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Sunday, 21 July 2019

Life Update: Personal Training, Planning a Hen Do & More...



So much has happened within the last couple of months so, I thought I would write up a little life update.

I started personal training at the end of May and oh my gosh it's been hard work. I love my PT sessions though, I actually really enjoy them and feel like I've actually worked out properly. The issue I had was just giving up if something was too hard or too much effort. So it's nice to have that motivation and someone to push me. I feel so much better in myself since having the sessions too.

Liam and I jetted off to Tenerife for a week at the end of June which was amazing. Tenerife is such a beautiful place and I would definitely love to go back. I'm not going to ramble about it because my previous blog post is all to do with our week in Tenerife.

Only two weeks ago, my nanny passed away. It really has been a tough few years. After having several strokes and blackout spells, my nan was rushed to hospital and it has never been the same since. She developed a visual impairment in one eye and couldn't move the left side of her body. She could barely talk and couldn't drink, eat or walk. It was hard seeing her how she was but we had to be strong for her. Two weeks before my birthday and my holiday, we found out my nan had developed a tumour in her neck and there was nothing that could be done. Literally a week after coming back from Tenerife, we got the dreaded phone call saying that nan's tumour was bleeding. I'm not going into detail but I'm so glad she passed away peacefully and surrounded by her family.

On a positive note, that morning of my nan passing away, my mum, my sister and I went wedding dress shopping! I had booked it ages ago and I was so excited and nervous for this day to arrive. Everything about the experience was so special and after trying on twenty dresses, I'm so happy to say I found 'THE ONE'. It was the very first dress I tried on and we all fell in love with it. It was perfect and it had the right amount of lace and sparkle on it. I didn't want to go anywhere else and try on more dresses because this one was literally perfect. So, luckily my sister snapped some pictures and my nan actually saw the pictures of me in my wedding dress only a couple of hours before she passed away.

Still wedding related, I have been searching and searching for destinations to have my hen do. I really wanted it abroad as a little girls party holiday. So, we've booked Magaluf for May 2020 and I am SO excited for it. I will also be having a hen do here in Norwich so the people that weren't able to make it can still be a part of it.

I feel like so much has happened recently! What have you all been up you? Has your life been as hectic as mine these past few months, haha?

Monday, 15 July 2019

A Week In Tenerife

It was two weeks yesterday since Liam and I have been back from Tenerife and we have major holiday blues! We only stayed in Tenerife for a week and it really was the quickest week ever.

We made a day of Siam park, if you love waterslides, you have to go!! And we also done Loro park which is a zoo and it was massive! I wish I packed trainers because wearing sandals to walk around a zoo all day wasn't the smartest idea I've ever had. We also had a beach day at Las Americas and went jet skiing. Whilst we were jet skiing, we literally had two dolphins swimming and diving in and out of the water next to us which was truly amazing! We were also allowed to jump off the jet ski's and swim around for a bit at hippy beach which was really cool.

Although we were all inclusive at our hotel, the food selection wasn't great and we got bored very quickly! So, we ate out a lot which really didn't bother us. The taxi's down to the strip were fairly cheap both ways which was good. If I ever visit Tenerife again, I would book a hotel closer to the beach. Because everything was near the beach, it was a good 20 minute walk from our hotel and there were SO many hills. Liam also took me to Hard Rock café which I have never been too. And because it was so good, we went twice!!

We didn't take many photos, but here's what we captured anyway...



























Monday, 17 June 2019

I'm Feeling 22...




You don't know how long I've been wanting to turn 22 just to use Taylor Swifts song as a blog title. It's getting a bit old and boring now though, isn't it? I feel like it still had to be done though. 
I have written a blog post on/around my birthday every year and of course, I had to keep up the tradition! So, I've decided to share 22 things from my bucket list that I'd like to achieve in the future and some, in the very near future.

1. Visit Iceland and see the Northern Lights.
2. Experience the Blue Lagoon.
3. Go to Disneyworld.
4. Buy my first home.
5. Swim with turtles.
6. Learn Spanish.
7. Visit Italy.
8. See Britney Spears live.
9. Stick by a fitness routine.
10. Add a lock to a love bridge.
11. Meet Olly Murs. 
12. Visit New York - preferably around Christmas time.
13. Attend a boat party.
14. Sleep under the stars.
15. Go skydiving.
16. Start a family.
17. Hold a starfish.
18. Visit Australia.
19. Go on the London Eye.
20. Travel around America.
21. Have a girls holiday.
22. Give back to my parents with either a weekend away or a holiday abroad.

