Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Mamma Mia at The Liverpool Empire

This past weekend I finally got to give my Mum her Christmas present - tickets to see Mamma Mia at the Liverpool Empire. I’ve been itching to go ever since I bought them last year and we’ve both been counting down the days since I told her about them on Christmas until showtime!

Mammia Mia has been on stage since April 1999, having toured in over 400 major cities and been seen by well over 54 million people; that’s more people than the entire population of Spain! In 2008 the musical hit the silver screen, and is still the highest worldwide grossing live-action musical film of all time! And, set to some of the best known, most sing-a-long-able Abba songs, who wouldn’t want to see this smash hit?

Set on an idyllic little Greek island, this show has one of the smallest sets I’ve ever seen on the Empire. Small or not, the energy of the cast fills the stage with every number. It’s not about the props, it’s about the music and oh me oh my does it blow you away! The cast, which turned out to be about 80% of ex-Corrie stars blew me away, especially Sara Poyzer, (Donna), and her best friends; Sue Devaney (Rosie) and Shobna Gulati (Tanya). Richard Standing (Sam), Mark Jardine (Harry) and Michael Beckley (Bill) made quite the threesome, and the chemistry and fun between all 6 came across by the truck load, you can instantly tell they’ve been having fun on this tour!

For those who don’t know, Mamma Mia follows the story of Sophie Sheridan, Donnas 20 year old daughter who is about to walk down the aisle and marry her Prince Charming, Sky. She wants her wedding to be perfect, with all the bells and lace, and she wants her father to walk her down the aisle. The problem? Well, she’s never met her father! After reading her mothers diary from the time she fell pregnant with Sophie, she finds out she has three possible fathers; Sam, Harry and Michael.  She invites them all to her wedding, in the hope that she will recognise her biological father instantly, all without her mother finding out. Once the three men arrive on the island, memories or summers past, lost loves and questions about how they all feel now come right to the surface in a sing-a-long, laugh-out-loud ride!

Some of my favourite numbers included; Does your Mother know. Shobna Gulati’s performance as the three times married ‘cougar’ taunting and teasing the younger men of the island had me crying with laughter - and the three guys stripping off on stage wasn’t half bad either! Sara Poyzers rendition of The Winner Takes it All had me close to tears and Sue Devaneys duet with Michael Beckley, Take a Chance on Me still makes me giggle when I think about it now!

Whether you’re an Abba fan or not, you have to see this show! It’s such a feel good all round show, everyone left the theatre with a smile on their face. The mini sing-a-long at the end had the entire theatre up on their feet clapping and dancing along, it was such an energetic and contagious atmosphere! 

What’s your favourite Abba song? Go on, you can tell me, we all have one! Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Monday, 23 February 2015

*My Brother and I

Flintoff by Jacamo Coat Review

Ah, my baby-though-he’s-bigger-than-me brother. Though there’s close to 5 years between us, being in our twenties now that gap seems almost non existent, we’re both starting to get on a bit and…dare I say it, grow up?. I consider myself unbelievably lucky that I actually have a great relationship with my brother, we’ve always got on pretty well, but now more so than ever. Maybe it’s an age thing, or a space thing now we don’t live across the landing from each other. In fact, since moving out, I’ve probably seen more of him than I ever did when we lived under the same roof. Funny how that happens.

With his 23rd birthday just around the corner, (blimey that makes me feel old! I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday) I found myself on the Jacamo website having a mooch around looking for gift ideas. You see, my brother isn’t exactly a clothes kind of guy, I mean he wears them, thankfully, but he isn’t the biggest fan when it comes to shopping for them. Unless it’s a Jack Skellington or gaming related tee or a pair of converse, he has little enthusiasm. Being the oh-so-awesome (his words if I paid him enough!) big sister I am, I’ve always been his personal Gok Wan. 

The weather hasn’t been great lately, let’s be honest, it’s been downright crappy, with wind, rain and hail beating down on all sides. I know for a fact the coat he currently trudges to the train station in every morning is starting to look a little worse for wear and isn’t holding up too well in these spring time wintery weathers. A coat seemed a good place to start. 

