It’s the last Monday of August and this month seems to have flown by, although it seems like it was weeks ago since I was paid, so I’m looking forward to that…

This week was a good one because it ended with a long weekend, but also a sad one because that’s the last one of the year!

Here are the things I was loving last week…

1. Magazines

Since I was at university, I have loved having magazines lying around the house to pick up whenever I feel like having a chilled hour or two. I have a tendency to buy magazines like Cosmo, Glamour and Red when they’re on offer but never get round to reading them. On Tuesday evening, I had some free time so I finally got round to reading a few that had been piling up on my lounge table. It was nice to be able to switch off for a bit and not have to concentrate too hard.

2. Baking

On Wednesday evening, I had an evening baking for our bake sale at work on the Friday. I ended up making a flapjack and 32 cookies… I didn’t realise that doubling the recipe would make so so many, but I wasn’t complaining! The bake sale was for such a good cause, cystic fibrosis, and I hope a lot of money was raised. For someone who doesn’t enjoy cooking too much, I really do like to bake!

3. Celebrity Masterchef

Although it started last week, Jordan and I didn’t round to watching Celebrity Masterchef until this week, and it was great to be able to bulk watch them instead of waiting a few days. I’m a massive fan of any cooking program, especially ones where ‘celebrities’ (using that term loosely) embarrass themselves because it makes me feel better about my inability to cook.

4. Sushi Catch-up

On Thursday, I had a few friends over to see the house and have a catch-up. There ended up being 4 of us, all of whom went to Ibiza back in April, but we hadn’t all been together since then (minus my friend’s wedding…) so it was nice to hear what everyone had been up to. Plus one of the girls had just got engaged so we toasted to that!



5. Friday Lunchtime

On Friday lunchtime, a few of us decided we needed a drink, so headed to the Botanist in Alderley edge for a cheeky G&T. It ended up being a bit of an outing for everyone in the office, and we managed to take over quite a bit big of the restaurant. It definitely made the day go quicker!

6. Catch-Ups

Sticking with the theme of Friday drinking, I met my friend Erin (her blog is here) for a catch-up over an after work drink. I hadn’t seen her since April, so we had loads to catch up. The weather was playing ball for once, so we sat outside enjoying the sunshine.



7. Trip To Altrincham

For anyone who knows me, you’ll know that I used to live in Altrincham, but moved slightly further out when we bought a house. It had been a while since I had been back to my old little town on a Saturday day, so me and Jordan went for a wander on Saturday afternoon. The sun was shining, and there was a music festival going on. It’s only been a couple of months since I’d last been, but so many new places had opened, and it’s nice to see the town thriving again – (what an old person thing to say…)

8. BBQ

On Saturday afternoon after going to Altrincham, we went to our friends for an impromptu BBQ. The weather was absolutely glorious, and it was really lovely to spend time with everyone whilst eating and drinking our way through the insane amount of food that we bought: We even had smores at the end.

9. Birthday Party

On Sunday, it was my Nan’s 90th birthday and my Dad’s 64th, so we went to her house to celebrate. She had gone all out with the food and drinks, and had the most insane gold, chocolate cake. She did a little speech, and it was lovely to meet some of her friends and see that side of my family again. She is such an inspiration, and I am so honoured to be related to her.

10. Greek Takeaway

After we got home from the party on Sunday, we were both a bit peckish and decided to get a takeaway instead of cooking – plus we had no food in. After having a look on Just Eat (because apparently, our house isn’t good enough for Deliveroo) we found our favourite Greek restaurant on there and decided to have a bit of a feast. Greek food has always been one of my favourites and it’s good to know we can get it, if the mood takes us (but maybe not so much for the ol’ bank account…)

xx

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It’s coming up to six months since I visited Berlin back in March, but since then, I have been toying with the idea of going back for a few days either at the end of this year or maybe next because it was one of those places that gets under your skin.

Because I had to fly back early to sort out the final paperwork for buying our house, I felt as though my time there was slightly cut short, which meant that there were a few things I didn’t get round to doing that were on my list.

There’s are some of the reasons that I would definitely go back:



1. The People

I don’t know where the connotation that German people aren’t friendly because I’ve never found that to be the case. I had my first experience of their hospitality when I visited Hamburg last Christmas, and Berlin was no different. The Germans are very proud of their country, but they also want to share it with tourists, which is very welcoming.

