DIY Rose Petal Sugar Scrub

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Valentines is creeping up on us and even if you don't plan on spending the day in a romantic whirlwind, its always nice to show your girlfriends how much you love them with a special hand made beauty treat!

This simple & beautiful sugar scrub requires just 3 ingredients and can be made super quickly at home. It will be well received by everyone and, well, isn't it always more thoughtful and lovely to give something that has been hand made? 
Plus, it's a great way to use any flower bouquets that are starting to wilt!

All your going to need to make a Jar of this DIY Rose Petal Sugar Scrub is;
. 1 and a half cups white sugar
. 1/4 cup baby oil (or liquid coconut oil)
. 12-15 rose petals
. A decorative Jar
. A processor / Blender

To make the scrub just measure out your ingredients and blend them until combined - it should turn a pretty colour just like the petals you used and it will smell so fresh and lovely!
You can always add more oil depending on how fluffy or coarse you like your scrub to be, so just test a small amount our on the back of your hand!

If you don't have a blender you can still make the scrub by mixing it by hand - you will just need to tear the petals up a little to make sure they combine with the other ingredients!

You can then spoon you scrub into your jar and spruce it up with some pretty ribbon and a gift tag! Its that simple!
This scrub will leave skin feeling soft, smooth & supple and, when using different petals, can be made to match any colour theme!
Make sure to store it with a lid and keep it safe.

Valentines At Home Move Night

Thursday, 22 January 2015

I've never gone out to a valentine's dinner at a restaurant before and I'm adamant that I never will. To me, it seems so forced and impersonal - I'd much rather do something at home where I can set up some pretty decorations and cook up some home made treats and food - its much more thoughtful and you don't have to rush the evening away to make sure the next couple have a table for their dinner reservations.

Being at home means you can really enjoy the evening - and although I completely agree with those who say 'you should show your loved one that you love them everyday, not just on valentines', I still always look forward to Valentines day as it is another chance for me to do something nice for Dan and show him how much I appreciate all he does for me.

Since we are saving up for Our wedding in October and I am due to give birth in a matter of weeks, I have been looking for inspiration for a nice Valentines night in. It may sound boring to some people but I really enjoy nights in with Dan, its relaxing, peaceful and comfortable (not forgetting more affordable)!

I have (as usual) found an endless list of good ideas on Pinterest, but the one that really struck me was an 'at home move night'.  I am planning on doing the Valentines night on the 13th as it is a Friday so it will give me all day to set up a nice area, put up some decorations and make some treats for us without Dan knowing, then we will cook a proper Valentines breakfast and dinner on the actual day!

I am going to do a box of popcorn for each of us, I got some of these adorable card popcorn boxes on eBay - they were super cheap and are so cute! Ill get some 'make -at-home' popcorn so that it is warm and delicious when we eat it and sprinkle it with icing sugar so its perfectly sweet!
I also got these matching hotdog trays on eBay so we can each have a yummy hotdog!
I bought one of these amazing Kilner drinks dispensers for £12 at the Range! I love it so much! I'm going to fill it with Coca-Cola and I got some disposable cinema style drink cups from eBay to go along with it.
I'm also going to set up a mini pick&mix station for us. I'll use pretty pink sweets like 'love hearts', marshmallows and bonbons. Ill display them in mason jars and put some of these super cute striped candy bags and sweet tongs (which I found on eBay) nearby!

Decoration wise, Ill keep it simple and cosy with blankets, fairy lights, cushions and a few pretty balloons. I've picked up some cute valentines ribbons and bunting to decorate the food table with and I'll place some tea lights around the room too - I love the way they flicker.
I'll let Dan chose the movie - I'm not going to force him to watch a chick flick, and to be honest I'm not that into them anyway, so I expect we will end up watching an action film or something futuristic - Netflix has tons to choose from!

I'm really looking forward to our at home movie night, it's the little touches that will make it extra fun and special and I can't wait to show you pictures of how my set-up turns out! What are your plans for valentine's day?

