A Holiday Swimwear Wish List*

I’ve finally got around to booking some time off work over the next few months, and for the first time in a few years I’m in a position where I can afford to book a holiday. After an incredible but somewhat cold and rainy trip to Scotland last year I’m seriously hoping to head to sunnier climes this time around. Working out where we want to go is proving tricky for Bob and I- we’d be going in July and want somewhere with sunshine, but not too hot (Spain’s 40 degree days might be ok for me but I fear Bob would come back as a puddle). It also needs to be affordable and somewhere that doesn’t take 6+ hours to fly to- four hours is about my maximum tolerance on a plane for a week long break.

Whilst picking a destination might be difficult, thinking about a holiday wardrobe is all too easy, although not without it’s own challenges.
My body this Summer is going to be very different to how it was last Summer, and even more so than the ones before. The idea of baring skin is daunting as I’m not yet used to my changing figure and it’s certainly not as toned as I would like (there’s a whole other post coming on that one). Still, the high street seems to be awash with gorgeous high-waisted bikinis at the moment so I thought that today, with it’s grey and dismal sky, I’d pop together a wish list of some of the swim wear I could definitely envisage myself in this Summer.

From top left-
ASOS | Simply Beach | Simply Beach | ASOS | Monki | Simply Beach

It goes without saying that ASOS was my first port of call when seeking inspiration- I barely even scratched the surface of their swim wear pages before I had more than a dozen items on my wish list! I was especially taken with this white and floral printed number for lazing on a beach, as well as the much plainer block navy set for more practical purposes such as swimming or any water based activities.
It would also go without saying that I’d find something I loved from Monki- every Summer I admire their swim collections wishing I had reason to justify a purchase. This year I might be able to do just that and I feel that this ruche monochrome bikini set would be both flattering and stylish.

Branching out of my usual haunts and I stumbled across Simply Beach as well, which got me thinking back to the quality over quantity debate. I am absolutely smitten with the blue and white set by Lepel London- and whilst the set might set me back £40 one suspects it is built to last more than some of my cheaper picks on this wish list. I might be imagining it but I also imagine it to be more supportive and therefore flattering, but that could just be me trying to justify potentially spending more on a bikini than I ever have before.

So there we have it, my swim wear wish list. All I need now is for us to decide on a holiday destination, get something booked and then start shopping (and given I’ve grown out of every bikini/pair of shorts/just about everything I own) I feel I have the perfect excuse.

Where are you heading for your holidays this year? Do you have any recommendations that fit my affordable/not too far/plenty of sunshine brief?


Head Your Look In The Right Direction*


So it’s nearly Springtime, and there is no better time than now to reinvent your look and change up your appearance a little. We all get to a certain stage whether it be a few months or a year or two, and we get bored. We get bored of how we do our makeup and how our hair is cut, and we want a change.

Change is good, it’s not something that should be feared – especially when you’re in control of it. There are tons of things that you can do, (some more drastic than others) that will give you a new sense of yourself. It’s important to remember that you are constantly evolving. You may have gone up on your career path and are working towards your dream job. You may have finally left that toxic relationship and are now a free, strong, independent woman. Or you may have just decided that you’re wasting so much time pretending to be someone else, and you’re done with it.

One of our biggest problems is getting caught up in comparisons. We will always seek out other women and compare the size of our boobs to theirs, or whatever else. And believe it or not, guys do it too so it’s not just a ‘girl thing’. You’ll see a woman walking down the street with her head held high, stunning golden locks that fall down her back, and a face that looks so pretty she could be a fairy. Not to mention her style. And immediately we feel crappy about ourselves and wish that we could be more like that. When really, she might be eyeing you up thinking the exact same thing. Sometimes it’s so easy to get distracted by beauty, that you don’t see the other things, like her nervous hand tic because she’s crossing the road and feels super paranoid. Or the fact she always wears her hair down so that she feels more masked and covered. So don’t be so quick to assume that that pretty girl has it all.

But how do you focus on yourself properly, you ask?

Here’s how…

Your face.

Makeup, makeup, and makeup. Why do we love it so much? – Because it’s magic. It can transform you in so many ways. Once upon a time all we could do was try with what we had in our beauty bag and hope for the best. Until a few years ago when social media became the teacher to us all, blessing us with makeup tutorials on how to fix our faces like the professionals do. And now it has never been more fun to experiment and play around with all the products that are out there.