2. The History

I was recommended a walking tour of Berlin by a friend, and I’m so glad we did it. You see so much more walking around a city with a guide than you do on the top of a bus or trying to figure it out by yourself. We saw where Hitler shot himself in the bunker, where the east and west divide was and learnt all about the Berlin wall, which I had no idea about previously.



3. The Food

Where we stayed in Mitte, we were surrounded by incredible restaurants, and I wish we had have been there longer to try them out. There were loads of Asian inspired ones, burger joints, and classic German cuisine amongst so many others (including an amazing ice cream place!) If you’re ever struggling of where to stay in Berlin, I would recommend the Mitte district because it has everything on your doorstep, but is also close to the underground station too. We also went to a food hall in Kreuzberg which had loads of different options and live music.

4. The Graffiti

If there’s one thing Berlin does well, it’s the graffiti. The city has so much to offer, from building-high murals to random bits on the trams, but it’s all amazing and so colourful. One of my favourite memories of the trip was visiting the East-side gallery, which I would definitely recommend if you’re visiting the city.




5. The Music Scene

One of the areas I wish we’d had more time to explore was Kreuzberg because from what I did see, it looked absolutely crazy – in the best way possible. I was only there for two nights, so we didn’t manage to fit in any of the megaclubs, but the bars we went to really impressed me and the music was very eclectic.



6. The Beer

One of the places we visited on our last night was the Hofbrau beer hall, which I’d heard a few people talk about, and I really enjoyed it. They had a selection of different draft beers and the waitress talked us through them all and recommended the different ones based on our personal tastes. We also went to a couple of craft beer bars, where the bar staff were so knowledgeable and gave us loads to try, which went down a treat. If there’s one thing the Germans know, it’s their beer!



7. The Museums

The one thing I really wish we had more time for was to visit the museums because the walking tour we went on was so interesting. I would have liked to go to the Jewish and the Holocaust museum and have a look around museum island, which I believe is a UNESCO world heritage site itself.



8. The Atmosphere

I’ve never heard of anyone going to Berlin and not enjoying it, so I had high hopes for the city, which were definitely met. There is so much to do, and incredible events going on throughout the year and the buzz of the place is electric. We saw people spontaneously beat-boxing on the street, piling into the bars and restaurants at all hours of the day, and basically enjoying everything the city had to offer.

9. The Prices

You’d think that with Berlin being a capital city, the cost of things would be extremely high, but I actually found the opposite. We spend about £8-£12 on our evening meals and lunch was cheaper than that. For a stein of beer, it was about £3 and other cocktails weren’t much more. The Germans like their happy hour too, so definitely seek these out if you’re after a deal!

So there are the 9 reasons I’d 100% go back to Berlin.
I hope that my wish comes true in the next year or so!

Are there any places that you would recommend? 


xx


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Since I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder back in 2012, I have had an array of jobs and employers who all react differently to mental health and I thought this would be a good topic to talk about on here.

We spend so much of our life at work that it is important that we feel at ease in our job – life is too short to be constantly worrying and fretting about work, and although it is usually crucial to have a job to fund your lifestyle, your happiness should be the upmost important focus.

If I think about when I first learnt that I had anxiety, it was during the time I was still at university and working part-time in a call centre. Whilst I was working there, I made a close circle of friends, which made me feel much more at ease and my anxiety was never really apparent, and I felt as though I had it under control.

After finishing university, I started work full time straight away, which was such a shock to the system after having a few months of travelling around, going to festivals and spending time with my favourite people. Although I felt anxious day to day about the way my life was going career wise, I was also so busy and learning so many new things that it was always put to the back of my mind. Also, during this job was when me and Jordan became closer (after knowing each other for a few years prior) which gave me someone to talk to on a daily basis who I knew wouldn’t judge me if I wasn’t feeling myself.

After a few months, I noticed that I was starting to feel more and more anxious going into work and I felt like I had a heavy weight on my shoulders every day, which was a horrible feeling. I didn’t think I was getting enough out of my job, and it was making me miserable. I went to the doctors and they prescribed me medication but because I wasn’t particularly enjoying my job, I ended up moving departments. At the time, this was a really good move for me; I felt like I fit in more, I had a proper friendship group and people I could talk to in work if I needed to.

