Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Woodlands Beauty - Baltic Triangle

woodlands beauty clinic baltic triangle


If there’s one thing I’m making time for this year, it’s me. I’ve been making a point of booking myself in for a facial once a month this year and not only is this amazing for my skin, but it seriously feeds my soul with some much-needed pampering and down time.  After discovering the Woodlands Beauty Clinic was just a stone's throw from my own doorstep, I booked myself in for some me time.

The Woodlands Beauty Clinic is found in one of Liverpool’s most loved areas, The Baltic Triangle. With some of the cities coolest bars, vintage shops, independents and warehouse spaces to make your Pinterest heart sing, it’s an eclectic mix that really showcases our multicultural heritage here in the city. Woodlands is located right at the top of Jamaica Street, about 10 minutes walk from John Lewis in Liverpool One.

woodlands beauty clinic baltic triangle


After being blown every which ways sideways by the wind and soaked through by the rain, I squelched into the clinic like I’d been dragged through a bush backwards. Suffice to say I was in dire need of some TLC - and the lovely Antonia was more than happy to sort me out and get me feeling back on top. 

woodlands beauty clinic baltic triangle


We started with nails. Mine have actually been growing long and strong for the first time in years so I am loving getting them all professionally polished up. I had a shellac manicure, wanting to channel my inner Belle (I was seeing Beauty and the Beast that night!) so we went with the shade Hollywood, a vibrant red with super fine gold flecks giving it that extra sparkle. Antonia was so quick, my nails were done in no time, instantly try and polished to perfection. A quick slathering of almond oil and the job was done. 

woodlands beauty clinic baltic triangle


Then, I went upstairs. They have the prettiest treatment room with a heated bed that, after a wintery morning wander, was more than welcoming to my still quite cold feet! I slid on under the quilt, popped on my headband and let the soft music and flickering candles lull me far far away. 

I’d opted for their Agera Oxybrighten Facial, a hydrating and oxygenating treatment that included a mild microdermabrasion and a face mask that fluffed up to look and feel like a cloud! This is considered their red carpet facial as your face is ready and rearing to go for make-up and a night out afterwards! It penetrates deeply into the layers of your skin, nourishing and encouraging cell regeneration without leaving your skin red or sensitive afterwards.

woodlands beauty clinic baltic triangle


The facial itself was so relaxing, I could feel myself drifting off after just a few minutes. The microdermabrasion was so gentle, with super fine microbeads scrubbing away all the dead and dry skin. The face mask was probably my favourite bit, it felt like when you used to give yourself a bubble beard in the bath as a kid! Whilst the mask was doing its thang, Antonia did her thang on my neck, d├ęcolletage and shoulders with a mini massage. I felt like I was melting into the bed!

Before I knew it, Antonia was encouraging me to come back around, unwillingly, to the real world. She passed me a glass of water and encouraged me to hydrate as much as possible for the rest of the day. She gave me the treatment room for as long as I needed and damn, I could have stayed under that heated quilt for hours! My face felt like it belongs to someone else, it was so fresh and new! It felt so soft and smooth, with no redness in sight! Yes, I looked and felt a bit drunk afterwards, but can we just admire the freshness and clearness of my skin here?

woodlands beauty clinic baltic triangle


I couldn’t thank Antonia enough, I felt amazing! She recommended I get myself a deep tissue neck and shoulder massage pronto as the knots there needed some serious work - don’t worry, I’m on this! I skipped out of the clinic and even the weather was back on my super chilled side, with not a drop of rain or wisp of the wind the whole walk home!

If you’re looking for some city centre self-loving, The Woodlands Clinic is more than happy to treat you to a pamper session and get you looking and feeling your best self!

woodlands beauty clinic baltic triangle


Another huge thanks to Antonia for being an absolute joy to spend the morning with and for working some serious magic on me! Almost a week on and my skin is still looking bright!

When was the last time you treated yourself to a facial?