Flintoff by Jacamo Coat Review

My baby brother is no Tiny Tim, but he does like clothes that fit well, and don’t look like over-sized shapeless tents. As I was looking through the Jacamo coats section, I was instantly drawn to their Flintoff by Jacamo range. I loved the length, olive colour, full length zippered front and versatility of this particular *coat. That brother of mine might not be a clothes kind of person but he’s unbelievably fussy and won’t tolerate anything that’s too fancy pants - this coat is stylish without shouting about it. 

I invited him down for a day out in the big city - and as soon as I woke up, it was pouring down. Bloody typical. Thankfully we’re not sugar, so we won’t melt. As soon as he arrived I had him toss aside that old coat of his and gave him his early birthday present - if we where to go off an have adventures in the piss pouring rain, he needed to be dressed for the occasion.

Flintoff by Jacamo Coat Review
Peacock-Lambananna bestie

The coat fitted perfectly, though the sleeves were longer than either of us expected. He’s no orangutang but he is human (so my mother tells me). He wasn’t too put off by the extra few inches down his arms. With the tags off and the coat on, we braced ourselves for the worst and headed out.

We ended up wandering around the city, stopping for lunch and planning how we would spend our millions when the day we win on the lottery finally comes. We caught up on each others lives, on work, on our parents, all those things in between. It always amazes Mr how much we can talk in our family, we’re naturally born chatterboxes.

Chinese New Year Liverpool

We caught the back end of a Chinese New Year parade and I had the crap scared out of me by a bunch of fire crackers. We walked the length and breadth of Bold Street, headed on over the L1 and got thoroughly soaked. His swanky new coat passed the weather test that was for sure, he was perfectly bone dry underneath. 

Flintoff by Jacamo Coat Review

The coat got two thumbs up and though he’s never shopped Jacamo before he’s told me I’m more than welcome to shop there again for him. As cheeky as he is, the website was so easy to use and the speed of delivery spot on, I can see myself popping back the next time his wardrobe needs a little updating! 

Flintoff by Jacamo Coat Review
....walk naturally past the shop... :/

Do you get on with your siblings? If so, how do you keep that relationship strong? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

*PR Sample - Jacamo kindly sent this coat to me for consideration. That being said, all thoughts, opinions and photos are mine and my brothers! See my disclaimer here.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

#FitnessRevolution 40 Day Challenge - Week One

On Wednesday, Corinne of SkinnedCarTree told me about a 40 day fitness challenge she had signed up for. After reading her post and getting in touch with DWFitness, I was ready to sign on the dotted line. Back at the start of the month I challenged myself to work-out everyday through February...and it hasn't been going so well.

Turns out I don't do things well when I do them alone.

Already, #FitnessRevolution has a solid groups of dedicated members who have all started to get to know one another and support each other on this journey. And with a fair few bloggers being involved, I don't want to let the side down! 

The idea is, instead if giving up something for Lent, we take on something - fitness. We commit ourselves to following a work-out plan provided by DWFitness for 40 days! 

I'm scared just thinking about it! But we can do this! We can start a #FitnessRevolution - YES for the fitness cheese!

Week One of the #FitnessRevolution challenge has come to an end so I figured a round-up was in order! (The challenge started on Wednesday so this week looks a little shorter!)

Day 1 - Today's challenge was a 20 minute jog - Nailed it! I paired a 20 minute jog with a 20 minute total body work-out on the cross trainer. 

Day 2 - 3 x 20 squats - Done! 

Day 3 - Plank -  Time held: 1 minute. I really didn't think I could hold my plank for that long! We do a lot of floor work in my exercise class which included planking, turns out it must be working! 

Day 4 - 3 Minute Challenge; How many of the following can I do in one minute?

Jump Squats: 30
Star Jumps: 50
Sit Ups: 21

I found this really difficult! I don't think I had the best posture for doing my jump squats and by time I got to the sit-ups I was shattered! 

Day 5 - Rest - I went ahead and did two 20 minute yoga sessions (Yoga with Adriene), I haven't done much yoga lately so I really want to get back into it, it's a great way to just spend a little time getting me back to me. 

Are you doing the 40 day #FitnessRevolution challenge? How are you feeling now week one is over and done with? Let me know in the comments below! We can do this!

Until next time,

Friday, 20 February 2015

Whittard - Bathtub Tea

whittard bathtub tea

Tea. In the bath. A bath of tea. For crying out loud! I did not know it was possible and/or socially acceptable to bathe in the elixir of life. Anyone whose been putting up with me for a while now will know I have a thing for tea. As in, I drink double digit amounts every day, and could’t imagine functioning without it. Seriously. I carry around emergency tea bags…that’s normal right?

