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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Interesting Women’s Fashion Trends for SS19

*AD - SPONSORED POST* Every season, I update my wardrobe. It keeps my look fresh and ensures everything I own fits and blends together well. So, right now, I am looking for a few items for when the weather really heats up. Here are some of the most interesting women's fashion trends I have uncovered, while doing that.

Interesting Women’s Fashion Trends - Jumpsuit and boilersuits

The rise of the boilersuit continues. They look fantastic as well as being practical and comfortable, so this is not really a surprise.

Women's fashion trends - woman standing in black boiler suit with bright floral print

Interesting Women’s Fashion Trends - Tap into the utility trend

They are a big part of the utility trend that has made its way from the catwalks to the mainstream, in the past few months. The great thing about the utility trend is that it combines function with aesthetics. You get to wear clothes that look and feel good, but are also practical. They are clothes you can wear for virtually any activity you want to enjoy. Generously cut shirts and trousers with big pockets that are cut to hang well paired with flat mules is a look that works well for a lot of women.

Interesting Women’s Fashion Trends - The shirt dress

Shirt dresses are also part of the utility look. You can wear them belted, or on really warm days let them hang loser, so you can let the air flow.

Women's fashion trends - navy blue shirt dress with tropical print

Interesting Women’s Fashion Trends - The tie-dye look

Tie dye is definitely no longer just for hippies. The patterns being produced are wildly different from the ones we have seen before. There is plenty of variety available, so you will have no trouble finding something that appeals to you.

Interesting Women’s Fashion Trends - Manic prints

Every summer, we see prints and this summer is no exception. But, this year, the prints are a bit crazier than normal. The leopard print trend from the winter has made designers, and us, bolder. Crazy vibrant prints are everywhere. The manic print trend looks set to be big. It is not for everyone, but if you are looking for a bright dress these eye-catching prints might work for you.

Interesting Women’s Fashion Trends - Giant bags

Huge bags seemed to be everywhere on the catwalks. I don’t like tiny handbags, but still can’t see myself buying one of these super-sized bags. But, if you like carrying your life around in your handbag, you will be spoilt for choice. Some of them are so big that you could potentially use them as a beach bag.

Women's fashion trends - giant blue and white patterned bag

Interesting Women’s Fashion Trends - Hats are back 

This year, you can expect to see more people wearing hats. The usual mix of baseball caps and cloth hats is joined by extra wide-brimmed hats. If you do not fancy that look, the 90s bucket hat is also back in fashion. But, before buying one, you might like to read this article, to check that style of hat is right for your face shape.

Women's fashion trends - straw hat with flamingo writing and pink trim

Interesting Women’s Fashion Trends - Waistcoats for women

Recently, designers like Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen have been sending their models down the runway wearing waistcoats and sleeveless coats. It will be interesting to see if this trend takes off, but you can expect to see them being made available in more women’s clothing retailers.

Overall, I liked what I saw. This years women's fashion trends are a bit more quirky than normal, which is refreshing. 

Which of these trends will you be updating your wardrobe with this season? 

Thursday, 28 March 2019

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary

*AD - SPONSORED POST* Offering fine cuisine, incredible history and culture, mild climate all year round as well as unbeatable archipelago sites, the beautiful southern island of Sicily is the perfect destination for a weekend trip away. As the largest and most densely populated island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is not only a renowned beach destination as it is home to some of the world’s most beautiful sands and water but also home to beautiful traditional cities and locations worth visiting. While in a weekend it may be difficult to visit all of Sicily’s corners, renting a car is certainly a great idea to make the most of the weekend as well as residing in a beautiful Sicilian villa rental, which can be easily booked through online tools like WishSicily. For a 3 day itinerary in Sicily we recommend visiting Palermo, Cefalù and Mount Etna.

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day One Palermo

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day One Palermo

Many direct flights to Sicily land in Palermo, the ideal base for a short trip around the island. If you have a full day to explore Palermo get to know the town’s fascinating past, hidden passageways and coded paintings located all around the town and left behind by secret society the Beati Paoli. Palermo is also home to some of the most exquisite cathedrals, beach accesses and cuisine in Italy. For a cuisine experience, visit Palermo’s three main food markets, Vucciria, Ballaro’ and Capo all within the heart of the town. Make sure to try Sicilian delicatessen such as Cannoli, Cassata cake, pizza and ice cream! While in town also get to know the Palazzo dei Normanni, the Royal Palace of Palermo which was once the sear of the Kings of Sicily during the Norman domination and is today home to the regional parliament of Sicily. The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo are also an interesting macabre attraction for any horror and history lovers. Here you will be able to find well-preserved bodies of Sicily’s inhabitants and visitors.