Until next time, 





Monday, 20 March 2017

Things I do when I'm feeling down!

things to do when you're feeling down


Sometimes you just feel down. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, you just feel like a bag of crap. We all have our down days, so here’s an idea of how I deal with mine…

Talk

Be it with the Mr or with my Mum and Dad, the sooner I vent my frustrations to them, the sooner they can listen then tell me whether I’m totally hitting the nail on the head, or I need to be hit over the head. Bottling things up doesn’t work, it just causes them to bubble, build and finally explode in a mentos mint meets coke scenario. 

Pamper

From a hot bath to that lotion I’ve been saving because it’s so fancy-pants, fresh warm pj’s, a face mask, maybe I’ll even do my nails. The more down I’m feeling, the more all out I’ll go with my pampering. It tends to help me take my mind off whatever is bothering me, so by the end of it, when I’m all plucked and polished, I’m feeling so good that I’ve forgotten about feeling so bad. 

Pampering 2.0

Sometimes, you have to kick it up a notch and let someone else take control of the pampering. So far this year I’ve been making a point of going for a facial every month. If it happens to fall on a down day, even better. There’s just something about someone else taking the lead, working out the knots and kinks that you kinda knew were there but had so far been avoiding. There’s something about taking that time out for yourself too, off the grid, away from the hustle, bustle, and drama that’s going on on the other side of the spa door. 

Weights

Cardio doesn’t distract me enough if anything it makes me think too much. But weights are different. The thing about weight lifting is that you really have to concentrate on what you’re doing. Your form, the amount you’re lifting, keeping count of the reps. I’m so busy thinking about all these little things that my brain totally shuts off from whatever big things are bothering me. Then by the end of the session, I’m too pooped to care about much else than a shower and bed!

Read

They say the person who reads truly lives a thousand lives. I can’t think of a better way to escape any and all real world problems than escaping between the pages of a far off land, or just somebody else’s romantic trials and tribulations. Not that it works for me, but I reckon if you like audiobooks then this would work just as well. 

Travel Vlogs

Yup. Not going to lie, they're usually Disney ones too. There's just something about seeing people so happy in a place that I have so many happy, awesome memories that can't stop me from smiling. 

Free Writing

So most of what I’ve talked about so far tends to help me just push my worries and woes to one side for a while. But you can’t ignore a problem for long, and one of the best ways for me to actually deal with them is to write them down. Free writing is just one of those amazing activities that are so cathartic. And the best part? Nobody else ever has to read what you have written. Keep them in a journal, type them and never hit save, or go one step further and burn those bad boys (safety first). I’ve had people tell me they feel silly writing things down but honestly, give it a go, just put pen to paper and see what happens. You can even start with ‘this crazy girl off the internet has told me to do this, and I don’t know why, and really all I fancy is beans on toast and cup of tea right now…’ and see where your free thoughts take you. It’s amazing how doing that always ends up leading me to discover something totally different to what I originally thought was at the root of what's bothering me.

How do you deal with your down days?

Until next time, 




Wednesday, 15 March 2017

GHD Curl Masterclass

curling with ghd straighteners


When I was 19, I got my first set of GHD Straighteners. They were hot pink in the classic style and I loved them. Even though my hair is naturally straight, they were great for that extra sleek finish, eventually learning to throw a flick or a curl in there too. I loved them. Fast forward almost 11 years to the day and I still have those exact same hot pink GHD’s. They have never failed me. They still heat up perfectly, no crackling, no wire damage, no plate damage. The odd scuff mark aside, they are almost as good as new!

