At the beginning of the year I wrote this post about the anti-capsule wardrobe, and until now the idea of minimalism has only ever been a distant theory to me.  Fast forward six months and I'm seriously considering stripping things back.  Seriously. 

Let me explain that I don't think I'll ever prescribe to the rules of only owning X-amount of items and not buying anything new for 3 months.  Realistically I don't think that'll ever be something I can stick to and nor do I want that.  I do want to cut back on the crap though.  My last streamlining session was just after Christmas and I'm itching to do it again.

So what are the main reasons for my change of heart?

My wardrobe now serves different purposes | Until six weeks my wardrobe was 90% casual, with the odd "going out" piece thrown in.  Now I need a workwear wardrobe, and my abundance of jeggings and trainers seems a little excessive.  I've bought pieces to build up my 9 to 5 outfits and now find myself with an overflowing collection of 'weekend' clothes that I'm unlikely to get my wear out of.  It's overwhelming to look at and wasteful, so I'm hoping to be more selective in the casual pieces I keep and really strip back.

Nothing fits | If you read this or this post, you'll know that I've been on a weightloss journey.  I'm currently at my lowest (adult) weight ever and not only do the clothes I was wearing before no longer fit, but the old clothes I was saving to fit back into are now too big.  It's a bittersweet feeling that only adds to the "I've got nothing to wear!" panic we all face every now and then.  The reality is that my newly-purchased workwear are really the only things in my size so I need to get rid of everything else and start again.

I'm easily influenced | A capsule/minimalist wardrobe is certainly nothing new and I've long been a follower of Into Mind, but it was Samio's video that hit home for me.  She's been on a minimalism journey with her surroundings in general and hearing her talk about her progress was really inspiring and motivated me to have a go myself.

I'm lazy | Me and Nick have a lot of stuff, and an overflowing wardrobe adds to the cluttered effect and seriously reduces the feng shui of our environment.  It's a terrible first world problem, but having too many things = more washing = more time spent putting it all away.  I told you I'm lazy.  But really, it was somewhat of an epiphany when I realised that by culling my wardrobe I'd also be cutting out a lot of the time I spend refolding things that the cats mess up (I have an open wardrobe) and would be one less thing to maintain.

As I've said, I don't think I'll ever be the proud owner of a capsule wardrobe but I will be referring to this when I tackle my wardrobe.  I'm actually a little excited to see if I'm up to the challenge and if it's a success I'm going to start utilising a touch more minimalism in other areas of our home.

Are you a minimalist living follower?  I'd love to know any tips or favourite references you have!
 

Why I'm Considering A Minimalist Wardrobe

28.7.16

At the beginning of the year I wrote this post about the anti-capsule wardrobe, and until now the idea of minimalism has only ever been a distant theory to me.  Fast forward six months and I'm seriously considering stripping things back.  Seriously. 

Let me explain that I don't think I'll ever prescribe to the rules of only owning X-amount of items and not buying anything new for 3 months.  Realistically I don't think that'll ever be something I can stick to and nor do I want that.  I do want to cut back on the crap though.  My last streamlining session was just after Christmas and I'm itching to do it again.

So what are the main reasons for my change of heart?

My wardrobe now serves different purposes | Until six weeks my wardrobe was 90% casual, with the odd "going out" piece thrown in.  Now I need a workwear wardrobe, and my abundance of jeggings and trainers seems a little excessive.  I've bought pieces to build up my 9 to 5 outfits and now find myself with an overflowing collection of 'weekend' clothes that I'm unlikely to get my wear out of.  It's overwhelming to look at and wasteful, so I'm hoping to be more selective in the casual pieces I keep and really strip back.

Nothing fits | If you read this or this post, you'll know that I've been on a weightloss journey.  I'm currently at my lowest (adult) weight ever and not only do the clothes I was wearing before no longer fit, but the old clothes I was saving to fit back into are now too big.  It's a bittersweet feeling that only adds to the "I've got nothing to wear!" panic we all face every now and then.  The reality is that my newly-purchased workwear are really the only things in my size so I need to get rid of everything else and start again.

I'm easily influenced | A capsule/minimalist wardrobe is certainly nothing new and I've long been a follower of Into Mind, but it was Samio's video that hit home for me.  She's been on a minimalism journey with her surroundings in general and hearing her talk about her progress was really inspiring and motivated me to have a go myself.