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day Two Cefalu

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day Two Cefalu

Not too far from Palermo is one of Sicily’s most popular and visited towns, Cefalù. The town offers sandy beaches, winding Mediaeval streets, local restaurants and the town’s unique Norman Cathedral. The town’s origins go back all the way to Greek ruling although the town was mostly built during the Norman command. Cefalù’s Norman Cathedral has in fact been granted a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in 1131 the cathedral is a beautiful example of “Sicilian Romanesque”. Just south of Cefalù there is a not-to-miss scenery in the Madonie National Park which features charming villages and towns, as well as impressive mountain sceneries.

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day Three Mount Etna

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day Three Mount Etna

The highest volcano in Europe and the most active in the world, Mount Etna has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013. Mount Etna has attracted visitors worldwide for centuries as it features geographical peculiarities such as its constant eruptions and spectacular lava flows. Mount Etna is perfect for hikers who can visit its active craters while also enjoying beautiful views across the entire island and sea. During the winter it is even possible to ski down the snow covered slopes. Due to the slope’s different altitudes and exposures, Mount Etna also offers a high biodiversity featuring a rich Mediterranean scrubland and numerous wood species. It is truly an incredible natural site that cannot be missed while in Sicily! 

While these are just a few of Sicily’s incredible destinations to visit, the island truly offers something for everyone. Whether it may be its ancient streets or it’s sandy beaches and crystal clear waters the island is rich in history and beauty. Visitors flood to Sicily from all over the world throughout the year but a great time to visit and not bump into too many tourists is during Spring or Autumn!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Easy baking ideas for the Great British Bake Off final

*AD - SPONSORED* Tonight is the Great British Bake Off final and I can't wait! Who are you thinking will win this year? I'm rooting for Rahul because he is just adorable and apart from a couple of off weeks has been brilliant throughout. Like most of the nation GBBO ignites my love of home baking and we often bake more whilst it is on. There is nothing quite like the smell of baking in the oven, the taste of warm cookies or the sight of a show stopping cake. Even though Bake Off inspires technical bakes sometimes it's ok to make baking simpler and make it work for you.
Whilst I would love to tell you I regularly bake bread in the shape of a lion or three layers of mirror glaze cake, the truth is I don't. I could have a good go at it (though it might not look the best) but I don't. The fact is with just me and Ellie here huge bakes just don't get eaten. Spending hours baking something that will ultimately end up drying out and in the bin seems such a waste of food and time. We regularly make cookies, cupcakes, bread loafs and small cakes. Sometimes a small cheesecake or apple crumble for Sunday dinner dessert. But the giant and show stopping desserts? Nope. I'm also a fan of keeping packet mixes in the kitchen cupboards. A box of brownie mix ready to go when the craving starts and there's no eggs in is perfect.

Easy baking ideas for the Great British Bake Off final - cookies

Homemade chocolate chunk cookies. They are really quick and easy to make and don't need many ingredients. I love them both warm from the oven and a couple of days later too. Cookies are a perfect bake for us and they are so easy to add to a pack lunch or nibble with a biscuit and cup of tea.
Easy baking ideas for the Great British Bake Off final - chocolate chunk cookies

Easy baking ideas for the Great British Bake Off final - brownies

Chocolate brownies are another favourite in our house. These are a packet mix so there is no need to buy anything else and no weighing or measuring. Every time we make them they are perfect with a gooey centre and crispy outside. They also last well in a tin for a good few days which gives the two of us chance to eat them all.
Easy baking ideas for the Great British Bake Off final - chocolate brownies

My trophy for the Great British Bake Off final

I'm never going to be Great British Bake Off contestant material, and that is fine by me. I'm sure Paul and Pru won't approve of a box brownie mix or a simple cookie recipe, and that is fine by me too. We bake what we enjoy making. The food we enjoy eating. And the bakes I know will get eaten. Baking should be fun and enjoyable, especially if you are doing it with family like me.
So my easy bakes are winners in our house and for that I'm awarding myself star baker today.
Easy baking ideas for the Great British Bake Off final - my star baker trophy

My star blogger bake off is sponsored by Jackson Trophies so a huge thank you to them for my trophy.
Don't forget to let me know if you are watching tonight and who you want to win this year.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room

*AD - SPONSORED POST* For quite a while now our spare bedroom has been neglected and unloved. It is the only room that hasn't been redecorated since moving in and it just doesn't really have a purpose. It is a dumping ground for all the things that don't have a specific place in the house. And it is only cleared out on the rare occasion someone is sleeping over. This year I have been changing that. I want a room that can be useful for lots of different things. Somewhere to relax, somewhere to work and somewhere a guest can sleep. Today I am sharing my journey on transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room.

Transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room - the decor

The first step in transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room is the decor. Choosing decor and decorating is my favourite part of renovating. I have one olive green statement wall against creamy grey for the other walls. Green gives it a really relaxing, calming feel and the grey ties it in to the rest of the house.
Transforming a spare bedroom in to a multi functional room - the decor
 The feature I'm most proud of is the floor. As soon as the carpet was pulled back and near perfect floorboards revealed I had to keep them. Stripping and staining floorboards is a long and dusty job but the end result is worth it. Staining them white gives them a slightly unusual look and covers up any patches of paint the sanding doesn't remove.

Transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room - the furniture

I'm going to start by saying I'm lucky enough to have a large spare bedroom so transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room is easy here.
So firstly, our spare bedroom needs somewhere for visitors to sleep. A sofa bed is the best idea as it doesn't take up too much room and doubles as somewhere to sit too. It is my new cosy little reading corner. My lamp stand is a toddler chair that we've had since Ellie was little. I'm glad it has a new purpose now.
transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room - sofa bed
A few beanbags add some more seating spaces. Perfect for teenagers as it makes it a great hang out space for them.
transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room - bean bag
So, hi, I'm Helen. I hoard DVDs and CDs! I would like to tell you I need to go through and sort these, but this is the downsize. One wall is full with a bookcase and media towers so there is plenty of storage in the room.
transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room - book cases

Transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room - still to do

The next thing on the to-buy list for my multi functional room is a desk. I want the room to be somewhere we can work as well as relax, store and sleep. Lionshome have some gorgeous desks, two of which I really love. I'm torn between a traditional desk or a more modern ladder desk that I can work on and fill with pretty trinkets and plants.
The walls look a bit bare don't they? I have some art prints I want to frame and put up. A mirror opposite the windows is on my shopping list too.
transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room - the windows
What do you think of my journey transforming a spare bedroom into a multi functional room? Do you have any areas in your house that have a multi functional purpose?

Thursday, 20 September 2018

What's inside my bag?

*AD - SPONSORED POST* This is a post I have been planning for the longest time. For some reason I always seems to move it down my to do list. So Polos getting in touch wanting to collaborate means I finally have my reason to post! Today I am going to share what's inside my bag. This is my every day bag and things that I carry around everywhere with me on a day to day basis.

What's inside my bag - My bag

I love looking at designer bags and admiring the fancy bags when I'm out shopping. But carrying one around on a  daily basis just isn't "me". I like bags I can sling over my shoulder or across my body and not think about whilst I'm out. SO my day to day bag is an across shoulder bag.
It is a gorgeous light brown colour leather and feels so soft. I love the size of it as I can easily fit everything in. If I'm at a blogging event I can fit my DSLR in too. My bag is a good few years old now but is still up to the job and I'm loving the worn leather look it's developing. It is actually from BHS (and caught my eye as I was rushing through the store to the car park one day) so it wasn't super cheap but it also wasn't too expensive either.
What's inside my bag, brown leather bag