Special Edition USA GlossyBox

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

As I mentioned in a previous post, I found an online voucher code (now expired), which allowed me to receive a free, backdated GlossyBox with my first delivery. I had no idea which box this would be and I was just happy to get the chance to try some extra products for free, but when my first delivery dropped through my door, I couldn't have been more pleased!

I had been sent the July 2014 special USA edition GlossyBox!
Anyone who knows me or reads my blog will know that I am a massive fan of anything USA, so getting the chance to try out this box, full of US beauty treasures, really was such a happy coincidence.

I literally squealed with delight when I saw the gorgeous design on the box. Full of Stars&Stripes glory it is as patriotic as it is eye catching. When I excitedly showed Dan he laughed and said 'Let me guess, your never throwing that away are you?'
No. No I am not.
I know that I am supposed to be more excited about what is inside the box, but I think the design of this is just lovely and I really like that the theme continues inside, with a sheet of soft, navy blue tissue and a red ribbon enrobing my new products, straight from the US of A!
The box also included a thoughtful pamphlet with information and advice about all products found in the box.

Once I had gotten over my initial excitement (my mum did always said that, 'simple things please simple minds'. Ha!), I rummaged through the box, and the first item I picked out was a trial size 'Pur Minerals' Dirty Girl Detoxifying mudd masque | RRP £18.
This little wonder unclogs pores and gently exfoliates the skin, all while cleansing. The clay helps to absorb all those nasty impurities and leave skin feeling refreshed and renewed. I really love the scent of this product - it is amazingly spa-like and so calming, and the packing, while simple, is very professional looking and 'clean' feeling.

Next, I picked out a full size 'BellaPierre Cosmetics Ltd' Mineral lipstick | RRP £20.
Although I don't use it every day, I do love lipstick and I usually tend to stick with natural pink tones, so it was another happy coincidence that I was sent shade 'Catwalk' to try in my USA Glossybox.
This rose pink shade compliments my fair skin perfectly and I have found the formula to be long lasting and super easy to apply.
I really love the quilted look of the packaging and, while I'm not sure Id ever spend £20 on one lipstick, I think I will really get a lot of use out of this.
This product is made with natural waxes and antioxidants so it actually nourishes skin and protects it against the sun all with one little swipe!

I also got a full size 'ABSOLUTE New York' Perfecting eyeshadow primer | RRP $4.99
I have used eyeshadow primers before, my favourite being the ELF eyeshadow primer, so this product had a lot to live up to, but it really pleasantly surprised me from first use. It is oil free and super-creamy, so it applies and blends seamlessly, leaving my eyeshadow crease free.
I also found that this product made the colours of my eyeshadows very vibrant and true - which is just what I had been looking for!
The packaging is simple but the doe-foot applicator makes application easy and even.
A winner all round!

Something I did not expect to see in my box was a set of 'Broadway Nails' impress press on manicure | RRP £7.99.
I haven't actually used these yet but they look wonderful and I am saving them for when I do something special. I received the colour 'Ex on the beach' - a pearly pink shade which will work well with any outfit!
The nails are short in length which, as well as being practical, will be much more natural looking and easy to get along with.
The nails apply with a sticky sheet on the back of each nail, which promises to hold like glue and remove without acetone - So, I have high expectations for these!

The last item included was probably the least exciting, but a beauty staple nonetheless. A full size tub of 'Carmex' Lip Balm | RRP £2.69
This is something everyone has heard of, but, because it isn't particularly pretty or exciting, is something I have never tried before.
I have used this a couple of times now and I have to say, it is so soothing on my lips - without stinging them. It is infused with menthol, which you can smell and feel and even includes beeswax, so my lips felt soft and nourished from the first use!
I am really loving this and it so handy to have in my handbag on these cold winter days when lips get particularly chapped and dried out!

Overall, I really love this box (especially since it was free!). The design is beautiful and each product is practical and interesting. I really loved that 4 of the 5 products were full size and I thought it was so nice to be able to try some things that aren't usually found in the UK!
Even though the voucher code I used is now expired, you can find all sorts of online vouchers and discounts, so keep your eye out. If you want to find out more about Glossybox or sign up for yourself, just visit their official webiste here.