What's on your bucket list? Do you have any the same?
Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Enjoy Your Wedding Hauls Without Filling Your Home to Bursting!*

Source: unsplash.com

Organising your wedding can easily take over your life, with a million and one things to think about and plan. And controlling all the stuff you buy and collect for the big day can seriously drive you, and everyone around you, crazy. 

Some sort of organisation and storage system is vital. You need to know where everything is, what you already have and what you still need to get. And you need to know who is doing what and where everyone is in the planning and decision-making process. It’s a big job.

To make it a little easier, and help you get some perspective, here are a few planning and organising tips.


Delegate Tasks
Brides want the special day to be perfect, or as perfect as possible anyway. It’s a common trap to try and do it all yourself, from making gift lists to choosing the font for the invitations, to deciding on floral decorations… the decisions are endless.

If you can rope in a few friends or family members to act as planning partners or venue scouts, it can make everything a little bit easier. One very important part of delegating is having regular update meetings so everyone is aware of progress. Delegating doesn’t mean losing control. You can still have the final say, but it does mean a lot of legwork or initial searching for ideas gets done for you.

Make it easier for those helping with the planning by telling people exactly what you’re looking for. 

● Do you want ornate invitations or something clean and classical? 
● What’s your colour scheme? 
● City or country venue? 
● Formal or informal reception? 
● Type of transport for the bride or for guests between venues. 

Obviously, this is just a start. Trying to do it all yourself can be overwhelming.


Make Lists
Your first list could be a massive wish list for your ideal day. Let your dreams run riot and write everything down that you’d have in a perfect world. Starting from there, you can focus in on the closer details of what’s actually possible given your budget and any other restrictions.

The big wedding list gives you lots of headings and starting places for more specific lists. You soon realise it’s not enough to just decide you want wine with your wedding breakfast. You need to know how much, what type, and what you’ll offer as an alternative. Just about every item on the main list will need some detailed clarification.


Staying Organised
No matter how small, every single item contributes to the day as a whole. So everything needs looking after and cataloguing properly. Arm yourself with a few transparent storage boxes with lids to hold collections of items. These stack easily and safely, and you can see exactly what’s inside.

For every box, make a list of the contents and tape it onto the side. Duplicate the list to keep in a binder. If you add anything to the box, update your lists accordingly. If you have planning helpers, give them copies of any lists that relate to their tasks so they know where you’re up to.


Storing Items
As you’re likely to be collecting items over several months, it’s important to keep everything where you can find it, review your collection, add to it, or change things easily.

There are a few options:

● If your loft is clean and boarded, well-lit and damp free, it could be a possible storage area. Can you get up there easily, especially when carrying boxes?
● A spare room is also a possibility. Consider its other uses though, that might mean your wedding haul is damaged or things are lost or moved. If it’s a guest room, for instance, will you have to constantly rearrange things to accommodate guests or other family members?
● Self storage is a third option, and well worth serious consideration. A storage unit can provide a bespoke wedding area, with room for hanging rails and storage boxes. Everything stays in one place, and there’s no chance things will get muddled.

Wherever you store your wedding haul, try to avoid having small caches spread over several different areas if it’s at all possible. As the collection grows, it’s important to get an overall picture. You can make sure everything’s in keeping with your wedding theme, colours, and styles, and it’s reassuring and exciting to see your plans coming together in a physical form.

*This post is sponsored by Big Yellow Self Storage.*
Tuesday, 14 May 2019

What I'm Currently Using On My Hair and Skin

my current haircare and skincare favourites

I have recently changed up a lot of products that I've been using and I am currently using a bundle which I absolutely love! My hair has been in desperate need of some TLC, so I bought a bottle of shampoo and a conditioning treatment mask from the colour goddess range from Bed Head. And oh my god, the smell of these products is gorgeous! The treatment mask contains shea butter and sweet almond oil which smells exactly like caramel! The bathroom and my hair always smell amazing once I've washed my hair. That's another thing... I actually enjoy washing my hair now, haha! This conditioning treatment has really saved my hair, I leave it on for around five minutes after washing my hair and it really does work wonders! My hair is so soft and actually looks in great condition afterwards. 