What's inside my bag - The contents

What's inside my bag contents
So I don't think I carry around too much around with me day to day!
Firstly my purse. This was a gift from a friend and I really love it. It's a great size and fits all my money, cards and loyalty cards. Does any one else seem to have hundreds of those?
What's inside my bag purse
Next is my planner. This literally comes everywhere with me as it runs my life. Inside I have my diary and a notepad for jotting down the random things that pop in to my head through the day. This is a personal size planner from Paperchase.
What's inside my bag Paperchase planner
The next items inside my bag are Polo pots. These new Polo pots are perfect for keeping in your bag. They are really sturdy so protect the Polos and save any minty crumbs in the bottom of the bag. Each pot has 44 of the iconic mints with a hole. Even better is the fact these polos are sugar free, great if you are watching the calories! There is always mints in my bag as they are great to freshen your mouth after eating or drinking.
What's inside my bag Polo pots
I also have a few beauty essentials inside my bag. I always have a bottle of perfume, this one is from Next. There is a little compact mirror, perfect for spot checking what I look like through the day. A little pot of lip balm is always in my bag, I suffer terribly with sore lips especially this time of year. I keep a tube of BB cream for quickly touching up my make up if I need to. This one from the Body Shop is my absolute favourite as it adapts to your skin tone so suits me all year round. Finally I keep a tube of my favourite concealer, Collection Lasting Perfection.
What's inside my bag, make up
I always try to carry some healthy snacks around with me to save me reaching for anything naughty whilst I am out and about. These are my favourite snacks at the moment.
What's inside my bag snacks
And finally a pair of sunglasses, even though we're into Autumn now I still sometimes need them for driving, and my glasses. If they are not on my face I keep them in my bag otherwise I can never find where I put them.
What's inside my bag glasses and sunglasses
What do you think of what's inside my bag? What do you carry round with you day to day? And I love to know what your bag is like?

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The Malta International Fireworks Festival

*AD - SPONSORED* Malta is a country that has been on my travel wish list for a while now. One thing in particular I am dying to see is the Malta International Fireworks Festival.

The Malta International Fireworks Festival - Why Malta?

All of my travel posts give away the fact I am a sun seeker. I love clear, blue skies and bright sunshine. Malta, a Southern European island in the mediterranean sea, is a perfect sun trap for me. Along with the sun Malta has beautiful beaches and blue seas, another big hit with me.
The Malta Firework Festival - Malta beach and lighthouse
Photo by Micaela Parente on Unsplash

The capital of Malta, Valletta (home to the Malta International Firework Festival) is a city I really want to explore. It has the most stunning architecture and is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Malta Firework Festival - Valletta
Photo by Martin Widenka on Unsplash

I can just picture us wandering around the city exploring and finding new eateries. The winding streets, stone steps and bridges are stunning. I can picture myself standing watching the city go by from there. And ok, it is pretty instagram-able isn't it?
Photo by Micaela Parente on Unsplash 

The Malta International Fireworks Festival

The Malta International Fireworks Festival
Photo by Andrey Larin on Unsplash

For three nights in April the Malta International Fireworks Festival takes place. Each year the Festival has theme, this years "Where fire and culture meet". The finale night takes place on the Grand Harbour in Valletta. As well as the fireworks there is a live orchestra and singers on a floating platform in the harbour.
The Malta International Fireworks Festival
Photo by Alejandro Scaff on Unsplash

I think exploring the beautiful city of Valletta then a night watching fireworks over the Grand Harbour would be the most amazing day. And can you imagine watching fireworks on a balmy night? It will be nothing like the chilly November bonfire nights here in the UK.
If this is making you want to book Malta and see the Malta International Fireworks Festival already some great deals at the moment.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Top 3 Healthy Living Trends To Take Up

*AD - SPONSORED POST* Throughout this year we have seen a number of healthy living trends yield impressive health results for individuals. Being informed and making wise consumer choices is the first step to taking advantage of these trends. Whether you are hoping to harness the power of superfoods or wanting to opt for a vegan diet; the following information could help you stay on top of your health game.
With these top trends in your arsenal of health strategies, you can make educated lifestyle choices that work for you. For those that require additional dietary support, you may need to consider incorporating a worthwhile supplement into your lifestyle. To find out more information about which products work best, click here.

Healthy Living Trends - Superfoods

Healthy living trends - açai bowl
You’ve probably stumbled across the term “superfood”, but, what exactly are these super-powered foods? Superfoods are ingredients loaded with impactful health-promoting phytonutrients (disease-fighting substances). These superfoods come in all shapes and sizes; including Cinnamon, Almonds, Kale, and Goji Berries to name a few. Recently, we have seen superfoods take a more potent form: superfood powders. These extracts harness the health-boosting power of the dried and powdered ingredient that they are made from. A few of the most advantageous superfood powders include Spirulina, Acai, and Moringa. Their benefits can be seen below:
  • Spirulina Powder: This powder has a high concentration of protein which fuels muscle growth, making it an optimal workout and dietary supplement. Furthermore, Spirulina provides essential amino acids such as L-phenylalanine and tyrosine which manage appetite for increased weight loss potential.
  • Acai Powder: The berries used in the formulation of this powder are known for their anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. These powders provide antioxidants and omega-3s which fight damaging free radicals, improve heart health and balance hormone levels.
  • Moringa Powder: Moringa is loaded with protein, amino acids, and antioxidants. Powders made from Moringa reduce oxidative stress, regulate blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol - resulting in decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Healthy Living trends - Plant-Based Meat

