk in nature can be. Ed and I have had very little time to ourselves recently, and even less time together (apart from the general living together things). Any free time I’ve had has been spent thinking about or planning for whatever’s coming up next…classes, workshops, Showcase in October, and trying to be more proactive with blogging…

…which is fine, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million more times, I love my job and I’m incredibly lucky with everything that’s going on right now…but that doesn’t mean that sometimes it can get on top of me and I feel I need to take a step back. As we all do. I think that switching off is so important (and healthy!), and we should all try and make a conscious effort, if we can, to allow ourselves time to breathe (even if that just means a short walk, cinema trip or bubble bath).

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The other day, Ed and I took ourselves on a walk. The main reason being, we have our engagement shoot coming up and we needed to scout out some locations – which is exciting! But it turned into a two birds one stone situation – it was such a calm and peaceful afternoon, and I hadn’t realised until we were down by the river, how much I needed it. And actually, how much we both needed it, the man is amazing, but has been so busy and hasn’t had a day to himself for too long for so many reasons – and obviously, I want to make sure that he has some proper time off and doesn’t burn out, so I think we (accidentally) planned it just at the right time.

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For anyone needing to switch off, I can’t recommend a walk enough. It was a warm, sunny day, we (miraculously, I’m not sure how though on a Sunday afternoon on Knaresborough’s waterside) avoided the crowds! Crowds would’ve probably made us even more stressed 😂

Obviously we took some pictures, but ignoring our phones, switching off and just being in our own little world for a couple of hours, was so refreshing.

I think that Ed summed it up beautifully as we were walking home – it was the perfect reset button. A chance to take time just with each other, to chat, laugh take stock of what we’ve got and just chill out.

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I’ve always loved walks, even as a kid (the Rents got me and my brother walking boots for the amount of walks we went on, THAT’S how into it we were!), and I really don’t do them enough these days – especially knowing how therapeutic they can be. 

We had a gorgeous afternoon, and if you live in Knaresborough, don’t forget about the amazing things we have on our doorstep… We’re all guilty of doing it (us included!), but we get so caught up with life and adulting that we forget that the river’s a 5 minute walk away, or we could go and stroll around the Castle with a Brymor’s Icecream.

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Can I make an August resolution? 😂 MORE WALKS PLEASE! Because I just can’t get over how much good it did me.

Anyone else got any ‘ultimate chill and reset’ ideas?! Feel free to share!

Lynette x

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

Well this is very exciting, I’ve been nominated to take part in the ‘Sunshine Blogger Award’ by the lovely Just Sophie – thankyou chick! 😊 I’m still relatively new to blogging ‘properly’ (by that I mean using social media platforms proactively to engage with a bigger, more like minded audience. I use the term loosely because I believe bloggers can and should make their own rules, but recently I’ve become a part of the blogging community on twitter and am actively making an effort: this is what I mean by ‘properly’. Compared to the zero effort I put it in before now 😂 anyway, back to the point)… so seeing her tweet of recognition the other day really was something special ❤️

Now, up until 2 weeks ago, I had zero idea that there WAS a blogging community on Twitter, so I’m totally new to this award idea! Therefore, I’m copying and pasting the rules from Sophie’s post:

🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a great way of
giving fellow bloggers the gratitude and
the recognition that they deserve.

🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻

So you have been nominated to take part? Like and retweet the amazing person who did this for you and then check out their post. After reading their answers to the questions they were presented to, subscribe to their blog. Support! Now it’s time to create your own post and answer the questions you have been given. Once you have done this, it’s time to choose 11 of your favourite bloggers and nominate them. Don’t forget to add a list of 11 questions for them to answer too. It’s all about supporting each other guys!

Here we go 😊

1. What is your favourite month of the year and why?

December – CHRISTMAS! 🎄 I adore the time of year; twinkly lights, festive cheer, mulled wine, everyone all bundled up and full of love… I know it can also be a sad time for some, but it’s also the time for magic and miracles ✨

2. Who is the one person that could make you smile, even on the most down of days?

Easy, my incredible fiance. After 9 years of being best friends and now getting on for 2 years together, he knows me better than I know myself (I always thought it was weird when I heard people say that in films, but it’s true). He’s daft and funny and such a good soul ANYWAY, but not one day goes by that he doesn’t have me grinning from ear to ear. I mean, right now, he’s singing ‘KEN LEEEEEE’ in the shower (if you don’t know, you’re missing out, CLICK HERE😂) and going up in key every time. I’m howling 😂