When choosing your base, you’ll want to make sure that the colour is right for your skin tone. If you’re lucky, you will find the perfect shade, but unfortunately, a lot of you may have to mix a couple. But this isn’t a bad thing, because bear in mind in the summer, your skin would have caught the sun anyway, making you slightly darker, so having two shades of foundation can actually work to your advantage. You can also use bronzer is the summer time to contour with as a pose to your usual contour sticks, because it still creates the shadow you want, but without being too harsh and heavy – especially when it’s super hot outside. Plus it gives you a nice shimmer and glow at the same time.

If you’re looking to do something different with your makeup routine though, you’d be amazed at how changing a couple products will do just that. Lipstick, and blusher. Don’t wear either already? – Start applying them. Already wear them? – Change the colour.

The hair.

Your hair is what frames your entire face, think of it as the frame that shows off the pretty painting inside. A bad one will tarnish that piece of artwork, while a good one will compliment it. The best way to pick the right kind of cut, is to figure out what face shape you have, as this plays a big role in the overall look. Short hair for round faces pairs up wonderfully, especially when cut with a lot of texture by having shorter layers that are uneven, as this will give you more edge and create depth. While doing this on a longer face may make it appear even longer. So you need to put all of this into consideration before you go chopping away.

You will also want to think about the colour. If you’re happy with the shade it is now, then never feel the need to dye or bleach it because you think it’s how people will want to see you. You do you. Having said that, if you do want to spruce things up a little, why not go to the salon and get some highlights or lowlights put in? This way you don’t have to stray too far away from your natural colour, but you can still get some more definition going, especially as the sun starts to make an appearance, catching those subtle lights. And if you’re feeling really daring, then go pink, or purple, or blue, or red, or all of them combined! This is the beauty of creating your own look – you can do whatever you want. Be free, break out from the norm. Sure, expect to get some looks, but don’t immediately perceive them as being negative – people look out of awe and wonder, and maybe even think to themselves, “I wish I had the confidence to do that!”

Your outfit.

Be the trendsetter that you know you can be. There are so many different looks that are going on right now, sometimes it’s hard to keep up, but hey – you don’t have to. Just because the magazines or Instagram tell you what is in trend this season, doesn’t mean you have to follow it. Seek inspiration wherever you see fit. This could be from online, or the tv, or out and about in the city. Or even nature. There are so many things that are beautiful, so take what you can, and combine them all together to create your very own style.

One great way to figuring out your sense of style if you’re struggling, is to think about music. What kind of genre do you listen to? Who’s your favourite musician? What songs make you feel all types of ways? Being in touch with that emotion and feeling is brilliant because it allows you to create a vibe that is of substance. If you believe it, then people will feel it as soon as you walk into a room. It may be poetic, or dark, or wild, or risque – but they’ll know.

You also need to think about your body type. The size of your clothes doesn’t matter – at all. It doesn’t matter whether you’re big or small, it’s how you wear them, rather than how they wear you. So before you go shopping, understand what works and what doesn’t. If you want to cinch in the waist, then focus on things that pull you in around that area. The use of accessories works great in this department, so take advantage of chunky belts, or even a funky scarf that has multiple different functions.

Your confidence.

As they say, confidence is the key, and as cliche as it may be – it’s true. If you hold your head high enough, keep that back straight enough, and smile like you mean it, you can make anything look good. Confidence is such a powerful thing that so many people want to have, because it changes everything. It changes the whole way you see yourself. How you carry yourself. And how others see you too. So even if you have to fake it – fake it! No one else knows, and sooner or later, once you see how much better everything is, you’ll start to believe it too.

Look for the things that make you happy, and draw out that energy from them, using it to your advantage. If you have certain insecurities that are always in the back of your mind, then face them – don’t let them win. It’s important to remember that everyone has things that they don’t like about themselves. Even Beyonce! No one is perfect. It doesn’t exist. We all have our scars, our stretch marks, our spots, our cellulite, our pockets of fat here and there. It’s just part of being human, and the sooner you accept that, the easier your life will become.

We spend so much of our time trying to fix ourselves, when really we should be trying to embrace all of our qualities, because they are what makes us, us. Imagine living in a world where we all accepted each other, and were each other’s cheerleaders… Wouldn’t that be just magical?

We’ll get there one day. We just need to spread the love and encouragement among everyone. It will get better.


Degustabox February 2018

Somewhere in the middle of February I took delivery of the second Degustabox* of the year. I’ve been so busy lately that I did wonder when on earth I’d get a chance to open, let alone photograph the contents and taste, but thankfully now the days are getting longer and the light (a little bit) better I was able to get there in the end.