Real Techniques Limited Edition Nics Picks Collection

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

I'm sure you have all heard of the Real Techniques brushes before - they are all the rage amongst bloggers, beauty YouTubers and make up fans alike and, of course, there is a reason why.
Not only do they give professional looking results easily, but they are also beautifully designed by real sisters - and they are affordable. 

When I was browsing my social media on Boxing Day I noticed that Molly of WhatMollyLoves Blog had nabbed herself the limited edition Real Techniques 'Nic's Picks' set for just £14 (Usually £30) on an Amazon flash sale. Obviously I couldn't pass up a bargain like that, so I quickly bought myself a set, too - with only 45 minutes to spare!

Unfortunately, my parcel got lost but Amazon quickly replaced it and I eventually received my new brushes on 8th January - and they were worth the wait!

The set consists of 5 brushes - 3 of which are exclusive cuts, and all with handles made in this beautiful exclusive chrome looking design. 
As always the brushes are made with  ultra-plush synthetic hair, so they are cruelty free, and they have wonderful easy-to-grip handles. The bristles are super soft but perfectly sturdy to give precise results and a flawless finish - I cant help but keep running them over my cheeks!
I really like how each of the brushes are set into the packaging - meaning that they don't come loose and get misshapen or ruined.

As usual with the Real Techniques brushes, each brush carries the brand name and also the brush name - so you can keep track of which ones you own and what they are all used for.
I am really impressed with the chrome looking design of the handles - it really distinguishes these from the other brushes in the line and I feel like it makes them look much more luxe and expensive than they really are!

The collection consists of 5 brushes so that you can create a pixel perfect all over look. There is everything you need for a  flawless base, enchanting eyes and the perfect finish, 
The brushes included are -

Duo Fibre Powder Brush
This brush is great as it allows you to build up your application of base products all while keeping it lightweight and not cakey looking. The bristles are so soft and you really feel like you can control application of powder when using this. 

Cheek Brush (Set Exclusive)
Even though the bristles in this brush as more densely packed, they are still soft and flexible meaning you get a perfect cheek colour application every time without looking patchy, As well as this, the brush is perfectly tapered so it is great for applying bronzer to just the right areas of the face.

Base Shadow Brush
The perfect brush for applying all over eye colour - such as those bases and neutrals. Even if you already own this brush, it is a nice addition to the collection and having it in this chrome design makes it a worthy duplicate! It applies the perfect amount of product so you don't end up over doing it and looking like a clown!

Angled Shadow Brush (set Exclusive)
The perfect brush to create depth and definition in the eyes. I have enjoyed using this along the crease of the eyelid as the bristles really get into the crevices and give a gorgeous wide-eyed effect. 

Eyeliner Brush (Set Exclusive)
A really nice addition to the collection. This brush is perfectly firm so it means you get full control when applying those gel and liquid liners. It is impeccably cut so you can get really close to the lash line and create wings with ease!

I have really been enjoying using these brushes. They give great results and they certainly look beautiful on my vanity table  they catch the light very nicely!

The £14 flash sale has now finished on Amazon, but fear not! You can pick up this set for £19.99 in Superdrug right now, in store or on their website here.

What do you think of the Real Techniques Brushes? Are you a fan?

My First GlossyBox | Better than BirchBox?

Monday, 12 January 2015

I have heard a lot about GlossyBox around blogs and from beauty YouTubers, so I was excited to receive my first one and see if all the hype was really true, and after my first BirchBox being such a success, I thought that Glossybox was going to have a hard time competing - but I was pleasantly surprised!

I actually found a voucher code online allowing me to receive a FREE backdated Glossybox with my first months box (which I will also post about later this week), so I was very happy about that! Unfortunately, the voucher code has expired now but there are plenty of offers about, so make sure you keep your eyes open.

I was immediately impressed when I opened up my first GlossyBox parcel. The soft pink box with its sleek black text and 'Glossybox' logo is just beautiful and when I took the lid off the beauty continued. There was a little pamphlet detailing each product and how to use it and wrapped in soft pink tissue and finished with a darling black bow & 'GlossyBox' sticker were my 5 new products. And, they are all full size!