Healthy living trends - quinoa bowl

More and more consumers are adopting a vegan lifestyle. Veganism is the removal of animal-based products from the lifestyle. That means anything and everything from an animal. No steak, no dairy and no honey. No fur coats, no silk dresses and no woolen blankies. Cutting back on meat can be a difficult undertaking, especially if you are big into your burgers. However, many restaurants cater to vegans by crafting delicious meat-free meals. Plant-based meat products are increasingly popular and can be found in the frozen food aisle of many grocery stores. Tofu, tempeh, and quinoa have become staple meat substitutes and are blended with beans, mushrooms, and other grains or seeds to form a patty. Some of the benefits of these plant-based meat substitutes are outlined below:
  • Tofu: This ingredient is packed with protein and amino acids. Soya protein, derived from tofu, helps decrease bad cholesterol which is linked to heart disease. This substance promotes muscle recovery for building lean mass.
  • Tempeh: Tempeh is derived from soybeans and has high levels of protein. This makes it a great muscle and energy fuelling substitute for meat. Furthermore, tempeh packs loads of probiotics and essential antioxidants which promote digestive health and fight off damaging free radicals.
  • Quinoa: Quinoa contains high contents of the well-research flavonoids; quercetin and kaempferol. These beneficial antioxidants are known for their cancer-fighting potential and, when consumed regularly, can minimize the risk of disease.

Healthy Living trends - Intermittent fasting

Healthy living trends
Intermittent fasting is growing in popularity, however, the dietary lifestyle is inspired by ancient fasting techniques. This diet focuses on when you should consume food rather than what food you should consume. This makes it a great choice for those that do not wish to give up their meats or treats. Practicing intermittent fasting will require you to restrict consumption to a period of several hours; taking in nothing but water for the remaining hours of the cycle. The practice has been found to show incredible benefits and these can be seen below:
  • Increase fat burning capacity: Intermittent fasting raises your metabolic rate which helps you burn calories more efficiently. On top of this, it decreases the number of calories you consume for greater weight loss potential.
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes: The practice reduces the body’s insulin resistance which combats high blood sugar levels for protection against type-2 diabetes.
  • Improve cardiovascular health: Intermittent fasting reduces blood pressure, decreases bad cholesterol, and has anti-inflammatory properties. These benefits work synergistically to promote heart health and minimize the risk of disease.

Adopting these healthy living trends will help you stay on top of your health game. These are just a few of the many ways in which you can improve physical performance and should be considered when setting new health goals.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

A guide to surviving your first festival

*AD - SPONSORED* Lots of people are packing and getting ready to head down to Leeds & Reading festival this weekend. I've been attending Leeds Festival since I was 18 years old...I don't even want to admit how many years that is! And over the years have been to festivals all over the country. Festivals are amazing fun but quite tough going too. Going to your first festival is so exciting but can be super nerve wracking too as you don't know what to expect. I have lots of experience and a festival essentials pack from Push Doctor to help me out this year. But for anyone with no experience, here is my guide to surviving your first festival.

A guide to surviving your first festival

A guide to surviving your first festival - planning

Proper planning has to come in to a guide to surviving your first festival.

All of the festivals have different camping zones and each zone has a different atmosphere. Some are the party hotspots, some quieter, some near the stages and some are for families. Work out where you want to be before you get there. It is much easier to get to your camp if you know which car park is nearest. The walk to the site from your car is usually long and your bags are heavy!

Print out a copy of the stage times and sit with your group to work out who everyone wants to see. There is a distance between stages and you don't want to spend the whole festival running between stages. There will be clashes and you will all either have to compromise or split up. The tents often get full for the headline acts so if you want to see that band get in the tent a set or two earlier. There's nothing worse than hearing your favourite band start whilst you are stood queuing to get in the tent. The right timing means you can get front of stage if you are lucky.

A guide to surviving your first festival

Have a list of essentials and work out who is bringing what. It saves everyone packing the same things when you can share. Less things = lighter bags.