This box was a visual delight in terms of colours of the products and I was pretty excited by pretty much everything that I pulled out of the box. I had to pull in a few testers from elsewhere thanks to dietary restrictions and personal preferences but I’m pretty confident I’ve covered everything by now.

These Haribo Fruitilicious were passed on to my sweetie loving boyfriend for review, he’s having to watch his sugar intake right now but can never resist the lure of Haribo so the fact these contain 30% less sugar than their standard offerings was a real bonus. He rated the highly too, he did mention that they don’t taste quite like standard Haribo, but he’d certainly buy them again and really enjoyed them. Each bag costs £1.29.
My Mum’s eyes lit up when she saw the Tootsie Roll Midgees nestled in the box. These are one of her favourite treats which I often buy her if I see them in the shops over here. I love the retro look of the packaging, and the taste which I can’t quite describe. These didn’t hang around for long at all. RRP £2.50 per bag (I often pick them up for less in discounters such as B&M).
I think the KitKat is highly under-rated as a chocolate bar, it’s one of my all time favourites be it in it’s standard finger format, or the undoubtedly more satisfying chunky style. It’s always good to see brands come out with new flavours, and whilst New York Cheesecake doesn’t add anything hugely unique to the market (when you think it’s essentially vanilla) this is still a delicious and hefty snack. You’ll find these in all good retailers at around 65p each.
I’ve been a fan of fruit crisps for a while now and Emily Crisps is a favourite brand for the range of flavours and the gorgeous packaging. These crunchy red apple snacks are so good, I’ve been buying them constantly since the arrival of this box and they make an ideal snack to keep at my desk for day time energy boosts. They cost 99p a bag, so a bit of an indulgence, but super tasty.
The February product of the month was this raw granola from Primrose’s Kitchen. I passed this straight on to my Grandad as he is a granola enthusiast and a big fan of both beetroot and ginger- and I won’t lie, I just couldn’t get my head around this as a combination. He however clearly could and when I asked what he thought of this he gave two thumbs up. Packed full of nutrients thanks to the lack of cooking and good and wholesome ingredients I have no doubt this makes for a zingy start to the day (with plain yoghurt perhaps) but it’s not something I can yet convince myself to try. If you have tried this, am I being a massive wimp?
Now here was a product I could get my head around- cherry and almond is such a classic flavour combination and these snacks from The Protein Ball Co. look and sound infinitely appealing. Made from raw pitted dates, free-range egg white protein, sultanas and sour cherries these are a must try for anyone put off by artificial tasting protein snacks. Another luxury product at £1.99 each but a wholesome and delicious pick me up on the go.
I’m a serious savoury snacker and regularly graze on crackers and crisp breads during the working day. Dr Karg’s is a brand I’ve tried in the past and highly rate and these Emmental Cheese & Pumpkin Seed Crispbreads are no exception. I like them just on their own, but they’d be a good accompaniment to a winter salad or steaming bowl of soup too. £2.00 is a fairly reasonable price considering these are a cut above most savoury snack brands I’ve tried and they are widely available in supermarkets and health food stores.
These Pretzel Bites from Indie Bay Snacks are totally new on me- rare to find a savoury snack brand I don’t yet know! These are just like regular pretzel snacks but made from more wholesome ingredients such as spelt and quinoa to give a boost of protein and flavour. Sunflower wouldn’t be my first choice in snack flavours but these are moorish and tasty, although I’m a little put off by the £2.49 price point as the bag is pretty much only two servings for me.
Lastly we have True Nopal Cactus Water- I think by now everyone who’s read my Degustabox posts knows I won’t have tried these, being super fussy about what liquids I will consume. I was almost tempted though- it only contains 29 calories per 330ml serving (less than half that of coconut water) and comes from the juice of the Prickly Pear that grows on the Nopol Cactus. I may well come back to this product and pop a review up on Instagram as I am quite curious as to how this will taste- has anyone tried Nopol Cactus water and wants to give me some insight?
For those who don’t yet know, Degustabox* is a monthly food subscription box that gives you the chance to try new and exciting products on the market whilst providing amazing value for money.
On a month by month basis the box costs £12.99 (with a discount for longer subscriptions) but the contents are generally worth far more than this as you can see if you do the maths.
If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim a brilliant £5.00 off of your first box (making it just £7.99!) by entering the code 6HZJ8 at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

3 Excellent Excuses To Look Your Best*

(Photo by Allyson Johnson on Unsplash)

If you’re into fashion then chances are that you are conscious of your image. While this might be seen as narcissistic by some people, they absolutely (mostly) have the wrong perception. Looking good is feeling good, and feeling good often translates into looking good. Fashion is a celebration of life, as is maintaining your beauty. The same criticism wouldn’t be levelled at a gardener making an outdoor space unique and fresh, so why should it be valid where you are concerned?