3. What is the best dream you have had that you can remember?

I’m useless at remembering dreams anyway, so attempting to remember the best one is proving tricky...but I DID dream about Halloumi last night…

4. What is your favourite food and why?

Wow. To narrow it down to just one is near impossible, I bloody love food. Especially seeing as I’ve altered my diet recently and haven’t had cheese or cake or anything DELIGHTFULLY yummy in over a week (the struggle’s been real). OMG that’s it! Cheesecake! Whenever I’m out to tea, regardless of who I’m with, everyone knows that if there’s Cheesecake on the menu you don’t need to ask Lynette what she’s having. And I really want some Cheesecake now… Cheers Soph 🙄😂

5. If you could live anywhere on the planet, where would you live?

Boring perhaps, but right here. We’re so lucky to live in such a gorgeous little bubble of a town, and have the beautiful countryside so close. I love spending time wandering or exploring (although it doesn’t happen as frequently as I’d like), but it really does fill me with a massive sense of peace and happiness, it always has. And when you find a feeling like that, you don’t wanna let it go 😊 

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6. If you could only take one thing onto a desert island with you, what would it be?

The Harry Potter book series.

7. What are your favourite things to blog about?

When I started blogging a little shy of 2 years ago, I did so because I’d just moved home and started life as a dance teacher – a lot of people asked if I was going to start a blog, so I thought, ‘why not?!’, and started to blog about dance/teaching/theatre. I didn’t do it very seriously and only really shared my posts on Facebook, so didn’t reach a very wide audience. After a dry spell at the beginning of this year, I thought; right, this is the time to either commit to it, or knock it on the head. Following a poll on my work Instagram account, the consensus was to go back to blogging and write about whatever the heck I wanted. So a month ago, that’s what I did. I don’t think I’ve been blogging ‘properly’ (again, I use that term lightly) enough to KNOW just yet! Although I did enjoy writing about the experience I had choosing my wedding dress!

8. Where was the last place that you travelled to?

London, with my fiance and future in laws. We’d been bought tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (WHICH IS AMAZING, if you can, GO!), and I also took Ed to see The Lion King as a birthday present. The shows were good, but it was over 30 degrees, it was stuffy, yucky, and I didn’t feel well, so it wasn’t the best weekend. It was the first time I’d been back to London since moving away (I’d managed to steer clear for nearly 2 years!) so I think it was fate telling me that I didn’t belong there anymore 😂

9. What song makes you happy as soon as you listen to it?

There’s so many, for so many different reasons, particularly as a dancer: you form strong emotional attachments to songs that you loved the routine to, or that reminds you of certain people, or a special time in your life/career. I almost went with Lord of the Rings, but something keeps pulling me back to ‘Sing’ by Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band. It’s the last duet I performed on stage with my wonderful best girlfriend 6 years ago, and the song reminds me of a her and the huge joy I did (and have always felt) when we dance together😊 

10. What colour is your bedroom?

The upstairs of our flat is kind of open plan, so we have a corner sofa on one side, desk by the stairs, and bed on the other side. With the black beams we’ve just left it cream, and I love it up there…I’ll miss it when we move!

11. How do you eat your jaffa cakes?

Nibble the cakey/chocolate bit round the edge. 
Eat any remaining cake under the jaffa.
Jaffa and chocolate goes in mouth.
Wait till chocolate melts.
Chew jaffa.
Repeat.

I really want jaffa cakes now…

My nominees are:

  1. Sophiies Choice
  2. Elisha Blogs
  3. Blog About A Latte
  4. Tasha Lifestyle
  5. Bailey Leah
  6. Abis Blog
  7. Luna Violeta
  8. Beth Rebecca
  9. Safe Haven; Anonymous Letters
  10. Georgia Leanne
  11. Sage Olivia

Your 11 Questions:

  1. What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
  2. What is your biggest inspiration?
  3. Favourite saying/quote?
  4. If you could go back to one of your holiday destinations, where would it be and why?
  5. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to new bloggers?
  6. (Coz I’m totally on the wedding vibe right now!) What’s the one thing you want/wanted at your wedding?
  7. What’s your favourite season and why?
  8. (From one of my fave films as a teenager, 13 Going On 30, that was on telly today): If you could have on do-over in life, what would it be and why?
  9. What’s your favourite dessert?
  10. It’s a grey, rainy, miserable Sunday and you want to stay at home. How do you spend the day?
  11. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give your teenage self?