I'm lazy | Me and Nick have a lot of stuff, and an overflowing wardrobe adds to the cluttered effect and seriously reduces the feng shui of our environment.  It's a terrible first world problem, but having too many things = more washing = more time spent putting it all away.  I told you I'm lazy.  But really, it was somewhat of an epiphany when I realised that by culling my wardrobe I'd also be cutting out a lot of the time I spend refolding things that the cats mess up (I have an open wardrobe) and would be one less thing to maintain.

As I've said, I don't think I'll ever be the proud owner of a capsule wardrobe but I will be referring to this when I tackle my wardrobe.  I'm actually a little excited to see if I'm up to the challenge and if it's a success I'm going to start utilising a touch more minimalism in other areas of our home.

Are you a minimalist living follower?  I'd love to know any tips or favourite references you have!
 
WHAT DOES SUMMER MEAN FOR YOU?

Sun-warmed skin?  Balmy nights staying up late with friends?  Family BBQs?  All parts of summer that I love, but one thing ever-present in my memories of summers past...

The magic of getting lost in a good book.  From the family drama read curled up in a blanket on a rainy day last year, to the YA dystopian devoured in an afternoon a few years back.  The books I've read are always a key feature when I look back on previous summers.

So when Ocean loans got in touch with the invitation to take part in a summer homeware haul, I didn't take me long to decide exactly which area of our home I wanted to spruce up.

With my summer decidedly shorter following my career change, I knew I wanted to create a reading sanctuary where I could while away the hours that are now going to be so few and far between.  And with my other shelves beginning to feel the strain of my reading (and book buying!) habits, the first step had to be a new bookshelf.

But of course buying a new bookcase is just the beginning and I quickly realised that whilst I definitely had too many books for the bookcases I already owned, I certainly didn't have enough to fill up a new one.

There truly is an art to styling up a bookcase and it's one that I've not yet fully mastered.  But with my new space I've bought a few bits and pieces to try and help me fill up the gaps, add diversity and create that book haven I'm aiming for.  Like those lights above.  Really simple; battery-operated fairy lights inside one of my favourite vases and it's instantly added warmth to the area.

Because no trip to Ikea is complete without buying a plant, am I right?  Housed inside this wire basket next to my collection of Picador classics, I love the extra detail it adds to the otherwise plain shelf.  Since I don't really have much choice in the matter, I'm trying to embrace emptier sections and play around with the space by stacking books upwards rather than lining them up side by side.

And speaking of wire baskets, I was so pleased to see one lonely gold basket at my local Next store.  I already have two others which I store my "need to read" books in but both were overflowing....and now I have another one to fill up!  So that's three baskets brimming with books I haven't read (plus the bottom shelf on one of the other bookcases) - it's my mission to get through as many as possible by the end of this year.

And that's my summer update for our home.  The result is a quiet, harmonious space where I've already lost a sunny Saturday morning starting (and finishing!) a book.  Pure bliss, and I'm looking forward to many more of the same.

Have you invested in any new homeware recently?

Summer Living

26.7.16

WHAT DOES SUMMER MEAN FOR YOU?

Sun-warmed skin?  Balmy nights staying up late with friends?  Family BBQs?  All parts of summer that I love, but one thing ever-present in my memories of summers past...

The magic of getting lost in a good book.  From the family drama read curled up in a blanket on a rainy day last year, to the YA dystopian devoured in an afternoon a few years back.  The books I've read are always a key feature when I look back on previous summers.

So when Ocean loans got in touch with the invitation to take part in a summer homeware haul, I didn't take me long to decide exactly which area of our home I wanted to spruce up.

With my summer decidedly shorter following my career change, I knew I wanted to create a reading sanctuary where I could while away the hours that are now going to be so few and far between.  And with my other shelves beginning to feel the strain of my reading (and book buying!) habits, the first step had to be a new bookshelf.

But of course buying a new bookcase is just the beginning and I quickly realised that whilst I definitely had too many books for the bookcases I already owned, I certainly didn't have enough to fill up a new one.

There truly is an art to styling up a bookcase and it's one that I've not yet fully mastered.  But with my new space I've bought a few bits and pieces to try and help me fill up the gaps, add diversity and create that book haven I'm aiming for.  Like those lights above.  Really simple; battery-operated fairy lights inside one of my favourite vases and it's instantly added warmth to the area.

Because no trip to Ikea is complete without buying a plant, am I right?  Housed inside this wire basket next to my collection of Picador classics, I love the extra detail it adds to the otherwise plain shelf.  Since I don't really have much choice in the matter, I'm trying to embrace emptier sections and play around with the space by stacking books upwards rather than lining them up side by side.