Maybe it’s a British thing, or just a Sarah thing, but I’m a tea-junkie, hey, there are worse things I could be addicted to! On a recent trip to Whittards to stock up on some tea-goodness, Mr spotted something rather interesting as I was paying at the till. Bathtub tea. Yup. Tea for the bath. I didn’t even read the box, I just took it straight from his hands with a smile on my face and added it onto my pile of purchases.

As soon as we got back in the car to go home, I investigated this strange new way to take tea. Firstly, you can’t drink it…even my love for tea does not go as far as drinking tea infused dirty bath water! The pretty pink package contains 4 jumbo tea bags scented with lemon balm and lavender

When they say jumbo they mean it, oh how I wish I had a tea cup big enough to take a tea bag this size! Tea-ven much? Each teabag contains; lemon balm, rose hip peels, peppermint leaves, lavender, passionflower leaves, valerian root and…flavouring? I’m stumped on the ‘flavouring’ seen as though you can’t drink them?

whittard bathtub tea

The teabags are just like regular tea bags, the same silky fine mesh that make a satisfying crinkling sound as you squish them up under your nose to take a good sniff. The peppermint, lavender and lemon are really prominent when you smell the tea bag, making this one calming, herbal blend that smells good enough to brew up and drink…but I must remember I can’t!

When it’s time to get your brew on, simply fill the bath to your preferred temperature and chuck in one jumbo tea bag. Don’t let it ‘steep’ in the bath for more than 5 minutes as they say it can cause tea stains so don’t over steep and clean your bath once it’s drained. I’ve lost many a favourite mug to tea stains, but they’re easier to replace than a tea-stained bath that’s for sure!

I left the bag floating around in the bathtub for 5 minutes and came to witness…not much. The scent was certainly there, my bathroom smelt strongly of lavender and lemon which was very pleasant but the bath itself left much to be desired. There was very little colour to the water, so, as I do with all my tea bags, I gave it a squeeze…that traditional brown ‘tea’ colour came forth but not enough to give me anything to worry about with regards to the tea staining. So I gave it a squeeze again…and again, until the tea bag ripped and loose leaf started to float out. 

whittard bathtub tea

The water eventually had a very pale, weak tea colour to it, which hardly stood out in my very bright white bath tub. No bubbles, though I wasn’t expecting those, who wants a foamy tea? I do however, want a bubble filled bath so I added in a couple of scoops of my Body Shop Vanilla Brûlée Bath Jelly. This not only filled my bath with bubbles but the added vanilla aroma intertwined with the lemon and lavender and I swooned. Yes. I swoon over tea. And baths. 

If you, or someone you know loves tea as much as I do, and bath time, this is a brilliant novelty gift that is sure to put a smile on their face. I’ve never seen bath-appropriate tea before and now I know it exists, tea time and bath time just got a whole lot more involved with one another! 

Have you ever tried putting a tea bag in the bath? Any speciality bath-tub friendly brews you can recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Frederiks Neighbourhood Kitchen & Bar

frederiks liverpool restaurant review

When you’re stuck stranded in the Liverpool Philharmonic Pub, starving, drinking on an empty stomach and it’s raining so hard outside that just looking at it soaks you through - you know you’ve got to find somewhere extremely close by to get a bit to eat.

This was the situation a bunch of us found ourselves un a few weeks ago, we had a restaurant in mind but that was a good 10-15 minute walk away on a cold and rainy Friday night in Liverpool. We knew we couldn’t go too far, we had no chance of scoring a table in the Philharmonic Dining rooms - so someone suggested we go next door. 

To Frederiks.

We ran straight out of one door way and into the next and we where there. As soon as we stepped inside the warmth of not only the oh-so-snazzy fireplace hit us, but the welcome too. We were immediately seated, a big group to start, and once we mentioned more would be on the way they where happy to provide extra space for additional chairs (and an extra table as it turned out!).

I grabbed the menu and set my sights on some stomach lining belly-filling good food. Quite a few people were eating around us and I couldn’t help but eyeball their pizzas. 