When you are tent planning choose the right tent. The small pop-up tents look really cute and seem a brilliant idea. They are small, light and super easy to put up. But, from experience, they're not very good when you realise you AND all your stuff has to sleep in them. And trying to dress yourself laying down just isn't the easiest thing to do.

A guide to surviving your first festival

A guide to surviving your first festival - packing

What you pack can be the difference between loving your first festival or hating it and never going back. So packing is another important part of my guide to surviving your first festival. Apart from the obvious clothes, tent, sleeping bag, dry shampoo and beers there are things you might not think of.

You WILL need clothes for all weather. This is the UK so sure that pretty, short playsuit and gladiator sandal outfit will look cute but make sure you can add layers. Leggings, long socks, and long sleeve shirts are all great for adding layers. You will need hoodies and thick PJs, even if you are lucky enough to have gorgeous weather it still gets cold once it's dark. Pack more socks than you think. Wellies will rub, you will get a pint spilt down your leg and you will get muddy. Wellies are not optional. No matter what the forecast is like for the weekend the ground still gets muddy. They also protect your feet from the crowd too.

A guide to surviving your first festival

Roll a waterproof raincoat / poncho up in your bag it doesn't take up much room or much weight. It's a lifesaver once the heavens open.

Take a bottle of sun cream and aftersun. If the sun does come out there isn't any shade.

Pack plenty of bottles of water. Whilst yes you can drink beer for breakfast at a festival you still need to get your 2 litres down you. AND you can brush your teeth with it too.

Hand sanitiser gel and baby wipes are essential. The toilets are disgusting. You will get sticky and dirty and you can't wash. Just go with it.

Glitter is mandatory at a festival. Take some with you and you will save a fortune not buying it from the stalls there.

Make sure your group has at least one torch. It is such a pain going to the toilets in the middle of the night trying to guess where all the tent ropes are.

If there is a group of your going club together a buy a gazebo. Arrange your tents in a circle with the gazebo in the middle. You now have a sitting area protected from the rain and're welcome.

A guide to surviving your first festival

A guide to surviving your first festival - general tips

The battery on your phone won't last the duration no matter how little you use it. Just enjoy the break from it.

Because of the phone problems ^ have a meeting point with your group. It's so easy to go to the toilet or bar and not be able to find where everyone is stood again.

If you have time between seeing your favourite bands check out the smaller introducing stages. You can see some amazing bands that you wouldn't hear otherwise.

As boring and mum-like as it sounds try and pace yourself. You have at least three full days and nights of drinking. Going too hard the first day spoils it for the rest of it.

Festivals are hard work. There is a lot of walking, standing around and little sleep. Everyone is cold, wet, tired and hungover. Moaning about it will just annoy whoever you're with.

It more than likely will rain. It will be muddy. Slosh through the mud and just take it as part of the festival experience.

A guide to surviving your first festival

You will feel dirty, you're hair will be a mess and you'll think you look like s**t after the first day. Everyone feels the same so just forget about what you look like. Glitter and sunglasses do hide so many sins though.

Make friends around your camp and get in the festival spirit and join in with the activities away from the music. Decorate your face and do buy the flower garlands for your hair.

A guide to surviving your first festival

Finally, most importantly, have THE best weekend with your friends and with the music.

If you like my guide to surviving your first festival, Push Doctor have their own brilliant guide. Do head over to read that here.


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The TSB Summer of Pride tour

*AD - SPONSORED* The Pride of Britain award show will be on our TV on the 31st October. If you don't already know PoB is an awards event that honours Britains unsung, every day heros. The Summer of Pride tour is currently travelling around Britain stopping off at TSB branches. Here they are talking to the public to find out who they think deserves nominating for the Pride of Britain awards. Today the TSB Summer Pride stop is in Leeds I'm going along to see what is going on. They have also set me the challenge of making my own nomination too. 

Summer of Pride Tour

In the Leeds branch today customers (or any passers by) can have their photo taken with the Pride of Britain statue award. There are raffles raising money for charity. And of course you can give in your nominations.

Any one who uploads a selfie to social media with the Pride of Britain trophy or minis can win tickets to the Pride of Britain award show in October. So if you head along to the TSB branches Summer of Pride tour make sure you upload one with the hashtag #PrideofBritain.

TSB Pride of Britain Summer of Pride tour

It is super exciting to see the iconic purple Pride of Britain minis over by Leeds Town Hall too.

