I’ll be first to admit that I am not a romantic person. I cringe quite easily, I hate anything lovey dovey and if I hear the words ‘I wrote something for you’ or ‘poem’ etc. etc. my whole body shudders – Luckily though, I have found someone who feels the same way. I wouldn’t say there isn’t any romance in our relationship, but it’d definitely more low key, day-to-day type romance filled with stupidly long conversations about nothing, the occasional surprise chocolate bar or an unexpected trip to somewhere new and this quite frankly is enough for me. It will come as no shock then that I am also not a fan of valentines day. I won’t be a cliché and say ‘well I love him all year round so why do I need a special day’… actually I will, that’s exactly how I feel. To me,Valentines Day is something that is such a big deal when you are younger, but once you have found someone that you really click with, there shouldn’t be a specific day to celebrate on… call me a bore if you want!

So this is a list for the rest of you who don’t want to be cramped in your local Italian restaurant, paying double what you usually would for a lukewarm bowel of pasta and trying not to vomit over the couple you can see in the corner of your eye who definitely need to get a room. *Side note, if you don’t see that couple, its probably you…*

1. Aren’t we lucky that Valentines day falls on a weekend this year?… Why not take yourself to that local country pub you both always drive past but forget the name of when you’re trying to think of somewhere to go at the weekend? Maybe pair it with a long country walk or the local farmer’s market? Something that gets you out of the house and active means you won’t feel as bad eating the ironic valentines chocolates you bought yourself…

2. If valentines chocolates aren’t your thing, put aside some time and bake something instead. Is there a recipe you keep putting off because you don’t have the right ingredients, the time or the right baking equipment? This weekend is the perfect excuse to prepare your dessert in advance and eat it with your other half. Maybe you’ll just use one spoon to make it ‘cute’? (optional)

3. You know who hates valentines day as much as you? Your single friends. Invite the girls over, or maybe a big group of you and do a Mexican night instead. Nachos + Fajitas + Dips + Tequila + Cheese + More Cheese + Drawn on Moustaches = lots of happiness (and silly pictures for Instagram #winning)

4. Have a date night in. If you still want to do something semi-romantic, you could treat your other half to a slap up meal. Get the cookery books down, dig your apron out and get creative. If cooking isn’t your thing, maybe share the courses or buy a ‘Dine in for Two’ deal (Tesco are doing an amazing deal this weekend.) Or if you really don’t want to set foot in the kitchen, get a takeaway. There’s no judgement on Valentines day!

5. Babysit. Maybe you have younger nieces and nephews, cousins, or even your friend’s children, but wouldn’t it be nice to let the parents have a day off looking after them? Offer to take the kids off their hands for the day or even just a few hours and let them bask in the romance. You could even end up spending your Valentines Day in an aquarium or the zoo, which quite frankly seems like the best plan ever.

6. Go to another city or town. I don’t mean pack up your bags and move away (unless you really want to!) but why not try and change of scenery for the day. It doesn’t have to be far, I’m sure there are plenty of new places that can be reached within the hour, or that are just a train ride away. Sometimes it’s hard to get away for a few hours so this is the perfect day to put aside some time and spend it with your other half.

Let me know if you have any other non-conventional plans this Valentines 🙂 xx

Cancer… The big C. One of the biggest killers in the country. The life-threatening disease with over 20 varieties. The family destroyer, the heart-wrencher, the relationship ender – whatever way you look at it, Cancer is the absolute worse, and unfortunately you can’t ignore it.

Today marks ‘World Cancer Day’ where individuals, businesses and charities from around the world will come together in order to raise money for such worthwhile causes. Today is #adaytounite and to donate you can follow this link to the Cancer Research Website

A part of me becomes really affected when someone young dies of Cancer. You just assume that if you’re one of the unlucky ones that it won’t happen until you’re at least a bit older, and by that time hopefully a cure will be on the cards. But unfortunately this is not the case for a lot of young people and children, and it breaks my heart to think of people being that ill at such a young age.

Cancer Research UK has always been a charity very close to my heart. I have had family members survive and pass away from this horrible disease, and I’ve always been an ambassador. When I was in my second year of uni, I was the Marketing and PR intern for them which meant that I got to visit the research sites, help out at the fundraising events, and increase the profile for an already well-known brand. It was only when I was working for them as well that I understood how hard they all work – not only the doctors and nurses, but the fundraising department, event staff and volunteers. Everyone is so invested in the company and that’s great to see when it’s doing such worthwhile research and providing support for those suffering, and the friends and family.