There are some things you buy that really are a lifetime investment purchase and for me, GHD’s are high up on that list. So when I was invited down to my local GHD counter in John Lewis for a hair curling masterclass, I jumped at the chance to upgrade my GHD game.

curling with ghd straighteners


I popped along on a busy Saturday afternoon to meet Natalie who would be my hair-y god mother for the afternoon. It’s be a long time since I even looked at what GHD has to offer and damn, have they come a long way since I got my first set! We all know and love the classic slimline styler, but did you know they actually created the max styler, with a wider plate to stop people making fakes?  The new tri-zone technology inside the straitening plates means there are three heaters running through the plate, giving a more even distribution of heat and  50% less hair damage. I fell a little bit in love with the platinum styler, with it’s white finish and space-age design too.

curling with ghd straighteners


Straightners aside, I didn’t realise GHD actually have a range of hairdryers and tongs too that are, in short, brilliant. It was the Curve Classic Wave Wand that we ended up using on the day to create some voluminous tousled curls. The wand itself has, to me, a really unique barrel. It’s more like a squashed oval. This thicker, oval shaped barrel is perfect for longer hair - it wasn’t until Natalie took a picture of my hair all brushed out that I realised just how long it was! I started to apologise, convinced I was going to give the poor girl RSI after curling all that hair! She promised me it wouldn’t be a problem and started sectioning it all off.

curling with ghd straighteners


When I curl my hair at home, be it with a wand or straighteners, it takes me close to 90 minutes. 90 frazzled, stressful, get half way through and want to pack it all in and straighten everything I’ve done, minutes. Natalie had it done in 30 minutes which included being stopped by customers to answer questions and us two having a good ol’ chinwag about the wonderful world of blogging. She even shared some top tips for recreating the curls myself at home with my current GHD’s.  

30 MINUTES

curling with ghd straighteners


I was in awe of this magic. Natalie had created tousled, shiny, voluminous curls that I couldn’t stop bouncing! She sprayed each strand with GHD’s Curl Hold Spray, a multi functioning product that not only helps to create long lasting curls, but acts as a heat protectant too. Then finished with an overall spritz of the GHD Final Shine Spray and a heavy dose of the GHD Final Fix Hairspray. All of the products smelt amazing and were so light, they added no weight to my hair whatsoever! We both had to laugh, my hair looked like it had doubled in volume! 

With photos taken and more thanks doled out to Natalie for a wonderful session, I skipped out of John Lewis feeling ridiculously glamorous, my curls bouncing right along with me!

curling with ghd straighteners


I learnt more about my own hair and how to curl in that one session than I think any YouTube video has ever taught me! There really is something to be said for a more personable experience! 

Do you own a set of GHD’s? How long have you had yours for?

Until next time, 





Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

ole henriksen truth serum review


I use blogging as my biggest excuse to horde a ridiculous amount of skincare and beauty products. Literally, I have a 9 drawer Alex unit and 8 of those drawers are taken up by my supplies. Most of which have either been enabled by other bloggers or from me jumping on a well everyone’s blogging about this bandwagon. The rest have either been sent to me or I’ve been gifted in goodie bags from multiple events. This is how the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster came into my life.

I found this in my Girl Gang event goodie bag, along with a couple of other Ole goodies. Yes, that was a while a go. and yes it has taken me that long to get around to finally using it! 

I always thought vitamin C boosting products would make my skin too shiny. Having been ridiculously paranoid about oily skin in my teens, then finally learning to embrace it in my late twenties, a little glow and shine can go a long way. It helps your skin to look and feel like it’s been off adventuring in the great outdoors when in reality, you’ve been indoors all weekend, hunched over the laptop watching YouTube videos and spoon feeding yourself Nutella and rainbow drops. (fact). 

The Truth Serum is designed to fight the visible signs of ageing by firming, lifting and of course, brightening the skin. After a morning cleanse and tone, with my skin still slightly damp, I take two pumps of the serum and massage it into my skin. I don’t know if it’s a sign of some serious dehydration but my skin drinks this up faster than I can apply it. It leaves my skin feeling a little tacky for a couple of minutes but once it’s dry, I’m good to go in with my moisturiser and get on with the day. 

ole henriksen truth serum review


I’ve been using this as a part of my morning routine, one to make it last longer and two, I feel like my skin benefits from the brightening effect more. Because it is bright. My skin just glows, but not in a greasy, sweaty kind of way, more like a healthy brisk walk in the countryside kinds way. 