TSB Pride of Britain minis Summer of Pride tour

TSB Pride of Britain minis Summer of Pride tour

Summer of Pride / Pride of Britain my nomination

I am going to give my nomination to Armley Junk-tion Cafe. It was the first cafe to intercept food heading for the bin and make it into healthy meals operating on a pay as you feel basis. Customers can eat a warm and healthy meal and pay what they feel it is worth or whatever they can afford. People can also donate their time and skills in exchange for food too. The cafe also has a food boutique where customers can purchase the food that has been intercepted too. The Armley Junk-tion cafe offers outside catering and a bistro serving meals on a Saturday night. The Armley Junk-tion cafe now forms part of the Real Junk Food Project.

Since opening in 2013 there are now 30 cafes in Leeds, 80 in the UK and 120 worldwide.

I absolutely love that Armley Junk-tion cafe is feeding the community healthy food for whatever price they can afford or in exchange for time or work. I also really love their green ethos saving edible food from the land fill.

Any company championing to reduce the problems we have with landfill, championing to change our throw away culture and feeding the people in our communities who need it most definitely deserve some recognition.

Who would you nominate for the Pride of Britain? Will you be seeing the Summer of Pride tour whilst it is touring the UK?

You can find out more about the Summer of Pride tour here and You can make your nominations for Pride of Britain here.



Friday, 7 July 2017

How to Correctly Create the Perfect Anti-Ageing Routine

*AD - SPONSORED* Have you ever wondered how to perfect your anti-ageing routine? Todays sponsored post can help with that!

Ageing is a natural and unstoppable process. When it comes to ageing, people desire a wrinkle-free and smooth complexion more than pain-free knees. You are never too young or too old to start taking care of your skin. For healthy and rejuvenated skin, you need to make certain changes on your dressing table and in your daily routine.

Here’s how to correctly create the perfect anti-ageing routine for yourself.

How to perfect anti-ageing skincare routine

Start by Knowing Your Skin Type

Women usually have thinner and more sensitive skin compared to men. Men also have a higher density of collagen in their skin, regardless of their age. It is important to note that your skin becomes thinner as you age and so the choice of anti-ageing products depends on your age as well. Common skin types include oily, normal, dry and combination skin. Your skin’s sensitivity largely depends on your exposure to pollutants, the quantity of melanin in your skin and any kind of allergies.

For thin skin, you can choose anti-ageing lotions and creams with a milky texture which absorb easily. If you have naturally oily skin, choose light, non-greasy formulas as they don’t lie on the surface of your skin. However, many oil-controlling products contain silicon. Get your skin tested for silicon allergies if you want to use oil-control products.

The Necessary Steps in a Skincare Routine


Cleanse your skin with a water-soluble and gentle cleanser. Cleansing is necessary for removing excessive oil and debris from your skin and opening clogged pores.


Exfoliation is necessary for removing the build-up of dead skin cells, increasing blood circulation and rejuvenating your skin. Cosmetic exfoliators may contain chemical-based ingredients. It is ideal to choose natural exfoliators or make your own exfoliator at home. Men should exfoliate their skin before shaving to reduce ingrown hair.


Toning is the process of balancing the melanin in your skin to reduce hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation. Potato, cucumber or tomato juice can also be used to tone your skin effectively along with a number of anti-ageing toners formulated specifically for dry and ageing skin.


As you age, your skin loses most of its natural moisture and elasticity. This leads to a dry and dull complexion. Hence, moisturising with a natural anti-ageing lotion or day and night cream can help seal the moisture in your skin, leading to a glowing and healthy complexion.


Serums are rich in anti-oxidants that remove free radicals and toxins from our skin. Serums serve to improve the texture of your skin while minimising the appearance of wrinkles and inflammation.

Why Choose Natural Anti-Ageing Skincare Products?

Natural anti-ageing skincare products contain ingredients which easily absorb in your skin while repairing damaged skin cells. Natural products also serve to cleanse your skin, remove dead cells, provide essential nutrients and improve your skin’s natural defence against harmful pollutants in the environment. These products also protect your skin against dangerous UV rays.

A natural anti-ageing product should contain essential oils like Argan and Baobab oil. These oils supply the required moisture to your skin, and add to its natural glow. Argan and Baobab oils have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They serve to repair damaged skin cells, reduce redness or inflammation, and help your skin fight against harmful bacteria and other viruses. Make sure that your natural skincare products contain Hyaluronic Acid, which can help retain water and boost the production of collagen to make your skin look youthful and glowing. Order your skincare products online, you’ll be able to get a more detailed list of ingredients and as the retailer for more information if necessary.

