Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I haven't written a 'life' post in a while. I've just been trucking along as usual and getting on with things as best I can. I haven't had anything super interesting to report, and I haven't been in the best place either. July and August were hard months with work, new medication, and a lack of motivation. It all felt too heavy so I just pushed on through the best I could, I didn't feel like sitting down and writing a life update. I just needed to get on with it and come out the other end.

The end of August has picked up massively - I have started taking a new antidepressant so my mood has picked up, I have come to the decision to change things up a bit in my life by looking for a new job and deciding to go back to university next year(!) and it feels like I'm suddenly going forward instead of standing still. None of this is set in stone, but I'm very passionate about changing a lot of things that will make me happy because I'm tired of not being happy. I feel like I'm too young to have given up on everything already. I don't want to settle, I don't want to stay still, I want to go out there and see what I can do.

I have had an incredible summer, too. I've done everything I wanted and more which has made up for all the previous bad summers we've had where it's rained most of the time and the sun never shows its face, and I've spent far too much time inside being sad. I've spent time with nature, I've eaten a hundred meals outside in the sun, and I've seen my aunts, uncles and cousins more than I have in years which has been so comforting.

My blog is growing very slowly, which is better than not at all I suppose. My monthly engaged on Pinterest is climbing for the first time in around six months and I am getting a few more comments on my blog posts which makes me feel like wow, I'm not actually talking to myself all the time! It's nice to know someone's reading my ramblings. One comment or one like/retweet on Twitter means more than you could ever imagine.

I'm just plodding along, getting shit done, napping a lot, and trying my best. That should be the title of my autobiography.

Anyone else in a similar boat?

Showcase: charming sleepwear

Friday, August 24, 2018

This post contains affiliate links.

I'm not ashamed to admit I spend around 90% of my time in my pyjamas. I think a lot of people do, right? No-one hangs around the house in jeans, or I hope they don't. For me, pyjamas double up as sleepwear and loungewear, but I like the idea of having special gorgeous silky PJs just for sleeping in. And I totally would if I had the drawer space. And the money to buy more PJs...

In this showcase I've featured my favourite sleepwear pieces on the web - they're comfortable, pretty, and luxurious with lots of silk, lace, and cotton. Sleepwear should be cute too, and you might actually be able to wear it now the weather's cooling down! Anyone else just completely abandoned their pyjamas at night recently? Yeah.

Hope you guys enjoy this showcase.

My style inspirations

Saturday, August 18, 2018

I find a lot of my style inspiration on Pinterest. I see an outfit I like, it goes straight into my Attire board for future reference. That board is basically a rundown of my fashion sense and how it's evolved over time and it's interesting to scroll down and see what I used to love 6 months to a year ago.

At the moment I'm hugely influenced by the whole 'French girl' trend - polka dots, silk shirts, white trainers, leopard print, floaty blouses, cropped trousers etc. It's effortless and simple but very stylish. I like to keep my make-up minimal with lots of glow to top it off.

Aside from that I have always adored and admired Julia Engel's style. She nails every colour combination and style and always manages to find the most perfect backdrops for her photographs. Her own line of romantic feminine dresses has me drooling daily.

Below are the four people that influence my fashion choices the most and inspire me on the regular (listed in no particular order). Enjoy!

Clockwise: X, X, X, X.

Ultimate French girl chic. Effortless, classy, understated, sexy. Lots blue denim with splashes of polka dots, satin, leopard print, and see-through knitwear.

Clockwise: X, X, X, X.

Queen of perfecting the slouchy-but-dressy look. Ripped jeans, t-shirts, heels, pops of print, layered jewellery, trainers.

Clockwise: X, X, X, X.

Liv rocks it all: gingham, florals, co-ords, Converse, polka dots, a red lip. Always mixing styles and colours.

Clockwise: X, X, X, X.

Actual Goddess, somehow makes every outfit look like it has come straight out of a fashion editorial. Feminine dresses, tonal layers, classic silhouettes.

Exploring Newstead Abbey

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

This morning I suggested to my mum that we go somewhere new and that I would direct her there but not tell her where we were going. Thought it would be exciting to surprise her with a few hours wandering around the majestic Newstead Abbey, somewhere we've passed before (on our way to Nottingham IKEA, naturally) but never been to. 

I've always wanted to visit - I know of Newstead because it was the home to Lord Byron - and figured today, where neither of us had anything planned or a lot of money to spend, would be the perfect day.

