Friday, 22 March 2019

MARVELLOUS MANCHESTER

Love Manchester Light Sign TK Maxx
San Carlo Gran Cafe Selfridges Manchester
San Carlo Gran Cafe Chicken and Pancetta Salad
I Heart Manchester Poster
Piccadilly Gardens Manchester
Welcome to Primark Manchester
Welcome to Manchester

I genuinely LOVE Manchester.. so much so that I have never left or lived anywhere else! True story - I actually once jumped in on a conversation between parents and son on a train when I was visiting Essex who was saying he was contemplating applying to Uni of Manchester and basically sung it's praises and helped them plan how to get there and back easily.. and persuaded the son that he definitely should apply to attend Uni here! 😂

I could talk all day and all night about what a fabulous City it is and this post is dedicated to telling you all my absolute favourite things to do and places to visit. There are loads of hotels in Manchester so get yourself booked in and experience everything this amazing city has to offer.

I thought it would be easier to try and capture all these by genre or reason of visit, so here goes!

FOR THE FOODIES

Manchester is getting some AMAZING restaurants and it's great to see that some London favourites are making their way up North! We now have our very own Dishoom and The Ivy alongside some quirky establishments such as Almost Famous and Home Sweet Home where the food is so wrong yet so very very right! There's a fair few San Carlo Restaurants too serving lovely Italian food, a personal fave is the Gran Cafe in Selfridges Beauty Hall for a chilled all day breakfast or sweet treat!

FOR THE GALS INSTAGRAMMY WEEKEND

Cameras at the ready! Gorgeous cocktails at the very pretty Sunset Manchester, a snap infront of *those* angel wings at Dirty Martini and getting dolled up for a night at Menagerie I can guarantee a girlie weekend in Manchester with the besties will be SO much fun!

Blow dries at Kara's Blow Dry Bar and you can even get your makeup done by an MUA who ACTUALLY worked on the most recent Victoria's Secret Show, the amazing Grace Sloan at Charlotte Tilbury in Selfridges Manchester!

FOR THE BEAUTY AND RELAXATION LOVERS

Manchester has a fantastic offering of spas and salons to enjoy where you can get glam or ease those aches and pains. The Spa at the Midland, a scientific facial at Skin Health Spa, Traditional Chinese Medicine with Guru Fa at Flint and Flint in Harvey Nichols or all things Nails at Nailista Manchester, there's a choice for everyone!

FOR THE SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES OBSESSED

I mean. You can't really mention Manchester without being asked if you are a blue or a red but there's so much more than football! Fancy Axe Throwing or Junkyard Golf? Indoor Skiing, sledding or snowboarding? Indoor Skydiving? Manchester has many fun things to do if shopping isn't your bag...

Coming up in May 2019 we have the Manchester Half Marathon and 10K so you could see the sights whilst achieving a fitness goal!

FOR THE SHOPAHOLICS

Manchester shopping is getting better and better. With the City Centre and Trafford Centre not far from oneanother, come rain or shine you can hit the shops and grab yourself some must haves whether it be designer darling or Primarni chic. We have 2 Selfridges, a Harvey Nichols and rather excitingly a Uniqlo coming soon, I apologise in advance to your bank balance... :)

FOR THE ART AND CULTURE FANS

Manchester has a really interesting history and there are loads of museums and galleries for those who want to do something to enrich the mind. From the Manchester Museum, to MOSI and the Imperial War Museum, to Manchester Art Gallery, the National Football Museum and Whitworth Art Gallery. I am mentally making a list now of places to go as it's been years since I have visited most of these attractions and really want to get an updated look!

FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE TUNES

There's no denying Manchester has an amazing music scene and no matter what gets your toes tapping you will find a venue to cater for it! Personal faves are Alberts Schloss for live music, casual vibes and general debauchery and a hop, skip and a jump down the road is Revolucion de Cuba which will make you feel like the dancing lady emoji IRL. 

One thing is for sure.. us Mancs are super friendly and if you come for a visit, you will definitely be shown a good time!

#ONELOVEMANCHESTER

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Monday, 18 March 2019

(AD) A ZEN BEDROOM


Woman Sleeping in BedPillows on a Bed Image

Since buying my own place and living alone, I’ve been able to ensure my bedroom is the comfortable, relaxing place it should be. Rather than housing the vast majority of my worldly possessions, a TV (so I could watch what I wanted) and sometimes even being a dining room, my room now is my oasis of calm.

BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS

I have a gorgeous bed that is a statement piece in itself and I adore it. It was the first piece of furniture I bought myself when I was buying my place and I was like oh hell yes I am buying a king size so I can starfish all the time! The ultimate gift to myself.. :-)

PUTTING MY STAMP ON IT

I love how I can make what is quite a plain room look completely different by what bed linen I pick. I personally tend to go for single solid colours with a small amount of detail to keep things simple and fresh. There are so many options available! You can get kingsize quilt covers at discounted prices from the Yorkshire linen website.
I have a few sets on rotation, I’d definitely like to introduce more texture as I think it can make your bed look super luxurious and let’s face it, very inviting! I have a pink, white, grey and gold theme in my room so I’ll definitely broaden my linen collection to mix and match and keep changing up the look of my room.