So what are you waiting for? Go and donate!!! x

Today marks the start of a new month, which means January is over!

I’m usually one to hate on January for being so long, drab and boring, but I actually had quite a fun month, which in my eyes, has flown by. It’s been a bit of a weird month. I thought I would be majorly down in the dumps about Christmas being over, and having to go back to work after having most of December off, but this year, January was different. For one, it was really fun, and it felt like a fresh start.

I’ve always been a believer that life can sometimes throw things at you where you just need a break, and although I’ve been saying that last month was fun, I definitely wanted to get away. We had originally booked to visit to The Coniston Hotel to celebrate our 3 year anniversary (which was in December) but someone’s boyfriend didn’t read the small print that stated that it wasn’t valid during the festive period… So we decided to go at the end of January.

I’m a lover of the countryside, but unfortunately don’t get out there as much as I would like, which is a bit ridiculous seeing as I literally live about 20 minutes away. We arrived at the hotel at 2pm, feeling a bit keen as that was the time the check-in desk opened…

We dropped off our bags and decided to have a look around, first stop, the spa. It was in another building about 100m from the hotel, and up a hill, which gave the infinity pool an amazing view over Lake Coniston.

The lobby of the hotel had a log fire and a lovely view of the pool. We had a quick look around, told the receptionist that we were staying in the hotel, and she said just come back whenever we wanted. We nipped back to the room to get changed and went back to the spa. I got changed into my mismatched bikini, grabbed my book and headed out to the pool.

There were two saunas (one normal, and one salt, detoxing, fancy one) a steam room, a Jacuzzi, the pool and an outdoor heated infinity pool, which I got forced into, but it was amazing having your body submerged in warm water and your head in the cold, fresh air.

After we had a few hours in the spa, we got ready for dinner and drinks and headed to the bar. We had two glasses of Prosecco in the deal that we got (of which I had one and a half) and maybe another two with dinner. To start I had scallops, wrapped in parma ham with black pudding, followed by chicken and potatoes (it was a lot fancier than I just made it out) and a fudge cake. I didn’t take any photos of the food as we had a no phone rule for the evening.

In the morning we had breakfast downstairs in the main restaurant. Afterwards, we decided to take a trip to the nearest town, Skipton. It reminded me of Harrogate, but slightly smaller, and it didn’t have as many shops ie. no Topshop. It did have cobbled streets and canals and pubs down back alleys which reminded me of my beloved York.

The weather was a mixture of high-speed winds, snow, sleet, rain and sunshine, so overall it was an odd mix. It did add to the whole experience though! I’ve noticed as well that people in Yorkshire, and smaller towns, tend to be much more laid back than us city folk. On the way back we found my favourite shop ever. It was called Keelham’s Farm Shop, and it was the most amazing place ever! It was full of fresh fruit, veg, a bakery, a smoothie bar, a hot food counter, a cheese counter, free samples – honestly, it was so amazing, and we bought the best pizza for about £3.

Now that I’ve got the taste for the countryside again, I feel as though I want to visit more and more and try new places. The next place I fancy is definitely the lakes, as it’s been a few years since I last went.

Hope you enjoyed reading about our mini adventure!

Have you ever been to Skipton? What did you think?

xx

I would say my most read blogs and watched youtube videos revolve around makeup and tutorials. Like every girl, I have a slight obsession with the wondrous world that is makeup, and for me personally I like to mix up the products I use on my face on a regular basis. In my makeup bag (or box I should say) I have a mixture of budget and expensive brands, ranging from £2 to probably around £40. The products I’m going to list are ones that I have gone out and purchased after reading reviews/blogs/recommendations, and some are ones that I have stumbled across myself. Hope you enjoy 🙂 (oh and for the record, I felt as though taking pictures of my foundation laden/mascara encrusted makeup bag wouldn’t look as good as linking the products!)

