Tuesday, 30 August 2016

July & August Favourites


I lived in this when we were in Lanzarote, it was perfect for throwing over my bikini at breakfast time & creates that perfect 'I don't want to look like I've made an effort, I've just chucked this on' look. I paired it with denim shorts & it looked so cute.

Anyone else suffer from dry skin on their legs in the Summer? I do in the winter as well, but I've noticed it more this year as I've been on holiday & I've had my legs out a lot more (woohoo!) I just can't get over how delicious this lotion smells & it clears up any dry skin on my body.

I could seriously talk about this pillow & eye mask set all day, but I won't as I know how boring that would be! I can't imagine travelling any distance without them now, they really are ideal for a flight or long car journey. The pillow is easily blown up & can be stored away when you're not using it & hardly takes up any space in your bag.

& simply because I love the lotion so much, I picked up the body mist in the same scent. I already own the Zoella Blissful Mistful body mist & loved it, so thought I'd pick up one of her newer scents to add to my collection. What are your thoughts on Zoe's range?

Salad pot
Salads. You either love them or hate them. I used to hate them, up until a few years ago. I couldn't think of anything worse than eating a plate of lettuce, cucumber & tomato when there was a McDonalds down the road. I mean, they just taste so boring don't they? However, I have recently been preparing my lunches the day before work & found salads are one of the easiest, healthiest meals to make. I wanted to purchase a pot like this one for the longest time so I could easily transport & store it at work & when I caught a glimpse of this one in the window of Tiger, I knew I had to have it! It even comes with a pink fork & a small cup in the lid if you wanted to take dressing with you & for £3? You can't go wrong.

Now these I dig out every Summer as they are my perfect hack to keeping a drink cold, but not watering it down. Nobody wants watery wine! They come with water inside them & all you need to do is pop them into the freezer till they are frozen, pop them in your drink & just wash them before putting them back into the freezer again. These have lasted me the longest time & I can't recommend them enough.

Events

At the beginning of July I held my annual Summer BBQ, which as always, was so much fun. I bought a marquee & set up games which included football, cricket & badminton. We had the most beautiful sunny day!

At the end of July, Cathy & I went on holiday to Lanzarote for a week! I had such a lovely time & I've written a whole post about our hotel if you'd like a read.

August is one of the busiest months for birthdays in our group, so I'll give a quick recap. Mils had a lip sync party, we had a BBQ at Cathy's, Gail's was an evening of games & gossiping around her firepit, Lorna's we went to Drusillas (post coming soon) & finally Elisa's we went for a meal at our local curry house. All involved our big group getting together & catching up which is so lovely as we all have such busy lives & it is near impossible to get us all in one place at one time!

Oh & last Monday, Gem & Ollie announced they were pregnant! I seriously am so excited by the news, I can't wait to meet their little one! & of course, it means Lily will have a little friend in our group now! Ahhh, bring on March!

& finally, James & I went to visit Longleat last week. We stayed in a beautiful B'n'B for two nights & explored the local countryside as well as the animals on safari. I'm going to write a full post about our mini get-a-way so make sure you check that out next week : )

Friday, 26 August 2016

Life Lately #111


Hello lovelies!

I mentioned in my last Life Lately post how many birthdays there are in August & yes.. they are still coming! We celebrated Mils' with a garden party on 13th August, which included a BBQ & lip sync battles. They are so much fun to watch, some people had put in so much effort! Well done to everyone who did take part.. you're braver than me!

On 14th August, it was Lorna's birthday & we headed to Drusillas for the day. We had such lovely weather & got to spend all day in the sunshine with the animals, complete with a cake & a picnic. We also explored Hello Kitty world, I've always loved HK from a small age so I was majorly excited! I've written a full post reviewing our day which you can read here if you like.

James & I had a rare day off together in the sunshine last week, so we headed to Brighton for the day.  I mentioned in my last update post that I went with the girls & we had so much fun, so thought it would be perfect to take James. We spent some time on the pier & going round the shops before driving home.

Last Friday I met the girls for lunch at ASK, which is one of our favourite restaurants in town. It was so nice to catch up with them all & after lunch we headed to Boop's for a movie afternoon.

Sunday night we celebrated Elisa's birthday. Look at the cake Char made! I attempted to make a lemon & raspberry loaf on Monday, which went better than expected, but I always worry I'm going to poison people! I took it to our girl's night at Shez' & thankfully, everyone is still alive after eating it! Oh & look how adorable her dog is!

Finally this week has been one of my favourites of the year. On Tuesday James & I set off to Beckington, a small village in Somerset. We spent two nights in The Woolpack Inn, which was a lovely B'n'B. We visited Longleat on Wednesday & spent the morning / afternoon exploring Bath yesterday. It was such a lovely break away, I'm tempted to book us a few nights in other locations nearby to do some exploring. I am going to do a full post on our adventure, so keep your eyes peeled for that soon!

How has your week been lovelies? : )

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Lanzarote!

Hello lovelies!