And speaking of wire baskets, I was so pleased to see one lonely gold basket at my local Next store.  I already have two others which I store my "need to read" books in but both were overflowing....and now I have another one to fill up!  So that's three baskets brimming with books I haven't read (plus the bottom shelf on one of the other bookcases) - it's my mission to get through as many as possible by the end of this year.

And that's my summer update for our home.  The result is a quiet, harmonious space where I've already lost a sunny Saturday morning starting (and finishing!) a book.  Pure bliss, and I'm looking forward to many more of the same.

Have you invested in any new homeware recently?

If you're a follower of mine on Pinterest you may have noticed that my recent pins have been 95% food-orientated.  Specifically sugary, chocolatey cakey goodness.  For a long time I've been content with just window shopping (as it were) but faced with the prospect of a lazy Sunday I decided to give one of the recipes a whirl.

I settled on Congo Bars (no, I'd never heard of them either...) which are a blondie/chocolate cookie-type traybake.  I'd attempted cookie bars before but the recipe was long-winded and expensive, so when I saw that this one had just eight ingredients I was sold.  And they're easy ingredients - the type you most likely have sat in your kitchen cupboards, none of this going out and having to buy obscure shizz.

The best bit is that they're super easy to make and taste *so* good.  There's the doughy, almost undercooked layer of dense chocolateyness (yes, that's a word) on the bottom with a cookie-like chewy crisp to the top.  Amazing fresh out of the oven, but equally good after a quick whizz in the microwave.  Get your glasses of milk ready, because here come the instructions!

The recipe I followed is American and uses cups, but with the help of this handy tool it was fairly simple to translate.  But I've gone one step further and listed everything in grams for you!

After setting the oven to 160° you need to cream 340g BROWN SUGAR with 150g SALTED BUTTER.  Once that's done, beat 3 EGGS and add them to the mix along with 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT, stirring until well combined.  Next, chuck 2 1/4 TSP BAKING POWDER into a separate bowl with 1/2 TSP SALT and 140g PLAIN FLOUR.  Stir this in with the sugar mixture and add a further 210g PLAIN FLOUR.  The last step is to add in chocolate, I went with 200g MILK CHOCOLATE CHIPS but also threw in some DARK AND MILK CHOCOLATE CHUNKS which we had leftover from various other baking ventures for good measure.  Transfer to a rectangular dish which is either greased or lined with greaseproof paper and chuck in the oven for 25-35 minutes.  Mine took the full 35, just be sure to take it out of the oven when it starts to turn golden brown on top.  Leave to cool slightly for 10 mins or so in the dish, before placing on a wire cooling rack.
If you have the willpower for it, I still wouldn't recommend waiting for this to cool fully before the taste test.  They're delicious and gooey whilst still warm and well worth burning your tongue for!

Recipe: Congo Bars

21.7.16


If you're a follower of mine on Pinterest you may have noticed that my recent pins have been 95% food-orientated.  Specifically sugary, chocolatey cakey goodness.  For a long time I've been content with just window shopping (as it were) but faced with the prospect of a lazy Sunday I decided to give one of the recipes a whirl.

I settled on Congo Bars (no, I'd never heard of them either...) which are a blondie/chocolate cookie-type traybake.  I'd attempted cookie bars before but the recipe was long-winded and expensive, so when I saw that this one had just eight ingredients I was sold.  And they're easy ingredients - the type you most likely have sat in your kitchen cupboards, none of this going out and having to buy obscure shizz.

The best bit is that they're super easy to make and taste *so* good.  There's the doughy, almost undercooked layer of dense chocolateyness (yes, that's a word) on the bottom with a cookie-like chewy crisp to the top.  Amazing fresh out of the oven, but equally good after a quick whizz in the microwave.  Get your glasses of milk ready, because here come the instructions!

The recipe I followed is American and uses cups, but with the help of this handy tool it was fairly simple to translate.  But I've gone one step further and listed everything in grams for you!