Illustrations by Maggie Cole

Monday, August 13, 2018

I adore Maggie Cole's illustrations, she packs a lot of personality and colour into her characters and I love the way she paints those sweet rosy cheeks. Very unique and full of charm.

You can see more of Maggie's work on her website and Instagram, and you can shop some of her prints here.

You can also preorder a custom portrait if you want something special in time for Christmas (first mention of the C-word!)

All artwork is copyright © Maggie Cole.

Lovely quotes / 17

Friday, August 10, 2018

“When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million, empty words.”
— Thema Davis

“Maybe my passion is nothing special, but at least it’s mine.”
— Tove Jansson, Travelling Light

“October is like home to me; and I’m home sick.”
— Leah Jean

“It’s little gestures,
and minuscule surprises,
that will remind you.”
—  Tyler Knott Gregson, Daily Haiku on Love

“We look up at the same stars, and see such different things.”
— George R. R. Martin

“You still have a lot of time to make yourself be what you want.”
— S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
— Meister Eckhart

Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.
— Michelle L.Thieme, August’s Crown

How I go shopping a lot without going skint

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

I shop a lot, but I'm also good at not spending too much. I know how to find a good bargain and make my money go further. Here's my advice on how to save money when out shopping...

Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

1. Make eBay your best friend. πŸ›’
If I find something I like on websites like Amazon, Argos, or Very, I can guarantee I'll find it on eBay with a bit more money off. I have come across tons of good stuff on eBay for next to nothing - books, clothes, handbags, gadgets, tech accessories, make-up brushes, home decor - and it's once in a blue moon that something goes awry. I tend to filter my search results so the item location is UK only - this is mostly because shipping will be quicker and also things like clothes will be in UK sizes.

When I want to look for clothes, I like to sort to 'Newly listed' or 'Ending soonest' to bag the real deals. Books I will mostly always look for 'Like new' or 'Good condition'. I like to buy little home decor items like vases, decorative trays, and cushion covers because they tend to either be handmade or vintage (and affordable!)

2. Check TKMaxx on the regular. πŸ›
TKMaxx is my favourite shop of all time. I have picked up clothes, make-up, skincare, handbags, clothes, shoes, candles, picture frames, plant pots, perfume, jewellery, bras, pyjamas... the list goes on. I love TKMaxx for its uniqueness - you can find so many rare gems in there, stuff you won't see anywhere else and I love that. I like owning one-off things because who wants the same stuff as everyone else?

I recently went to TKMaxx and found a ton of skincare products and make-up brushes by the brand Rodial (which is usually an absolute fortune) for mere pennies. Something was £9.99 with an RRP of £52.00, which must be one of the biggest discounts I've ever seen in TKMaxx. I get a lot of my bath and body products from TKMaxx, because not only is most of it cheap as chips (therefore if it runs out quickly I'm not that bothered), but it's often cruelty free, organic, and free from any nasties.

3. Have a good rummage in charity shops. 🧺
Charity shops are my favourite places to grab books, home decor items, and vinyl. I do check out clothes, but it's not very often I find something I love. I have come away with film cameras, knitwear, DVDs, vintage books, vases, and decent quality vinyl. You just have to be willing to search.

4. Install Pouch. πŸ’°
Pouch is a free browser extension that automatically finds you the best voucher codes as you shop. The US has an equivalent called Honey that does the same thing.

Pouch is a godsend; sometimes it will provide you with a voucher code that is exclusive to Pouch users, so you might save money simply by having the browser extension. My favourite website for getting the best Pouch codes is Lookfantastic (skincare, make-up, haircare etc.) - they always have good deals on anyway, but having a voucher code on top of that means you're buying products for very little.

5. Look for cheap/free P&P. πŸ“¦
Why do some online shops have such expensive postage? Anything over £3.00 and I'm out. Yeah, I'm a bit of a cheapskate. I like to Google search for free postage codes or check any old e-mails that offered 10% off your first order when you first signed up that I might not have used. I hate paying for postage and packaging, basically. I will do what I can not to pay it.

If an online store allows me to use Click & Collect, I will use it because 9 times out of 10 it's free. I have a local Morrisons that has a Click & Collect service and Amazon lockers, so it's really handy if you don't want to pay extortionate postage prices by having something delivered to your house.

