Christmas Songs That Bring Back Memories

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 that ability ten fold! I love Christmas songs, and there’s very few that I don’t like, so they’re played constantly throughout December! But here are some that bring back strong Christmas memories:

It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas

This one reminds me of Bish. The song reminds me of Christmas together, and specifically, our first Christmas together, so it will always be a fave.

Wombling Merry Christmas

This is mine and my dad’s song, but I have no idea why! We used to bounce around the living room to it and it’s amazing. Don’t hate on the Wombles βœ‹

Driving Home for Christmas

Mama P’s fave, so I think of her every time I hear it πŸ’• And it’s such a lovely song too!

Marshmallow World

I love this song, but it has to be Darlene Love’s version from Phil Spector’s ‘A Christmas Gift For You’. I love the whole album, it reminds me of family and decorating the house when I was younger, but this song is my fave.

Candy Cane Lane

Okay, if you haven’t heard Sia’s Christmas album yet, get listening! I’m always skeptical about new Christmas songs (the classics are just SO amazingly special, aren’t they?!), and, whilst there ARE a few new songs that I like, I never expected like this entire album! Sia appears to be a favourite at the Studio for Christmas routines, and and now, whenever I hear a Sia Xmas song (particularly Candy Cane Lane), I’m reminded of my Studio fam, my second home 😊

Saviour’s Day

I cant say it’s in my top 10 favourite Christmas songs, but I will forever associate Cliff Richard’s Christmas songs with my brother. I can’t remember when it started, but it’ll be quite a few years back though… Our Christmas Eve tradition was to watch The Muppet’s Christmas Carol, then get the Monopoly board out, drink Baileys, eat Pringles, and put Christmas music channels on. And the terrible music video for Saviour’s Day had us in stitches every year πŸ˜‚ So, naturally, the song brings back fond memories of me and my bro – which is why I (can’t believe I’m saying this), I like listening to the song now 😳

Believe

Who doesn’t love Polar Express?! It’s beautiful and magical, and Josh Groban’s song sums up all those feelings AND THEN SOME. So I’ve always loved it. It’s also the song where I had a costume malfunction on stage… Throwing it back to the Studio’s Christmas show in 2010 when I was still a student, I did Contemporary/Ballet solo to the song. I’d had a quick change into the costume, and forgotten that the poppers on the skirt weren’t ample and I should be tying a knot to keep the skirt in place. So, down I went onto the floor to do a roll, and when I stood up, the skirt stayed down πŸ˜‚ I danced through the rest of the number (obviously) in my leotard, but learned to always secure costumes correctly πŸ™„

Troika

Throwing it back to Christmas 1999 and my starring role of ‘Little Tree’ in the Year 2 Christmas show. I stood there with a cardboard tree cutout (that was bigger than me) stuck to my front, and because I was the only tree in the forest not to be picked to go to someone’s home, Santa sent the angels, elves and various other Christmas creatures to decorate me. To the Troika track! So there you go πŸ˜‚

What Christmas songs bring back special memories for you?

Lynette x (3)

Bacon & Mushroom Pasta Bake: Fave Winter Warmer Dinner

We all love a yummy (slightly indulgent) evening meal around Christmas time, when it’s cold outside, and warm and cosy inside. And THIS is my go-to pasta bake.

Bacon and Mushroom Pasta Bake Recipe

Serves: 2-3
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooing Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

Pasta (I won’t write down grams, who weighs their pasta? We all just chuck it in a pan and hope for the best)!
200g pancetta/bacon lardons
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
150ml double cream (but I use Elmlea)
Cheddar cheese, grated
Ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 180Β° fan/200Β°C/Gas 6

2. Cook the pasta. Drain well and return to the pan.

3. Whilst the pasta is cooking, heat a little oil in frying pan or wok and fry the onion until soft.

4. Add the lardons and cook until they start to turn brown.

5. Add mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Take off the heat.

6. Stir in the pasta and cream. Season with pepper (the lardons add enough salt).

7. Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.

8. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is browned (though I don’t like brown cheese so I cover with foil for the majority of the cook, then remove for the last few minutes).

9. Serve and enjoy! I like to compliment it with a cheeky glass of Merlot 😊

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VOILA!

Go on, give it a try! If you’ve missed any Blogmas 2019 posts, catch them HERE.

Lynette x (3)

Favourite Blog Posts of 2019

Hello lovelies, welcome back to Blogmas 2019!

This is the first full year I’ve gotten into blogging properly (I started in July 2018), so I thought it’d be fun to have a quick throwback, to share with you all my favourite posts of 2019.

26 Discoveries In My 26th Year

My birthday post of 2019! Whilst a lot of bloggers choose to do ‘__ Things I’ve Learned In __ Years’, I decided to keep it chilled and wrote about discoveries from the year just gone. We’re talking lifestyle, food, beauty, fashion, adulting discoveries and more… and it’s possibly my favourite! It was so fun to write.

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9 Reasons I Feel Like an Adult This Month

I suppose I’ve been living in denial about my adult status for a while…but with a house, a husband, and all the other grown up things going on in life…there’s no denying it anymore πŸ˜‚ So back in summer, I wrote down 9 things that made me feel like an adult that month.