Soap and Glory is a go-to brand for me. I have been using their righteous body butter for years and will never fault it. I have also been using their hand cream quite frequently too. I have tried and tested so many different hand creams and I always come back to S&Gs hand food and the best thing is that it smells amazing too!

I have been wanting a new eye cream for a while. I've always stuck by the Bobbi Brown eye repair cream which, don't get me wrong, is great! But, I wanted to switch things up a bit and try something different. This caviar eye serum from Skin Chemists* is anti-ageing, which firstly sounds great to me! I have been using this cream every night before bed for the last three weeks and I really have noticed a difference. My under eye area is loads brighter and smoother than it was before. I can't really comment on fine lines as luckily, I don't have them yet.

Another great number from Skin Chemists* is the caviar day moisturiser, which again is anti-ageing. And I am LOVING this. A little really goes a long way with this moisturiser. It easily sinks into the skin without you feeling like you're wearing a mask. It's super lightweight too. Because it's the Caviar range, the products are specially designed to suit dry, oily and combination skin types. It really has done wonders for my combination skin type. I find that throughout the day, my T-zone doesn't get as oily as it used to and that the moisturiser has evened out my skin texture around my chin area. 

Lastly is this caviar serum from Skin Chemists*. I love the overall design of the product, although it was so bloody hard to photograph. The consistency of this serum is great as it doesn't leave a greasy feeling. As I have been using the serum alongside the moisturiser, I can't work out what benefits I've had from what product. But, my skin is definitely a lot firmer, smoother and hydrated.


*This post features products which I was sent for a review. As always, my review and opinions are completely honest and my own.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Handbag Essentials Every Girl Needs

handag essentials

As the better weather is approaching, us girls like to change up our bags. As I prefer smaller bags this time of the year, I have to think about what I'll really need. I can't just throw everything and anything in like I do with my everyday big bag.

Compact Mirror
Obviously a compact mirror is a must have essential, although I have once used the camera on my phone to check for any food stuck in my teeth hahaha. This mirror in particular is from Boux Avenue.

Hand Cream
I always carry hand cream about with me. My hands get so dry in all seasons. Hand food from Soap and Glory is my all time favourite.

Lipbalm
Again, lipbalm is another item I carry everywhere with me. You never know when you'll need it. I am currently using the original Vaseline as I just prefer it when my lips are extremely dry, I feel like Vaseline hydrates them a lot quicker than a normal lip balm.

Twist & Spritz*
Because this is a travel size, it is so much smaller and lightweight than carrying around your usual bottle of perfume about. It literally takes seconds to fill up if you're in a rush and want to change your perfume for the day. You can buy this from The Fragrance Shop.

Beauty Scissors*
These are actually nail scissors but I have also used them for trimming my eyebrows too. The scissors are smooth and slightly curved which creates a perfect neat line. They're great for an unexpected broken nail emergency. They come in a clear pouch so they don't mark anything in your bag or get damaged. You can get the Rubis scissors from Look Fantastic.

handbag essentials every girl needs

*This post features products which I was sent for a review. As always, my review and opinions are completely honest and my own.
 
Sunday, 28 April 2019

A Payday Wishlist

payday wishlist

I am so excited for pay day to come around this month! I feel like all I've been doing these past few months is booking and buying things for the wedding. As I have had my eye on so many things recently, I've decided that I'll actually treat myself this time around. 

How gorgeous are these white Ted Baker heels?! And YES, they're expensive... £139. To be honest, I don't think I've ever spent this much money on a pair of shoes. But, I have been searching high and low for bridal shoes and can't find any that I actually like apart from these. I am still debating whether to give in and buy these or just wait to see if I find anything cheaper. Another pair of shoes I'd love to add to my wardrobe are these wedges from River Island. I loved their wedges last year but I left it waaay too late and they were all sold out by the time I went on holiday. 

I swear by my all time fave Bondi Sands tan, but I was actually recommended this certain tan lotion from Rosi on Instagram. Her tan has been looking flawless recently and she had mentioned that she uses bBold tan, which I've never even heard of! For only £14.95, I will definitely be giving this a go. After trying the Nars all day luminous weightless foundation, I really want to give the Estee Lauder double wear a whirl! I've realised that paying a little bit extra for a foundation does pay off. 