SLEEP GLORIOUS SLEEP

I sometimes find it really hard to switch off at night, so having a super comfortable bed is really important. I have lots of lotions, potions, scents and candles to use aromatherapy as another way of destressing and chilling out. Not forgetting my beloved linen fresh Zoflora that I use when I do my laundry. Nothing makes me happier than lovely clean smelling fresh bedlinen day!

What colour scheme do you have in your bedroom?


This post is sponsored by Yorkshire Bedlinen, but not endorsed by them. Any opinions or views expressed are personal to the author.
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Friday, 8 March 2019

SENSATIONAL SWIMWEAR FROM UKSWIMWEAR.COM

Swimsuit and Kaftan from UKSwimwear.com
Swimsuit and Kaftan from UKSwimwear.com
Swimsuit and Kaftan from UKSwimwear.com

The sunshine we enjoyed a couple of weeks back has made me so desperate to book a holiday! I got my summer fragrance out, had a pedicure and was dreaming of salt spray beachy hair and bronzey makeup looks.

Slim and Swim

One of the perks of embarking on a new fitness regime, which I talked about as a part of my new year's resolutions in this post here, is that rather than feeling a sense of dread about summer holidays, donning swimwear and showing off alot more skin than usual, is that I am not stressing about it. By the time I have to slip into swimwear I am sure I will be feeling awesome.

One thing I will say is you absolutely get what you pay for with swimwear. When you have a larger bust or bits that you would rather smooth out or conceal, I have often found that cheaper brands scrimp on the fabrics and linings they choose which leave me disappointed that they look great in terms of design but the reality is that they just don't provide the support that I am looking for.

www.UKSWIMWEAR.com

When I was recently contacted by UKSwimwear to tell me more about their Company and brands they offer, along with the offer to try a couple of pieces myself, I honestly wasn't expecting to see such an array of amazing swim and beach wear in the range of sizes they stock.

For full transparency, I was gifted these gorgeous items, but was under no obligation to talk about the brand and my opinions in this post are entirely my own.

Essentials for Holidays and Spa Weekends!

I selected the Dolores Cortes Haiti Kaftan and the Seaspray Azurite Navy Classic Draped Swimsuit.

I don't think I have ever had the pleasure of wearing such gorgeous beach wear to be honest! The swimsuit is so nice and flattering, the wrap style means it cinches you in and looks really stylish. I personally prefer to wear darker colours pretty much all the time and I love the navy blue shade as it's so versatile when pairing with my slightly brighter accessories!

The Kaftan is stunning. I love to wear turquoise in the summer as it pops so nicely against a tan and beautifully against this tomato orange red shade. It is lovely and light and I am SO excited to get this out when I hopefully get away!

UKSwimwear has some really unique pieces on site that you will bring out year on year and they won't be what you will see on just about everyone. No one likes to get into 'who wore it best' in swimwear... 😂 if you have a holiday or spa break booked then I would highly recommend you take a look on site!
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Wednesday, 6 March 2019

(AD) BEDSIDE TABLE DETOX

SweetieSal - What's on my bedside table?
Bedside Table Beauty Products

Anyone else guilty of their bedside table becoming a bit of a dumping ground for lots of odds and ends..?

I definitely am.

Having *some* useful things close to your bed means that you can embed routines when heading off to sleep... however I think mine is probably past that point.

The issue is that my current bedside table was an emergency purchase, not fit for purpose as it was a quick buy when I moved into my flat. It was an Amazon cheap number that I sadly made an error with during it's construction and the drawer doesn't actually close. Whoops.

I am on the hunt for a new one once my room is fully decorated and have spied a few beautiful bedsides from Furniture Village.

You will see from my photos that beauty products seem to be in abundance on my bedside table and this is because I don't currently have a dressing table so everything is housed next to my bed!

If I had the correct setup.. this is what items I would ensure are at my fingertips...

BEAUTY

I do like to apply a variety of lotions and potions before bed, my moisturiser, hand cream, cuticle oil, Revitalash and lip balm. It's a good way of ensuring I remember to do it!

The makeup brushes, tweezers and nail files could all be housed elsewhere as they are unnecessary clutter - the same goes for the various nail polishes!

SENTIMENTAL

You will probably be questioning the Christmas Dog decoration.. but it bears an uncanny resemblance to a rather special fluffy friend you will also see pictured who sadly went to sleep last year. It probably looks like a bit of a shrine but I don't care!

I do think some sentimental items around your relaxation space are key. They can remind you of your loved ones or special memories!

RELAXATION

I keep some scented oils in my bedside table for when I really need to hit the serious stuff to unwind. My favourites are from This Works or Aromatherapy Associates. A nice candle can also be super relaxing and dimmed lighting!

I also have a couple of books to hand to try and avoid being on my phone all the time.. sometimes it works, sometimes the call of pinterest is just too loud to ignore... 😄

WELLBEING AND STRESS BUSTERS

I am a list writer so need to get things down when I remember them or think about them, so for me, having a pad and paper means I can get anything down I need to when I am mulling things over. I find it helps me feel like I have done something with it and can get back to sleep better!

I am also trying to more consistently practice the 'attitude of gratitude' so I keep my gratitude journal by my bed. I haven't nailed doing it every day but I do think out of sight out of mind so I try and keep it in sight!

H2O(H) YES!

