This week has been one of the most up and down ones of my life. It started off which such tragedy but ended with so much love.

It still gives me some faith in humanity, that even in the darkest of times, people still try to find the light.

1. The Mancunian Spirit

After the heartbreak I felt on Monday evening, I’ve managed to feel a bit more uplifted throughout the week seeing everyone from around the city I call home, come together in such a magnificent way. From the floral tributes to the poems, to the I Love MCR signs everywhere: It really made my heart warm knowing that even through such a terrible act, no one will every break the Northern spirit.

2. Wedding Rehearsal 

On Wednesday evening we had the rehearsal for my friend’s wedding which happened over the weekend. I was so so nervous to walk down the aisle, so having a rehearsal really put my mind at rest that it wouldn’t be so bad. We also got to see the bride and groom’s parents and the church in general and it was a lovely way to spend the evening.

3. Dot 2 Dot Festival

On Friday afternoon, myself and a couple of friends went to Dot to Dot festival in Manchester. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically loads of different acts dotted around Manchester at different bars and venues. We started off seeing Honeyblood at Albert Hall, followed by Liv Dawson at Band on the Wall, then Confidence Man at Mint Lounge and Growlers at Granada. It was such a fab day and something that is a really good idea to see bands you never usually would and venues you might not usually go to. My favourite were Confidence Man who put on an amazing show and were an electro 4-piece with crazy, awesome dance moves.

4. Wedding 

Obviously, the biggest highlight of the week (and year…) was watching two of my friends tie the knot on Saturday. The wedding was the most amazing and beautiful ceremony, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it. I won’t give too much away, as I’m sure they’ll be loads of photos on Facebook coming up, but it was honestly one of the best days of my life. Wishing the happy couple all the love in the world.

5. Bank Holiday BBQ

To make the wedding celebrations last a bit longer, the Groom’s parents threw a BBQ yesterday at their house, joint with a 60th birthday celebration for the Mother of the Groom. It was really nice to get back together with close friends and family and reminisce about the day before. We also got the chance to wish the happy couple the best time on their honeymoon.

xx

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I chose to write this post after a few days reflecting on what happened in my home city of Manchester.

I’m sure you all know by now the atrocities that happened in the city on Monday evening and share with me a heavy heart knowing that something so horrible happened and so close to home.

I spent most of Monday night searching for updates on Twitter after hearing from my friend Hannah that she had just heard a bang from opposite her flat. At first, I prayed it was nothing serious; there were reports all over Twitter saying that a speaker had exploded at the Ariana Grande concert, but once I heard the word bomb, I couldn’t sleep.

Throughout the night I was searching for updates, but because there were different outlets saying completely different things, it was hard to get the whole story until the morning. I always thought that Manchester would be spared from all the atrocities going on around the world; call me naive if you like.

Unfortunately for a lot of us, we have had to grow up in a time where terrorism is a real threat to our everyday lives and it’s an unnerving thought. In the last few years, I can remember countless acts of everyday people losing their lives for doing nothing wrong, and it makes me so sad to think about.

I, for one, will never understand terrorism. It makes me sick to my stomach to know there are extremists out there who want innocent people to die, especially those with their whole life ahead of them.

If I’m being honest about how I feel about this whole thing, the only word I can think of is flat. It’s made me feel so helpless and low that this kind of thing could happen a) in general b) to children who were enjoying their favourite artist and c) somewhere I have been many times, in an area I walked through not only 2 months ago.

I feel as though there is only one way to deal with things like this – live your life how you always have, be cautious where necessary, but enjoy your time on earth. It’s scary to think that you’ll never know when your time might be up, so don’t spend it sweating the small stuff. Be thankful for all of the beautiful people around you who make you who you are and make your life so amazing.

In the last few days, I’ve been reading stories of heartache, agony, and loss, but also of undeniable courage, heroism and togetherness as we try to come to terms with what has happened to our great city. I have been so proud knowing that the city I call home, has such a beautiful spirit and incredible people who have all come together in a time of need.

“Manchester is a city, that thinks like a town, and feels like a village.” 

