Monday, 22 October 2018

LIFESTYLE | SUNDAY CHILLS

Sunday is traditionally when we spend the entire day dreading what awaits us at work on Monday but I've been determined to change that mindset by making it a day that I actually enjoy right up until I go to bed.

Get out and about
Sometimes on a Sunday you literally do just want to stay in the house all day and chill out but I think it's the staying in all day that sometimes breeds that feeling of dread because you end up feeling a bit bored and naturally your thoughts turn to the next thing on your agenda eg. work. For that reason I like to try and get out for a short walk if it's not raining - I actually prefer walking in autumn/winter weather because you can layer up accordingly and actually enjoy the walk without sweating as if you've done a full on workout.

Catch up on cleaning
I know some of you will read that and think 'cleaning' and 'chilling' do not go in the same sentence but I can honestly say that I genuinely love cleaning. No I've not travelled back to the 1950's, I don't believe my place is in the kitchen but I do believe that there's nothing more therapeutic than hoovering your living room carpet, stepping back to admire the hoover lines and spraying them with 1001 Winter Berry Carpet Freshener. Ok so I may have lost it slightly but on a serious note since it exploded on Instagram I've absolutely fallen in love with cleaning and I really do clean for enjoyment rather than it being a chore.

Fill in a bullet journal
I've spoke about bullet journalling as a way to give yourself a bit of me time; you can find hundreds of ideas on Pinterest and I find it really quite a cathartic thing to do and I highly recommend it as a way to kind of 'offload' the week.

Have a bath
A bath is how I end every Sunday because I find it so relaxing; I have a specific little routine that I go through and I find that it really relaxes me ready for bed. I was kindly sent a pamper pack from Sanctuary Bathrooms so I wanted to share what my Sunday night pamper consists of...


  • I always light an aromatherapy candle, whether it's Wax Lyrical Lavender and Chamomile or Neom De-Stress 
  • Use use a luxury bath product like a Lush bath bomb
  • Apply a face mask just before getting into the bath and leave it to work it's magic as you relax
  • Use a nice hair treatment - I have blonde hair so I use the Lee Stafford Bleach Blondes toning shampoo which just takes out the brassy tones but a deep conditioning treatment would also be nice
  • I take the opportunity to exfoliate and shave because I find this much easier in a bath than a shower.
What do you with your Sunday? Share your pictures with me on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GiveYourselfSomeSanctuary 


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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

HOME & LIFESTYLE | HOW TO SAVE WATER AROUND YOUR HOME

I can't believe it's been a month already since I started the water saving challenge with Yorkshire Water! If you missed the previous posts, Yorkshire Water challenged me to try and save water around the home just by changing my daily habits ever so slightly which I've actually found fairly easy which surprised me!


The 4 Minute Shower - This was the one that I thought I'd find the most challenging but it was, in fact, a lot easier than I thought. I honestly think the only reason why I was spending longer in the shower was because I wasn't thinking about water consumption but as soon as it was at the forefront of my mind, miraculously, I was able to do things far quicker! If you order a water saving pack from Yorkshire Water it actually comes with a little egg timer that you can stick on the tiles so remind you of the time you've got.

Making Hot Drinks - I used to fill the kettle with way more water than I actually needed which actually meant that I ended up tipping away some of the water because, I don't know about you, I won't use water that's been stood in a kettle overnight because I'm convinced it's stale or full of limescale. So now I use the mug I'm going to drink out of to actually put the water into the kettle so I'm only putting in exactly what I need. Not only does this save me water, it also saves on electricity because naturally, a kettle with a lot less water in takes less time to boil.

Doing the Laundry - Being on my own I don't use my washing machine every day but what I was guilty of was washing twice a week, only filling it half full of clothes before I turned it on. This was obviously a totally unnecessary waste of water and I've found it surprisingly easy to wait until I've got a full load to actually turn the washer on. I have plenty of clothes so it's not as if I've been without clean clothes to wear and I can imagine that cutting down to one wash per week on average that I've cut down my average daily water usage by quite a bit!