As for my hair, it has been needing some hella TLC at the moment. I don't know why but it feels so damaged and dry. LUSH is always a winner with their products. So I found a treatment and a conditioner - what more will my hair want?! 


What's on your pay day wishlist this month? Let me know if you've tried the bBold tan too!

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Wedding Haul #1 - What I've Bought So Far + Update

wedding haul

Considering our wedding is still 17 months away, Liam and I have been insanely organised for it. Since my last wedding planning post, we have booked our videographer, hired a donut van, a photobooth, a fairy light backdrop, a chocolate fountain etc, transport and sent out save the dates! We have also bought so many little décor bits for the venue. I love watching wedding haul videos on YouTube so I thought I'd write about our purchases on the blog. 

wedding haul blog post

I have always wanted personalised hangers for the bride squad. After searching the internet high and low, I found these ones on Etsy for such a reasonably good price at £4.99 each. I actually contacted the seller asking if she did package prices for bulk buys and luckily she did! I think these hangers are lovely for the girls to keep after the wedding too.

After being told there was a really good wedding section in Home Bargains, I of course popped in there on my day off work to have a nosey. I found this cards box which only cost around £3. It's actually a pop up box, it's so easy to put up and it's such a great size too! Another place I have been popping in recently is Hobbycraft. We have actually bought quite a few things from Hobbycraft including this wedding sign and Mr & Mrs table sign. You can hang them up which is what we'll do with the wedding ceremony sign but we'll probably have the Mr & Mrs sign just sitting on the top table in front of us.

wedding haul blog

what ive bought for my wedding

the range haul

homeware haul

wedding decor haul

The petals, table diamante confetti and the bride & groom chair signs are all from The Range. We're going to put the petals down either side of the aisle. These bride and groom chair signs look so pretty hanging on the back of chairs. I definitely want a photo of me and Liam sitting on our chairs with those signs hanging on the back of them on the day. 

After buying the bridesmaids champagne flutes, I realised I didn't actually get one for myself *face palm emoji.* So I hopped back onto Etsy and bought mine for £2.75 and it actually got delivered really quickly. This wishing jar from Hobbycraft was the first thing we bought when we were newly engaged. I can't remember how much it was but it was on sale at the time. I just thought that it was such a cute idea of leaving little messages as well as having a guestbook.

wedding decor haul blog

wedding decor

personalised wedding guestbook

I had seen a blogger mention this guestbook on their blog and it's been bugging me for days because I cannot remember who it was. It's real leather and I just loved the style of it. I paid around £40 for it from a shop called Oh So Cherished on notonthehighstreet.com, which I don't think is too bad. 
However, I am now freaking out about the guestbook. There are so many pages and the pages themselves are so big! I just know the majority of people are going to write all on one page and there are going to be so many blank pages left in the book. I have been googling so many different ideas of what else the guests could do with it. Seriously though, the guestbook should be the least of my worries.

ikea haul

ikea homeware haul

Hooray!! We have finally found our white lanterns for our centerpieces. We saw some in The Range which were £11 but we didn't want to spend that per lantern. So when we went to Essex, I drove to the IKEA down Lakeside and we found these lanterns for £7 each. So we wiped out half the shelf by taking the lanterns haha. We were so happy that we finally found some! My mother in law wanted to do our centrepieces, so she's going to get some white and pink flowers with those firefly lights and make them look all pretty.

Whilst we were in IKEA, I saw these little jam jars. I think they came in a pack of three and they were quite cheap. My original idea was to have them in front of the lanterns with the LED candle inside with a few flowers coming out of them. But when we got home and set them out, they didn't look right with the lantern. So we're now going to use them as sweet jars and put them on the tables instead.

That is all we've bought for our wedding for now. No doubt there will be a few more wedding hauls coming up. We could go on forever buying stuff haha. 
Monday, 8 April 2019

I Finally Got My Hands on That NARS Foundation...

nars luminous weightless foundation review

nars luminous weightless foundation blog

nars all day luminous weightless foundation review

Yes, I finally gave in and bought the NARS luminous weightless foundation. I've literally wanted this foundation for ages but really couldn't justify paying the price for it. After mainly using drugstore foundations for years, I decided that it's time to give in and try another higher end foundation for a change. I have heard many amazing things about this foundation, so of course I couldn't wait to slap it on my face.