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New Year: Q&A Time

This was a fun one to start off the year with! I answered a bunch of questions put to me by fellow bloggers, have a look if you’re feeling nosey…

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And now a couple of wedding ones!

If you’re new to my blog, you won’t know that I got married back in May and published a whole series of both pre and post wedding posts, all about the experience! You can read The Wedding Series here, but here are my faves:

Top Tips For Your Wedding Day

The most important tips I would give to anyone who’s about to get married. For this one, we’re not talking planning, it’s tips SPECIFICALLY for your big day, and tips I wish everyone could know.

Lynette & Ed

Our Wedding Timeline

I walk you through the Bish Wedding from 7:00am-12:00am in PICTURES!

Lynette & Ed

Tips for Coping with Moving House

Moving house is ONE OF THE MOST STRESSFUL EXPERIENCES OF YOUR LIFE! I noted down some tips that helped me cope during our move, in the hope it would help someone else out there…

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1 Second a Day 2018

Finishing with this one, which was my first blog post of the year. It included my 1 Second a Day video of 2018, which had been SO much fun to work on! I’ve been doing it this year too, so stay tuned for my 2019 vid!

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Whether you’ve read just one of my blog posts, a couple of them, or all of them…THANKYOU for visiting and supporting Life With Lynette!

Lynette x (3)

Childhood Christmas Memories

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 πŸ“πŸŒπŸŠ

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 UpπŸŽ„β­

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…

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Tug of War πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈπŸ“¦

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 πŸ˜‰ 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…

Bethlehemdale πŸ‘¨β€πŸŒΎπŸŒŸ

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 πŸ˜‰

Making Christmas Cards πŸ–οΈβœ‚οΈ

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 –Β  I was in my element!

Santa Visiting πŸŽ…πŸ¦Œ

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!

Lynette x (3)

Christmas Gift Ideas for Parents

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!

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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.

Wall Art

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 πŸ˜‡ Hopefully they didn’t just put it up because they felt they had to…

Personalised Calendar

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.

Book

Fiction, non fiction, biography, question book, puzzle book, recipe book…whatever suits them best!

A Game

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!Β 

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Jewellery

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.

Scarves

Chiffon, silk, or woolen, it doesn’t matter…everyone needs a scarf or two in their life πŸ˜‚

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?

Lynette x (3)

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.

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 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)

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)

Spice Up Your Hot Chocolate!

One of my favourite things about this time of year is the longer evenings, the colder days, and the excuse to snuggle on the sofa with some good telly and a hot chocolate – OR jazz up your working hours with a delicious, festive hot drink!Β 

I’ve made hot chocolate so many different ways over the years – with water, almond milk, even with real chocolate. The best taste (in my opinion) is definitely using melted down chocolate with skimmed milk, but we don’t always have time (or patience!) to spend long on a hot drink – so for most of these recipes (unless otherwise stated), I heated milk in the microwave for a minute or so, before mixing in Cadbury’s drinking chocolate. When it comes to milk quantities (whether microwaving or pan-ing), I use the mug I’m using as a measure (it saves on washing up)! Just be aware that you don’t fill it too much if you’ll be adding another liquid later.

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen and using Ed as a Guinea Pig…I hope you enjoy too if you give one (or more!) of them a try!

Baileys Hot Chocolate

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I just HAD to start with this one! If you’ve got a milk frother, heat and then froth up your milk (don’t worry if you don’t it won’t affect the taste!), add a drop of Baileys, and give it a good stir. I’m not going to tell you how much Baileys to use – let’s face it, who would reallyyyyy measure it out? You’d just pour a good gloop in, like I did 😜

Candy Cane Hot Chocolate

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In a pan, heat milk until hot (but not boiling), then add in the drinking chocolate, a crushed candy cane, and whisk. Pour into your mug and garnish with cream and another candy cane. Simple!

Sweet Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

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Heat milk in microwave (start with 1 minute and see how you go). Once heated, add drinking chocolate, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. (Depending on taste, you may want to add a little sugar too, though the melting marshmallows may add enough sweetness). Give it a good whisk and finish with cream, marshmallows and cinnamon stick.

Cherry Hot Chocolate

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If you haven’t already, try the melted chocolate technique… Heat your milk in a pan and add 3 squares of your favourite chocolate. Once melted, pour into your mug and top up with Brandy. I used M&S’s Cherry Brandy, but it works equally as well with other liqueurs, like Amaretto! Garnish however you want (I always add a cocktail cherry on top too, though the melting cream doesn’t allow it to sit there very long)!

Honeycomb Hot Chocolate

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Instead of drinking chocolate or regular chocolate, you’re going to melt a honeycomb bar in your heated milk! (I suggest heating your milk in a pan for this one). I then garnished mine with honeycomb crumb biscuit and cream!

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

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Possibly one of the most indulgent on the list. Prepare your milk in either a pan or the microwave, but if you’re microwaving, use a Pyrex jug because the next step is heavy whisking! Add a heaped tbsp of peanut butter (I’ll let you be the judge of how heaped a heaped tbsp is!), drinking chocolate and a teaspoon of sugar and get whisking! If you have some time to melt some extra peanut butter for the topping, go ahead, it’s heavenly!Β  Mine was also finished off with cream and chocolate sauce 😍

Is your mouth watering now? Get in the kitchen and knock up your own, and let me know how you get on!

Lynette x (3)