Watering the Garden - Just before I started this challenge I bought a sprinkler because my garden was looking so yellow, sad and dead because it had been so relentlessly hot in the UK. However, Yorkshire Water recommend that you don't use a sprinkler or a hose pipe to water your garden because it's hard to control the water you're using. I actually haven't watered my garden at all during the past month and because we finally got some cooler weather with some rain showers it's not actually doing too bad now. If you do want to water your garden, the best thing to do is use a watering can so you know how much water you're using. Alternatively you could invest in a water butt which recycles rain water which can be used for watering the plants/grass. Another little tip is to Leave your grass a little bit longer which helps it to stay greener as the sun doesn't scorch it whereas shorter grass tends to go yellow quicker as it burns.

Washing up while the water is hot - This was the most challenging part of the whole month. I used to fill the washing up bowl with hot water and leave the pots to 'soak' for what I thought was 5/10 minutes when it actually turned into more like 40 minutes by the time I'd plonked myself on the sofa and forgotten about them. Obviously this meant that the water was cold by the time I got to it and no use for washing the dishes in. So over the past month I've stopped the laziness and I've been doing the washing as soon as I've put the water in the bowl - not once have I tipped it down the sink and refilled it. I'm quite proud of myself actually *insert smug emoji*

So there's 5 tried and tested tips on how to save water in your home. It's not a case of making massive changes, it's just a few little tweaks to bring your daily water consumption down. Although we have had a little bit of cooler weather in the past month we still haven't had enough rain so just by reducing your water usage a little bit, collectively we can make a big difference to the impact on water sources around Yorkshire. Not only would you be helping the environment, if you're on a water meter you could also be saving yourselves some money which, with Christmas in the not so distant future, should come in handy!

*post in collaboration with Yorkshire Water

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Monday, 20 August 2018

LIFESTYLE | 5 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU'VE GOT A BIT OF 'ME' TIME

Just recently, I've heard/seen a few people say that they've had time to themselves but had no idea what to do with it which I guess is a symptom of how stupidly busy we all seem to be nowadays especially when you really start to adult keeping small humans alive etc. etc. We're all juggling one thing and another but it's SO important to actually take a step back now and again and actually enjoy the 'spare time' we have rather than using it as an opportunity to 'get stuff done'.

Stop worrying about that bit of ironing that needs doing, get rid of the guilt and look after yourself for once because everyone deserves some time to concentrate on themselves:

Get comfortable, sit down and enjoy a drink - How many times do you actually make yourself a drink then actually sit down and drink it. Your me time can be as simple as changing into some comfy pyjamas, making yourself a drink and actually sitting down to enjoy it.


Pyjama Bottoms £20.00 Hunkemöller*

Look after yourself - This can be as simple as having a bath, putting on a face mask, painting your nails, giving your hair a deep conditioning treatment or even shaving your legs. If you're so preoccupied with looking after everything and everyone else you are naturally going to suffer one way or another. I'm not suggesting that looking good is the answer to feeling good but just spending some time concentrating on your own body can be so therapeutic.

Start a bullet journal - I've loved writing since I was little, so much of my money would be spent on new notebooks and stationery and nothing has changed now aside from the fact that bullet journalling has become a thing. If you're not familiar with bullet journalling it's basically described as the 'analogue system for a digital age'; it's a place where you can get organised (or pretend to, in my case), record your thoughts, learn about yourself, set goals and even doodle if that kind of thing takes your fancy. I'm obsessed with pinning bullet journal ideas on Pinterest which is where I get most of my ideas from so have a look on there, grab yourself a fresh new notebook, some colourful pens and pencils and get bullet journalling!