If this last year has taught me anything it’s that life is too short: It’s too short to hold grudges, not appreciate everything you have, to worry about money, not to take that holiday you’ve been dreaming of, to be in a job you don’t like.

Go and do the things that make you happy, because being happy should be your number 1 priority.

x

 

Back when I started this series, I always thought I might not keep it up because things get in the way each week and sometimes make it hard to sit down and write up a post.

Since buying a house, a lot of my time has been spent on that and the constant cleaning that comes with owning your own place – I mean really, how can two people and a cat make so much mess all the time?

I think what I’m trying to say here is though, even when life gets crazy hectic, I’ve always liked knowing I have these posts to look back on in the next few months/years later. It’s become a sort of online diary and I’m hoping that people are enjoying reading them too.

I’ve also decided to use fewer images on these posts because when I look at my blog sometimes, I think there is too many, so, we’ll see how long that lasts! If you’re looking for visuals of anything I do in the week though, you can always have a look at my Instagram.

And after that strange little intro… here’s what I was loving last week.

1. Liz Earle Cleanse And Polish 

Last week I mentioned I bought a few new bits in Boots, one of them being the Liz Earle ‘Cleanse and Polish’. I’ve heard hundreds of beauty bloggers rave about this, and it wasn’t until my skin had started to look a bit dull and lifeless that I actually thought I better invest in something. The girl working at the counter talked me through why it is good for you and the benefits of using it and even after a week, I am obsessed with the product. It smells so fresh and spa-like and already my skin is starting to look a bit better – definitely worth investing in. Shop here!

2. Nails

If you rewind back about 3 weeks, you’ll remember me saying that I got my nails done with shellac for the first time. I was really impressed that I had them on for over 3 weeks and only one came off (because it chipped and I pulled it away…) So on Thursday, I treated myself to another set for the wedding I am a bridesmaid at on Saturday. I got a pale pink because it was the closest colour to my dress, and I love how girly it is! It definitely makes me feel like I have my life together more when I have my nails done.

3. Shoryu

On Friday evening, I was invited to try the restaurant Shoryu in Picadilly Gardens in Manchester. I had only heard good things about this place so I was really excited to give it a go. The restaurant is quite small but intimate, and I didn’t feel as though I was cramped or anything (it probably helped that we sat by the window). I’m going to do a full blog review on it soon so keep an eye out for that. Visit the website here.

4. Beer Festival

On Saturday afternoon, a group of us went to the German Beer Festival in Manchester. We got there about halfway through the afternoon session and felt quite overwhelmed when everyone was already very very drunk around us. We had a few drinks then went back in for the evening session, which turned out to be a really good decision. The DJ was hilarious and had everyone dancing on the chairs and tables. Definitely, one I’ll be going back to next year.

5. Catch Up’s

On Friday afternoon after work, I met up with my friend Sarah for a quick coffee in Altrincham. She has just decided to go travelling for 8 months in July so I was very intrigued (albeit, very jealous) to hear all about her plans for that. We managed to also sit outside of a cute little cafe round the corner from my office called The Little Deli Company, which I also learnt is open till 9pm and does wine and cocktails, so I’ll definitely be back!

6. Overnight Oats

This seems like quite a lame thing to put on a weekly love post; however, I love talking about food and therefore thought I might as well put it in! I’ve gotten into the habit of having porridge for my breakfast when I’m at work, but last week I was getting bored of always having the same thing, so to mix things up (and use up the natural yoghurt that was edging closer and closer to it’s sell-by date) I decided to make some overnight oats.  I didn’t really measure the portion properly and ended up making enough for 3 days, and it probably would have stretched to 4 if I didn’t get so hungry in the morning. I used regular porridge oats and left them in yoghurt overnight (obviously…) and added in some blueberries. If you’re after something a bit more substantial in the morning, I would definitely recommend!