I drink loads of water and try to avoid that horrible mouth like a desert at ALL COSTS. I always keep a bottle of water by my bed and have become quite the sparkling water connoisseur!


Given how much I deem to be essential, I will definitely need to look at a bedside table that has a number of drawers so the surface can be kept as free as possible. I'd love to have more space to display things that make me feel good such as flowers or a plant but at the moment it is just not possible! 

This post is sponsored by Furniture Village, but not endorsed by them. Any opinions or views expressed are personal to the author.

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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

YOGA TO THE RESCUE

Handwritten 'Mindfulness' Reminder Quote Mantra
Black and White Image of a Man Practicing Yoga on a Beach

Looking to improve your overall health? Well, most people would love to change their energy levels, and of course, reap the benefits of an active lifestyle. When you start making changes such as drinking more water and finally getting your daily serving of fruits and veggies - you'll feel amazing. 

But, not everyone enjoys beating the street and running, or even lifting weights. 

However, there are a few exercises that almost anyone can do, that are gentle but still provide all of the significant benefits from more strenuous activities. 

It is generally advised that before you start any new form of activity, you have a chat with your doctor and make sure that what you are intending on doing is going to work for you.

Yogа is one of the oldest and most practiced аctivities on the plаnet. This is becаuse yogа offers а wide rаnge of psychologicаl, physicаl аnd emotionаl benefits. Yogа teаchers аre extremely in-demаnd becаuse it is such а fаst-growing аctivity, so it is easier than ever to find a class that works for you. 

This means that your option isn’t limited if you decide that attending a class in your local area isn't for you, you can still find a great teacher online. In fact, some of the most popular YouTube channels are different yoga teachers, giving specific classes. 

A few great ones to start with are:


If you want to find a class, here are a few tips on how to get the most from the teacher, yourself and your class.

Look for а Speciаlist

There are a lot of different types of yoga. Here is a quick rundown of a few of the types, a little bit about them so you can begin to understand the big differences. 

  • Ashtanga - Can be physically demanding, involves a beautiful sequence of postures and is usually taken up by practised yogis.
  • Vinyasa - coordinating your breath with your movement, vinyasa means ‘to place in a special way.’ In this case, your yoga pose!
  • Yin - great for beginners, long slow poses, many of which are seated. Combination of meditation and movement. 
  • Bikram - combining sweating with stretching. 26 basic postures, performed twice in a heated room. 
  • Restorative - Ideally for winding down, relieving stress and relaxation. 
  • Ansuran - A more modern Hatha.
  • Prenatal - gentle and relaxing poses for moms to be. Great for birth prep. 
  • Hatha - great for beginners, numerous styles and slow paced. 

Think about what you want from the classes and see if you can watch a few flows to get an idea of what will suit you. 

Locаte а Teаcher with Good Rаpport

Before pupils spend money on online yogа certificаtion progrаms, they must find а teаcher who they hаve а good rаpport with. 

When it comes to bending and stretching and holding poses, you are going to want to work with someone who inspires you to push yourself further without hurting yourself. 

Yoga can be very relaxing and a great way to unwind, but if you don’t really love your teacher, you’re not going to get the most from it.

Don’t sign up, or put yourself forward for long-term classes or contracts if you aren’t sure about the person. 

Stаrt Looking for More thаn Just Yogа Instruction

There's а lot more thаn leаrning the postures аnd their titles. While these things аre key to leаrn, it is аlso criticаl to find а teаcher who will instruct pupils in things like аnаtomy, confidence аnd how to really stretch those muscles. 

It is аlso recommended to find а yogа certificаtion teаcher who's knowledgeаble аbout the history of yogа. It's а vаluаble tool for yogа instructors to grow their prаctices while this knowledge isn't cruciаl to teаch yogа. 

If you can find a teacher who uses yoga in their everyday life, you’re going to be able to find ways to bring the ethos and calmness into other areas of your life too. 

When you start getting into the regular yoga classes, you will probably find that you become more relaxed in other areas and begin to explore different ways you can stay active. Pilates, walking and swimming are all very gentle but effective methods of moving more. 

If you are keen to bring even more relaxation on mindfulness to your life, the Calm app and Headspace provide guided and non guided meditation, sleep stories and tips on handling negative thoughts too. 
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Friday, 22 February 2019

LITTLE PEOPLE BIG DREAMS






Friday 8th March is International Women's Day and to celebrate the amazing women of the past with the girls and women of the future, I LOVE these kids books telling the stories of some of our favourite females.

With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, the empowering 'Little People, Big Dreams' series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

ROSA PARKS

In this true story of an inspiring civil rights activist, Rosa Parks grew up during segregation in Alabama, but she was taught to respect herself and stand up for her rights. In 1955, Rosa refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her decision had a huge impact on civil rights, eventually leading to the end of segregation on public transport.

COCO CHANEL

This book follows Coco Chanel, from her early life in an orphanage – where she is a genius with needle and thread – to her time as a cabaret singer, hat maker and, eventually, international fashion designer.

MARIE CURIE

Next up we have a book dedicated to Marie Curie, whose love of learning helped her to revolutionise the fight against cancer with her discovery of radium and polonium. This inspiring and informative little biography comes with extra facts about Marie's life at the back.