My anxiety never went away during this time, and some days it was worse than others but I felt as though I was in the right place work-wise. After I wrote this blog around the same time, my manager took me aside and said she was always there to confide in when I needed it, which made the whole experience much easier.

Writing that blog was incredibly tough, and at one point I wasn’t going to post it because I didn’t want my work friends or colleagues to read it and think I was strange or feel as though they had to treat me any differently, especially because there was no particular reason why I felt so anxious at the time – but everyone was so incredibly supportive, and a lot of people even said it helped them open up about their mental health, which was such a great reaction.

If we skip forward a bit to my last job, this was where I felt I was struggling more than ever. Although most of the people were nice, one of the turning points was when I overheard someone laughing about a colleague who had been signed off with depression from a different department. Apart from being in complete shock, I felt as though I would be victimised if anyone knew about my past so I kept quiet.

Acting as though nothing was wrong was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and it made going to work harder than ever. I woke up in the night worrying about what the next day would be like and I felt as though my workload was getting on top of me. The doctor prescribed me a different medication because I couldn’t handle going into work, but nothing was working.

It got to the point that every email I received with that name sent me into a frenzy – even if the email was a company-wide one. To me it didn’t matter; I constantly thought I was in trouble or was going to get sacked, even though I was doing nothing wrong and I could barely concentrate. I used to go home and cry to Jordan about how on edge and irritable I felt there, until one day I decided that enough was enough and I quit.

Quitting my job when I didn’t have one to go to was one of the bravest but scariest decisions I’d ever made, but I’m very lucky in the respect that I have a good support network. I knew I would be ok for about a month money-wise, but I also knew my mental health would be so much better out of that environment, and to me, that was the most important factor.

When I finally had some breathing space, I was able to think about what I wanted my next step to be career wise. I luckily got some freelance work straight away and I was doing a few projects for my old manager whilst I decided what my next step was. When I had time to get my head back together, I had chance to properly look for a job and interview with people who I wanted

Being out of that office helped me incredibly: I was myself at home, I was making plans and spending time with my friends and family and I was able to sleep again. It’s crazy to think how much having that job affected me mentally, but it was such a big learning curve.

The point of this post isn’t to encourage you to quit your job if you’re finding it hard, but to think about prioritising your mental health if you are feeling down when it comes to work, and never think you are alone in struggling day to day. Talking about anxiety is something I find incredibly hard, but it is something that I know people shy away from talking about, and I want to help break the stigma.

xx

And so it’s Monday yet again, and I can’t quite believe how fast these weeks are going by, but autumn is my favourite season, so I for one am happy to welcome the colder days and beautiful colours.

Plus I’ve got loads of exciting plans in September that I’ve been looking forward to for ages, so thats something to look forward to.

1. Salon Success

On Tuesday afternoon, I came home from work to a parcel from Salon Success. The parcel included a range from Kenra and a personalised beanie hat. I love receiving parcels from Salon Success because they are always such good quality, and allow me to try brands that I never would have had the chance to ordinarily, and I’ve never been disappointed by the quality of them all – and the hat was an added bonus too!

2. Pizza Thursdays

After a pretty stressful couple of days at work, I had started to become a bit under the weather and feeling sorry for myself. Being the absolute babe that she is, Hannah suggested that we should have a chilled night in and get a pizza takeaway. I met her in Chorlton, and we went to one of my favourite pizza places, Double Zero. We got a couple of pizzas to take away plus the antipasti board which I had last time I was in there – it’s safe to say that most of it was eaten on the car ride home.

3. Altrincham Market

On Friday evening, Jordan and I decided to go for a couple of drinks and some food at Altrincham Market. It’s one of my favourite places to go at the moment, even though it gets ridiculously busy on the weekends, but I love the atmosphere and that you never know who you’ll bump into (Altrincham is a small place!)

4. New Boots

One of the things I’ve noticed about my wardrobe is that I tend to wear the same thing no matter what season it is, and add tights where necessary. With this in mind, I thought it was about time that I invested in a new pair of black boots because my last pair got a bit tattered when we moved house and to me, they’re a wardrobe staple. I went for this pair from Boohoo in black, and got 20% discount too, so they only ended up costing me about £22!