It smells amazing. I’m all about the citrus when the sun finally starts to shine, it’s so fresh and uplifting. I read something once about how it’s been proven that by looking at orange coloured things or smelling citrusy scents, it does lift your mood. Could be mind over matter here but it does give me a little pep in my step, even after a crappy night's sleep. 

Could your skin do with a little pick me up?

Until next time, 




Monday, 13 March 2017

Currently Watching #7

what to watch on tv tonight


What should you watch tonight? I can’t believe I haven’t done one of these TV round ups since last year! It’s safe to say that I have been watching more than my fair share of the box over the last couple of months! Here’s a round-up of what I’ve been loving on TV lately!

The Great Pottery Throw Down

British Bake Off, Sewing Bee, I’m obsessed with any and all of these weekly challenge semi-reality competition shows the BBC put out. The Pottery Throw Down is no exception and be still my Granny heart, but I find the tension nail biting and the catastrophes heartbreaking! I love seeing what the amateur potters create and Sarah Cox’s one liners. Who’d have thought waiting for a pot to come out of a kiln could be so exciting? I think I’d put my money on either Clover or Ryan to win! Though I love how out of the box Freya is! Who do you think will take the clay crown?

Once Upon a Time

Whenever a new season of this starts you will be sure to find it in my favourites! I have been obsessed since the first episode and this show continues to amaze and impress me! It’s take on the fairy tales we all grew up on are so dark, creative and unexpected, it’s kept me hooked! I’m looking forward to seeing more Aladdin/Jasmine for the second half of this season, as well as finding out who is under that damn saviour slaying hood!

The Crown

It’s took me a while to finally get around to this one but I’m glad I did. I think Matt Smith makes an excellent Philip and Claire Foy is a marvellous young Elizabeth II. It’s a bit of a slow starter but it’s set itself up nicely and I love how it’s exploring both the family dynamics and political minefield in equal measure. John Lithgow as Churchill surprised me but I’ve come to really like his portrayal of the inspirational orator.

Brooklyn Nine Nine

This is one of those shows that I’ve heard talked about so much and have only ended up watching by chance but bloody hell am I hooked! The 20 minute episodes are easy to watch and hilarious. I’ve got to admit, I’m a little bit in love with Charles too! If you looking for some quick and easy escapism, this is perfect! 

Homeland

I have loved this show since the beginning and never seen it going for as long as it has - but I’m so glad it did! Clare Danes is phenomenal, there’s no other way to describe her. She is so raw and passionate and it comes across ten-fold! I’m loving whats developing between Carrie and our broken Quinn but the serious drama unfolding around them has me gripped!

Wild

I’ll admit, I only watched this film after it was mentioned in the Gilmore Girls reunion. I had no idea what it was about but it turned out to be an OK watch. I think the book will be much better and it’s on my to-be-read list somewhere! If you’re looking for a bit of an emotional road trip over a extra large bar of Galaxy and a glass of wine, this is perfect!

What have you been watching lately?

Until next time,



Thursday, 9 March 2017

Writing Resources for Bloggers



When it comes to blogging, there are some amazing resources out there to really polish off your posts! From grammar checks to sentence length, even those that encourage you to blog more, blog faster and churn out content - ideal for when you've got a deadline to meet! There's a couple of sites and resources I refer back to on a daily basis when creating blog content. Though I might be aiming this at bloggers don't be fooled, if you're writing anything, then these will be invaluable resources for you too! 


writing resources for bloggers



This is a site I discovered way back in my University days and it is fantastic if you want to get into the habit of writing daily. Initially, I used it for working on things like NaNoWriMo and my Masters' thesis. When you know you need to write a minimum amount of words a day, 750 words is your best friend! Blogging and projects aside, if you just want to get into the habit of writing in general, every single day, this is the site for you. Not only does it time how long it takes you to get to a minimum of 750 words, it will keep track of how many days you hit this goal, and tell you the mindset, feeling and concerns your writing indicates! All writing is downloadable in a .txt file and the writing online is kept private - so feel free to pour out whatever words you need to!