AUDREY HEPBURN

A book dedicated to the colourful life of iconic actress Audrey Hepburn, from her early life during World War Two, to ballet school, her acting career and UNICEF work.

FRIDA KAHLO

Frida Kahlo, whose desire to study medicine was destroyed by a childhood accident went on to begin painting from her bedside and produced over 140 works, culminating in a solo exhibition in America.

MAYA ANGELOU

Maya Angelou's story covers her early traumatic childhood to her time as a singer, actress, civil rights campaigner and, eventually, one of America's most beloved writers.

AMELIA EARHEART

Amelia Earhart, whose strong will and self-belief helped her overcome prejudice and technical problems to become the first female flier to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean.

EMMELINE PANKHURST

As a child, Emmeline Pankhurst was shocked at the inequality of men and women that she saw all around her. When she grew up, she never stopped fighting for women to get the vote, inspiring other women to demonstrate, go on hunger strike and protest for the cause.

You can click on the names to purchase the books which are priced at £9.99 each from the National Theatre Bookshop.

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Monday, 11 February 2019

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: FENTY BEAUTY


Fenty Beauty Glow and Contour SticksMakeover - Variety of Fenty Beauty Makeup and Brushes
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Powders
Fenty Beauty Fairy Bomb Powders
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Foundations
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Foundations
Fenty Beauty Makeup and Diamond Bomb Powder
Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice Palette
Fenty Beauty Makeup - Gifted
Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer - Fenty Glow and Fu$$y
SweetieSal Wearing Fenty Beauty
SweetieSal Wears Fenty Beauty
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Another post in the Spotlight series!

I had tried a couple of products from Fenty Beauty and thought they were amazing so wanted to try more. A couple of weeks back I was invited into Harvey Nichols in Manchester to enjoy a Fenty Beauty Makeover and OH. EM. GEE. I am completed hooked on the products and wanted to tell you all about them!

A Real Life Instagram Filter

Starting with the base, the Pro Filt'r products are really something special. Olivia, Fenty Beauty's MUA on counter in Manchester, started off by prepping my skin with the primer, then added foundation and concealer before setting the face with the Pro Filt'r Powder. I don't think I have ever had such a combination where each product is perfection!

The foundation is quite possibly my favourite ever! You might recall that when it was launched it was celebrated due to the very wide shade range. I have found the colour I have been matched to be absolutely spot on and it has quickly become my go to foundation!

All about the Glow

Another area that Fenty Beauty excels in is Highlighters. Whatever your preference in terms of cream, pressed or loose powder, there is a product for you!

My particular favourites are the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in 'Girl Next Door / Phreak Chic' and the new Diamond Bomb All Over Diamond Veil in 'How Many Carats'. They are so very versatile and I tend to use one or the other (or both) pretty much every day. At the moment, I love using the duo highlighter to highlight with the paler colour (girl next door) and use Phreak Chic as an eye shadow for an easy day look. I also love to use my Diamond Bomb in the inner corners of my eyes for a little sparkle.

Eye Spy

Olivia used the Moroccan Spice Palette on me during my makeover and it contributed very well to my overall look - the shades are very useable with the vast majority being nudes and browns which are great transition shades paired with my 'highlighter as eyeshadow' look and then a lil something extra for an evening smokey look with the inclusion of the grey, taupe and turquoise shades. 

If an eyeliner flick is your look of choice then definitely try out the Flyliner Long Wear Liquid Eyeliner, it is super fine nibbed and made easy work of getting the perfect application.

Lip Service

When a product claims to suit all skin tones then I am all ears as it means I don't have to think about it... the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow really does suit all though and is a lovely gloss with a subtle nude shimmer. It's a lovely product to buy as a gift as it is easy to wear and one you know will be suitable for anyone. The glosses smell amazing and are really moisturising to the lips. The newest shades of Fu$$y and Diamond Milk also look amazing - let's face it, I am basically like a magpie and like anything that shines!

Overall, I am super impressed with what I have tried and I will definitely be adding more items to my collection. The price points and quality of the products are in sync and I can tell that a lot of the things I have tried are already in holy grail territory!
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Thursday, 7 February 2019

SLEEPING ON THE JOB

Bedroom, Comfy Bed, Inviting
Fox Curled Up Sleeping

There’s a proven link between lack of sleep and negative emotion, but is catching 40 winks whilst at work a proven solution?

Research via the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests that lack of sleep can have a negative impact on emotion. Could naps of 20-30 minutes make for a more productive workforce, and have a positive impact on mood, concentration and attention? I would WHOLEHEARTEDLY support this! I am a massive fan of a cheeky nap so the thought of being able to go and get my head down rather than relying on coffee to try and perk myself up would be amazing!

Following the findings that loss of sleep could be costing the UK £40bn a year, is it time to make a change to our sleeping habits? To find out, Brother investigated eight sleeping customs from around the world, and explored how they could have a positive impact on business. For transparency, this post is not sponsored, I just found the information really interesting.

China - Bring Your Bedroom to Work

In factories and offices across China, the lines between bedroom and workspace are becoming increasingly blurred. Due to longer working hours, many employers now advocate a short nap after lunchtime to increase concentration. Certain offices have even installed temporary or permanent sleeping and washing facilities in their office spaces to encourage employees to stay round the clock.