5. Topshop Dress

On the same topic of new clothes, one of my goals for the month of August was to find a dress for my cousin’s wedding last Saturday. I searched online for ages because I didn’t have time to go to the shops, but I didn’t find anything I liked. When me and Jordan were in York, I tried on a floral wrap dress, from Topshop, which I think is a great style on me because it hides the fact I have bigger hips. I didn’t buy it when we were in York, and regretted it since, so I treated myself to it for the wedding: It’s one of those styles that I think I’ll be able to get away with in autumn too!

6. Family Lunch

As I just mentioned, it was my cousin’s wedding on Saturday in Huddersfield. My Dad drove me, Jordan and my Mum across and we met up with my Nan and a few other members of my extended family for lunch round the corner from the church. A lot of the wedding party had come up from London (where the groom is from) so it was really nice to get to know them before the ceremony started.

7. Wedding

Now onto the wedding – it was amazing! My cousin looked absolutely beautiful, and as soon as we left the church, the sun started shining, which meant we could have the drinks reception outside. I really enjoyed the whole day and spending time with my Dad’s side of the family, which I don’t often get to do because we’re all spread out so far across the country.

8. Sunday Morning Walk

After waking up with no hangover on Sunday, Jordan and I decided to go for a walk around the park opposite our house to clear our heads before the week ahead. It was a really lovely morning, and we ended up walking about 6km without even realising.

9. Superbad

Jordan mentioned to me the other day that it was 10 years since Superbad came out, which is one of my favourite films. We decided to have a chilled Sunday after our walk, and watched it in the afternoon after getting all the boring chores out of the way. I forgot how much I loved the film, and it was such a nice way to switch off on a Sunday.

10. No Makeup Days

For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to give my skin a break on one of the weekend days and not wear makeup. As I had the wedding on Saturday, I thought it would be better to do it on Sunday, and I’ve found that my skin really benefits from having a break every now and again.

xx

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Well… It’s been quite a while since I spoke about anything beauty related, hasn’t it? That’s not to say I’m not still obsessed with skincare and makeup, but I’ve been focusing more on food, travel and lifestyle content, with a few beauty posts thrown in here and there for good measure.

Today I thought I would share some of my current favourites – the products I’m going back to time and time again. I’m 27 now and this year I have tried to heavily invest in more upmarket skincare products to slow down any signs of ageing (because apparently, I should have started worrying about that when I was 25… who knew?)

1. Liz Earle – Cleanse & Polish £14.50

This is one I mentioned on my Weekly Loves back in May, and since then I have been loving using it. I use about one pump and spread it evenly over my face and eyes. Not only does it smell really fresh, but the consistency isn’t too thick, which I’ve found with other cleansers. I leave it on for about 2-3 minutes and then take it off with a muslin cloth that I’ve run under warm water. I usually use a micellar water after this to make sure every last bit of makeup is off my skin.

2. Botanics Triple Age Renew Facial Oil – £11.49

I picked this up in the Market Street Boots store at the start of June and I’ve been using it every night after cleansing and toning. The one I have is slightly different to the one I’ve linked, but from the same range. I never used to be a fan of oils as my complexion can get quite oily itself, but I’ve found my skin absolutely loves this. Boots usually have offers on Botanics as it is their premium beauty brand so I would suggest having a look in store over shopping online.



3. Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask – £24

This is a product I only use 1-2 times a week after picking up at Hamburg airport back in December and I’m only about halfway through. This is quite a thick mask to leave on your skin overnight, but it does the trick at supplying a high level of moisture and it smells amazing. At first, I wasn’t too convinced by it but now when I use it, the next morning my skin feels so nourished and smooth.

4. Clinique All About Eyes – £27

This is a product I did a lot of research into when I noticed my under eye bags getting worse. I’m not a great sleeper, so, unfortunately, I have to spend quite a lot on under eye creams and concealers. I got this one for my birthday after it was highly regarded in Marie Claire and I love it so far. I’ve noticed my circles have slightly reduced, but the product itself is really nice to apply in the morning and before bed. The consistency is a sort of gel, but it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy or sticky which I’ve found with some competitors.

5. Nivea Peach Shine Lip Balm – £1.95

This was a very spontaneous purchase after my lips seemed to be quite sunburnt one summer day and I love it. I have a handbag full of different kinds of lip balms but I keep going back to this one at the moment because it smells so fruity and has a slight coral tint to it if you’re not in the mood to wear lipstick.

I hope you enjoyed this slightly different post than usual!
What are you skincare favourites?

xx

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