First, I picked out the 'Naked Lips' Organic Lip Balm in Superfruits | RRP €5
This lovely lip balm has a 100% natural formula and smells amazingly like a fresh smoothie. It glides onto my lips smoothly, without dragging, and leaves them soft and with a delicate sheen .
It is infused with oils from anti-oxidant rich fruits and helps to nourish the lips - perfect for this time of year when the harsh weather conditions can really take their toll on delicate lip skin!

Next, I discovered the  'Nicka K New York'  Colourluxe powder blush | RRP €8.95
This little pot of loose powder blush is so cute and just the perfect size for popping into your handbag. It comes in this adorable faux metal pot with a rose gold lid (I'm totally a sucker for rose gold) which even has its very own little mirror! It has a little powder puff applicator too, which means you can really control the application of the blush and not end up looking like a clown.
The pigment is quite strong so you really only need a light application but the formula is so lightweight that you really wont know you are wearing it at all, plus, it is matte so it is almost like having a cream blusher finish in powder form!
I have never tried anything from 'Nicka K New York' before, but this little pot of blush has got me curious to try more.

In my box, I also found a 'MeMeMe' Eye line pencil in 'Clay' | RRP £4
I love eye liner pencils. They are so versatile and I love to smudge them a little to give a daytime smoky eye look. This one by MeMeMe is long-lasting but very soft so it doesn't have too much of a 'hardline' effect when you draw it on. It was nice to receive an eye liner pencil that isn't black, too - I find that so many people use black eye liner pencils to fill in the waterline and completely forget about the other rainbow of colours available and what you can do with them!
The packaging of this pencil is simple and elegant and I love the handy colour strip at the bottom too.

I was super happy to see the 'Jelly Pong Pong' All over glow in my box | RRP £10
I have heard of Jelly Pong Pong before but never tried them, and I have to say, this product impressed me so much that I have already been eyeing up what to buy next.
The 'All Over Glow' is an illuminizing gel which is oil free - so not only is it great for problem skin, but it applies so smoothly, too.
I have used Benefits High Beam before, so I thought that this would have to be very good to even slightly compare to that, but I was actually amazed at just how good it is! It features micronized pearlescent pigments which perfectly catch light in every angle and yet it isn't glittery, so it really is the ultimate highlighter. 'High Beam' doesn't have a patch on this!
That, plus the fact it has the cutest packaging makes it an all round winner for me and I am so glad that GlossyBox included it in the January edit!

Lastly, I pulled a bottle of 'Kueshi Natural & Pleasant Cosmetics' Revitalizing face toner out of my box | RRP €10.70
I was so surprised that something this size would be included in a beauty box, but, boy, am I pleased it was. It smells so sweet and refreshing and is packed with natural ingredients plus science-led formulations so it gets to work right away. I'm not sure that I like the colour so much, as it thought it was a nail polish remover at first glance, but, this aside, it leaves my skin feeling fresh and rehydrated and I just love it!

I really thought it was going to be hard to top my first BirchBox but GlossyBox have gone and done it with ease. I am so pleased with what was included in the box and having 5 full size products to try was amazing. While I don't think is the norm for Glossybox, I am still really looking forward to discovering new brands and products when my next box arrives.Your very own GlossyBox subscription will set you back £13.25 a month (Inc. Delivery) and you can find out more about it here.
I have decided to cancel my BirchBox subscription because, as great as it was, I just felt that it didn't compare to my Glossybox! As shallow as it is, I found the packaging of the Glossybox more aesthetically pleasing and I also liked the fact that the products included in the Glossybox were more affordable than those found in BirchBox - meaning I could actually afford to repurchase them.

Have you tried this monthly beauty box before? What did you think?

Baby | Nursery Decorating

Friday, 9 January 2015

Preparing for our babys arrival has been a very exciting time. We cant wait to meet our little boy in April and although we want everything to be the very best for him, we have to do things on a budget as our wedding is coming up in October too!

Our families have been so very generous and excited and we have been showered with gifts ever since we announced our big news, but when it came to decorating the nursery there were a few things that we picked up ourselves.