After setting the oven to 160° you need to cream 340g BROWN SUGAR with 150g SALTED BUTTER.  Once that's done, beat 3 EGGS and add them to the mix along with 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT, stirring until well combined.  Next, chuck 2 1/4 TSP BAKING POWDER into a separate bowl with 1/2 TSP SALT and 140g PLAIN FLOUR.  Stir this in with the sugar mixture and add a further 210g PLAIN FLOUR.  The last step is to add in chocolate, I went with 200g MILK CHOCOLATE CHIPS but also threw in some DARK AND MILK CHOCOLATE CHUNKS which we had leftover from various other baking ventures for good measure.  Transfer to a rectangular dish which is either greased or lined with greaseproof paper and chuck in the oven for 25-35 minutes.  Mine took the full 35, just be sure to take it out of the oven when it starts to turn golden brown on top.  Leave to cool slightly for 10 mins or so in the dish, before placing on a wire cooling rack.
If you have the willpower for it, I still wouldn't recommend waiting for this to cool fully before the taste test.  They're delicious and gooey whilst still warm and well worth burning your tongue for!

One of my favourite things to do is to visit new places and spend the day exploring.  When Nick found out he'd have an emergency job in Bognor Regis on Saturday morning I decided to tag along in the hopes of making a day of it.

The 5:30am wake up call hit me like a tonne of bricks (especially after a very late Friday night) and after donning my comfiest jumpsuit (a grey sweatshirt material....the closest I can get to pyjamas in public) we hit the road.  Early morning drives are unexpectedly pleasant when there's no other cars on the road.  The sun was beginning to set in for the day leaving the countryside looking beautifully peaceful - definitely worth the early start!

Applying a full face of make up from the front seat of a van facing a surprisingly busy bus stop was a new experience for me, but thankfully Nick finished before 9 and it was on to Chichester.


City exploring isn't something Nick and I do very often, so it was blissful to spend a few hours wandering in the sunshine.  We admired the cathedral (and the cool respite it provided from the sun) before attempting the Wall Walk.  Which was a big failure.  I was envisioning a real tangible piece of history and was disappointed to learn that the footpath we were walking along in the hopes of finding the beginning of the walk was it.  Not so much a wall walk, more of a walk where the wall used to be.  Next to a dual carriageway, apparently.  Should have done my research!


No trip would be complete without a bookshop visit for my tradition of buying a new book as a memento of the day.  Which is where Nick discovered this immense milkshake and I stumbled upon a Beauty and The Beast-style chandelier in the middle of Waterstones.  Winning on both counts, there.

A sunny drive home led to an spent with Mum, Ella and Dylan.  We always have Saturdays together so it was nice to still fit in some time together, especially now I'm not working with Mum everyday.  Nick and I also went to the cinema to watch Tarzan; I can't remember the last time I went to watch a film and I really enjoyed it.  Thumbs up from both of us, in fact!

And then today, perhaps with a subliminal Tarzan influence, I made Congo Bars.  Not entirely sure where the name comes from but they're a cookie bar tray bake affair which I'll share on here soon.  Oh, and I also managed the book I've been stuck on for a while.  A successful weekend!

What did you get up to?

The Weekend

19.7.16


One of my favourite things to do is to visit new places and spend the day exploring.  When Nick found out he'd have an emergency job in Bognor Regis on Saturday morning I decided to tag along in the hopes of making a day of it.

The 5:30am wake up call hit me like a tonne of bricks (especially after a very late Friday night) and after donning my comfiest jumpsuit (a grey sweatshirt material....the closest I can get to pyjamas in public) we hit the road.  Early morning drives are unexpectedly pleasant when there's no other cars on the road.  The sun was beginning to set in for the day leaving the countryside looking beautifully peaceful - definitely worth the early start!

Applying a full face of make up from the front seat of a van facing a surprisingly busy bus stop was a new experience for me, but thankfully Nick finished before 9 and it was on to Chichester.


City exploring isn't something Nick and I do very often, so it was blissful to spend a few hours wandering in the sunshine.  We admired the cathedral (and the cool respite it provided from the sun) before attempting the Wall Walk.  Which was a big failure.  I was envisioning a real tangible piece of history and was disappointed to learn that the footpath we were walking along in the hopes of finding the beginning of the walk was it.  Not so much a wall walk, more of a walk where the wall used to be.  Next to a dual carriageway, apparently.  Should have done my research!


No trip would be complete without a bookshop visit for my tradition of buying a new book as a memento of the day.  Which is where Nick discovered this immense milkshake and I stumbled upon a Beauty and The Beast-style chandelier in the middle of Waterstones.  Winning on both counts, there.

A sunny drive home led to an spent with Mum, Ella and Dylan.  We always have Saturdays together so it was nice to still fit in some time together, especially now I'm not working with Mum everyday.  Nick and I also went to the cinema to watch Tarzan; I can't remember the last time I went to watch a film and I really enjoyed it.  Thumbs up from both of us, in fact!

