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’ πŸ’–

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? πŸ’ͺ

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!

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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 πŸ˜‡

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.

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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…

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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.

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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 ofΒ 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.Β 

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! πŸ˜‚Β  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!

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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 πŸ˜‚

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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.

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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 πŸ™„

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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 houseΒ πŸ™ˆΒ 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…

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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 πŸ˜‰ 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!

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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 πŸ’ͺ

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 πŸ˜‚

 

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26. I need to believe in myself more

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

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Bring on 27 πŸ’ͺ

Lynette x (3)

My Favourite Nail Varnishes

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

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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

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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

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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.

Prism Polish

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 😍

ILNP

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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? πŸ™‹

Lynette x (3)

Can’t Sleep? Try…

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)

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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.

Colouring In

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!

Reading

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.

Water Spray

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 Tea

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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.

Breathing

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 pressingβͺ▢️⏩ 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)… πŸ™ƒ

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… 😴

Lynette x (3)

Adult Life Hacks (Part III)

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my last ‘Adult Life Hacks’ post, but after some requests, IT’S BACK! There were 5 points in Part I, 5 points in Part II, so here are my next 5!

11. Command Strips πŸ–ΌοΈ

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)!Β 

13. Always Have Lardons in the Fridge πŸ₯“

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… πŸ™ˆ

14. Use a Potato Masher to Close the Windows πŸ₯”

#ShortPeopleProbs, I can’t close the kitchen windows when they’re open in summer because I’m too short to reach over the counter πŸ™ƒ 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 πŸ•ŠοΈ

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.

And there we have it, 5 fresh new adult hacks for you! If you want to see the first 10, click here for Part I and here for Part II, and there’ll be another coming your way in a few months!

Lynette x (3)

Favourite Summer Bevvies

With all this hot weather we’ve been having, the summer beverages have been FLOWING, particularly as we just had a glorious bank holiday weekend! Here are the ones I can’t be without. πŸΉβ˜•πŸ₯‚πŸΈπŸΊ

Robinson’s Lime & Mint Cordial

Okay, so I love the flavour of mint when it’s in/on/with something sweet, but can’t stand it on food or in drinks (you will NEVER see me with a Mojito). However, I’ll have to find a loophole in that statement for Robinson’s cordial. I wanted to get some lime squash and this was the only choice in Tesco…so I thought I’d give it a go. And WOW am I glad I did! The mint is subtle, the lime not too weak, and I’ve been mixing it with lemonade every day for the last few days πŸ˜‚Β Whether you’re a mint lover or not, give it a try!

Iced Coffee

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I mean, iced anything, but can you go wrong with a delicious iced coffee? Whether it’s bought or homemade, regular milk or milk replacement, added flavouring or just as it is…it’s a summer must have.

Peach Iced Tea

Like the coffee, any iced tea is delicious, but my fave is peach. Really peachy as well, not a weak watered down flavour. All the peach πŸ‘

Two Brothers Cider

Any cider is good in the warm weather, but Two Brothers is the favourite of Ed and I. They tend to be on offer in the supermarket (bonus!) and the flavours are yurrrmy. Ed opts for Rhubarb and Custard and I go for Toffee Apple, a flavour I first discovered when I was in London, and it’s now a firm part of my life.

Lime & Soda

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My go to non-alcoholic summer drink in pubs and beer gardens since I was a kid. They’re delicious, and I suppose the flavour brings back fond memories.

Rhubarb and Ginger Gin

I’ve only really got into gin in the last year or so, mainly because that’s when I discovered it with LEMONADE. I hate the taste of tonic, so just never had gin before (they go hand in hand, right)? Not in our house! I mix any gin we have with lemonade to satisfy my sweet tooth. I love trying new flavours, and whilst Rhubarb and Ginger isn’t exclusively drunk in the warmer weather, it’s a yummy summery taste.

And obviously, the standard beer, prosecco, Archers and lemonade…oh, and water. Water’s important too #hydration πŸ‘πŸ»Β Have you got any other favourite summer bevvies?

Lynette x (3)

9 Reasons I Feel Like An Adult This Month

‘Adulting’ is a term I use frequently with my friends – sometimes sarcastically, sometimes seriously – but always with the slight disbelief that we’re ACTUALLY ADULTS, and not just moseying through life as our teenage selves did. I’m married, I have a house, a car, amazing jobs…yet I still struggle to get my head around the fact that I’m almost in my late twenties, and that the kids I teach will see me as a ‘grown up’! I decided I’d just take note of some of the things that have highlighted my ‘adult’ status this month:

1. I made an ‘unwanted presents’ box in the loft

It’s no secret that on some occasions during our lives, we all receive presents we don’t like, don’t need, or just aren’t ‘us’. We can’t bear to throw them away because we feel guilty (even though the person who gifted them will probably never know), and it’s not that we’re ungrateful…but when you don’t like whatever it is, or it has no place in your life, what do you do? Well, I made a box. A box for unwanted gifts that can sit in the loft, out of sight, but always there. And if you’re sat there reading this thinking ‘that’s awful!’, then you’re lying, and you know full well that you have your own system (even if it’s not the same as mine) of dealing with weird gifts.

2. We have a flowerbed

AND WE’RE VERY PROUD OF IT! We got a bit of advice from Granny Nette (thankyou!) about how to start, but other than that, we did it all ourselves! It’s really pretty, and we’re really proud of ourselves that we did something adult-y that went right.

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3. I bought a spirit level

I used to borrow dad’s, but I decided that I’d got to a stage in my life where I needed my own. So I got one.

4. Warm weather = more washing!

Once upon a time, the heat excited you because it meant you could go and do fun things, or spend longer with your friends. Now, if I wake up and the weather’s forecast to be warm with no rain, I get excited for all the washing I know I can get done (and dried!) that day.

5. I drove to get a Maccies and ended up coming back with M&S food

The intention after summer school was to drive to the retail park and treat myself to a takeaway…but as soon as I got there, I didn’t fancy it. So into M&S I went, and picked up some flowers for myself when I got there too.

6. Garden Centre trips are REALLY FUN

So, the homewear shopping trips started to become fun when I was a student, but since we moved into the house and we have a garden now, Homebase/garden centre trips have become just as fun!

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7. I had to shout at kids for playing in our drive

Yep, I turned myself into ‘that scary lady who lives at number ___’. But when the kids were playing around our cars, that’s a big NOPE. I got very cross. And anyone who knows me, knows that when I get really riled up, it’s not pretty. It worked though, I haven’t seen them anywhere near our house or drive since! Mwahaha…

8. I’m googling weeding tips

I don’t think there’s anything to comment on, there’s just no denying it’s ridiculously adult-y, and I wouldn’t have been doing it a few years back!

9. “Sorry, my husband deals with that”

It’s happen a couple of times, but the main one was to a Virgin cold caller knocking on the door with a ‘I noticed you’re not with us’ spiel…it meant I could get rid of him within 2 seconds of opening the door βœ‹

I also still feel giddy when I refer to Ed as my ‘husband’ or someone calls me by my new surname 😍

Who else has similar, scary moments of realisation?! πŸ™ˆ

Lynette x (3)