Top Treats For a Confidence Boost*

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It’s impossible to feel our best every day, we all have moments where we don’t feel so great, and when those times come the best thing that we can do is treat ourselves to something nice. Getting ourselves little treats to boost our confidence and make us feel happy can go a long way when it comes to getting us back on track and feeling our usual fabulous selves. So for any of you looking to do something a little bit lovely for yourself read on for some favourite ‘self-love’ treats.

Make Up

Sometimes all we need to feel bouncy and positive again is just to mix it up a little and try something new- and when it comes to our confidence that is never more true than when it comes to our make-up. Trying out the season’s latest vibrant lip colour, or treating yourself to a set of eye shadow colours that you’ve never tried before could be just what you need to put a little extra spring in your step- this is exactly how I’ve ended up owning 40+ lipsticks, they are my go-to confidence boost when I’m feeling down in the dumps!

Blow Dry

They say that our hair is our crowning glory and it is true that we certainly feel our best when our hair is looking glossy and healthy. It is not always possible to achieve a gorgeous, shiny mane at home however and if your hair is looking a little lacklustre then a trip to your hairdressers could be just what you need. Getting a lovely wash and blow dry can do wonders to your confidence and is well worth the money for anyone who feels the need for a little beauty injection and a little pampering to boot.

If you are a more a nails kind of girl then treating yourself to a lovely, relaxing manicure could be just what you need to make you feel extra special again. Looking down and seeing perfectly polished and manicured nails can really give us a boost in positivity, so again it is money well spent.

Jewellery

What girl doesn’t love jewellery? And what girl doesn’t feel great in a fantastic new necklace, bracelet or set of pearl earrings? We all have our own style whether you are a boho wooden bangle kind of girl or whether you are a statement necklace, or even if you are more of a classic pearl earrings kind of girl. The point is, buying yourself something pretty and sparkly is one of the quickest ways to have you feeling fabulous again.

Accessories

We can never have too many right? Finishing our outfits off with the perfect bag, scarf or hat is practically an art form and we never get bored of perfecting it. Going out and buying yourself a new asset to your accessories wardrobe could be just what you need to set off that favourite leather jacket or to perfectly compliment that pair of sexy summer sandals.

Self love and positivity is all in the little details. It doesn’t have to cost the earth to treat ourselves to little things that will give us that boost to our confidence, put the bounce back in our step and put the smile back on our face.

What are some of your favourite feel good boosts? For me it’s definitely lipstick or nail polish- the use of these is never dictated by how bloated you feel or what size you are making it the perfect little pick me up when body image struggles are getting the better of me.

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Simple Decorating Ideas for Your Rented Home*

When you rent a room or house how far you go when it comes to decorating can be tricky to get right. Some landlords allow you to do pretty much what you like- but there are not many that take that approach. Often, even if they do, part of the deal is that you have to return the property to a neutral state when you leave it. Fortunately putting your own personal mark on your home does not necessarily mean redecorating it. There are lots of alternative approaches which won’t leave a mark. Below are some of my favourites.

(Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

Hang some artwork
By far the easiest and safest option is to use artwork and prints to decorate your walls. You can get any image turned into a work of art by using this canvas printing company. They have been in the business for more than a decade so really know how to make the process as easy as possible.
The fact they will print any image (and do so in a range of sizes) makes it easy to truly personalise each room. Provided the frame you choose is not too heavy you can often hang the prints without having to drill any holes in the walls- when I was in my rented flat I used velcro tabs to put things on the wall, they are strong but the sticky side is specially designed not to leave a residue on the wall.

Other wall hanging options
Mirrors, photo collages, wall stickers and decals are also really good options for putting your stamp on a place. If you choose to hang mirrors it is safer to hang them by drilling into the wall- just be careful not to hit a pipe or cable when you hang them.
When you leave make sure you allow enough time to fill the holes, rub them down, re-sand them and apply a couple of coats of paint, this way the repair job should be good enough to allow you to keep your deposit.
If you use wall stickers make sure they are the kind that can be peeled off without leaving any residue. Again, remove them at least a week before you are due to move out to give yourself enough time to fix any issues. You can also use stickers on doors and windows as well.

Flooring
Flooring has a huge impact on the look and feel of a room, if it is shoddy nothing you do to the rest of the room will make it look much better. Fortunately there is a lot you can do about this problem even if you are on quite a tight budget.
There are plenty of affordable rugs available- for rooms like the kitchen, dining room, toilet or bathroom vinyl flooring is a good option. You can cut it to size and just roll it up when it is time to leave. Be careful not to cut the flooring underneath when you fit it and be sure to buy the type that will not leak colour into the original flooring.

Shelves and hooks
It is best not to hang shelves where possible, instead opting for freestanding shelving units. For the sake of safety remember to secure the units so they don’t fall over, and add filling any holes once you are ready to move to your `to do’ list.
If you need hooks opt for the suction cup kind whenever you can.

Understand the rules
Before you sign the rental contract it is best to understand exactly what is and what is not allowed. You should also familiarise yourself with your rights and obligations as a tenant in the eyes of the law. This article is a good starting point.

