26 Discoveries In My 26th Year

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.

Lynette & Ed

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!

img_5097.jpg

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!

Lynette & Ed

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.

Introducing (1).png

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…

b6d8281b-c11a-41ce-911c-18012d71f93d

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.

IMG_0262

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. 

Lynette & Ed

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!

IMG_4521

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 😂

49588020_378618309619232_6346200518097129162_n(1)

17. Lipcote

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.

Copy of The Wedding Series

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 🙄

50127058_420830461987671_2151521474686684620_n

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…

unnamed.jpg

 

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!

56205208_323482498362377_1324237274468301502_n

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 😂

 

afdjk

26. I need to believe in myself more

I’m not sure whether I will, but I know that I should.

me

Bring on 27 💪

Lynette x (3)

25 Discoveries in my 25th Year

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

24232655_10154947409181479_4266473053380077604_n

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

Dear-Evan-Hansen-Imagery.jpg

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!

22780606_10154866810561479_4540849389473460537_n(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.

IMG_3800.JPG

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 😂

IMG_3829

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

IMG_3833

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!

IMG_3807

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! 

Lynette x (3)