1) L’oreal True Match Foundation

As a girl on the rather pale end of the spectrum, I sometimes find it hard to match up my complexion with a good, long-lasting foundation. I went through the MAC Studio Fix stage, but even the lightest shade still ended up making me look like I was caked in makeup that was far darker than my skin. I also tried Estee Lauder Double Wear, but again I felt as though this was too heavy and didn’t really compliment my lighter tones. After a few years of trying different brands on the hight-street, I found the ‘true match’ line by L’oreal. It must have been around the time that this foundation was launched as I have been using it for a few years, and I’ve never looked back. As my skin has a reddy, freckly undertones, the best shade for me was ‘Rose Ivory’ as it matched my complexion better than the other paler shades. I would say that the coverage is medium, but buildable, and for around £10, it’s a great investment.

2) Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara

I have always been a believer that high-street brands are as good if not better than their more expensive counterparts. I have tried all different mascaras from Benefit’s Roller Lash to Bobbi Brown’s Everything Mascara, and each time I have gone back to my trusty Rimmel favourite. For me I prefer a thicker applicator brush as I have quite long lashes (don’t hate me!) and I always want to make sure that they’re all fully coated and as black as can be. Most of the time after I have curled my lashes, I will separate them with a older tube of Scandaleyes which has almost run out, and then go over them with a newer one – possibly quite time-consuming and unnecessary, but hey, it works for me! I usually pick this mascara up from boots, and it’s around the £7 mark, which I think is a great price.

3) Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick

I absolutely love this shimmer brick. I use it for contouring, highlighting and simply just on it’s own when I’m in a rush, and I’ve never been disappointed. There are others on the high-street which are cheaper, but for me, this is a long-lasting favourite. I would say that it takes me over a year to get through one, so for me, that’s a good investment. It is priced a little higher than some others I have tried (£33 from Debenhams) but I would fully recommend it. I have always gone for the ‘Rose’ shade, but next time I am in duty free I think I am going to try out the ‘Pink Quartz’ or ‘Beige Shimmer’ as I think these will give an all round peachy, bronzy glow for summer.

4) Rimmel Kate Moss 107

Ok, ok maybe not a ‘daily’ essential and how cliche of me… but this red lipstick blows all other red lipsticks out of the water. I’ll be honest and say I am not the biggest lipstick wearer, but when I do fancy a bit of a statement lip, this is definitely one I go for. It’s the perfect reddy, plummy matte shade, and for a blue eyed girl like myself it manages to pull my whole makeup look together without making me look washed out, or ill, which lets face it is a bonus in itself. I did try this after watching various youtubers rave on about it, but it’s one of those shades that you can wear whatever the season. And it’s a bargain compared to other lipsticks out there (£5.50).

5) Seventeen Skin WOW Primer

I bought this last summer after reading a few decent reviews, and it has become a sure staple in my daily makeup routine. I was using an old Topshop primer I had bought a few years ago (in order to quality for free delivery on an order, LOL) but it wasn’t anything special. After trying this primer though, I feel like I don’t need to try any more, ever. It is so lightweight and dewy and gives you an overall glowy base to apply your foundation. AND not only is it a primer, it can also be used as a highlighter (I must admit I have rarely done this) or mixed with foundation if you want a lighter coverage on a hot summers day. For only £5.99 as well, what’s not to like?

6) Natural Collection Loose Powder

Another example of a high-street brand being as good as the rest is Boot’s Natural Collection range. For a powder that I use on a daily basis, how can you not go wrong with the £1.99 price tag. I’ve tried the Rimmel Translucent powder and the Gosh setting powder, and neither I thought were as good as this. I used to use the pressed version, but I found in pictures especially, it didn’t give me an even coverage so I opted for the lose powder instead. I will admit that it’s slightly messier as you have to pour it into the lid, but it’s a price worth paying. Since I have been using the loose version, I feel as though my makeup still has that dewy finish we all yearn for, and it is a good base to apply blush/bronze/contour to.

7) Maybelline Dream Sun Triple Bronzing Powder

I’m not the biggest brozer-wearer out there, but when the makeup world went crazy for contouring and y’know giving us some sort of bone structure, I thought I better jump on board. Being the pale shade that I am, I figured I couldn’t really go for your usual bog standard bronzer firstly as I wanted it to be able to blend nicely with my skin, and make it look as though I’m not a decedent of the moon, and secondly because there is nothing worse than a pale girl being too orange for her own good. For me, this Maybelline one is a good in-between colour as it looks as though I might have got some colour after being on holiday for a few weeks, but also its good for contouring and giving me an all-over healthy glow. Weirdly Boots don’t sell this (or at least it’s not online) but Superdrug to the rescue!