In the end, after much debating and a coin flip between burger and pizza, I went for the Black Smoke - wood fired pizza topped with chunks of black pudding and smoked cheddar with a side of Sweet Potato Fries

frederiks liverpool restaurant review

Now, I’m not a huge fan of black pudding - I can’t bare to eat the stuff when I’m at home, but lately when I’m eating out and about I’ve found myself randomly ordering it, especially with a fry up, and finding it not-so-bad. When the pizza came out it was loaded with great big chunks of black pudding from edge to edge and smothered in smoked cheese (lacto-sensitivity forgive me!). The base was cooked perfectly, super thin, crispy and had that smokey taste you only get from a well wood-fired pizza. 

frederiks liverpool restaurant review

The pizza was better than good, it was great. Paired with the sweet potato fries that where extra crispy (not burnt) right the way down to the bottom of the cute little pail they came in, served with a side of BBQ sauce. 

Frederiks has a great atmosphere, I just couldn’t stop staring at the fire - I couldn’t get a picture because everyone who came in made a beeline to sit on the couches around it. The place has a real buzz about it, and extensive cocktail menu and a rather quirky cocktail hour specifically for ladies with tattoos (Tatty Hour 5pm-7pm 2 for 1 cocktails). They also have a function room out back which plays host to a number of events, from vintage fairs to painting classes, or you can hire it for your own events. 

Mr was there that night and he was very happy they had Blue Moon on tap - haven’t seen that one around for a while!

How do you feel about black pudding pizza? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

You can follow Frederiks over on @FrederiksHopeSt

Monday, 16 February 2015

50 thoughts I had whilst watching 50 Shades of Grey

I did it. I went and saw that film this past weekend with my girls, on Valentines day. Let me start by saying I have never read past the first 10 pages of 50 Shades of Grey. That was about as much as I could take before my eyeballs started to bleed and my toes began to cramp with constant cringe.

I don’t mind cheesy and cringe-worthy, I’ve read the Twilight saga more times than I should admit, and when it comes to the world of adult/erotic fiction, I studied enough of it at University to barely be phased by it. But there was just something about 50 Shades of Grey that screamed ‘horrendous fan fiction’. Long story short, I went into the film with no more than what I’d heard in the media and from friends who have read the books. I had no idea what to expect. 

Popcorn in one hand, a less than stiff drink in the other, the lights went down, the scree resized and the big ol’ 18 certificate came up on screen with a warning of ‘strong sexual content’. I suddenly became very away that I was sat in a room full of strangers. Awkward.

Thoughts? ((Might be considered spoilers if you haven’t seen the film or read the books))

  1. I’m sat in a room full of strangers.
  2. Some people here look like they’ve come with their mum….
  3. Anastasia looks a helluva lot like Bella
  4. She also sounds like her
  5. …and acts like her.
  6. She dresses like Bella
  7. And she has an old car…like Bella.
  8. Am I in the right movie?
  9. Hello Mr.Grey…
  10. …I was expecting someone a little more American Psycho
  11. That Pencil.
  12. Why Does Ana keep poking herself in the chin with a goddamn pencil?
  13. She doesn’t look sexy or innocent or alluring.
  14. And why is she there in the first place? Couldn’t her room-mate have just Skyped Grey?
  15. Ana has a flip phone.
  16. Grey upgrades everything in her life except the vintage flip…and I don’t even think it was a motorola
  17. Cable ties. Duck tape. Rope. 
  18. OMG why wouldn’t you run away from someone buying ‘I’m going to kidnap you’ paraphernalia?
  19. Grey is clearly and obsessive stalker - not a boy simply falling in love with a girl.
  20. How does he keep finding her when her phone doesn’t have an app for that?
  21. Why is she not concerned about how easily her finds her?
  22. And how easily he ‘breaks’ into her apartment?
  23. Leg hair
  24. Pubic hair
  25. I need more popcorn.
  26. I’ve seen more nudity and sex scenes in HBO programs
  27. I want to ride in a glider. Now.
  28. Seriously. The sex is not that ‘weird’.
  29. It’s actually pretty tastefully shot. 
  30. Everybody talks too slow.
  31. That’s why this film is over 2 hours long.
  32. What’s on the ‘approved food list’?
  33. It’s impossible to have a business meeting in the dark.
  34. And when did little miss jeans and converse learn to wear a dress like that?
  35. She walks confidently in the heels - then later in similar heels she suddenly walks like Bambi?
  36. Oh. Grey is tormented by his stereotypical ‘mum was a crack whore’ past.
  37. Saw that coming.
  38. So all people who are into BDSM are tortured souls? Not buying that!
  39. Rita Ora?? Why? 
  40. If you’re planning on making love to someone for the first time, wouldn’t you shave your legs?
  41. I’ve seen more sex in Game of Thrones.
  42. And Boardwalk Empire.
  43. Ana goes full frontal naked.
  44. Grey never shows us his little friend
  45. I really want the soundtrack to this movie.
  46. Ana wants to know how bad games in the playroom can get.
  47. *hides behind fingers*
  48. …wait….is that Grey doing his worst?
  49. Yawn. Yawn. I need to pee.
  50. Oh good a cliffhanger ending. Didn’t see that coming…*eye roll*