And then today, perhaps with a subliminal Tarzan influence, I made Congo Bars.  Not entirely sure where the name comes from but they're a cookie bar tray bake affair which I'll share on here soon.  Oh, and I also managed the book I've been stuck on for a while.  A successful weekend!

What did you get up to?

So as I mentioned in this post, I seem to have come full circle with my shopping tastes and can't seem to stop buying make up.  And whilst it's been fun experimenting with switching things up in my stash, the blogosphere and the beauty industry can, I feel, be a dangerous mix.

It is so easy to be influenced by the luxury purchases others have made.  But then it's also so easy for them to recommend the latest "must have" lipstick to you when they're being sent the whole collection for free.  No shade here whatsoever, but having taken a slight paycut in my career change I'm finding that myself watching my money a little more than I'm used to.  Or would like to.  Same difference.

Being sensible with my money means that I really value knowing what's worth having before I stump up the cash for it.  And my backlog of beauty purchases from my (marginally) richer days leads me to sharing my thoughts with you in this post.

What's really worth parting with your hard earned cash for?

YSL TOUCHE ECLAT LE TEINT FOUNDATION
This was my first step into high end foundations and I'm pretty sure I won't need to look any further to find my ideal.  The colour match is perfect, coverage exactly what I want, the packaging is luxurious and it lasts all day.  At £32.50 it definitely sits at the upper limit of my price range and I'm dreading the day I have to purchase a new one!  I've used it every day since the beginning of April though and I'm not yet halfway through so I'm hoping I'll get my money's worth.

CLARINS INSTANT LIGHT CONCEALER
I'm onto my third tube of this stuff and swear by it.  My first one lasted roughly a year, but the second one leaked constantly so only lasted 8(ish) months - I'm hoping it was a one-off because I'm in love with the consistency and coverage.  It does seem extravagant to be spending £20+ on a concealer, but I can honestly say I've never looked back.

LAURA MERCIER SECRET BRIGHTENING POWDER
If you struggle with dark circles then you *need* this.  Since I was given this at the beginning of June I've used it every day to set my under-eye concealer and attribute it to the fact that I haven't had to retouch during the day since, and no longer come home from work looking exhausted.  I genuinely didn't think it'd make that much of a difference in terms of longevity, and instead just hoped for a Kim K brightening affair, but I'm pleased to report that it's nailed it on both fronts. 

YSL 'SINGULIERE' BLUSH
As a Changing Jobs Present (that's a thing, right?) I decided to treat myself to a blusher I've had my eye on for a while.  On me it's the perfect cool-toned medium pink which actually works really well to give a natural, almost contoured look on the cheeks.  The formula blends seamlessly into the skin, it's nearly impossible to be too heavy-handed and overdo it (something I'm guilty of with other blushers!) and this has fast become a favourite in my collection.

 DIOR 'COSMOPOLITE' EYESHADOW
I can't vouch for all of the shades in this line, but Cosmopolite is eye shadow goals.  A gorgeous copper brown with a shimmer that makes it almost wet-look, this will be your quickest smoky eye ever.  I've reserved it for special occasions which means it may not be the most cost effective, but it's certainly a real treat to own and use.

STILA STAY ALL DAY LIQUID LIPSTICKS
I've managed to build up quite the collection of these recently and if I think of what it's actually cost me I start to freak out a little.  But liquid lipsticks are having a real moment right now and if you want something higher end I'd say these are your go-to's.  For the purpose of neatness I opt to line my lips with a similar shade pencil liner first, although the doe foot applicator can be angled to give a pretty sharp line right off the bat.  Colour pay off is great (Dolce is a great dupe/pairing for MAC's Spice!) and although they can start to feel a little drying throughout the day, I find that a swipe of lip balm adds a bit of moisture back in and leaves things looking good as new.

OPI NAIL ENVY
I swear by this stuff for making my weak, flaky nails much less prone to peeling.  To use properly you apply two coats and then top up every other day with a fresh layer.  Now admittedly I'm too lazy to do that, so instead opt to use it as more of a base coat underneath other polishes.  Used properly though, this works a treat!

BUMBLE & BUMBLE SURF SPRAY
I've mentioned this one many times before, but it will forever be a worthwhile purchase in my daily ammo.  If beachy undone waves are you vibe then this is the one for you;  I've tried pretty much every surf spray I've ever got my hands on and this is undoubtedly the best.  Expensive, but worth it.