After spending hours on Pinterest looking for nursery inspiration (its a goldmine, by the way), we decided to settle on something that we both love.
Toy Story.
We both love the 'Toy Story' movies and there were a few nice ideas online but nothing that struck us so we went it alone and designed our own nursery style. 
Dan is a CG artist and visual animator so he has always appreciated the Toy Story movies, and, although it is a different kind of appreciation, I have always enjoyed them too. We thought this theme would be perfect for our little boy as it is not too 'baby' like but it is appropriate all the while.

We are lucky enough to live in a 2 bedroomed house so Elias will have his very own room, however, up until now, it has been very much used as a 'junk room'. 
It took us 2 days alone to clean it out and we are still finding alternative spaces for things now but once it was de-cluttered we started on the fun part. Painting!

We picked up some tubs of paint in the B&Q sale for £7 a piece and started work painting 3 of the walls an off-white colour and the 'feature wall' a sky blue shade. This took us the best part of the day but it was so fun!
The next day we set to work on the cloud detail for the feature wall. Anyone who has seen the Toy Story movies will be familiar with the cloud motif and, although it took us forever to paint on, it is spot on and we are so pleased with how perfect it looks!
Dan printed out a stencil of the clouds and we drew each one onto the wall individually, we then filled them in with paint, let it dry and gave them another coat.

As I mentioned, we are very much doing this on a budget, so after almost having a heart attack realising how much brand new baby furniture costs, we took to Gumtree.
I know some people disapprove of hand-me-downs, but, honestly, baby stores are ridiculously expensive and our son will not know the difference between a brand new item and a previously loved one.
We made sure each item we bought was safe and in good condition and we gave everything a thorough wash and clean before assembling it in the nursery.

We managed to find this beautiful pine cot on Gumtree for £60. It was brand new in the box, had never been assembled and even came with its original 'Mothercare' receipt! I have to say, I am amazed at what great things you can pick up second hand - you just need to know what you are looking for and be sensible.
We bought a brand new cotbed mattress on eBay for £24.99, it has springs and foam and is just so soft and gorgeous. The seller makes these exclusively, but because they don't feature a 'Mothercare' or 'Babies'R'Us' label, they are half the price of in-store.
I also got a brand new mattress protector for just £7.99 on eBay to make sure the mattress is kept clean and hygienic.

This gorgeous pine changing table cost us just £15 from Gumtree, too. It is stable and almost new as it was only used a few times before the family moved home. I love that it has 5 drawers too, as we don't have space to get a baby wardrobe in the room - so the extra storage will be so handy - now I just need to get a changing mat to sit on top!

Decoration wise, we have only just started but we have a few things!

Dan took me to see Disney on Ice at the London O2 last week and they were selling these cute Woody hats in the merchandise stall for £9. I thought it would be perfect to hang on the nursery door so we bought one - isn't it just adorable!
I bought Dan this woody doll a couple of years back and he bought me Bullseye. They are part of the 'Toy Story Collection' range so they are actually worth a lot of money but we realise that our son won't be old enough to play with (or destroy!) them for a while yet, so we are happy for them to accessorise the nursery until then. The little Lenny binoculars also came from the Disney on Ice merchandise Stall - it is so cute and adds to the collection perfectly.
I picked up this wooden star from the Range for £5.99. I thought it was really cute and ties in well as a sheriff badge! I think it will be hung above the window, but we are yet to get curtains or a blind so it will stay wrapped up until then!

I cant wait to see how the nursery progresses and what other bargains we can pick up. It is so lovely to have the chance to do this and I am not going to waste it. I want it to be a perfect, positive and peaceful environment for our son and it is good to know that you dont have to spend a fortune to get all you want and more. We are far from finishing but we have made good progress and have left ourselves plenty of time to finish organising it and picking up the final pieces of furniture.

Have you done any decorating recently?

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

Thursday, 8 January 2015

I don't own much high-end make up. Its not that I don't like it, I just think that drug store brands are so reliable and extensive now that you don't need to spend so much to get what you want.