8) Bourjois Little Round Pot Blusher

As blusher has been one of the things that has never left my makeup bag since I was 14, I feel as though I have quite a good grasp as to what a ‘good’  blusher is. I go through stages of blushers, and at any one time I have about 3 or 4 on the go. In winter I tend to go for a darker pinker shade, or even a coral, and in summer I opt for a more shimmy tone. The one that I would class as my favourite however, would have to be the Bourjois ‘Little round pot’ blusher in 34 Rose D’or. It is super pigmented, and gives you an overall shimmery finish, and it blends amazingly as well. I use this on the apples of my cheeks after I have bronzed and used my shimmer brick. It’s about £7.99, which is pricier than other brands, but for the minimal amount you use, it’ll last a long time.

9) Benefit Brow Zings

I’m not one of those girls who uses an eyeshadow for their brows, but instead I use my trusty favourite, the Brow Zings palette. When I was growing up, eyebrows weren’t a massive deal, but after the sordid scouse brow came about I thought I better step up my game. I’ve never been a fan of eyebrow pencils for a number of reasons (mainly as I have a scar in the middle of my right eyebrow and I feel they just extenuate it). This palette comes with an eyebrow wax (which I only use on nights out) and the powder (which I use daily). I don’t tend to use the mini applicator brush that comes with it, as I have an angled brow brush which I feel works better for me. The palette is a little on the pricey side (around £23.50 from Debenhams) but I have been using this for over 3 years, and have only had 2, so they’re doing something right!

10) Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

I’ve mentioned before that I have an issue with my under eye dark circles and finding a concealer which covers them up can be a bit of a nightmare. In the last few years I’ve been through a fair few different brands/coverages/colours, you name it, but I’ve found that this one works really well at concealing dark circles, but also highlighting your under eyes. For years I was using a liquid MAC studio fix one, but even that does not compare to this Collection one. It’s a favourite to beauty bloggers and vloggers, and I can see why. It’s easily applied over foundation and blends effortlessly. It’s also great for blemishes and any redness around your face. For only £3.99 as well, whats stopping you really??

11) Urban Decay Naked 2 Eye Shadow Palette

For Christmas, I was lucky enough to get all three Naked Palettes by Urban Decay, and although I love them all, my favourite has to be Naked 2. As a wearer of mainly gold and bronzy eye shadow, this one is the perfect mixture of shimmery and matte colours, and really suits my skin tone. The Naked palettes aren’t cheap (from £38) but if you want to invest in an eyeshadow palette with numerous different gold shades, then this is the one for you. They blend really well also, or can be worn by themselves, which is just what you want when you’re running out of time in the morning! And there’s so many shades to chose from that you’re unlikely to get bored.

12) MAC Studio Finish Concealer

Although I mentioned before that the Collection concealer can also be used on blemishes, I find that this one is my go to concealer of choice. As I tend to break out more on my chin that anywhere else, I feel like I need a long lasting coverage which this one gives. I tend to use this after my foundation but before I use powder, and although it is a slightly darker shade (NC15) than my true match foundation, it blends really well, covering up and red patches or spots – it’s really been put to the test over the winter months. It’s usually around £15.50, but again one of the ones that you use such a small amount of, so it last for months.

13) Vaseline Rosy Lips

Although not technically makeup, I apply vaseline in the mornings when I am applying my face for the day, and I use it daily. If I’m not in the mood for wearing lipsticks, or I don’t have time to apply one properly, I will just grab the ‘rose and almond’ oil vaseline for a shiny, pink finish. For the occasions where I have a little bit more time to make an effort, or on a lipstick wearing day, I always use vaseline straight after moisturising so my lips are ready for application when I get round to it (which is usually last!) You can get this from anywhere, and it doesn’t cost more than £2.

14) Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

I’ll be the first to admit that I am still a bit of a novice when it comes to applying liquid eyeliner, and if I can get away without applying it, I will. But for the days and nights where I want a bit more definition to my eyes, I will use my Eyeko liquid eyeliner. I find this one much easier to use than the little pots and applicator wands and it comes out inky black and doesn’t smudge at all. It applies really easily, and usually I only need one coat which is a massive bonus when you’re like me and lose your patience too easily. Like I say, I only tend to use this when I’m going out for dinner, or on a night out, but as far as I’m aware it’s pretty long-lasting, to the point where I usually wake up with it still on! There are probably cheaper alternatives out there, but for someone who doesn’t enjoy doing liquid eyeliner, I would recommend this hands down. I’ve never seen this brand in the shops, but you can buy it online for around £12.

15) Topshop Glow Highlighter

Last but not least, something else that is found in my makeup bag is this Topshop glow highlighter in the colour polish. I love using this when I have done my makeup on my brow bone, cheekbones and cupids bow for a cheeky highlight here and there. I sometimes also use it as a base or primer for my eyeshadow, and it works a treat. I haven’t found anything similar on the high-street, but to be honest I haven’t really looked as I have been really impressed by this. I’ve had it now for over 2 years I would say, and I have barely even made a dent in it. It’s only £9 as well, which I think is worth it to really pull your makeup look together.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about all the things I rely on, on a day to day basis! Obviously my makeup changes from time to time, and I love trying new products, but I would say these are my core few 🙂

xx

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I’ve been sort of thinking about how different girls these days, teenage girls in particular, are to girls back in my day (I don’t think I’ve ever felt as old as I do now saying ‘my day’) Anyway… I tweeted the other day that school would have been so different if we had had whatsapp groups to talk to your friends when you’re not in lessons, Facebook for events instead of having to rely on the ‘house party host’ getting in touch with the 30 people in your friendship group and Instagramming the sandwiches your mum made you, or the crusty bit of pizza you got from the school canteen. *Dreamy*

There’s no denying that social media has had a massive impact on our lives in the last few years, but what if these sites were around during our vulnerable, hormonal teenage days? Would we know more about fashion, beauty and skincare because we are so used to watching tutorials, splashing the cash on urban decay palettes, and asking for the latest Liz Earle cleanser for Christmas, instead of y’know jungle pants and a mesh top? (No, just me?)

Or would we be expected to take part in the ‘Kylie Jenner Did She/Didn’t She Get Lip Injections’ revolution and weigh 8 stone and wear high waisted Topshop jeans and a crop top in the style as your best friend? And would we be so used to wearing boots and heels and going out dresses on the weekend, that when we eventually reach the bold age of 18 when we can *legally* drink, we’ve already mastered the ‘I woke up like this and rolled into a bodycon dress and sort of did my hair, and spent ages contouring my face and giving my teenage bone structure a good highlighting’ look?

Track back to when I was 14. I was in a dysfunctional relationship where I thought it was fine for my boyfriend to cheat on me, I had dyed blondey/browny/pink hair extensiony hair, drank straight vodka, and didn’t have the faintest idea of fashion or beauty. I don’t even think a contouring palette existed, but if it did, I was none the wiser.

And nowadays teenagers literally look as though they’ve walked straight out of a glossy magazine… actually, magazines are dying out… Maybe more of that they’ve come straight off a runway? Or have their very own makeup artists with them 24/7? I don’t even know how they know to look so damn good, all the damn time.

It’s like when the girl Tyga was texting became an internet sensation because she was 14, and looked like she did. Ok so she might be a model in real life, but still, 14? Even telling people she was 17 was a bit of a stretch, but either way she was absolutely stunning… that bone structure!! I would have killed for that at her age. Maybe she just knows how to edit photos real good?

It’s not surprising that girls of that age are putting way more effort into what they look like vs. what we did at that age. Look at who they have to idolise – the Jenner sisters, Elle Fanning, Gigi Hadid, ok she’s not a teenager but you catch my drift. (Oh on checking, Kendal Jenner is also 20. My bad…) when we grew up in the time where trash TV was just starting, Mean Girls was the film of choice (who am I kidding though, it still is) the Hilton sisters were all over the internet, Bring it On made us want to take up cheerleading and Britney Spears was having her famous 2007 year.

It’s almost a shame that teenagers these days are so old for their age that they’ll never experience clip in extensions, or sitting in parks drinking underage, or Von Dutch caps or fake tan mishaps or taking selfies on your webcam or band t-shirts and posters all over their rooms. But hey, they have snapchat whilst they’re learning. Whose the real winner?

xx

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