It’s your time to shine folks!

Lynette x

10 Bangers to Blast Out This Summer

Since this is the first summer of being a car owner, I’m finally able to experience the glory of having the windows down, sunnies on, music blasting out… It’s nice isn’t it?! My favourite drives have been the ones over to work in Wakefield on a Sunday morning. Admittedly the window hasn’t been down for the 30 minutes I spend on the motorway, but the music’s still been pumping 😂

I’ve given you my top 10, each one linked to the song on YouTube, so you can go and have a listen if you fancy! SO…

1. Shotgun – George Ezra

I’m starting with a song that whenever it gets listened to in the future, we’ll always remember the heatwave of 2018. An absolute car banger.

2. 2002 – Anne-Marie

It’s cute, fun to sing along to, and we’re virtually the same age so it’s one of those half relatable ‘aww’ kinda songs.

3. Barcelona – Max George

A song that’s just filled with those pure summer vibes.

4. Flames – David Guetta and Sia

Again, fab to sing along to in the car, especially the riffs.

5. Better When I’m Dancing – Meghan Trainor

It’s not current I know, but I’ve just happened across it and it’s giving me such happy vibes! Definitely going to be adding this to my Mini Movers Street Dance playlist!

6. I’ll Be There – Jess Glynne

This one I really wasn’t sure about to start off with, but the yodelling has grown on me.

7. Wavey – CliQ feat. Alika

One with a gorgeous bass – bass so bass-y that if I was a pedestrian and heard it blasting out of a car, I’d roll my eyes at the driver 😂

8. So Young – The Corrs

Onto the throwbacks now. And whoever says they don’t like the Corrs IS A LIAR 😂

9. Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus

I’m pretty sure out of all of my choices, this’ll be the one to label as my ‘Guilty Pleasure Song‘.

10. Lovefool – The Cardigans

And an incredibly special song for my fam. Our ‘Holiday Song’ from 199…7? I’m just guessing because it came out in Autumn 1996. It’s forever been labelled as our song and always reminds me of happy childhood holidays, I mean, it’s that special, it’s making it to our Wedding Playlist, so no haters ✋

I’m actually quite proud (getting to the end of the list) that there’s not many chav beats on there – which I DO love listening to whilst I’m driving, not gonna lie. Publishing at the beginning of August, it’ll probably change in a couple of weeks let’s be honest. When I rediscover an old Cascada album or something 😂

Please feel free to share any song recommendations below, with my job I’m always open to new music suggestions!

Lynette x

Adult Life Hacks (Part II)

Following the popularity of my first Adult Life Hacks, I thought I’d pop down 5 more for you! My favourite (and one I’m probably most proud of) is number 10: the biggest girly life saver so far!

6. Buy a reusable bottle.
It’s been all over the place recently now we’re fully aware of the impact plastic is having on our oceans, but I’m putting it down for multiple reasons:
A – you’re helping save the planet
B – you can easily keep track of your water intake (which is especially important in this heatwave)
C – you can treat yourself to something fancy. One with a water tracker, or a Love Island sippy cup if you feel so inclined… 😉

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7. Have a medicine cupboard.
One place, for all the random stuff you might need. Rennies, Germolene, Plasters, Cough Syrup, After Sun – just chuck it all in there and forget about it till you need it. And don’t replace when you’ve run out, replace when you’re RUNNING out. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with a banging headache and realising you have no pain relief.

8. Keep a pack of tissues in the car.
You never know when you might need them – runny nose, dusty dashboard, cobweb on your wing mirror, blossom stuck out of reach of the windscreen wipers… Just pop a pack in the glove box, it’s crazy how many times they come in handy.

9. You don’t need to have chocolate in stock like toilet paper.
If you do, you just eat it (or I do anyway). I was awful at this in college, I always had it so I always ate it. In my defence, I was dancing a millions hours a day and was eating quite a healthy/balanced diet, and sometimes after a sweaty ballet class, you just NEEDED to chow down on a Freddo. I’ve since learned the error of my ways – buy it when you need it, don’t stock pile it in the fridge/cupboard.

