The Year that Everything Changed

This is probably the first year since I started this blog where I’m not sitting down to write a recap post of the year just gone. Quite simply, I don’t feel able to. I started 2017 a completely different person to that which I am now and to try and put it in to words is just too overwhelming.

What I will say though is that 2017 is the year that everything changed. I’m the happiest, most confident and truest version of myself than I ever have been. For that I thank my family, for never giving up on me. I thank Bob for showing me what it is to be loved and valued in a way that I’ve never been loved or valued before. To my employers for not giving up on me. And to my friends for the continued love and support, and finally, I thank my GP for not giving up on me either.

This has been a year where I achieved things I never thought possible, and pulled myself out of a hole I thought I’d be stuck in forever.

I’ll take a minute to outline my biggest achievement, and that was to go back to my old school, to the year and building where my eating disorder began and share my story with year 11 students in the hopes that maybe, just maybe it could make a difference to even one person. So they might feel they can get help sooner rather than later (my biggest regret) and not turn 30 with the shadow of an eating disorder still lurking over them.

It’s been a truly amazing year involving new people, new places, new experiences and new kittens. I’ve proven to myself what hard work and determination can do and I’m truly bloody excited for what 2018 has in store. I feel like the best way to show what 2017 has looked like for me is to share the adventures and experiences that the year ahead holds as they happen…I’m confident now that life can and will only get better and hopefully that leads to fresh, new and exciting content on this here piece of the internet too.

To each and every person that reads my blog I wish you a very Happy New Year. The friends I’ve made through this community, the support I’ve received and continue to receive is something I’ll be forever grateful for and one day will repay.

Bring it on 2018, I’m ready for you.


Winter Wonderland with Essence Cosmetics

It’s the season to sparkle! And whilst this post might be a bit late in the day for Christmas party inspiration, there’s still NYE to come, and what better excuse to up your makeup game?

As ever, Essence have come up trumps with on trend and affordable products to really add some sparkle to your festive look.

First off, apologies for the dire lighting and the lack of swatches in these photos. I wanted to do this post before Christmas but time constraints with work, and the winter lighting meant trying to grab these at 8am, just before leaving the house!

Anyway, excuses over and on to the products…

Contour fans and highlighter addicts will LOVE the prismatic hololighter stick which gives the most amazing sheen thanks to it’s holographic pigments. This is a multi-use product and an absolute bargain at £3.50- if you only bought one thing from Essence then I think it should be this.
Another amazing shimmer product is the moonlight eyes eyeshadow in the shade Angel. I own a couple of these now and I love the subtle, build-able iridescent colour- they make a great base shade for any look.

I’ve always heaped praise on Essence eyeliners and review the metal art lip & eye liner in a previous post. For party season I’m loving the shade “steel the show”, especially paired with vibrant shock lash & brow gel mascara in “sparkle on”.

The Metal Shock eyeshadow is another product I previously reviewed (and rated) and the “moon dust” shade is a welcome addition to my growing collection. I’ve used these for every party I’ve been to this month- as a base to which I’ve pressed some loose glitter or pigment on to for maximum impact.

I’ve not had a chance to try the nail products included in the package as I’m still sporting a shellac manicure. I plan to give my nails a break in the new year so will try these products out and share the results on instagram, but if you’re impatient to see for yourself and want a fun party look then you can read more here, here and here.

If you’re looking for some last minute party makeup, or fancy some on trend and affordable updates for the new season then definitely head to your local Wilko store or to their website where you’ll find all of these products and more for under a fiver per piece.

Keeping Active This Winter*

There’s a massive temptation to go in to hiberation mode when winter hits, I’m not a fan of the cold so when temperatures plummet or it’s windy and raining hard I roll down my blind, make a cup of tea and pretend the outdoors doesn’t exist. Still, with the season of over-indulgence upon us, not to mention that sometimes winter can throw some truly stunning days at us I thought I’d pop together a post of things to do and places to visit as motivation to keep active even on the coldest and darkest days.

Photo by Jeremy Gallman on Unsplash

My one and only try and indoor skiing did not end well, but I’m always down for a laugh so somewhere like Chill Factore in Manchester sounds right up my street. With skiing and snowboarding lessons available I’m fairly confident I could eventually master the art of staying upright, which leads me right on to my next destination of choice…Scotland.