Beauty Items Worth Spending Your Money On

14.7.16


So as I mentioned in this post, I seem to have come full circle with my shopping tastes and can't seem to stop buying make up.  And whilst it's been fun experimenting with switching things up in my stash, the blogosphere and the beauty industry can, I feel, be a dangerous mix.

It is so easy to be influenced by the luxury purchases others have made.  But then it's also so easy for them to recommend the latest "must have" lipstick to you when they're being sent the whole collection for free.  No shade here whatsoever, but having taken a slight paycut in my career change I'm finding that myself watching my money a little more than I'm used to.  Or would like to.  Same difference.

Being sensible with my money means that I really value knowing what's worth having before I stump up the cash for it.  And my backlog of beauty purchases from my (marginally) richer days leads me to sharing my thoughts with you in this post.

What's really worth parting with your hard earned cash for?

YSL TOUCHE ECLAT LE TEINT FOUNDATION
This was my first step into high end foundations and I'm pretty sure I won't need to look any further to find my ideal.  The colour match is perfect, coverage exactly what I want, the packaging is luxurious and it lasts all day.  At £32.50 it definitely sits at the upper limit of my price range and I'm dreading the day I have to purchase a new one!  I've used it every day since the beginning of April though and I'm not yet halfway through so I'm hoping I'll get my money's worth.

CLARINS INSTANT LIGHT CONCEALER
I'm onto my third tube of this stuff and swear by it.  My first one lasted roughly a year, but the second one leaked constantly so only lasted 8(ish) months - I'm hoping it was a one-off because I'm in love with the consistency and coverage.  It does seem extravagant to be spending £20+ on a concealer, but I can honestly say I've never looked back.

LAURA MERCIER SECRET BRIGHTENING POWDER
If you struggle with dark circles then you *need* this.  Since I was given this at the beginning of June I've used it every day to set my under-eye concealer and attribute it to the fact that I haven't had to retouch during the day since, and no longer come home from work looking exhausted.  I genuinely didn't think it'd make that much of a difference in terms of longevity, and instead just hoped for a Kim K brightening affair, but I'm pleased to report that it's nailed it on both fronts. 

YSL 'SINGULIERE' BLUSH
As a Changing Jobs Present (that's a thing, right?) I decided to treat myself to a blusher I've had my eye on for a while.  On me it's the perfect cool-toned medium pink which actually works really well to give a natural, almost contoured look on the cheeks.  The formula blends seamlessly into the skin, it's nearly impossible to be too heavy-handed and overdo it (something I'm guilty of with other blushers!) and this has fast become a favourite in my collection.

 DIOR 'COSMOPOLITE' EYESHADOW
I can't vouch for all of the shades in this line, but Cosmopolite is eye shadow goals.  A gorgeous copper brown with a shimmer that makes it almost wet-look, this will be your quickest smoky eye ever.  I've reserved it for special occasions which means it may not be the most cost effective, but it's certainly a real treat to own and use.

STILA STAY ALL DAY LIQUID LIPSTICKS
I've managed to build up quite the collection of these recently and if I think of what it's actually cost me I start to freak out a little.  But liquid lipsticks are having a real moment right now and if you want something higher end I'd say these are your go-to's.  For the purpose of neatness I opt to line my lips with a similar shade pencil liner first, although the doe foot applicator can be angled to give a pretty sharp line right off the bat.  Colour pay off is great (Dolce is a great dupe/pairing for MAC's Spice!) and although they can start to feel a little drying throughout the day, I find that a swipe of lip balm adds a bit of moisture back in and leaves things looking good as new.

OPI NAIL ENVY
I swear by this stuff for making my weak, flaky nails much less prone to peeling.  To use properly you apply two coats and then top up every other day with a fresh layer.  Now admittedly I'm too lazy to do that, so instead opt to use it as more of a base coat underneath other polishes.  Used properly though, this works a treat!

BUMBLE & BUMBLE SURF SPRAY
I've mentioned this one many times before, but it will forever be a worthwhile purchase in my daily ammo.  If beachy undone waves are you vibe then this is the one for you;  I've tried pretty much every surf spray I've ever got my hands on and this is undoubtedly the best.  Expensive, but worth it.
I'd say I watch more YouTube than I do regular tv, and my subscription list is ever-expanding.  A while a go I wrote this post sharing some favourite YouTubers and thought it was high time I did another one.