If used on a regular basis, anti-ageing products cleanse, remove free radicals and keep your skin hydrated and moisturised. Anti-ageing night creams can also provide you all the benefits in one package, making them an indispensable part of your anti-ageing skincare routine.

Distribute Skincare Timings

The following are a few habits you should develop as a part of your anti-ageing routine.

In the Morning

  • Wash your face with a soap-free face wash.
  • Apply a moisturiser even if you’re at home.
  • Apply serum to prepare your skin against environmental stressors.

Before Going Out in the Sun

  • Wash your face with lukewarm water.
  • Apply sunscreen or an anti-ageing day cream with SPFat least 20 minutes before leaving home/office.
  • Apply sunscreen at least twice a day, especially if your skin is exposed to dangerous sunrays.
  • Before Going to Bed
  • Cleanse your face with a natural cleanser.
  • Exfoliate at least twice a week with a natural exfoliator.
  • Apply anti-ageing night cream, making sure that it contains rich quantities of moisturising ingredients.
  • Apply a specially formulated anti-ageing night cream around your under-eye area.
  • Dip an old clean mascara brush in essential oil and gently apply the oil on your eyelashes and eyebrows.

Weekly Routine

  • Massage your whole body and head with warm essential oil. Leave it on for at least two hours before taking a bath.
  • Exfoliate your body with a natural exfoliator. You can make your own exfoliator by mixing oatmeal, dry avocado extract, honey and the essential oil of your choice.
  • After bathing, apply moisturiser all over your body.

You can keep your skin youthful and rejuvenated with an effective anti-ageing routine. Natural anti-ageing products serve to deliver various benefits, from cleansing to moisturising, which keep your skin youthful and glowing.


Monday, 13 March 2017

My favourite place in the North

*AD - SPONSORED* The Car People have challenged me to turn the phrase "It's Grim Up North" around and celebrate the beauty of the North of the UK. Being from Leeds I am definitely a Northern girl through and through. I enjoy visiting London to see family and the sights but always love coming home again. Whilst the shopping, sights and events are better down south there are some equally amazing sights and things to do up here. My absolute favourite place in the North is Whitby. At just over an hours drive away it is somewhere we can visit often and just for the day. 

Whitby, if you don't already know, is a seaside town on the east coast that is made all the more unique by being surrounded by moors. The drive to it is really quite breathtaking.

Favourite place in the North - Whitby moor views

Overlooking the town, set at the top of the cliff is Whitby Abbey. This is probably why Whitby is my favourite place in the North! The Abbey is a haunting, gothic ruin and is the inspiration for Bram Stokers Dracula. Once you see it for yourself it is easy to see why it was such an inspiration. I especially love seeing the Abbey in the winter months, the grey skies and mist really add to the atmosphere of it.

Favourite place in the North Whitby Abbey

No trip to Whitby is complete without seeing the famous whale bones at the entrance to the beach. At 15 foot high they are impossible to miss. I think they provide a perfect frame for Whitby Abbey too. 

Favourite place in the North whalebones framing Whitby Abbey

To get from Whitby Abbey to the town you can walk the famous 199 steps or there is a gentler route between them. Both show off the incredible views of Whitby and both are worth the walk.

Favourite place in the North Whitby

The town in Whitby is a typical seaside / fishing resort with a mix of tourist shops, pubs, restaurants and a working harbour.

Favourite place in the North Whitby harbour

Personally one of my favourite things to eat in my favourite place in the North is fish and chips. There is nothing nicer than freshly caught fish and chips at the seaside! And there are no better fish and chips than in the North!

Favourite place in the North Whitby fish and chips

As well as the traditional sights in Whitby there are some more unique things to do. You can visit the Captain Cook museum, which is in James Cooks house. Whitby also has many "themed" weekends, the Goth weekend and 60's weekend are incredibly popular. There are different walks you can join, ghost walks, Dracula walks and history walks.

Like in all seaside towns you can't go far without seeing seagulls and in Whitby with the working harbour they are very well fed! Credit for these photos goes to my wonderful friend Thomas at ThomasJPitts.

Favourite place in the North, Whitby seagulls

Favourite place in the North, Whitby lobster pots

I would love to know where your favourite place in the North is? Do you agree with Whitby or would you pick somewhere else?

Make sure you check out what other places people have chosen as their favourite place in the North here.


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