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10. Fix a broken nail with a teabag.
I tell you no lie. I love my nails to look pretty, and I’m sure that there’s plenty of girlies out there who can empathise with the heartbreak of a broken nail. You’ve just gotten them all to a nice length, and you knock it badly or catch it on something, and it splits. I learned a year or so ago, it’s NOT the end of the world, you don’t need to cut all your beautifully grown out nails down. Head to the kitchen, grab a teabag, empty the contents into the bin and cut off a small square. Paint a layer of clear nail varnish on your poorly nail, pop the small cut of teabag on top of the split, and wait till it’s dry. Add another clear coat, and you’re good to carry on your normal nail routine! Obviously it’s not totally super smooth, so I make sure the nail colour I choose to go on top includes some glitter (this covers any lumps)…but it honestly works! AND because you only need a teeny bit of teabag per go, you don’t have to waste your brew by using a whole teabag every time – you’re only using a tiny square so you can save your ‘nail saviour’ for next time! Give it a go…

If you missed the first 5, you can check them out here

Lynette x

Skinny Tan Coconut Mist: Review

I think I’m right in saying that anyone who tans at home, will always be on the look out for that perfect product. Over the years I’ve tried manyyyyyy different brands and types, and I feel like with every product I’ve tried, there’s been pros and cons. Nothing for me has worked perfectly. After hearing good things about the Skinny Tan brand and seeing an ad for a deal including the Coconut Body Mist, I thought I’d give it a go.

I’ve used it 3 times now so have some pros and cons to talk through.

The ad and instructions say to spray the mist on, rub it in, dress and go, and your tan will develop over the next few hours. That was one of the main selling points for me. No one likes getting orange sheets from sleeping in their tan, or the alternative; tanning on your day off, walking around like it’s two days after leg day, trying not to bend your arms too much or cross your legs, and trying not to splash yourself with the washing up water. So I like it for that.

And the tan it gives me is probably the most natural looking I’ve achieved from a DIY product, and I really love it. The website is really informative, with FAQ’s, helpful hints and tips for making the most of your tan, and we all know Coconuts have so many positives for our skin (if you don’t know, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! Grab yourself a jar of Coconut Oil, get on Google to see what you can use it for, and start including it in your life!)

One of the biggest problems for me was the fake tan hands. The Oompa Loompa palms ARE REAL.

Before and after, feat. glowing skin and orange hands

The instructions say to massage the mist in with hands, not a mitt. Having spent years as a fake tan user, alarm bells started to ring when I read that, but I thought I’d follow the instructions. The bottle DOES tell you to wash your hands thoroughly after use. Maybe the first time I wasn’t thorough enough, because the palms very VERY orange and I spent the rest of the week scrubbing with the exfoliating mitt every time I washed my hands (they were that bad).

Second time, I used latex gloves. No problems with my hands, but it was really hard to tell where I had and hadn’t spread tan – at least using your hands you can feel where you’ve covered and where you haven’t.

Third time, I went back to glove-less, and WASHED VERY THOROUGHLY after every section… leg, leg, body, arms, face – and though they weren’t as bad as the first time, they were still too orange. So I don’t know what Skinny Tan’s definition of ‘thoroughly’ is – maybe you need to soak yourself in bleach? That’s the only way I can see them getting away with the ‘use your hands’ instruction.

I also made the mistake the first time of not waiting long enough before sweating. As the instructions and video ad suggest, you do all the spritzing, dress, and go. This is exactly what I did. 4 hours later I was at work, sweating a bit (obviously, it’s the nature of the job). When I got home there were definite white patches. So I’d like to amend their original suggestion – apply, dress, go…as long as you’re only going to go and sit somewhere and do nothing – especially with this heatwave we’re having!

So, to summarise:

Pros:

– Good even tan (no streaks)
– Smells nice
– Lasts about a week
– It’s vegan and uses natural ingredients
– Tans face nicely

– No messy sheets
– You can get on with every day life easier than when you’re waiting for any other tan to dry

Cons:

– Fake tan hands unless you use gloves
– You can’t see it going on – some problem areas (like feet) are hard to get right
– ‘Dress and Go’ is a bit mis-advertised
– It’s not a totally smooth process…because you’re spraying directly onto your body, and it’s a mist, if the bottle is upside down or at an angle, you have to put it back the right way up and pump the top a few times to get the flow going again
– It works out at about £2.50 a time

In conclusion.