6. Use Klarna in between pay days. πŸ‘Œ
Klarna allows you to buy online and either pay later, or slice your payments into smaller ones. I have used it when buying jeans from Topshop; their jeans fit me like a glove but they're so overpriced, but because of Klarna I've been able to try them on at home and make sure they're perfect before handing over any money. They give you a good month or so before you have to pay for your items too, so you've got plenty of time to wait until pay day, which means those £38 jeans(???!!) don't hurt my bank account as much.

You can find a list of all the online shops that use Klarna here.

My 2018 AM & PM routine tag

Saturday, August 04, 2018

This post contains affiliate links.

I last did the AM & PM routine tag over two years ago(!) My routine has changed a ton since, so I thought I'd re-do it, because why not?

Photo by Ty Carlson on Unsplash


1. What is your morning beauty routine? πŸŒ₯
I either wash my face with the Vichy Purete Thermale cleansing foam or run some Naturally Radiant Glycolic Toner from Superdrug over my face with a cotton round to wipe away excess oil. I use the Balance Me Congested Skin Serum on any problem areas then moisturise all over with the Avene Hydrance Optimale Light Protective cream with SPF. If I can be arsed, I'll prime my T-zone using the NYX Hydra Touch Primer but I rarely need it in the summer because my face isn't as dry.

2. What's for breakfast? πŸ₯“
Embarrassingly, it's usually Coco Pops. Or Frosted Wheats if I want to pretend to be 'healthy'.

3. Coffee or Tea? ☕️
Neither, thanks! I might make them for a living but I don't drink them myself.

4. How long does it take you to get out the door? πŸšͺ
If I'm going to work, it's probably about 20 minutes. I don't wear make-up to work (besides a tiny bit of concealer on any angry spots). If it's any other day, about 30 - 40 minutes.

5. What is your go-to makeup look on a fuss-free morning? πŸ’„
Concealer on any blemishes and under my eyes (I set my under eyes with a little sample pot of the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder, can't afford the full size lol), blusher on the apples of my cheeks, highlighter, and a wash of brow gel. I set it all with a quick misting of setting spray.

Photo by Manu Camargo on Unsplash


1. What is your evening beauty routine? πŸŒ™
I wash my face again using the Vichy cleansing foam, apply a bit more of the Balance Me Congested Skin Serum, and then at the moment I am applying a small amount of the NUXE Huile Prodigieuse dry oil to areas that need some TLC. I'm currently using a sample I got from Escentual and it is  s t u n n i n g. Must buy the full version when the sample is empty. It has my favourite scent on earth.

2. Snack time! What's in the bowl? 🍿
At the moment it's crisps. Any will do, I've kind of gone off sweet stuff and chocolate (A SIN) so I've moved on to savoury things. I'm also a bit obsessed with the Cocoa & Vanilla Protein Bites from Graze which aren't as crazy sweet as they sound. They're also a teeny bit healthy? If I tell myself that I don't feel bad binging on a whole box.

3. How do you wind down and prep for bed? πŸ›Œ
I wind down by laying in bed and catching up on my YouTube sub box (with Night Shift activated on my iPad - look after your peepers, kids), cosied up in a blanket or my duvet. My phone goes onto Do Not Disturb mode at 8pm so I don't get distracted by notifications or my phone lighting up.

4. Cosy up! What are you wearing to sleep? πŸ‘š
I love Primark and Marks & Spencer pyjamas. If you get pyjamas that are 100% cotton I'd recommend sizing up because when you wash them they tend to shrink a little, especially the Primark ones. The Marks & Spencer ones are obviously a bit better quality but both do really lovely, simply designed pyjama sets. That's all I wear, I don't do anything expensive, skimpy, or anything with childish slogans/graphics on them.

5. What are some things you must do before hitting the hay? πŸ’€
Take my meds and apply 300 layers of Palmer's lip balm.

My most recent make-up routine post was published in April but it's changed quite a bit since, and my skincare routine from January is so, so different now. Linked them anyway if you fancy a read and some product recommendations.

Found / 1

Friday, August 03, 2018

Here's some stuff I found on the internet recently that I love. Some old, some new, but all of it is new to me.

I want to try and make this a fortnightly thing but I'm not making any promises. Hope you guys have a great weekend. Oh, and hi August!

Top: Photo by Adam Crohill
Bottom: Photo by Ben Pentreath

marchninetyfour | A UK lifestyle blog