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Beauty- my first ever Glossybox

I think pretty much every blogger out there has heard of Glossybox. It was the first subscription box I was ever aware of and tempted by, yet for some reason I had never got around to it.
It would appear that August 2017 was a great month to finally get acquainted with Glossybox as I was pretty impressed with every product inside it. The box itself was pretty special too- a gorgeous pale blue and emblazoned with “girls just wanna have sun” (so very true, I’m so tired of grey skies and rain) which just added to the experience.
As with any kind of subscription box I think it’s pot luck each month as to the actual value of the products included. I haven’t done the maths on this one but I’m pretty certain it exceeds the price paid for the box- and to be honest, the box could be packed through of high value products that were frankly rubbish, just as much as it could contain cheaper items that make a big impact. Although this box was sent to me free of charge I can hand on heart say I would have happily paid for this one.
I was very excited to see Essence products included in the box having already given their my must haves palette a rave review. I love the pretty packaging on this one and the shades included just so happen to be right up my street- for me this was the star product of the August Glossybox and it’s been in near constant use since.
Other highlights included the suede lips pencils from Rodial- again the shade is right up my street and this gives an amazing, soft looking matte lip that lasts.
I’m also a big fan of the safari sun bronzer from model launcher cosmetics. Obviously bronzer is a pretty essential summer product for many and this one is up there with the best I’ve tried in terms of being a good suits everyone shade, and it has a great texture.

I’m yet to try the hair care products- I’m intrigued by the 2in1 shampoo and conditioner from Batiste, it’s designed to shampoo the roots and condition the lengths which sounds perfect for my thick and often unruly hair. I’ll be packing this for my holiday next month as a week in a caravan in the Highlands means dry shampoo is going to be 100% necessary.

Probably the most intriguing product in the box is the ice hair mask from Total Repair- this apparently has a cooling effect which powers up the macadamia oil it contains making even more efficient at hydrating the hair. My hair is in dire need of a cut and colour, it’s long overdue which also means the ends are somewhat fried right now…I’ll be giving this a try next time I was it and will report back if anyone is interested…

Anyone here a Glossybox subscriber? After the success of my first ever box I am sorely tempted to sign up and make it a more regular thing but I do worry that it won’t consistently live up to the hype, I’d love to hear other people’s experiences in the comments.

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Glossybox sent me this box for blog consideration, I was under no obligation to post and all opinions are my own.

Spreading Summer Fun with Macabella

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of a delivery from Macabella, the makers of the most divine chocolate base spread ever. I’ve featured, and baked with the brand before as well as giving the spread itself a glowing review so I was more than excited to get the chance to work with them again.

By way of introduction for those who don’t know, Macabella spread is a heavenly fusion of chocolate and macadamia nuts which comes in two varities- velvet smooth and crunchy. It’s now available to buy from Ocado at £3 for a jar- and trust me, it’s well worth every penny.

This time the package included a curious selection of baking accessories along with the spread, including some silicone ice lolly moulds that just begged to be used. Therefore the first recipe I present to you today is for some Macabella ice lollies that use just two ingredients- so simple it can barely be called a recipe!
For these I quite simply took 1/3 cup of Macabella Crunch and 2/3 cup of milk the blended it all together until well combined. I then divided this between four ice lolly moulds- although I could have got six from it and popped in the freezer. I think probably these would have worked better with whole milk rather than semi skimmed but it’s really down to preference- they’d probably also work well with cream for a more indulgent treat! I left mine to freeze over night but did take some out after a couple of hours to pop on some decorations.
The second thing I made was these swirly muffins, inspired by my boyfriend musing about marble cake after we saw it in a coffee shop one Saturday. These turned out so well- the spread makes the cakes super moist and provides a good contrast to the sponge and they’ve already been requested again by aforementioned boyfriend. I used a recipe I found online here but obviously used Macabella (velvet this time) instead. They were really easy to do and I strongly recommend both this recipe and incorporating Macabella in to just about anything you might be planning to bake!
Let me know if you try either of these ideas out, or what else you think I should bake with the spread.

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Bristol Life: The Downs Festival 2017

I might not be a festival goer in the traditional sense of the world. It’s a long time since I packed up my tent and headed away for a weekend- mostly due to cost more than anything else, but I love music and a good gathering so I decided that this year would be the year I head to Bristols very own festival- Downs Festival, taking place on Saturday 2nd September from 13:00 – 23:00. Having missed out on a cracking line up last year, I was keen not to be feeling left out this year.
These images are from last years event at which Massive Attack headlined. This year the all day event has Elbow as it’s headline act (the selling point for me!) as well as Seasick Steve (also a big fan), Soul II Soul, The Districts and De La Soul joining them on the main stage.

The second stage will play host to Groove Armada with a show-stopping DJ set that I can’t wait to experience.

Last year’s festival was the first major music event hosted on Bristols Downs for 27 years and proved that Bristol has what it takes (of course) to host something on this scale. This year it returns with more live music, more bars and more independent food stalls.

‘The Information’ stage will also return, offering a dedicated area for guest speakers, question and answer sessions, film screenings, photography and charity representatives. More information on this will follow shortly.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £45. Last year the event sold out incredibly quick so you’ll want to be acting fast.

All online ticket sales will be subject to a £1 donation with funds going directly to the upkeep and maintenance of The Downs, for all of Bristol to enjoy.

There will be a limited number of reduced price tickets at £25 available to anyone unemployed or on income support. These tickets are only available in person from Bristol Ticket Shop and supporting documentation and ID will be required. Children under 4 are free (though must be wearing adequate hearing protection) and a limited number of tickets for children aged 4- 12 years will be available at all outlets for £10 per ticket. All under 16’s need accompanying by an adult.

Tickets are restricted to six tickets per person/per billing address. Please note that in order to protect our audience from ticket touts we are putting in measures to help eliminate them. The lead booker will need to attend the event (or nominate a 3rd party at the point of purchase) with their guests and will need to show photo ID in order to enter the concert arena.

Tickets are available from the following outlets: The Downs Bristol, Bristol Ticket Shop, Songkick, Seetickets and Gigantic

Have you been to any festivals this year? Who would be your dream headline act?

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