That being said, my dad was very sweet and treated me to a couple of Urban Decay pieces for Christmas; 'Perversion' Mascara and the 'All-Nighter' make up setting spray, and they have taken pride of place on my vanity table ever since. 
I really love them both but the setting spray solidly stood out to me and I almost don't know how I did without it!

This product costs £20 full size, but you really only need a little spritz to keep your make up in place for hours on end, so I think it is worth the money as it will last quite some time.

The All-Nighter gives amazing staying power to my make up and (Bonus!) it makes it look seriously glowy all day too - almost as if it is freshly applied all day. I have tried setting sprays before and, even though they worked well, they just don't have anything on this - my make up stays flawless for hours, even a busy shopping day in London couldn't budge it.

I really like how refreshing it feels to mist your face with this - I find the best, most effective way to apply it is in a cross formation over the face and then down the centre.
It doesn't settle into fine lines so you don't get a patchy effect and it is so light that you don't even realise you are wearing it at all!
I dont use this everday as I want to save it for special occasions, but it is perfect for nights out, or days when you seriously want your make up to stay in place.

I have to admit, having the chance to try this more high end product and loving it so much has got me wanting to experiment a little more. I don't think I'll ever convert completely, but it is nice to splurge once in a while and see what's available!
The results of the 'All-Nighter' are just amazing and you can even get the travel size bottle for £9 if you just want to put it to the test!

Have you tried a high end product that you now cant do without?

New Year ... New You?

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Now that the new year is here and everyone is back to work, it is so easy for us women to get swept up in the 'new year, new me' movement. While I agree that creating a healthier, happier lifestyle is a great change to make (at any time - not just new year), I do not like all the hype and pressure that comes with it.

I know posts like these can spark a lot of debate as we all have our own way of doing things, and I fully respect that. This post is just my opinions on how we can all live healthier and happier without taking extreme measures and without being made to feel like we aren't worth anything for being who we are!

Tip #1; Be realistic.
Remember that this is your life. You can only truly make a change when you truly want to with all your might - no half-assing. You have to put all your effort in and cant expect to see a change if you aren't prepared to make one. But be realistic and keep it simple and do-able. Throwing out every last cake and crisp all in  one day is not going to be a sustainable change if it is what you are used to.
Any habit is hard to break and bad eating is no exception, you simply cant expect to go from junk-fanatic to clean-freak in one day and the sooner you realise that the easer things will be on you :)
Start small and work toward your goal with do-able objectives, gradually introduce healthier alternatives into your diet in place of salty or sugary snacks and before you know it you wont even crave those nasties anymore!
Similarly, you cant expect to join a gym and do a 2 hour spin class or go for a 10 mile run from the offset. Work up to it and do a little more each day and the change will be sustainable and instead of feeling like you are failing because you cant to it all at once, you will be proud to look back on how far you have come!

Tip #2; Sleep well.
A good nights rest is essential for a happier lifestyle. Health isn't all about what foods you put into your body, but about how you treat it too. The body works hard every day and needs a suitable rest to keep it in tip-top condition, so make sure you are getting at least 7-8 hours of good sleep a night. A rested body and mind will mean you can concentrate and perform at your best and that you will have a more positive attitude to all the things around you!

Tip#3; Don't pressure yourself.
I know that weekly diet clubs work for some people but, personally, I just don't agree with them. I think that they can teach you all sorts of bad habits and short-cuts which don't work out in the long run. 
Please, don't think I am criticising anyone - if it works for you then do it! But I have been to these sorts of clubs and I just didn't like the pressure that came with them and I also didn't like the fact that it was all just about weight loss.
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and it is important to embrace that and remember that if you are choosing a healthy lifestyle, it should not be about losing weight, it should be about improving lifestyle and quality for YOU, not to impress a group of people each week.
I enjoy having the motivation of others around me but I feel that a healthy lifestyle journey is one that cant be measured in weekly time slots and should not come with pressure. We are human, if you feel like you want to have a pig-out day then you shouldn't feel guilty about that or bad about yourself. Tomorrow is a new day to get yourself back on track and no one should be able to judge you for that.
YOU have the power to make a change for YOUR future.