Overall, not the film I was expecting. All the issues and talk around the BDSM, the sex scenes etc, totally over-hyped in my opinion. Everything moved too slow and it was certainly no ever-lasting love story. He wants to be all dark and moody, he fails. She wants to be all innocent and demure, she fails.

Can’t say I’m even half inclined to pick up the books or see the second film.

Are you a fan of the series? Can you change my mind? Seen the film? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Friday, 13 February 2015

Lush: Heart Throb Bubble Bar

Love is certainly in the air this week and if you're looking to show that special someone in your life or even yourself a little more love this week, look no further than the Heart Throb Bubble Bar from Lush. They released a whole line of Valentines Day inspired goodies this year to really get your in the mood over the loved up season.

When Lush release their seasonal selection I can’t help but pop in and pick up one or two to try. I’m a huge fan of their limited edition collections, that way I can’t get too used to something and will more often than not, always be trying something new!

The Heart Throb bubble bar immediately caught my eye, wait for it, for it’s lack of glitter. I know, I know, I can’t believe less glitter is a good thing but, if I’m having a little love-in pamper, I don’t want to get all sweaty afterwards cleaning the bath! There’s still glitter in the middle of this one, but nowhere near as much as on the Lonely Heart bubble bar!

The bubble bar itself is so cute and small, and you can get a bubble-rifficly filled bath out of just one half of the heart. It crumbles up so nicely and melts under the hot tap quickly - so no non-dissolved pieces will be floating around in there with you. It’s main ingredient is organic shea butter which not only smells amazing but left the bath water feeling so silky smooth. It was like bathing in silk. 

You really get a strong hit of the vanilla - which you won’t find me complaining about, and it lingered lightly on my skin after I got out of the bath too, as well as the glitter. The glitter like all Lush glitter is very fine and twinkles under the lights, this bubble bar paired with some candles, a little wine, soft music…cheesy, but perfect! Though the vanilla was strong, the frangipani came in a close scent-cond. It’s such a heady, almost spicy sent, I could smell it in the bathroom and in the hallway for hours after the bath had drained! It’s different to the lighter, more fruity/floral scents I’m used to from Lush.

The water turns this really great red/pink shade which I was beyond worried about staining my bath, but luckily there was little residue left behind and I didn’t have to get too sweaty cleaning it off! Having a white bath suite and loving Lush products is living on the edge! I’m so hardcore…not.

All in all, it’s a winner. Not my favourite but it did the job. I left feeling more chilled out, relaxed and smelling great. My skin felt silky smooth, so much so I didn’t have to follow with a top to toe moisturising session!

I don’t believe you should have a specific day in the year to play show and tell when it comes to someone you love, and being single around this time of year can be damn well annoying when there’s cupid and gimmicks and roses being pushed underneath your nose every which way you look for the coming week - so how about we cut the Valentines crap? How about, whether we’re in a relationship or not, we make a promise to show ourselves a little love this week? Let me know in the comments below how you will be showing yourself a little extra love this week!

Until next time,

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Mid-Week Pamper

mid week pamper

When I still lived with my parents, Sunday night was my pamper night. It was the one night in the week I could guarantee an hour or so of undisturbed bliss, lock myself away in the bathroom and pull out all of my lotions and potions to give myself a right ol’ pamper from top to toe. Not much has changed since I moved out, Sunday night is still my big pamper night, but over the last few months I’ve managed to pick up a midweek pamper night too - and oh me oh my is it heavenly.