Regardless of a couple of downfalls, I really am happy with the tan and will continue to use it to the end of the bottle. I would, however, be interested in trying other Skinny Tan products to see if we can rectify some of the mist’s cons.

If you’ve had any good/bad experiences with this product, feel free to share below!

Lynette x

Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’ Helped My Anxiety

In the last few months/years, you can’t deny that there’s been much more media coverage for mental health. Which is amazing. I would never claim to be an expert, nor would I claim to be a big sufferer (it’s never been bad enough to warrant a trip to the GP), but I do get anxiety, from time to time. I didn’t realise until a year or so ago, that virtually everyone I know has been, or is, affected by anxiety in some way. Which, whilst I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, it’s quite a nice, sobering thought – to know that other people UNDERSTAND how you feel.

I don’t want to go on about it at all, because, full disclosure, I really don’t know an awful lot about it. I just know, that certain situations (or the prospect of certain situations) can really get to me. And this post isn’t going to be an earth shattering, internet breaking look at the way we live our lives, or facts and assumptions about mental health. It’s just something I’ve realised. That I’m going to leave right here.

The other night, Ed and I had just finished watching something on Netflix, and a trailer automatically started playing once the credits had started rolling: it was for Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’. It looked pretty kick ass, so we went straight ahead and popped it on.

Now we all know what Derren Brown does, so I don’t need to give too much away. But he opens the show with quite a poignant suggestion about the way we live our lives – and when I say poignant, I mean (arguably) life altering. Who’d have thought that within a minute of the show starting, Ed and I would have pressed pause, looked at each in awe and had a two minute discussion about what’d just been said. THAT’S the kind of show it is.

Anyway, many wonderful and magical things happen during the show which I won’t spoil, but what I WILL tell you is that half of it has left me with the utmost respect for his brilliance, and the other half believing in magic. It’s at the end of the show when he starts to wrap things up and takes a moment to reflect, that something really hit me – it was quite a light bulb moment.

If you don’t want spoilers, look away now.

He’d said earlier in the show (and came back to it at the end) and I quote:

 

“We tend to dwell on our past and we think that somehow defines who we are. But our pasts are just stories we tell ourselves in the present…

 

…if this were the start of a film and it said ‘Based on a true story’, you would know that the events that were going to happen in that film weren’t real events exactly as they happened…you’d be naturally skeptical…

 

…we forget to apply the same natural skepticism to the most important stories we have, the ones we tell ourselves every day about who we are. We can choose to change those stories.”

 

And THAT has really resonated for me. The wealth of my anxiety comes from
– Having had a bad experience (of something) in the past
– Dwelling on it (and probably making the event worse in my head)
– Allowing that to influence my views on it in the present.
This ultimately leads me to panicking about having to repeat the same activity in the future.

I’ll give you an example.

A few years ago I was on a bus, and felt really ill. I can’t tell you whether the two were mutually exclusive or not, but now, I don’t want to get on a bus. For fear of feeling ill. Because my learned response to that situation (having told myself a certain story for all these years, as Mr Brown said), is that I WILL feel ill again. Daft right? And I know it is. 

I’m much better these days at dealing with little moments of anxiety, therefore feel a bit more confident to attempt to combat them. For example, last summer before I had my car, I got the bus down to Mum and Dad’s. It’s only a 5 minute drive, but that was a big deal for me. And a stepping stone to getting better at it. But a couple of years ago anxiety really did pull on the reigns of living a ‘normal’ life. 

And (going back to ‘Miracle’) something about the way he explained this – the idea of telling ourselves a story – really hit home. It may sound silly, but within that minute or so of explanation, I though ‘Holy s**t, this is so me. Hang on, this is actually going to help’. And now, I feel like I have ‘IT’S JUST A STORY’ ingrained on my cranium. 

I didn’t expect that sitting down to watch a Derren Brown show would make me re-evaluate my life and the way I deal with certain situations – but it did. And don’t I wish I’d watched it a few years ago!

The show is brilliant regardless of the message, and I’m not going to say ‘OMG YOU MUST GO AND WATCH THIS NOW!’…but it really is something special

And I leave you with a gorgeous quote from the start of the show that we loved;

“LIFE SHOULD BE MORE LIKE A PIECE OF MUSIC,
AND YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DANCING.”