It doesn't say 'shake well' on the back of the bottle for no reason. This really is a runny foundation. I've applied this with both a brush and a beauty blender and they both apply and blend out the foundation beautifully. I couldn't believe how full coverage it is considering it's a super watery foundation. The first day I tried it, I even forgot to put my concealer on because of how full coverage it is. It wasn't until after I set my face with powder, I realised. Bear in mind I have the worst dark circles under my eyes, so this really worked some magic for me! It covers redness and dark circles so well too, this will definitely be my go-to everyday foundation. It does what it says on the bottle; it really is lightweight. It has got to be the most weightless foundation I've worn in a long time. It doesn't even feel like I'm wearing make-up.

It can sometimes make my combination skin more on the oily side than normal, but it's nothing I can't deal with. It lasts for a good nine/ten hour day for me without fading or going patchy which I think is amazing.
My skin has been looking so hydrated and soft and I've had so many people recently tell me that my face has been looking flawless. What girl doesn't wanna hear that!?
£35 really is worth it for this foundation. Why didn't my tight-ass purchase it sooner?
Monday, 18 March 2019

How To Plan Your Wedding On a Budget

how to plan a wedding on a budget

Wedding planning is currently in full swing right now! I have been feeling super stressed recently and have loads of advice and tons of different suppliers circling in my brain. On average people spend between a whopping £15,000 and £20,000 on weddings in the UK, and Liam and I seriously did not want to spend that much money. Spending all of that money on just one day is beyond me! You can still have a beautiful wedding celebrating your love with your family and friends on a budget. Here are some tips I've learnt so far...

Having a wedding planning book has really helped with knowing what we need to do as and when. Along with a checklist, you can tick bits off as you go and then see what's next. It also gives you a 12 month timeline up until your wedding day so you know what to do each month. I also have an app called Bridebook which is great too! It's pretty much the same as my planning book but you can look at venues, cake makers etc in your area which is handy. It also has a countdown until the big day which is really exciting and I literally check it everyday haha. 

Write down everyone you'd like to invite and don't even think about the numbers. Once you've written everyone down, go through the list and decide who you'd like to invite for the whole day and who you'd like to invite for the evening. This will give you an idea on how many people will be attending and then you can look for venues with roughly the same number of guests. We have amended the numbers on our guest list so many times to try and keep it as cheap as possible. Like, does my cousin that I haven't seen or spoken to since I was 10 years old really need to be there? Most venues prices are per head or you can get packages. Our package included 40 guests for the day but we paid per head for an extra 16 people, and it still worked out cheaper than other venues we liked. 

Once you've got a rough idea of numbers of your guest list, you can start looking for venues. We wanted to spend between £3000 and £4000 on a venue. So, we had narrowed down our choices and only went to look around venues which we liked which were in our venue budget. Because, what's the point in going to look around a gorgeous venue and then it's well out of your budget? It's just a waste of time and a HUGE disappointment if you fall in love with it and can't afford it.

Facebook is your best friend. No, really. We have been googling photographers, videographers, cake makers etc etc etc for weeks and haven't found what we've been looking for at all. So, I posted a little status on a selling group in my city on Facebook for people to recommend me photographers and I got SO MANY responses, I actually had to disable the comments. We went through each recommendation and we found our wedding photographer that way and we had never even heard of her, neither did she come up on our google searches. Oh and she was so much cheaper than the recommended photographers that came up in our google results. You can get so much advice and recommended suppliers through Facebook, it has been so helpful!

Try and save money on décor. Liam and I have really been struggling on this part. We are currently trying to find centrepieces for our tables, but centrepieces which are at a reasonable price. We love the white lanterns with those firefly lights and flowers coming out of them. But £11 just for one lantern, works out expensive itself for six tables, nevermind the other little bits. So, we're just window shopping around at the moment. I mean, when are you ever going to need your centrepieces again? You could sell them after I suppose.

Instead of hiring separate suppliers, go through a company that does everything and get a package with them, it works out cheaper! So, instead of hiring a photobooth, a sweet cart, a doughnut wall etc all separate, find a company that does all of it for a package. We have found somewhere that does things like that as well as venue décor which is super helpful and it saves time looking around for other suppliers too.

This is all we've learnt so far. Have any of you got any tips on saving money for a wedding?