Mid week is that fuzzy grey area, where you’re almost over the worst of the working week, the weekend is within touching distance, but you’ve still got a few days to go before you get there. I’ve found a mid week pamper is a great way to recharge your batteries and give the back end of your week as much gusto as the start!

Like all pampering sessions, it starts with a brew and a bath tub. Right now I’m loving my Chocolate Chai mix from Whittards. It’s an indulgent, head strong tea with a devilish kick, a little on the naughty side but oh so nice! I brew it up whilst the bath is filling and bring it into the tub with me. I’m currently working my way through my Body Shop Vanilla brule bath jelly, which I’ve paired up with some Basin bath salts. The almond scented salts mixed with the vanilla bath jelly make this one relaxingly aromatic bath! 

Just before I get out of the bath, I’ll give my face a scrub with Origins Modern Friction and follow with a face mask. My skin is going through an usually dry patch right now, so I’m showing it some love with Liz Earles Intensive Nourishing Treatment mask. With my hair wrapped up and my mask setting, I go top to toe with Sanctuarys Mande Lular Sensuous body Souffle. This body moisturiser is so rich and creamy, it’s divine and I don’t mind that it takes a little longer to soak into the skin as it’s all about going slow and just relaxing! Whilst that’s soaking in I rinse off the mask with a hot cloth then apply Origins GinZing moisturiser to my face and Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing eye lotion

whittards chocolate chai tea

With my favourite PJs on, I leave my hair to dry au natural and get to work on my hands. Thanks to the day job, I’m washing my hands several times a day, wrapping them up in skin tight gloves and using them constantly so my poor hands tend to suffer quite a bit! To show them a little midweek love, I use Body Shops Almond Conditioning Hand Wash, Almond Nail and Cuticle Oil, then finish with a generous amount of Almond hand and nail cream. Now this will take some time to soak in, so don’t go reaching for anything you don’t want to slip out of your hands!

I finish up by putting the kettle on and brewing a very relaxing Twinings camomile and honey tea and settling down on the couch with Mr to watch another episode of House - I am in love with that show right now, I can’t believe I’ve never seen it before! 

I find that after one of these little sessions I sleep ten times better and can tackle the back end of the week like it’s nobodies business! 

Do you give yourself a little midweek pamper? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Monday, 9 February 2015

The Reality of Flying The Nest

leaving home for the first time

I never moved away for university, never spent long summers abroad away from home, nothing like that, so when it came to taking the big step to fly the nest and move out of my parents home I was excited and terrified at the same time.

The months that turned into weeks that became just a few days before the big move where crazy. Lots of home shopping, getting excited over mundane things like bread bins and baking trays, picking out bedding and filling two Ikea trollies, we had so much to do before we got the keys that I never had time to let the nerves set in.

That last night in my old room in my parents house was weird. The wardrobe was empty, the majority of the furniture gone, all my belongings either packed up or thrown out, no more pictures on the walls or knick knacks on the shelves. It dawned on me there and then that that room was no longer my room and, much like when I watched that scene in Toy Story 3, I felt a huge chunk of my childhood, teenage years and early twenties being put to rest. I’d been in that room for as long as I could remember, it wasn’t just a room, it was my entire world. If those walls could talk….I’m not sure how much I’d want them to say. It was, for the first time in my life, that I physically felt a shift in who I was.

leaving your parents home for the first time

After moving in, came moving in. Sure, we unpacked the boxes, we decorated and hung pictures on the walls, we bought things and I filled new shelves with new and old knick knacks. I missed my parents, but I can honestly say I never really felt homesick. Not in the beginning. 

Cut to four months down and even though things are still great and I’m loving my life more than ever right now - it’s dawned on me that flying the nest isn’t always this Pinterest worthy picture I imagined it would be. 

Things need doing all the time.

Living at home with 4 adults meant a lot of the jobs got shared out, or things that needed doing would get done without you even realising. Cut the number of adults in half and the workload doubles. I’m the type of person who sees a job that needs doing and just does it without asking for much help. I’ve always been this way, but when you suddenly take on all the jobs that need doing in the house, you suddenly feel like there’s little time for anything else. Mr is great and will help without question but my stubborn independence often leads to me taking on too much. Things always need doing; cooking, cleaning, changing sheets, paying bills, food shopping, flipping the mattress, the list goes on, and as soon as you’re done, you start right back at the top of the list again.