 

Lynette x

Hayfever Hacks

Now, I know my last but one post was titled ‘Adult Life Hacks’, but I like alliteration, so ‘Hayfever Hacks’ it is 😊 When you’re not a hayfever sufferer, you must think ‘it’s just a runny nose/sneezing, you can get over it’…but it really does have a massive effect. You feel all stuffy all of the time, and you just can’t relax and enjoy your day/evening/BBQ/beer garden. I’m writing this post in the hope that at least one of the items helps at least one person – because I know how crappy it can make your summer.

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With all the heat we’ve had recently, of course, that’s come hand in hand with a high (if not VERY high!) pollen count. I can’t take hayfever tablets anymore because they interrupt the absorption of the every day drugs I have to pop, so I’ve had to do my research.

The main problems I encounter are itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, generally feeling stuffy (like a mild cold), and (the weird one?), the back of the roof of my mouth gets REALLY itchy 🤔

So.

Following research and field experiments (almost literally 😂), I bring you Lynette’s 5 Hayfever Hacks:

 

1. Sterimar Nasal Spray for Hayfever and Allergies.

I know, nasal sprays aren’t the most appealing things, but I wouldn’t have continued to use it and mention it on here if I didn’t swear by it. This one is made of all natural ingredients (the main one being sea water!), which is perfect for me as it won’t interrupt anything; it’s free from steroids, drugs and preservatives. You use it 2 to 6 times a day, and have the option of doing a regular ‘spritz’ or intense ‘spritz’. The more intense one has you at a 90 degree angle, inserting the nozzle righttt up your nose and turning the spritz into a constant spray for a few seconds. I haven’t been brave enough to try this one yet, but the regular, short spritz has been ample for me. And I found it on Amazon!

 

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2. Vaseline.

I’ve seen it suggested for years, but could never face putting Vaseline anywhere NEAR my nostrils. BUT, desperate times and all that, and I gave it a go this year. And it helped! I didn’t do it during the day (a petroleum nose is NOT the highlighter you see suggested on beauty blogs), I did it when I went to bed. Even though pollen’s less intense at 1am, we’re on the third floor (and pollen rises like heat, according to my fiancé), we’re opposite a load of trees and flowers and grass, so hayfever can interrupt my sleep. Not so much with the Vaseline!

 

3. Optrex Soothing Eyedrops for Itchy Eyes.

Does what it says on the tin. If your eyes are itchy, pop a couple of drops on each eye and they won’t be itchy anymore 👍🏻

 

4. Shower.

Obviously. But if you’ve been outside for a while, especially in heavily pollinated areas, ditch the clothes, get in the shower and have a wash (including your hair). It washes the pollen off and leaves you feeling much more fresh for settling down for the evening.

 

5. Local Honey.

Again, I’ve heard it suggested for years, but I’d never tried it before this year. Both Ed and I have been using it, and we’ve both noticed a difference. They recommend having a teaspoon a day, and I took this literally to start off with. It wasn’t the best, not gonna lie…it’s sticky and grainy and quite intense get down. Ed’s taken to adding a spoonful to his morning coffee, and I think that’s a much better idea 😂

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As I said, they may not work for everyone, but knowing the discomfort pollen can bring, I hope it helps someone!

If you have any other natural remedies for hayfever, feel free to share below!

Lynette x

P.S. On a similar note, if anyone knows of the best ways to repel bugs (I REFUSE to use the disgusting bug spray my mum used to force me to wear as a kid 🤢), can you let me know? I’m getting bitten at least once a day at the minute and it’s reallyyyyy starting to get annoying 🙄

I Said Yes To The Dress

This weekend is a double showcase weekend, so the stress is definitely real. Because of that, in my down time I’ve really tried to distract myself. And the way I’ve done that is to binge watch the LIFE out of ‘Say Yes To the Dress’. Which has thrown me back to the beauty and excitement of MY wedding dress experience ❤️

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So I got engaged in February, and I threw myself straight into Wedding Planning – which by the way is the MOST fun. We’ve cracked on and got the big things that need booking in advance, booked, which I will talk about at a later date. But one of the FIRST things I got…was my dress. It wasn’t intentional, it’s just the way it ended up working out! There’s so many suggestions out there for timelines for all parts of a wedding, and my Wedding Planning book suggests getting your dress 9 months ahead of your wedding day. Which I guess is part of the reason why I was so surprised to get it sorted so quickly – I ended up getting my dress 13 months early! But I suppose I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t ticked it off my to-do list agessssss in advance! #OrganisationQueen

Mama P booked a day off work in the Easter Hols and we headed up to The Bridal Outlet in Northallerton. There’s no appointment necessary so we rocked up at about 11am and had no time to wait at all (though there was quite a queue forming when I’d finished so if you head up there, it definitely pays to go early).