That being said, the only way to truly understand your worth is to look wonderful in some truly appropriate situations. The places and circumstances suggested in this article will make for amazing photo opportunities, but not only that. They can help you feel more confident. They can ultimately help the memory become formed in an optimal way, a way you will cherish forever. So there’s pure value in this. Here’s where to get started:

On An Adventure

How do all wonderous romances start? With a slice of adventure. This period of new beginnings and an unknown future is what makes any new period of falling in love intoxicating. This is a time you will remember, so it’s important to begin well. Heading to Kilimanjaro with Kandoo Adventures and your new love interest could be phenomenal way to bond, and afford you an opportunity to break out your best wardrobe yet. Winter layering with practical and stylish boots can make you seem like a winter explorer, a traveller with integrity straight out of a sepai movie. Just imagine the photographs you may show to your children one day. But still, the experience is what matters first, and finding surroundings like this to look wonderful in together makes for a fairytale experience.

In A City Of Romance

There are certain experiences that make you feel more or less ‘real.’ You likely know what we mean. Experiences that make us feel alive are often those which push us out of our comfort zone and give us time to reflect on all around us. The same could be said for those experiencing new things in a city of romance. Heading to Paris or Venice will afford you the opportunity to wear your most chic clothes, from striped crop tops to black or cherry berets. Angular and distinctive sunglasses and even a tapered clutch bag.

A city of romance also help you achieve that movie star framing, and gives you the opportunity to experience your inner star. Even the most daring fashion is considered normal here, so it’s a great excuse to experiment. Europe is more conducive to this, but anywhere you can express yourself freely is somewhere you should pursue.

At A Formal Event

There are many formal events you will likely attend in your life. This is a great opportunity to dress as well as you can. Evening gowns and ball dresses can be worn with elbow high gloves, and your most tasteful jewellery can also be a fixture here. This might be a formal date, a marriage or awards ceremony. Theming your outfit here can help you achieve the glamor you may have been expressly searching for in your daily life. After all, who doesn’t enjoy being dressed up to the nines?

With these three excellent excuses to look your best, you can find all of your fashionable interests and efforts come together to truly show you the best of yourself.


Puma X Hello Kitty – a match made in trainer heaven

I’m not the kind of person who usually goes for celebrity or designer collaborations- generally I find them over-hyped and over-priced, and I can count on one hand the number of times I have genuinely wanted to own an item. However, the second the Puma X Hello Kitty collaboration found it’s way on to my radar I knew that this time I’d have to cave in- I’ve gone from the kind of girl who only ever wore trainers for exercise (a rare event in itself) to the kind of girl who wishes they were also acceptable as work shoes, therefore creating an absolute need for new sneaks complete with cult cartoon character, naturally. As the launch date for this collection loomed I found myself juggling finances and counting down to when I could make a pair mine- and launch day itself? There was much tension, I had to wait until I got home from work to place my order, by which time most places had already sold out of the sneakers. Thankfully ASOS had my back, with a pair left in my size. A little bit pathetic to get so excited over a cartoon cat and a pair of trainers? Maybe. But every once in a while you just have to go with your childish urges and need for casual comfort.
I’m really not an impulse purchase kind of girl- especially when it comes to things I don’t really “need”. I did worry that buyers remorse would kick in when the trainers arrived, but thankfully, when the cheerful red and white box arrived with it’s contents exceeding all expectations such fears vanished.

Trainers: Puma X Hello Kitty | Denim Shirt Dress: Zara

The attention to detail on these shoes is amazing, from the printed soles to the gold tipped laces. I did wonder how versatile I’d find a pair of red suede trainers, but having tried them on with this recently acquired Zara shirt dress and a pair of black opaques I’m fairly reassured that they’ll work with many a combination. This might not be the most fashion forward or considered outfit I’ve shown on the blog but a) this post is all about them shoes and b) it’s an accurate representation of how bothered I can be most weekends…

The collection came out a couple of weeks ago now and has pretty much sold out everywhere, I did notice Office Shoes (aff link) still have a couple of sizes in stock, and places like ASOS have the sweat pants and backpack still.

Did anyone else fall hard for this collaboration? It’ll probably be another decade at least until I get caught up in such hysteria again, until then you’ll find me happily stomping around in my red suede sneakers (although there is a part of me that wants to keep them box fresh and never worn, any one else get this?)