Tip #4; Don't restrict yourself.
Like I mentioned above, we are all human and we all have those times when we just feel like indulging. The difference you can make is to know when enough is enough. You should never restrict yourself from eating something if you want it or not exercising if you don't feel like it, but you should know when to call it quits - don't think to yourself that you might as well lose the whole week because you ate one cupcake or missed one exercise session. Enjoy the treat and move on.
Sensible thinking like this is what will help you achieve your dreams sooner - if you stop yourself from doing or having something you are likely to want it all the more and completely over do it, so enjoy simple treats and don't feel bad for doing so!

Tip #5; Exercise
This word can strike dread and fear into the hearts of many but it is good to keep in mind that daily exercise doesn't necessarily mean joining a gym and spending all of your time there. Small and easy changes to your exercise routine can be most effective and can really help toward a healthier, happier you.
Something as simple as a 30 minute walk or even taking the stairs instead of the lift can really help out and make you feel much fitter. I love to do yoga and, although I don't live near a gym anymore it doesn't mean I can't do it. I bought a few yoga DVDs online (Louise Soloman ones are my faves!) and my sister bought me a lovely yoga mat and resistance band which means I can practise any time I like in the comfort of my own home.

Tip #6; Join pinterest
It sounds silly but Pinterest is a gold mines when it comes to learning about a healthy lifestyle. There are endless tips, workouts to try and even recipe ideas. Its free to join and you can organise all of your favourite pins into separate boards (just like folders) so that they are easy to keep track of and find!

Tip #7; No excuses
None. Zero. Just don't waste your time. If you're going to find an excuse then its not worth you doing it at all. 
'I cant afford to buy fresh fruits/veg' .. but that fast food was oh so affordable right?! Fruits, vegetables and fresh foods really aren't expensive if you shop around. Markets are a great place to pick up fresh foods at a fair price and even supermarkets like Aldi & Lidl are surprisingly affordable!
' I cant afford the gym' .. who says you need to join a gym? Grab your buddy and go for a walk or run in a local park, invest in some fitness DVDs and work out at home or try some moves which require no equipment!
'I don't have time for the gym' .. When it really comes down to it, you either want it or you don't. If you want it you'll make time, if you don't then you wont. Simple as that. All it takes is 30 minutes a day a few times a week and you'll notice a difference in no time! 
The best time to work out is when you wake up as you haven't had time to think about it and put yourself off, so get up 30 minutes early and enjoy the energy boost from your morning workout!
It may sound like I'm being mean, but it really is a case of if your gonna waste the energy making the excuse you might as well quit now!

Tip #8; Be positive
A positive mind is the key to a positive life. Don't let the little things get you down. if you feel sad or low, take a minute to sit quietly and think about all the blessings and good things you have in your life. 
A positive attitude can make all the difference to a happier lifestyle and the sooner you take weight off your shoulders and stop worrying about the little things, the better and more focused you will feel, inside and out.
Remember to spread positivity to those around you to make sure you are always in a pleasant environment. Compliment and thank people, spend time growing relationships and let others know that you are thinking of them. 
Try to wean yourself away from negative people and situations and you will see how much a positive mind and attitude can affect your life for the better!

Tip #9; Do it for YOU
There is so much pressure on women nowadays to look a certain way. Not only are most of the images doctored but they are also unrealistic for real women - we should all embrace our personal forms, everyone is different and that is what makes us unique and beautiful.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be fit and healthy, its a great step to take, but its so important to remember that you should be doing it for you, not to compete with others.
There is no time limit on your new journey, progress can be as gradual as you are comfortable with - and often its the slower progress is the one that sticks with you as it is more sustainable. 
So, do this for you, be confident at each stage, be proud of yourself and remember you are you and you have nothing to prove to any one else!

I hope this has helped some lovely people realise that we are all beautiful and that one particular body shape doesn't define you - being healthy is a much better goal to be focusing on than a clothing size! 
What is your top healthy lifestyle tip?

My First BirchBox | Impressions & Thoughts

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy New Year Y'all! I hope you had a wonderful festive season full of happiness and memory making!