If lifestyle's your thing I'd recommend Britton Loves, where Lauren does a real mixture of foodie videos alongside hauls and vlogs.  For the fashionistas out there, I've been loving Georgia Meramo's style and Megan Ellaby has quirky 60s/70s inspired fashion down to an tee.  Lizzy Hadfield is another big favourite; she does fantastic videos where she test drives key pieces from budget to high end, styling them up and sharing her thoughts after each day's wear.  A fashion/vlog hybrid...my favourite things to watch right now!  Beauty-wise, Emily Valentine Parr and Allana Davison are both musts if you like tutorials, and if a witty, insightful commentary on things that matter (or should matter!) to our generation are your bag then I'd strongly suggest you head to Hannah Witton's channel.
And the rest.....

Is there anyone you think I've missed?  I'm always on the look out for new faces to follow, so leave me your favourites (or your own) links down below!

And if all that wasn't enough for you, there's a full round up of my bookish favourites here!

(More) YouTubers You Need To Subscribe To

12.7.16

I'd say I watch more YouTube than I do regular tv, and my subscription list is ever-expanding.  A while a go I wrote this post sharing some favourite YouTubers and thought it was high time I did another one.

If lifestyle's your thing I'd recommend Britton Loves, where Lauren does a real mixture of foodie videos alongside hauls and vlogs.  For the fashionistas out there, I've been loving Georgia Meramo's style and Megan Ellaby has quirky 60s/70s inspired fashion down to an tee.  Lizzy Hadfield is another big favourite; she does fantastic videos where she test drives key pieces from budget to high end, styling them up and sharing her thoughts after each day's wear.  A fashion/vlog hybrid...my favourite things to watch right now!  Beauty-wise, Emily Valentine Parr and Allana Davison are both musts if you like tutorials, and if a witty, insightful commentary on things that matter (or should matter!) to our generation are your bag then I'd strongly suggest you head to Hannah Witton's channel.
And the rest.....

Is there anyone you think I've missed?  I'm always on the look out for new faces to follow, so leave me your favourites (or your own) links down below!

And if all that wasn't enough for you, there's a full round up of my bookish favourites here!

A few weeks ago I found myself in Brighton spending more than I'd care to admit on fudge.  It's my latest obsession, but upon realising it could become quite a pricey one I decided to take matters into my own hands and look around for easy, customisable recipes.

Enter (as I've christened it).....Quick Fudge!  This recipe is everywhere on the internet so I'm not going to pretend I've come up with anything new.  The possibilities with it, however, are endless.  I tried Oreos first, before whipping up this batch of Malteaser fudge as a birthday present.



Now the best part about this fudge (which isn't really fudge at all....should I have mentioned that sooner?) is that at its base it only takes two ingredients.  Which actually makes it incredibly cheap to make, but the optional toppings transform it into nothing short of a showstopper.

Now onto the recipe!

You're going to need 500G OF WHITE CHOCOLATE  melted in a medium sized pan along with a TIN OF CONDENSED MILK.  I chopped up a BOX OF MALTEASERS and threw them in at the last minute once I'd taken the pan off the heat and was ready to transfer the mixture into a smallish rectangular deep baking tray.  For some reason I didn't factor in that the Malteasers would begin to melt, but I quite like the marble effect it's created!  I had another bag of Malteasers on standby, of which I pressed a few into the top of the fudge (once I'd smoothed it over) to decorate.  Pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours and voila!  



As I mentioned this, strictly speaking, isn't fudge.  It lacks that true fudge trademark sugary consistency, but I'm happy to overlook that. These have gone down a storm in the office....let it not be said that I don't know how to make friends at work!  A little goes a long way though and you really need much less than you think.  I've cut into fairly small squares here, but even then you probably only need half of each one to satisfy any sweet tooth cravings.

Shall we bask in its glory once last time?



It's safe to say I've caught the fudge making bug and can't wait to try different combinations.  The only thing stopping me is the negative correlation between the amount it makes and the volume I can consume!  Next on my list?  Salted caramel pretzel.  Will keep you posted!

Recipe: Quick Malteaser Fudge

7.7.16


A few weeks ago I found myself in Brighton spending more than I'd care to admit on fudge.  It's my latest obsession, but upon realising it could become quite a pricey one I decided to take matters into my own hands and look around for easy, customisable recipes.

Enter (as I've christened it).....Quick Fudge!  This recipe is everywhere on the internet so I'm not going to pretend I've come up with anything new.  The possibilities with it, however, are endless.  I tried Oreos first, before whipping up this batch of Malteaser fudge as a birthday present.



Now the best part about this fudge (which isn't really fudge at all....should I have mentioned that sooner?) is that at its base it only takes two ingredients.  Which actually makes it incredibly cheap to make, but the optional toppings transform it into nothing short of a showstopper.