Japan - Inemuri

Taking a nap at work could well be perceived as a sign of laziness or a poor attitude, but not in Japan. The hectic lifestyle of Japan’s city dwellers has led to the wide-scale uptake of “inemuri”, or “sleeping whilst present”. Thanks to inemuri, Japanese workers can nap on public transport, at their desk or even during meetings – and it’s commonly seen as a sign of hard work.

Spain - Siesta

Originating in Spain and parts of Latin America, the siesta is perhaps one of the most well-known daytime snoozing traditions across the globe. This practice might be under threat, however, with business laws introduced in 2016 limiting how late employees can work, and effectively reducing the time they have to squeeze in an afternoon nap.

Italy - Riposo

Where the Spanish have a siesta, the Italians have “riposo”. Commonly taking place after lunch, riposo can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. Frustratingly for tourists, this means that many attractions are closed throughout the day. Unfortunately, the non-stop pace of modern industry means that fewer and fewer office workers are able to benefit from a midday snooze.

Norway - Napping Outside

Take a stroll through Oslo, Helsinki or another Nordic town, and you might well see some infants taking a nap in temperatures as low as -5 degrees Celsius. Don’t worry – they haven’t been abandoned; sleeping outdoors in the daytime is actually believed to be very good for their health. Could local office workers take some inspiration to increase their productivity?

Indonesia - Fear Sleep

Stresses of work getting you down? The ominously named ‘fear sleep’ might be the solution. Locally referred to as “todoet poeles” – the practice of fear sleep enables people to nod off instantly to avoid feelings of excessive anxiety and stress. Nodding off when your boss walks in might not be the best solution, but regular naps could well help avoid work-related worry.

Botswana - Sleeping on your Own Schedule

You should sleep when it’s dark, correct? Not quite. At least, not in Botswana. The country’s native Kung hunter-gatherer tribe are well known for sleeping only when tired, regardless of the time of day. With an increased uptake of flexi-time, rise in self-chosen hours and growth of contract-based work, could businesses be embracing the way of the Kung sooner than we think?

USA - Silicon Valley Sleepers

Though it’s not a national custom just yet, sleeping on the job is widely being embraced by some of the USA’s biggest employers. Technology and software companies are leading the napping revolution, with firms like Google going so far as to have purpose-built sleeping pods installed in their offices to help employees rest and refresh.

For the full information visit: https://www.brother.co.uk/business-solutions/solutions-business-transformation/productivity-efficiency-solutions/sleeping-on-the-job  
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Friday, 1 February 2019

WINTER BEAUTY AND WELLBEING DETOX


Image of the Winter Retreat Book by Build a Life You.LoveSweetieSal's Winter Detox RecommendationsSwatches of Bobbi Brown Extra Lip TintsBobbi Brown Extra Lip Tints in Bare Popsicle, Bare Raspberry and Bare Blackberry

January and February are often quieter months as your bank balance recovers from the expense of Christmas and festive frolics.. you drag yourself to use the gym and set about achieving your New Year's resolutions.

This really doesn't have to be a bad thing or too depressing if you own it!

I actually quite like January and February to try and encourage new habits and routines for the year.

Be Kind. Take Time For Yourself.

You might remember that one of my 2019 Resolutions (post here) was to be more kind to myself. I've started working with Bodhi Aesthetics who are helping me with my diet and setting me workout plans. I've been cooking more, eating well, training three times a week and I genuinely feel great for it.

Save Your Skin.

I'm trying to save my skin from the winter weather, cold outside and central heating make my skin rather unhappy so I've been reaching for products that exfoliate gently and push the moisture back in such as Pixi Glow Tonic, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and the Neutrogena mini face masks which are BRILLIANT! I am also loving the Rodial Lip Masks as my lips tend to get sometimes painfully dry and chapped in this weather. Sad Face.

Boost Your Body.

If I am pampering my face then my hair, hands and feet also need some love too. I turn to my holy grail items for this - Philip Kingsley Elasticiser, Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Hand Cream and Neutrogena Hydro Boost Express Hydrating Spray. I have also purchased the 'Monthly New Feet' foot mask from the amazing Selfridges Beauty Hall at Trafford Centre - very much looking forward to trying this!

Going back to the Neutrogena Moisturiser - this is not sponsored nor was it gifted. Just an insanely great product that I was very much influenced by Amelia Liana to purchase! It is SO GOOD. I usually hate moisturising and feeling cold and tacky and then as though I have a load of moisturiser all over the inside of what ever I am wearing but this is SO light that it hydrates without feeling heavy and sinks in super fast. I don't know about you but I have no time for hanging out in next to nothing whilst something sinks in!

Mindful Makeup.

I try to wear less makeup during January/February and find myself reaching for products that look good and do good. Tinted moisturisers and lip balms are my saviour! I am so enjoying the new Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tints - they give you a lil somethin' by way of colour and interest but are super moisturising and a pleasure to wear.

Rimmel's new WonderLuxe Mascara contains 4 nourishing oils which keep your lashes smooth and conditioned. If you need to take the moisturising a step further than this then I can highly recommend Revitalash. It is a real game changer in terms of improving the volume and length of your lashes. Now. I know it's expensive but wow does this stuff work! If you overdid the semi permanent or strip lashes over Christmas and are looking a little bald then this will really sort you out. You can buy Revitalash in Harvey Nichols. My lashes have never looked better than they have at the moment since using this product.