While browsing some blogs over Christmas break I noticed a lot of hype over monthly subscription beauty boxes, so I decided to sign myself up to a couple. After doing a little research I settled on Glossybox and Birchbox. I was a little late to receive the December edition of Glossybox, so I'll have to wait until January to have that one, but I was just in time to receive Decembers BirchBox and that is what I'l be talking about today!

Decembers Birchbox was in collaboration with accessories designer Sophia Webster and was filled with 6 lovely beauty treats. I actually found a code online which allowed me to get my first Birchbox for just £7.95 (inc. Delivery) rather than the regular £12.95 (inc. Delivery) price tag.

Upon opening the box I was happy to see a 'welcome' note detailing all of the products inside and how to use them, and all of my lovely new products safely stored in a small drawstring pouch. This was a nice surprise, as I was half expecting the products to be sent in bubble wrap or Styrofoam pieces!

The first item I picked out of the bag was the 'Eyeko Fat Eye Stick' in 'Smoke' (£8). 
This one is a full size BirchBox exclusive and I was very happy to receive it. The Eyeko Fat eye stick is a shadow crayon that blends perfectly and creates a wonderful smoky eye! I have never tried any Eyeko products before but I love the quality of this crayon. Although the packaging is simple and minimal, the colour pay off and longevity of the product is wonderful!

Next, I picked out a sample of Benefits 'High Beam' illuminator (£19.50). 
This was also a BirchBox exclusive as it came in the adorable little cracker type packaging! I have used this product before and loved it so I was more than pleased to find a little one inside the box. This highlighter is great for all skin tones and blends perfectly to give the face a gorgeous glow.

 I also got a sample of the Elemental Herbology 'Facial Glow Radiance Peel' (£40). 
I had never tried this product before but oh my gosh how amazing it is! I used only a tiny bit after removing my make up and it made my skin baby-butt soft and left me addicted! It is made from all natural ingredients including apples, papayas and orange peel - so as you can imagine it has a wonderful, fruity fragrance. At £40 a pop I don't think I could afford to use this product in my everyday skincare routine, however, I was so impressed with the results that I am planning on picking it up a month or two before our wedding to give me photo ready skin!

I found a little sample of the Electric Hair 'Hydrate Shampoo' (£17.50) in my box too. 
I haven't tried this one yet but it promises to help repair damaged hair and improve shine - so I am looking forward to that!I don't think I would actually spend £17.50 on a bottle of shampoo, but it is certainly nice to try out something a little more up market once in a while.

I was super excited to pull a full size bottle of Models Own nail polish (£5) out of the box too! 
I got the shade 'Amethyst' - a beautiful multi dimensional glitter purple with a gorgeous velvety finish. Models Own are one of my favourite brands of nail polish as they apply so smoothly and last ages, so I think I will get a lot of use out of this, and it was nice to get another full size goody!

The last beauty sample I picked out of my box was a trial size of the English Laundry Signature perfume (£60). 
At first I wasn't too thrilled with this as it is super tiny, but when I spritzed it onto my wrists all was forgotten! With hints of rose geranium , chocolate and jasmine it is the ultimate girly scent and even though it is a little expensive I could really see myself buying this product in the future. It does have quite a strong scent so you really only need a delicate spritz but it is just so floral and lovely!

There was also another little treat in my BirchBox - a Sophia Webster coin purse. This apparently has a value of £25 (even though it is listed as £10 on the Birchbox shop?!) and while I'm not sure that this is totally true, it is a nice little addition to the box. It is just the right size for cards and coins and I really like the mint green design!

Overall, I did enjoy my first BirchBox. It was nice and something different to try. I was also pleased that it included 2 full size products so it was definitely worth the £7.95 I paid for it this time. I am not too sure that I will keep my subscription as the box did seem to feature more expensive products, and while it is nice to be able to try them out, it is disappointing knowing that I can't afford to re-purchase some of them - especially the ones I really liked! I would prefer to have a few more samples with reasonably priced items so that I am able t go out and buy them full sized.
It was nice to discover some new brands and I also liked the little touches that Birchbox had thought about - the drawstring pouch in particular!

You can find out more about BirchBox and sign up here. You can also buy full sizes of all products found in the boxes, too!