The system there works in a simple way…

⁃ Have a look through the dresses
⁃ Pop a tag on 3 you want to try on
⁃ When it’s your turn they’ll take the dresses into the changing room and call you in.
(You do get to try on more than 3, but those are just the starting point, for you and your consultant to get an idea of what you do/don’t like).

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Browsing through all the dresses was probably the hardest part – they’re all in protective translucent bags, and although you can see the top part clearly, you can’t see the skirt, so it’s a struggle to imagine what it’ll be like actually on. But it was fun regardless!

I don’t want to give away any details about dresses I tried on (yet), but maybe in a year or so when I’m actually married! Main reason being, I don’t want anyone (particularly Ed) to have any inkling of what I’ll be wearing. So that’s where the description of the experience ends, soz!

But I can tell you, that the dress I bought was the FIRST DRESS I picked up off the rack. And I love that it ended up working like that, coz it was the same for my mum 😍 I didn’t go with the intention of buying my dress that day as I said, I went expecting to use it as a fact finding mission; to find out what I did/didn’t like, or what did/didn’t suit me…but I fell in love with my dress. And the second time it was on, I knew it was the one.

The feeling really is as incredible as people say. 
When you know, you know ❤️

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It was a very surreal experience, I couldn’t believe was stood in a wedding dress – it really is a pinch yourself moment. If I’m honest, I think I’m going to struggle to comprehend that I’m getting married right up until the big day itself, maybe even after! At the risk of sounding super cringey, our whole relationship has been fairytale-like and I still can’t believe how lucky I am (for those who know us, it was a LONG time coming) 😂So trying to get my head around the fact I’m going to be Mrs Leigh in less than a year is WEIRD.

It was a real whirlwind, I couldn’t believe that less than an hour after walking into the store, I was walking out of the store with my dress in tow…
…and it’s been hanging up in my old bedroom at Mum and Dad’s ever since! And yes, I have sneaked a peek at it virtually every time I’ve popped round there in the last 3 months!

At 5’4, it’ll need some altering, (I wasn’t blessed with long limbs), and although it won’t be for a while yet, I’m looking forward to the excuse of getting back into it! It makes me feel like a princess which is a nice change from the frizzy, sweaty, workout gear wearing dance teacher I usually am 😊

It was such a special day, and every part of it was perfect. I got to share the precious experience with my wonderful Mama P, and that was just incredible – honestly, I can’t put into words just HOW incredible it was, I’m so lucky to have such an amazing relationship with her. I’d never have had it any other way, but she deserves the shout out coz I love her so damn much.

The choice of dresses at The Bridal Factory was top notch, the customer service was impeccable and the help given by my consultant was amazing – honest, informative, helpful…Jamie was a star. I would highly recommend the Outlet to anyone in the North wanting a friendly, magical wedding dress experience.

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And until the next time I get my dress on, I get my fix being judgmental of all the dresses that come on my TV screen!

Lynette x

Images of The Bridal Factory Outlet taken from www.bridalfactoryoutlet.co.uk
Have you got a Wedding Dress story? Let me know below! 👇🏻

Adult Life Hacks (Part I)

After much deliberation, I’M BACK with a fresh updated blog! Bringing you ramblings from all aspects of life now, not just dance – we’re talking lifestyle, work, theatre, general musings – maybe even some wedding updates as requested by a couple of people! I’m not going to promise how frequently I’ll be posting because we all know life/work can get cray, but I really want to try and stay on top of it. So, without further ado…let my next chapter commence!

IMG_1142Now then, I’m not going to claim these ‘life hacks’ will be earth shatteringly life changing, but I’ve found them to be blooming’ useful. Mama P would be proud. Except the last one…I don’t think she’d be proud of that one…

1. Always have tinned tomatoes in the cupboard.
They can go in so many dishes, and are fab to have if you can’t be bothered making an effort for tea and just want to throw some bits in a pan. I don’t even LIKE tomatoes. But it works. And I’d never be without them.