7. One Week Countdown

On Saturday it was officially one week until two of my closest friends tie the knot. I’m already gearing myself up for a day of tears, love and dancing and I for one can’t wait. It even looks like it will be the hottest day of the year so far as well!

xx

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Last month I was very kindly sent a Gousto box to review. If you’ve never heard of Gousto, it is a food subscription service, where you are delivered delicious ingredients to make some incredible-sounding meals that you usually wouldn’t have the chance to do so: It’s a great way to try new cuisines, sample new herbs and spices and get back into cooking.

I for one am not a massive fan of cooking: I get quite bored easily, end up eating most of the ingredients before anything has even touched the plate and my presentation skills are non-existent. So when Gousto got in touch and asked me to participate, I thought, why the hell not – I have nothing to lose!

I was offered the chance to chose two recipes from 22 on the website and have the box delivered straight to my front door: The great thing about this too is that the box is filled with ice packs to ensure your ingredients stay cold just in case you are not there to accept the delivery – although you can choose your delivery slot as well, which just makes life so much easier.

I found it really hard to choose because all of the recipes looked so good, but I went for the hoisin meatballs and Chinese sesame rice and Indonesian chicken rendang because they sounded hella fancy.

One of the things I really liked about the recipes is that the ingredients stayed in date for about a week so you weren’t in that much of a rush to make them.

I think out of the two, I preferred the chicken rendang because it was simpler to make, and tasted absolutely amazing; saying that though, the hoisin meatballs were probably the best meatballs I have ever had.

If you are interested in trying new recipes and gaining some confidence in the kitchen, I would definitely suggest giving these boxes a try because all the hard work is done for you.

xx

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This week has felt like a bit of a blur if I’m honest. I, unfortunately, started the week off with a Migraine which saw me bed-bound for longer than I wanted and didn’t put me in the best mood for the rest of the week.

But I survived and I’m here to tell the tale.

1. My First Five Guys

On Thursday evening, I met my friend Hannah after work for a catch up over some food. We couldn’t decide on where to go and ended up walking and talking for a while until we stumbled across Five Guys. I’ve only ever heard people rave about Five Guys and I can see why. The burgers were double burgers, and although it is classed as a takeaway joint, the quality is definitely that of a restaurant, if not better. We both had double cheeseburgers and shared chips (because the portions were insanely large) and it was delicious. I will definitely be back! (Disclaimer – not my picture below, I inhaled it too fast…)

2. Cocktails In The City

On Friday evening, myself and a few friends went to the cocktails in the city event at Granda Studios in Manchester. I didn’t know too much about the event going in, but it was basically some of the best bars in Manchester doing a pop-up, showcasing their most popular cocktails. There were all different kinds of cocktails from rum and gin based to whisky and vodka, and I think it’s fair to say that we tried a large array of them. They also had two free drink tokens with the ticket, and different types of shots to try as well throughout the night.

3. New Stationary

I found myself wandering through Sainsbury’s on Saturday evening and being drawn towards the stationary section. I always find that Sainsbury’s have the best ranges when it comes to Christmas, Easter, and Summer compared to the other supermarkets and they have some really beautiful notebooks in all year round. I picked this one up for £2 and I already can’t wait to start planning some more blogs and content.

4. At Home With Podcast

I ummed and ahhed about whether to put this in this week’s post because there has only been one episode, but I enjoyed the first one so much that I thought why not. This podcast is done by two of my favourite bloggers and YouTubers, The Anna Edit and Lily Pebbles, and the first one featured the editor-in-chief of UK Glamour, Jo Elvin. Find it here.

5. New Book

I’ve fell a bit short recently of reading before bed because I’ve had a million other things on my mind, but thats not excuse. For the rest of this month, I am going to make it my mission to read as much as possible before my head hits the pillow because reading has a soothing effect on me. Over the weekend I started reading Emma Unsworth’s ‘Animals’, and although I’m not that far through it, I am already really enjoying it.

6. Date Night

On Saturday night, Jordan and I treated ourselves to a little date night to spend some quality time together after all of the manic-ness that comes with buying a house. We went to Love, Luck, Liquor and Burn in the Northern Quarter and shared tacos, burritos, a couple of starters and chips between us. I’ve been to the restaurant a few times and its one I recommend to people when they come to Manchester because the food is amazing and well priced.

xx

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