I always thought that when I moved out I would do all of the things I didn’t think I could do when I lived at home. And I can, I do, but one thing I’ve realised is the reason I didn't do a lot of those things at home wasn’t because I couldn’t, or because I thought it would get in my parents way, it was simply because deep down, those where things other people did, not me. 

Finances are a pain in the ass.

Rent, bills, food shopping, going out, choosing between a really good frying pan or a new pair of shoes. All of a sudden we have all of these other financial things to consider, like do I shop around several local stores for a better deal on my weekly shop, or, do I do it all online through one retailer and have it conveniently brought to my door - even though it might be costing us more? I worried over our finances a lot when we first moved in. I was ridiculously conscious of how much everything was costing us and trying to get the best deal on everything, it drove me mad. 

I’ve never been one to worry about money, I’m actually pretty good with it, but having all these added little extras to think about sent me over the edge. I had to sit down and slap myself, as well as have a good talk with Mr before I finally calmed down over the pennies. Financially, we’re in a really good place right now, and I need to enjoy that and be thankful for that, not get myself stressed out about it - as long as we have a roof over our heads, food in the fridge and our Netflix subscription, we’re fine!

It’s okay to be homesick.

It took a long while for homesickness to really set in for me. Sure, I missed my parents, I missed my mums cooking, watching tv with my dad and putting the world to rights, hell I even missed having that brother of mine just across the hall to chat to and wind up. I missed them, but I wasn’t homesick. I love my little place, I love who I share it with and how our life is turning out, but eventually it did hit me, I suddenly realised that this was my life now, not an extended vacation. These walls, and everything in them, was my life. 

My world had gone from that one back room bedroom to this two up - two down home we had created for ourselves. 

And it freaked me out. Everything had gotten bigger; my world, my responsibilities, suddenly that spot I had back in my parents house seemed like a pretty easy lifestyle. For the first time, I actually felt kind of like a grown up. I felt myself age overnight and those pangs where not just homesickness, they were the realisation that everything has changed, and it can never be how it was.

I’m pretty sure we all have those instances in our lives, when you feel a change in the air and you can’t help but be carried along by it. Going along, moving forward is, in my opinion, always the right thing to do, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be scared. Fear is a good thing, those twitches in your stomach, the dry mouth, the racing heart, in that moment you are truly aware of who you are.

Moving out has been one of the best decisions I ever made, and I would go back and do it all over again. It’s not been easy and there’s always going to be bumps in the road, but this is my life now, and how could I not love it?

How did you feel when you finally moved out of your parents home? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Friday, 6 February 2015

Tropical Pick Me Up Smoothie

energy boosting smoothie recepie

You know when you’ve had one of those days at work? You come home, you kick off your shoes, flop down on the couch and don’t move until bedtime. If there’s something you need to get done, you might reach for the sugar for a quick boost to see you through the task but we all know that’s not exactly healthy, though I admit it tastes pretty good!

For a healthier, tastier, energy boost, why not give my tropical smoothie a go? I created this by accident but it gave me such a natural energy boost, I was able to get a whole bunch of jobs done in the hours after work and there was no post-sugar crash afterwards either! I knew I’d have to share it with you guys, it tastes great!

What you need;

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup mango
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 banana
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/2 avocado

Grab you’re ingredients, throw it all into your blender and blend until smooth. You should get this really light, almost lime green colour. Roughly blend some ice or serve over ice for a chilled tropical delight.

energy boosting pineapple smoothie
Because everything tastes better in an Estrella glass!


Loads of skin loving vitamin E, vitamin A and a truck load of immune boosting vitamin C. This smoothie will aid your digestive system, assisting your body in clearing out toxins and impurities too. It’s packed full of antioxidants, and we all know how good they are for us! Your energy boost will come from the high levels of thiamine, a B vitamin that is overflowing out of this sexy smoothie!

Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

February - FITuary!

In January I challenged myself to not buy anything beauty and skincare related for the entire month in a bid to save some pennies and use up some products from my beauty stash. It turned out to be a resounding success so I’m going into my next month and next challenge with a little more positivity and optimism!

During February I’ve decided that I’m going out everyday. Since joining the gym in January I've been doing pretty well by my standards going 1 - 3 times a week minimum. In between gym sessions I've done some yoga here and there, took the stairs a few times and attempted to walk a little brisker to work.