2. Bio Oil is a GOD SEND.
My skin has never been amazing. In my teen years, I assumed that when I reached my twenties, it’d be perfect. That didn’t happen, which was quite disappointing. I’m only just starting to really get on top of/understand my skin and skin care regime, and bio oil has been an incredible addition. Massage it onto scars and (it won’t happen immediately but) keep at it – they’ll disappear. Genuinely. Using this on spot scars has been amazing and I’m finally starting to find some confidence. I went out the other day with no makeup on, and that’s unheard of. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t spent the last 10 years or so going out with a full face on every single day, but even on a chilled day, I couldn’t leave the house without a dab of concealer. So this one is a big deal for me.
By request, credit goes to my wonderful fiancé for introducing me to the shimmering world of bio oil😊

3. Your basket is your friend.
shopping basket

Shopping online? I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good browse. In season, out of season, whether you visit a site to intentionally buy, or just get carried away whilst you’re bored on your day off…add your favourite items to your basket, then leave them there for a couple of days. If you’re still thinking about them 2 days later, you’re good to go. If NOT, you just saved yourself from an impulse buy, you won’t be living off bread sandwiches for the next month, and it won’t serve as a gloomy reminder in your wardrobe of the cocktails you could’ve had, or cute stationery you could’ve bought.

4. Buy the Aldi own/Morrison’s own booze equivalents.
Archers? Orchards? It tastes exactly the same when mixed (especially once you’ve had a few). Save the pennies and get the half price one.

5. Hide your washing up in the oven.
House guests, entertaining for the evening or just someone popping round for a cuppa…pack it away…out of sight, out of mind! Until you forget it’s there. For the love of god, don’t forget you’ve hidden it there and pre-heat the oven later that day. Obviously I would never do something silly like that (🙄), but I can pretty much guarantee that any big knives would melt and weld themselves to the wire rack. Any crumbs on a baking tray would turn to charcoal. And you’d feel like an absolute spoon. Just…be careful! And remember, this doesn’t come from experience……..

Lynette x

Update…


It’s a Thursday morning, I’m lying in bed coz I can’t be bothered to get up yet. Thursday is my Sunday (I work Friday to Tuesday now) so I’m going to spend as much of it being lazy as I can; in a bid to breathe, and prepare for the official start to my Summer Term tomorrow. 

In my New Years post, I said I wanted to get more efficient with my blogging because I’d slipped. And here I am, almost 4 months later, having not written a single one.

In all fairness, I had no idea at the time how little free time I would have, and therefore, no time TO blog.

Work got crazy, (yes I had a show and an exam session to contend with which were big stresses), but the amount of work I was doing was a struggle. I had no time to myself, no time to see family, and I started to get ill. That’s when enough is enough, however much you don’t want to let people down. And I guess that’s what this post is about.

I’ve never been the kind of person to say yes to everything just to please people – I was known at uni for being the boring one who never went out. And I can live with that, I was there to train, and knowing going out would have an impact on that, I didn’t. Simple. I don’t regret it.

I like to believe that I’ve always been a strong person when making my own decisions (apart from when asked what I want for tea or what I want to watch on telly)! But before recently, I’ve never had to apply that mentality to work. And it’s really hard.

I want to work and learn as much as I can and look to those with greater experience for inspiration. But I couldn’t spend my entire life working and sleeping. That’s why I moved away from London.

I made a change, however guilty I felt for doing it, but I’m in such a better place now, mentally and physically. I’m glad that I found more strength.

And on top of that, I got engaged! 

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To THE most incredible human being I might add. Now I get to wedding plan (which is SO FUN, anyone who knows me knows how ridiculously organised I am – if teaching goes out the window, I know where to head for a new job). Which whilst it’s not entirely easy going (it’s SO time consuming and I had no idea how much there was to do till I wrote out my checklist), it gives me a release from work and has turned into my off switch. Not to mention it’s so bloody exciting! Can someone please tell me why I’m adulting when I still feel 18?  😂

Life is funny. 

It can be crap. It can be wonderful. It can be challenging. It can suck.

It can be tough, heart breaking, soul wrenching, cruel.

It can also be rewarding, inspiring, hysterical, full of love.

In the past couple of months especially, I’ve taken more of a back seat, a look at the bigger picture. Life can be so many things, but we’ve SO got to make the most of it, and do what makes us happy.

And that, is where I leave you. Grab life by the horns, and do what makes you happy.

Loves,

Lynette x