Now onto the recipe!

You're going to need 500G OF WHITE CHOCOLATE  melted in a medium sized pan along with a TIN OF CONDENSED MILK.  I chopped up a BOX OF MALTEASERS and threw them in at the last minute once I'd taken the pan off the heat and was ready to transfer the mixture into a smallish rectangular deep baking tray.  For some reason I didn't factor in that the Malteasers would begin to melt, but I quite like the marble effect it's created!  I had another bag of Malteasers on standby, of which I pressed a few into the top of the fudge (once I'd smoothed it over) to decorate.  Pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours and voila!  



As I mentioned this, strictly speaking, isn't fudge.  It lacks that true fudge trademark sugary consistency, but I'm happy to overlook that. These have gone down a storm in the office....let it not be said that I don't know how to make friends at work!  A little goes a long way though and you really need much less than you think.  I've cut into fairly small squares here, but even then you probably only need half of each one to satisfy any sweet tooth cravings.

Shall we bask in its glory once last time?



It's safe to say I've caught the fudge making bug and can't wait to try different combinations.  The only thing stopping me is the negative correlation between the amount it makes and the volume I can consume!  Next on my list?  Salted caramel pretzel.  Will keep you posted!

Image found via pinterest

Remember me?  It's been a long time since I've posted anything new - life's been a bit of a whirlwind lately, settling into a new chapter and getting my head around a change in routine.

Perhaps I should tell you a little about the new chapter.  I've done a 180, heading back to Law and am now working in a local firm.  It's entry level and baby steps towards where I want to be....although if I'm honest, I'm still not entirely sure where that is.  What I do know is that I feel so much better for it.  Although on paper not that different, the working hours are more manageable and according to Nick, I don't have "those purple things" under my eyes anymore.  Seal of approval right there.  It's a completely different environment which I'm still getting to grips with.  I now spend 95% of my time in front of a computer which explains why I've taken some time out from blogging in the interim.

| Sometimes in the winds of change we find our new direction |


And whilst I'm being honest, another reason for being MIA is that I also ran out of ideas for content.   Not to mention time to post. We've reached a point where blogs are hot on the heels of magazines, with photos looking like editorial spreads.  So where did that leave me?  I'm still not sure.  I'll never be able to publish slick photo shoots, but what I do hope to bring to the table is a dialogue - a narrative - for 20-somethings finding their feet, like me.  It's what I know and I'm not sure we're represented well in this glossy luxury-led blogosphere.  For the umpteenth time I'm swaying towards heading back to a more diary-style space on the internet, with aesthetically pleasing imagery balanced with a whole lot of real life.

So hopefully the idea of a less glamorous (although I never have been, or pretended to be, particularly glitzy) documentation of my life is something you'll be interested in.  I'm still figuring it all out, so please bear with me.  We'll be up and running again soon!

New beginnings

5.7.16


Image found via pinterest

Remember me?  It's been a long time since I've posted anything new - life's been a bit of a whirlwind lately, settling into a new chapter and getting my head around a change in routine.

Perhaps I should tell you a little about the new chapter.  I've done a 180, heading back to Law and am now working in a local firm.  It's entry level and baby steps towards where I want to be....although if I'm honest, I'm still not entirely sure where that is.  What I do know is that I feel so much better for it.  Although on paper not that different, the working hours are more manageable and according to Nick, I don't have "those purple things" under my eyes anymore.  Seal of approval right there.  It's a completely different environment which I'm still getting to grips with.  I now spend 95% of my time in front of a computer which explains why I've taken some time out from blogging in the interim.

| Sometimes in the winds of change we find our new direction |


And whilst I'm being honest, another reason for being MIA is that I also ran out of ideas for content.   Not to mention time to post. We've reached a point where blogs are hot on the heels of magazines, with photos looking like editorial spreads.  So where did that leave me?  I'm still not sure.  I'll never be able to publish slick photo shoots, but what I do hope to bring to the table is a dialogue - a narrative - for 20-somethings finding their feet, like me.  It's what I know and I'm not sure we're represented well in this glossy luxury-led blogosphere.  For the umpteenth time I'm swaying towards heading back to a more diary-style space on the internet, with aesthetically pleasing imagery balanced with a whole lot of real life.

So hopefully the idea of a less glamorous (although I never have been, or pretended to be, particularly glitzy) documentation of my life is something you'll be interested in.  I'm still figuring it all out, so please bear with me.  We'll be up and running again soon!

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