writing resources for bloggers



The Mr found this one for me on Reddit and I haven't looked back since. I am a bugger for my sentences being long. Not only does it highlight long or complex sentences, it will show if you're overusing your adverbs and if your tone is too passive. It's great for polishing off your content and making it more digestible for your audience. 


writing resources for bloggers



I’ve been making a conscious effort to have a thesaurus open in the background whenever I’m writing, from blog posts to more personal projects. The Hemingway Editor will highlight adverbs and if I see myself using the same one too many times, I pop it in the thesaurus and look for an alternative. It’s all about giving your writing some variety and finding more interesting and exciting language to use! It makes your content much more engaging. Just steer clear of over complicated, superfluous words! 


writing resources for bloggers



If you’re a blogger who doesn’t know about Grammarly WHERE have you been? Yes, the caps are necessary! I found this site years ago and haven’t looked back since. It’s a free website that comes with a free plugin for both windows and mac and it checks everything your type. From blog posts in your host's editor to comments on other blogs, Facebook wall posts, tweets, emails. If you’re writing online and you have this installed then it will check it for you, meaning you are always posting professional, well spelled and grammatically correct content!


writing resources for bloggers



Not necessarily a resource as such, but hands down one of the most productivity-inducing techniques I have ever used! Simply, you spend 40 minutes on a task (blog post, photo editing, blog commenting, playing The Sims) then you take a 20-minute break. The 20 minutes is spent doing something that is the opposite of what you’ve spent the last 40 minutes doing. I tend to come away from the laptop on these breaks, make a brew and pick up a book. Not only does this give my eyes, neck and back a break from the desk, but it’s meant I’ve got a hell of a lot more reading done too! I did this for around 5 hours one Saturday and managed to get 7 blog posts written! 


writing resources for bloggers



If you copy and paste your work into Readability, it will give you the reading grade of your work. Most blog posts should be aiming for grades 4 - 8 (based on the American education system) which is around 10 - 15 years old in the UK. You don’t want your content to be too simple, but you don’t want it to be too OTT and deter your audience. This age bracket should mean your content is accessible and understandable by all. Of course, if your writing on a more scholarly topic, you’re going to want to aim much higher!   

What are some of your top writing resources for blogging?


writing resources for bloggers


Until next time, 






Wednesday, 8 March 2017

This one time we CATFISHED someone

getting catfished


This one time we catfished somebody…kind of

Way back before the days of Google mail. Your nights were spent on MSN messenger, changing your 100x100 icons to match your username. Picking a super pink font on a bright white background so you would piss off your mates. Trolling chat rooms asking a/s/l? Becoming millionaires on Neopets. Oh those were the days, and back then, I don’t think cat fishing even existed, it didn’t even have a name.

So we had this friend, boy band obsessed. I’m talking every conceivable space on her walls and ceiling covered in life size Smash Hits centrefolds. It all started out as a joke, a laugh, something we did one afternoon in IT class because we were bored and we could. We signed up for a free local email account. We named it after her favourite member of the boy band, saying we’d seen her name in the fan mail list and wanted to say hi. Because yeah, that happens, makes total sense. She was sat across the room, we fired off the email, and we waited. 

getting catfished


It was a laugh. A joke. It wasn’t supposed to be taken seriously

She replied. 

She was over the moon he had got in touch, she couldn’t thank him enough. She felt so lucky. Her idol, her love, her favourite, and he wanted to talk to her

Never mind he was based down south. Never mind it was a .Liverpool email address. Never mind she wasn’t even on a fan mail list. 

Convinced she was taking the piss out of us. Convinced she was just playing along, we fired off another email before the end of class.

She was over the moon. We didn’t know what to think. 

Days went by and she kept exchanging emails with this boy band front man. We made them as outlandish and as obviously fake as we possibly could but still, she played along. She was playing along? Right?