I attempted something similar last year, under the tag FITuary, it was an epic fail but I'm feeling much more positive about it this time around! And yes, I purposefully chose the shortest month for this one, was that naughty of me?

Well here goes nothing! The plan? Simple, to do a minimum of 30 minutes exercise every day, from cardio to toning, gym to YouTube yoga. I also want to try some new workouts, have a look around online, attend some classes and just try to mix it up a little in general so there's less chance I'll get bored and give up!

Make sure you're following me on twitter and instagram to keep up with my daily progress!

Have you set yourself a challenge this month? Let me know all about it in the comments below and we can support each other!

Until next time,

Monday, 2 February 2015

January Favourites 2015

january favourites 2015

Not allowing myself to buy anything new in January meant I had no choice but to dig deep into the beauty drawers and see what was rolling around back there! I found some real gems that I’d completely forgotten about and fell in love with all over again. So let’s get on with this, shall we?

Original Source Body Moisturiser

I picked this up in early December and have been using it daily ever since. It’s a perfect lightweight formula that’s absorbed quickly into the skin - and it smells divine! My skin has been given a boost and is holding up well in these wintery days we’ve been having! No complaints and I’d happily repurchase!

Hurraw Lip Balm

I’ve always been a big Vaseline fan but lately, the whole ‘stick your finger in and smear it around’ hasn’t been doing it for me and I’ve been drawn back to tube-chap sticks. I love how healthy and organic the Hurraw balms are, so I don’t feel like I’m using anything harmful on my lips. I’ve found since switching to the balm my lips haven’t felt so irritated and dry between uses like they tend to when I’m using Vaseline. Anyone else get this from using Vaseline?

Origins GinZing

This has been my go-to nighttime moisturiser for the entirety of January and I’ve barely made a dent in the pot! This stuff smells amazing and is really making my skin happy. My skin looks brighter when I wake up, even if I haven’t had my 8+ hours beauty sleep. It’s given my face such a moisture boost that no matter how much time I reluctantly spend outside in the wind, rain and hail we’ve been having of late, I don’t actually look as weather beaten as I feel! Hurrah!

Steam Cream

My feet, my poor thermal-tighted-boot-cladded-walking-to-work feet have been battered over the last couple of months and the cracks finally started to show. Cracked heels are no laughing matter, I bloody hate them. Summer and sandals isn’t exactly round the corner but there’s nothing wrong with having prepped and pretty toes year round! I couldn’t believe how well the Steam Cream worked on my cracked heels, just 2 weeks of daily application and already I could see and feel a difference! A review is on it’s way!

Apple MacBook Pro

I finally caved on Black Friday and bought myself the 13” MacBook Pro with Retina display. I’ve been putting off buying a Mac for years but after moving out of my parents and giving up my desktop I found myself in a bit of a computer-crisis. I didn’t have one. Sure, Mr let me use his, but I wanted something that was mine, something I could work on whenever, wherever. After much internal arguing with myself, I closed my eyes and handed over my credit card. Suffice to say the bill has been paid and I haven’t looked back since! Best decision ever. I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been a night since I bought this little beauty that I haven’t been working on it!

Next Home

Having been in our new place now for 4 months we’re really settling in and continuing to put our own stamp on it. One place we keep finding ourselves drawn to for decorative bits and bobs is Next. Their home section is marvellous and our living room is slowly turning into a mini Next home showroom, not that I’m complaining. I’m in love with their canvas art, it’s top quality and so reasonably priced! 

One Line a Day 

I bought one of these as a Christmas present for a friend, then included it in my 2015 Diary round-up post back in December. I fell in love with the concept of this little blue book so much that I caved and purchased one for myself. Basically, you sum up your day in just one line (it’s more like 5-6), and the Diary can hold up to 5 years worth of one-liners. I’ve filled in everyday in January, it takes about 2 minutes and I can’t wait to look back on my answers over the coming years - if I can stick with it that long!

You’ve been loving…

The most popular post on the blog this month…No-Buy January! This year I have decided to set myself little monthly challenges and I kicked the year off by banning myself from buying any new beauty/skin care products unless I completely ran out. I managed to get to the end of the month with no unnecessary purchases and barely a dent in my current beauty stash so there’s still a way to go but I’ve proven it can be done, now, onto the next challenge! 

What have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,