What About Wellbeing?

I was very kindly gifted a copy of 'The Winter Retreat' and I really love the concept.It focuses on several areas of self care - from mental wellbeing, your finances to home environment and it can be completed over a weekend or an activity every night for 9 days.

I have loved the activities and they have contributed very positively to my detoxing and being kind to myself efforts! I chose to concentrate on a task per night for 9 days as a way of unwinding after work and gym and generally feeling like I have burned the candle at both ends a bit. I've lit a candle and immersed myself in the activities which have been thought provoking, relaxing and appeal to my being organised side all at once!

It would make a lovely gift for someone, especially those who you would love to send on a spa weekend but that perhaps the funds won't allow it!

So there you have my round up of tips, tricks and products that I am using and loving this New Year. What are your current faves?

NB. This post contains affiliate links, gifted and purchased items. I was under no obligation to post about these items and my reviews and product/link placement are because I genuinely enjoyed using the products.

Pixi Glow Tonic - Purchased
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair - Gifted
Neurogena Face Mask  - Purchased
Rodial Lip Mask - Won in a Competition
Philip Kingsley Elasticiser - Gifted
Laura Mercier Advanced Night Repair - Purchased
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Express Hydrating Spray - Purchased
Monthly New Feet - Purchased
Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint - Gifted
Rimmel Wonderluxe Mascara - Purchased
Revitalash - Gifted
The Winter Retreat - Gifted
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Sunday, 20 January 2019

BE A RESPONSIBLE HOUSE PLANT PARENT

Watering Can and Heart Photograph Outdoors Gardening House Plants
Houseplant on a Windowsill

If you are anything like me you will be sucked into that lovely house proud look of having plants dotted around in cute pots and planters.

Certain plants require more care than others and sometimes you can over water them.. true story and I am afraid I have definitely caused a few plant deaths by this. *facepalm*

If you want to be a responsible house plant parent, then keep on reading...

MONSTERA PLANT // ALSO KNOWN AS A CHEESEPLANT

Water your monstera weekly, or whenever the top 1 inch of soil feels dry, and allow it to drain completely. Reduce watering in the winter to prevent waterlogging your plant. Give your monstera a shot of a general purpose fertiliser every 60 days from Spring Time through to Autumn.

INDOOR PALM TREES

Palms grown indoors need proper care to thrive and produce the large fan or feathered leaves, depending on the species. When caring for indoor palms, the plant needs the correct amount of light, fertiliser, water and correct temperature to prevent foliage problems, such as brown leaves. If you know the type of Plant you have then do your research so you can care for it appropriately.

SUCCULENT LOVE

Choose an appropriate succulent for your indoor conditions. Plant your succulent in a very well-draining potting container and tray and place it in a sunny location. Allow the potting mix to dry out between waterings and fertilise your succulent at least once a year.

CUTE CACTI

When watering, the soil should be given a good soaking, allowing excess water to drain away. Allow the compost to dry out slightly between each watering and feed your plants once a month using Cacti and Succulent Feed which is a good formula to use.

HEALTHY HYDRANGEAS

My absolute favourite flowers are Hydrangeas. You have to provide at least 4 hours of bright, indirect light every day. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy while plant is growing and flowering. Use lime-free water because lime will make the soil too alkaline and will affect growth. Keep the soil barely moist in Winter.

AWESOME ORCHIDS

Orchids need ample water but should be allowed to dry out some between waterings. One way to check for watering is by poking your finger about an inch into the pot. If it's dry, give it some water; otherwise, let it be. I sadly did not have this tip whilst caring for one of my many orchids I have killed.. whoops. 😞

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Monday, 14 January 2019

MAKEUP TRENDS IN 2019


Welcome to another new year. We've got four seasons of fabulous fashion and modern makeup trends ahead of us. So, let's get started on what's what for the next 12 months... or what should be what, based on what the who's-who of foreseeing trends have been saying in the last few weeks.

Bright, Bold Lips 

Starting off the year on the faces of the stars, this year's Golden Globes were alive with bright, luscious lips. Actresses aplenty flocked to Beverley Hills with lips as bold as the red carpet beneath them this year, kick-starting a trend that will be seen leaving salons all year round in 2019.

Contrast bold reds and bright pinks with delicately flushed cheeks and pastel eye shadow, and you've already accomplished a vibrant look that will stand out at any event.

Powder and Almond Nails 

Ready to give up your gel nails? Okay, how about hoping for a longer-lasting manicure? A dip powder manicure will last as long as a month – and doesn't damage the nails anywhere near as much as the gel formula.

If you don't fancy trying this at home just yet, you'll find most manicurists already encouraging people to make the switch the next time they visit a salon. If you're looking for a new shape for your nails, look for anything almond shape and add this sleek style to your pins on your next visit.

Glossy Makeup

Sorry, Matte, it's been great, but it's time we both moved on! Gloss is back in 2019. It's thicker and stickier, not to mention slicking up the hair and face with a shine that will stand out now and look especially striking in the summer. The matte look is… yes, you guessed it… fading out in 2019.

Lip gloss, eye gloss, hair oil – the lot – give you good reasons to add some serious shine to your beauty ensemble as soon as possible. Whether you're visiting the salon yourself or sending people out into the world with a shimmering makeover, gloss is officially great again.