I fell in love with The Highlands when I visited with Bob in September. During the drive from Inverness to Gairloch he was telling me about the ski resorts dotted around and I’d absolutely love to go there with him. Given that Bob has worked a couple of ski seasons in France, and has had plenty of skiing holidays I’ll need some serious lessons before I’d brave the slopes with him, but I really like the idea of skiing in the UK and I have friends who do just that on a regular basis.

A bit closer to home and I am desperate to visit the Icescape at the Tropicana in Weston-Super-Mare before it closes on the 7th January. I love ice skating and was gutted when Bristol’s rink closed down some years back- this is literally twenty minutes from my door and even as I type this I’m wondering why I haven’t booked a session yet.

Finally, for those bright and beautiful days that winter occasionally bestows upon us I have Westonbirt Arboretum on my list of places to visit. Again, this is somewhere pretty much on my doorstep, and somewhere I have visited a few times in the past (and loved). I’m just waiting for the next crisp, bright day to pull on my boots and drag Bob out for an invigorating stroll.

What are some of your favourite winter activities? Do you struggle with keeping active in the colder months?


Posted in lifestyle


Keeping Safe on the Roads this Winter*

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

With the recent cold snap and icy road conditions there has been a marked increase in the number of accidents being reported on the roads. Obviously road safety is paramount in all seasons but it pays to take extra care in the winter months and today I’m sharing some easy ways that you can make sure you stay safe on the roads when the conditions are less than ideal.
Cold weather can cause all sorts of damage your car- from the tyre pressure through to fuel economy, and as cold weather thickens fluids it’s vital to check the levels of things like oil, antifreeze and brake fluids. It also pays to get your brakes looked at, if you’re in Scotland you can book your car brakes fitting service in Stirling at Fife Autocentre website and a quick google will tell you where you can book in for other parts of the country.

The colder months can also impact your car’s battery and it’s performance. With increased use of headlights and heating it is 100% worth booking in for a battery check before the next cold snap to help prevent unexpected breakdowns- who wants to be stuck at the side of a road when they could be wrapped up warm indoors?

If you’ve got a long trip planned then keep a close eye on the weather reports for that day and plan accordingly. If extreme, or adverse conditions are predicted then it is worth considering whether you can set off a day or so either side.

Visibility is another potential hazard at this time of year. Ensure your windscreen is clear of snow and ice before setting off and make sure all of your lights are in full working order to ensure other road users can see you. A dead bulb is annoying for anyone at the best of times, but in winter weather conditions it’s downright dangerous.

Keep an eye on your speed in icy conditions or heavy rain- this reduces your risk of skidding and minimises the risk not only to yourself, but to other road users. You should also carry a winter breakdown kit (torch, blanket, de-icer, basic food and drink) incase you do end up stranded- some extra warm clothes would also be a good idea.

Finally, if you know the weather is going to be against you but you can’t avoid your journey then allow extra time for making it- and remember not to pour boiling water on to your windscreen to de-ice it, it’s amazing how many people I’ve seen do that!


Posted in lifestyle


Gift Guides: Under £20 last minute gifts with FatFace

With less than a week to go until the big day it’s likely that some of us (me included) are starting to panic about gifts left to buy. I’m pretty much there now, but there’s one or two little things still left to get and the race is on to find somewhere that can deliver in time.

Enter FatFace with their great selection of gifts under £20- if you order before 4pm on Wednesday you will have your goods in time for Christmas (and right now they are offering free standard delivery on everything!)

You’ll find something for everyone on the site- from cosy socks to novelty gloves and scarves for the kiddies. Ideal if you’re struggling for that last minute work secret santa, have forgotten your best friend’s kid or just want to have something crowd pleasing on stand by for any last minute guests. I’ve popped together a little selection of my favourite items under £20- ones I’d love to both give and receive.

I really hope this gift guide has managed to alleviate panic for at least one person! Are you all wrapped up for Christmas?
This is the first year where I haven’t been 100% on it with my organisation, and I’m both panicking inside and revelling in the chaos!