We wanted to know how seriously she was taking this. Another friend took over the account and asked her for her home address, under the pretence he was sending her a signed poster. Without question, she gave it

Don’t get me wrong, what we did wasn’t exactly nice, but it was only a joke, she was never supposed to take it seriously. So, we told her. The next time she brought up the emails we told her the truth, that it had been us all along.

Har. Har. Was her response. She genuinely didn’t believe us. And carried on emailing him.

I don’t know whose idea the next email was. Convinced she was messing with us now, we thought we would just carry on playing along. I mean, we had told her it was us. She had to believe us?

So we asked her to meet. He was going to be passing through our insignificant little area of Liverpool on his way somewhere. He really wanted to meet her. He even suggested the location. Because of course this celebrity knew the park nearest her house that well. 

getting catfished


She agreed. 

I'd heard the horror stories on the news about people who went to meet people they had spoke to online. I could never understand why they would do this. Nowadays it's no wonder so many people fall into a cat fishing trap. When you can create a plethora of social media profiles for your alter ego. All pointing in the same direction. All making you out to be someone you're not

Date. Time. Place. It was all set. She told us she was meeting him. We told her it wasn’t safe. We told her it could be anyone, she clearly didn’t think it was us. 

Another day. Another IT class. We logged into his account in front of her, showing her all the emails she had sent him

She ran out in tears. Devastated none of it had been true. 

And that was by a bunch of stupid school girls who weren’t even trying. 

We think blogs and vlogs give is this air of transparency these days. That selfies on Instagram can’t come from anyone other than the account holder. And these everyone’s my friend online personalities really do feel that way towards you, as an individual, and nobody else. No matter how little or even how much you might think you know someone online, it can all change the second you take the screen away.

Blogging opens you up to a community of strangers. I am so fortunate that the strangers I have met through blogging have been in every way as wonderful as I imagined. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve spoken to bloggers who haven’t been so lucky. Those who have gone to meet up with other bloggers who have been anything but how they thought. I don’t know of anyone who's gotten into a dangerous situation yet but still, that’s not to say it can’t or won’t happen. 

Do me a favour, don’t let it happen to you. 

Have you ever had any bad experiences when meeting people online? 





Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Wish List - Dresses

Dress Wants - March 2017

I feel like its been forever and a day since I last updated my dress-drobe. I’m really trying to make conscious, selective purchases of things I will want to wear again and again. Blame Pinterest and an obsession with capsule wardrobe look-books. I’m a bugger for buying things on a whim and never wearing them for one reason or another, so I’m really trying to change that mindset! With that in mind and a tick list as long as your arm, here’s a few pretties that have recently caught my eye and I can see coming home with me very soon. 





Oh pretty, pretty! From the colour to the embroidery to the cape sleeves and the open back, somebody stop me because this is going straight in my basket! I love this as it will be ideal throughout Spring/Summer with wedges or sandals but then in the winter, just picture it with tighs, chunky boots and a nice big cardie? Yes!




I don’t own anything mint and I feel like I am clearly failing at life. Have you ever seen a prettier colour and just look at those sleeves! So swishy and feminine. I’m in two minds about this purely because of the band around the middle but I’m hoping it would look better on than I’m imagining!





Because sometimes in life you just need a very simple burgundy dress. I love the tiny cut out detailing and those little sleeves are hella cute. This would be so easy to dress up or down with just a quick accessory and shoe change! I’m already thinking summer wedges and autumn knee boots with this one!





Hello sunshine! If popping this on in the morning doesn’t wake me up I don't know what will! I have fell in love with yellow dresses ever since La La Land - I love every freakin dress Emma Stone wears in that film and I’ve realised it’s because they’re all so bright and vibrant, two qualities my wardrobe is severely lacking!


I am trying to step away from what is a very black wardrobe and inject some colour into it little by little. What are your must haves for a wardrobe update this season?

Until next time, 




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