Microblading and Contouring

The only two ways to do eyebrows in 2019, and why not do them both? When sculpting the perfect eyebrow shape for the face, there is no better technique around than microblading. With tiny strokes added to the skin below each eyebrow, even thin or unruly brows can be made thicker and fuller for up to 18 months at a time.

Remember, if you visit a salon for this service, make sure they have microblading insurance, which will prove that they are a trusted provider of this service. Contouring the brows, later, further enhances the natural-looking brow-beauty created with the microblading process.

Colour Blocked Eyes

A great way to cheer up the winter months, this talking-point beauty trick has finally outgrown the festival fields and made it to mainstream, contemporary glamour. Sweep a finger or brush of colour across your eyelids, and don't worry about making it look symmetrical – imperfection here is perfect!

Complementing bright, bold lip looks, like above, or contrasting more natural tones elsewhere, colour-blocked eyes will create a vivid, visual first impression wherever you go this year. You might even be set to provide this treatment in a salon - in which case, consider makeup artist insurance.

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Friday, 11 January 2019

AN APPOINTMENT WITH GURU FA AT HARVEY NICHOLS MANCHESTER

Front of Harvey Nichols Manchester Image
Image of the Frontage of Flint + Flint Salon in Harvey Nichols Manchester
Treatment Room Decor at Flint + Flint Harvey Nichols Manchester

You guys know that I LOVE to try out beauty treatments and the more unique the better!

I recently had the opportunity to discover traditional chinese medicine methods at Flint + Flint in Harvey Nichols Manchester with Guru (Helen) Fa!

I must admit that before my appointment I was very ignorant in terms of what Chinese Medicine actually entails and it does still seem like a quite magical, 'out of body' concept!

To try and shed some light, here is what traditional chinese medicine is according to wikipedia;

Traditional Chinese medicine is a style of traditional medicine based on more than 2,500 years of Chinese medical practice that includes various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise, and dietary therapy, but recently also influenced by modern Western medicine. 

TCM is widely used in Greater China where it has a long history, and recently it has begun "gaining global recognition". One of the basic foundations of TCM is that "the body's vital energy (ch'i or qi) circulates through channels, called meridians, that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions.

I bet you are thinking, ok great, so why offer traditional chinese medicine at Flint + Flint which is predominantly a concept skin clinic?

The treatments, which are exclusive to the Manchester clinic in Harvey Nichols, use various Eastern mind and body practices, such as acupressure, to treat or prevent health problems.

Adam Flint, co-owner of Flint + Flint, said:  
“When the opportunity to partner with Helen came about we knew it was a real coup. Helen’s knowledge and unique skill-set meant we could introduce traditional therapies that aren’t common in the West to our treatment menu, allowing us to not only provide solutions for various skin concerns but also physiological concerns. We believe in the merits of skin health and so it was a natural step for us to embrace Helen’s expertise, promoting overall health and wellbeing. We refer to her as our Guru Fa”

An expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Contemporary wellbeing therapies, Helen Fa successfully completed a 3-year master’s degree in Social Medicine and Health Service Management at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China. This was followed by a 4-year undergraduate study in BSc Rehabilitation Therapy. Her academic achievement resulted in Helen being offered an internship at a highly renowned Chinese hospital - Shanghai Huashan Hospital. Thereafter, she secured a management position at Chinese healthcare group until she decided to relocate to the UK and join Flint + Flint.

Coming from a family full of Doctors, Helen’s motivation for studying medicine and new treatment methods is one she developed from an early age and her passion for combining Chinese and Western therapies has become a reality at Flint + Flint.

Rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine dates back more than 2,500 years and is a type of holistic and natural health care system. Based on the belief that Qi (the body's vital energy) flows along meridians, 12 core channels in the body that relate to specific organs and keeps a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health in balance.

Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to restore the body’s balance and harmony between the natural opposing forces of yin and yang, which can block qi and cause illness, pain and physiological or mental complaints.

TCM is a natural approach to health because it stimulates the body’s own healing mechanisms and takes into account all aspects of life, rather than just several obvious signs or symptoms. The aim is to help facilitate the body's own ability to heal itself. Treatment with Guru Fa aims to correct imbalances in the body, draw out impurities and create harmony using a combination of methods:
  • Diet therapy 
  • Acupressure 
  • Zhi Ya and Tui Na Massage
  • Moxibustion (burning of the mugwort herb) 
  • Meditation 
  • Gua Sha scraping detoxification process 

Western medicine often relies on pharmaceutical therapies to address health issues, while Chinese medicine relies on more natural substances.

Conditions that can be treated to name a few include; chronic pain, back or neck pain, muscular aches, frozen shoulder, gynaecological problems, digestive issues, weight concerns, breast issues, stress, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, high/low blood pressure and circulation problems.

Treatment at Flint + Flint with Helen also includes advice on how to manage your pain or wellbeing between sessions to restore the body’s natural functions. Depending on the severity of the condition Helen may recommend lifestyle changes and other complementary medicines.

My only experience to date with anything remotely like this was when I had accupuncture as a part of physiotherapy treatment on some shoulder problems I was experiencing so I really did not know what to expect from my appointment with Guru Fa.We decided to address some back pains I have been experiencing as I think she could tell it was causing me anxiety and affecting my moods.