Watch something on catch up - Busy lives often mean that we get home from a day of running around chasing your tail to grab something to eat and just flop straight into bed meaning that before you know it, you've missed out on your favourite TV series or that drama that you really wanted to watch. You don't necessarily have to do this through a paid for service like Netflix; BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 all have dedicated catch up sites where there's hundreds of episodes to watch. There's even older classic box sets on the Channel 4 on demand website like The Inbetweeners and Green Wing so there's bound to be something for everyone.

Text/ring somebody you've not spoken to in ages - Friends and extended family are among some of the casualties of a busy life because we just 'forget' to get in touch with them. One week rolls into the next and before you know it, it's been 2/3 months since you've spoken to some of your friends and family. We are all guilty of this at some point in our lives I think. Rather than worrying about them being annoyed out the fact that you've not been in touch just remember that they're probably in a very similar position to you and hearing from you might be just the pick-me-up they need that day.

There are so many more things you can do with a bit of me time but the most important thing for me is to actually make sure you allow me time. Don't feel guilty; look after number one for once.

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

TRAVEL | 5 PLACES YOU NEED TO VISIT FOR A ROMANTIC GETAWAY

Travelling has always been a huge love of mine and over the past few years and I think that getting away with your boyfriend/girlfriend is definitely one of the best things you can do to spend some quality time together. I personally like to go places where there are things to do and see should you wish to go exploring; I'm not keen on just laying in the sun, I love to get out and about to see some of the local sights and culture so I tend to choose places that have plenty to keep me occupied for a week or so:

kelly-springs-apopka

Orlando, Florida
I am personally a huge Disney and Universal fan and I think they're perfect places to spend time with your significant other, especially if you enjoy a thrill ride or two however, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Orlando was a holiday just for kids and Disney fanatics but there's so much more to the area than the theme parks; there are some real natural gems in the Orlando area that are perfect for exploring on a romantic getaway such as Kelly Springs which has a natural 'lazy river' that you can float down as well as BBQ areas to enjoy something to eat while you're there.!

new-york-at-christmas

New York, New York
I guess you could say this is kind of a cliche couples holiday; proposing at the top of the empire state building and whatnot but New York truly is one of the most amazing places you'll ever visit. Don't get me wrong, it can be a very tiring break away but you'll come back with so many memories (and probably a shedload of insta-worthy photos). My personal favourite is to visit New York at Christmas because not only do you get to see all the usual sights but everything looks better with Christmas lights all over, right? You'll need to wrap up because the weather won't always be on your side but I personally can totally overlook the weather just to experience a horse and carriage ride around Central Park.

kefalonia-beach

Kefalonia, Greece
Greek islands in general are among my favourite holiday destinations but I enjoyed Kefalonia in particular because it's a quiet island with lots of different beaches to explore and because the southern beaches are known to be nesting habitats for loggerhead turtles you can see some real natural beauty while you're there. Although the habitats are heavily protected, you might be able to catch a glimpse of a turtle in Argostoli Harbour at around 11am when they go to looking for food from the fishermen bringing in the morning catch.

Maldives-beach

The Maldives
For me, the Maldives is the ultimate destination for a romantic getaway just due to it's relaxing and tranquil nature. There are so many absolutely stunning places to stay with white sandy beaches nearby and private pools and if you're looking for something a little different while you're there, there's plenty of opportunity to go on some exciting trips and excursions: you can even choose to be stranded on your own island for a day! It doesn't always have to be super expensive to visit the Maldives either; Destination2 have lots of different options to suit all budgets on their website www.destination2.co.uk so you should be able to find something within reach without compromising on luxury.

venice-gondola-ride

Venice, Italy
One of the most romantic things to do is take a gondola ride through the Venetian canals while you admire the beautiful architecture of Venice. I find the place itself absolutely fascinating how everything is built around a labyrinth of waterways! The cuisine has always tempted me as well with all the freshest seafood and fish on offer and who could resist some proper fresh Italian gelato?!


Where would be your destination of choice for a perfect romantic getaway?

*collaborative post
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