Now, without going into major amounts of detail about what caused it, I have been suffering with a really really bad back after an incident at The Albert Hall in Manchester. I have been feeling pretty awful to be honest and the pain I am in pretty much all day every day is horrible. My movement is awkward and restricted because of the pain therefore it has meant that my upper back and neck have been super tense and knotty!

I am seeking physiotherapy treatment for the mid to lower part of my back which was directly impacted by the incident so I asked Helen if we could try and work on the areas that were 'suffering' indirectly and causing me additional pain, namely my upper back, neck and shoulders.

Helen gave me the most wonderful massage and whilst I can't explain what was different per se, it was unlike any massage I have had before. It was extremely precise and I can only really describe the movements as feeling like every muscle fibre was followed and relaxed from their tensed up 'protective' state.

You can very much tell that Helen is highly experienced in this area and whilst my lower back isn't there yet, it was fantastic to get some relief from the massage in my upper back, neck and shoulders. It was a deep tissue style massage but interestingly I did not get the headaches nor did I feel ill afterwards which is usually the case for me when any knots are worked out.

I so enjoyed the treatment and I feel a lot more positive since. I had been feeling really down about how much pain I was experiencing and had been worrying about how long it was going to take to feel normal again and back to my old self.

I know I am not there yet but the treatment with Helen gave me hope and reduced my general discomfort which has been most welcome! I have felt positive and encouraged enough to brave the gym again which has just been completely off the cards since the incident as my whole back, neck and shoulders have felt like they were locked up and the smallest movements have caused significant pain. I am taking it slowly and just stretching and doing hilly walks on a treadmill but it's something and I am so grateful to Helen for helping me feel like I can do it.

I would recommend Helen with no hesitation. She can treat so many conditions, feelings and symptoms that it's worth having a chat with her to see what she could recommend. You can book a complimentary consultation with Helen Fa now, contact information as follows;

Call: 0800 170 0606
Email: man@flintplusflint.com
Visit: www.flintplusflint.com
Social: @flintplusflint

Let me know if you book in and how you find it!

Thank you so much to Helen, Flint + Flint and Harvey Nichols for the opportunity to visit, it was amazing ❤


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Thursday, 3 January 2019

THE RESOLUTION SOLUTION



Making a list and checking it twice is very me... Yes we are on the other side of Christmas but I always like to have something written down to record what I need to do or achieve!

I don't make resolutions as such as I feel like they can have negative connotations sometimes and I ain't about that negative life! I want to feel empowered and inspired by my goals, not feel like they are an indirect jibe at myself for not doing something the year previously.

So here's my list of things I want to and will try to focus on in 2019;

Be More Kind - To MYSELF

Seems oh so simple, right? I guess it can be. I want to just commit to looking after myself better. Get back into the gym, eat right, worry less, get out into the fresh air and not sweating the small stuff. The odd face mask and pamper session will also be thrown into the mix too 😊

Put Blogging Back in the Front Seat

I seemed to take an unplanned break from blogging in 2018 which was a shame as it is a hobby that really does make me happy and I should absolutely be doing more of what I enjoy. 

I got into a bit of a rut and became a bit disillusioned with the blogging world as it's hard to not be disheartened when you feel like you work hard on something and don't get included in opportunities which would be a perfect pairing! That said, you've got to be in it to win it and I definitely wasn't 'in it' consistently enough to win! I am going to *try* and work to a twice a week posting routine just to get back into the swing of things and see how I get on.

Don't Accept Sh!t.

I think that a lot of my stress in 2018 was trying to dance around awkward topics with people and trying not to offend. When I did perhaps try and communicate it sometimes did not come out as intended and then other times I didn't say anything and people took advantage. It can be tricky to try and strike the right balance! 

For friends, I think I need to steer clear of conversations that are sensitive via text as it can be interpreted differently than intended. There are definitely occasions that warrant an assertive email when it comes to dealing with tradespeople or others who seem to assume that because you are a woman you won't stand up for yourself!

Spending time and effort on people who do not care to the same extent as you is just wasted energy in my opinion.

THANK YOU, NEXT.

Grab Life By The BALLS

Last year I feel like I was a bit 'woe is me' and being brutally honest I had no one else to blame for this except myself. Sitting on my arse and feeling indignant about opportunities that passed me by really is not productive! I strongly believe in the sentiment of 'just say yes' - not to drugs or anything that's going to make me end up in jail, but just being open to new opportunities with new people and whilst I have made some progress in this domain I could definitely do more.

Moral of the story? Believe in yourself baby!!

Practice Proactive Gratitude

I think I have mentioned this before but if not - I was fortunate to be able to attend and am now a facilitator of a 'Resilience' course at work and one of the key learning points is that being able to practice gratitude can often make you a much more resilient person. 

Finding the positive in a situation or at the very least not completely freaking out can really help you navigate the bumps in the road better and this all starts with a very simple task.

I bought myself a gratitude journal a few months back and I haven't used it consistently, I want to change this in 2019 as it's actually really great to look back over when you are having a bit of a down-day. It feels a bit weird at first as the things I am grateful for can be a little repetitive but I can definitely see how this will be beneficial to me.

So here's my aims and objectives of 2019, what are you focusing on?
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