I'm sitting here writing this with the wind howling outside, rain falling from the sky & I'm wrapped up in my fluffy dressing gown. Today is the 21st August. Welcome to the British Summer..

There has never been a better time to look back over my holiday photos & wish I was back in the sunshine with my best friend. At the end of July, Cathy & I headed to Lanzarote, for an all inclusive break at the Coronas Playa Hotel. I seriously can't rave about this hotel enough. Neither of us had been to the hotel before, but had both been to Lanzarote with family / partners in previous years so we know a bit about the island.


We had an afternoon flight out of Gatwick on 24th July, so we arrived at the hotel around 10.30pm. First impressions of our room was how spacious it was. We also had a private balcony, with tea & coffee facilities & a bathroom with a bath & shower.


We were too late for dinner that night, but they kindly left us a salad, bread rolls & cheese & biscuits in the fridge, along with a large bottle of water, so we were well looked after.

The next morning we headed down for our first breakfast, which was by far my favourite meal of the day at the hotel! They had so much choice; fruit, croissants, full English, pancakes, toast etc. Plus tea making facilities (which Cathy always made for me each morning!) We then had a welcome meeting, which involved meeting our reps. They were all amazing but big shout out to Louis & Naomi, who made our stay so much fun with all the fab entertainment! (I'll come onto that a bit later!)


The hotel has two pools; the first being a relaxing pool -


& second the activity pool -


What I loved about this hotel is you never felt pressured into taking part in any activity you didn't want to (which is what I was worried about!) Cathy loves the pool side sports & games, so I positioned myself next to the games on a sunbed so I could watch (& take sneaky photos!) while she played. It was perfect for both of us.


For lunch you could either have a snack from the pool side bar, usually a toasted sandwich or baguette with crisps, or head to the restaurant for a hot meal & access to the salad bar. Both were extremely delicious & some days we were more hungry than others so we'd venture to the restaurant, but it was nice to know the pool side bar was open 10-5 serving drinks & food all day.

Usually around 5, we'd head back to our room for a shower & nap before getting dressed up for dinner. The dress code for the evening was more formal & Cathy & I love an excuse to get dolled up..

 
After dinner, we headed to the entertainment bar. We took it in turns to buy a bingo card, but sadly we didn't win anything! There was also a different act each night. Two of our favourites included the comedian Jon Clegg & a group of extremely strong African dancers.


We were also lucky enough to be a stones throw away from the beach, which we explored one afternoon. Lanzarote is one of the windiest places I've ever been to so I apologise about the state of my hair..


Cathy's 25th birthday was 6th August & I'd been planning to get her something for ages & thought, why not get something while we're on holiday. As we both love animals, we decided to have a day out exploring the Rancho Texas Park, which was a short journey from our hotel. They have some beautiful animals there, one of our favourites was the white tiger, they have such stunning markings.





We saw a parrot, seal & eagle show while we were there, which I can't recommend enough. They also had water rides (if you have kids with you) but I have to say even we were tempted to go & paddle as it was so hot!

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Ok, so after writing this post I've got a serious case of holiday blues. I miss the hotel, the staff & my best friend. It was one of the loveliest hotels I've been too & I'd highly recommend going if you like all inclusive holidays!

Have you ever been to Lanzarote? Or have any holidays coming up this year? I'd love to hear about your adventures!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Tips & Tricks For The Working Day

Hello lovelies,

I've been wanting to write up this post for the longest time! If you know me, you'll know I spend a lot of time at work. I'm probably there more than I am at home! I'm very lucky to say that I do really love my job, but sometimes I'll have those days where everything is just too much. I've put together a few pointers on how to make that working day a bit less stressful & hopefully it can inspire you if you're having one of those days too!


Link

1. Keep hydrated
I'm an absolute nightmare for drinking water throughout the day. Mainly because I dislike water. It just tastes so bland. What I find really helps is if I can see it infront of me. I keep a bottle of orange squash in my locker at all times, so I can just pop into the office & top it up. My other tip for this point is having a 'fun' bottle. I don't mean anything like a kid's beaker with flashing lights.. I just mean something more appealing than a plain plastic bottle. I have a glass jar with a straw that I take in, filled with a few fruit shaped ice cubes & it makes the squash so much more appealing to drink! Maybe it's a psychological thing, but it really works!

2. Take a break
& yes, I mean a proper break. I know I'm guilty for leaving my desk & going & sitting away from my computer, only to pick up my mobile & spend my break scrolling through social media. I always feel so much better when I take my eyes away from a screen, either but sitting & actually concentrating on my food, or by reading a book, which leads me onto my next point..

3. Take a book to work
If you know me personally, you'll know I only tend to read when I'm on holiday. I just can't "find the time" to read in every day life. This we all know is bullshit. (however, I still can't justify that there is time to go to the gym everyday.. you're super talented if you manage to fit that in!) I've recently loved taking a book to work & completely immersing myself in it. If you don't feel like reading a fictional book, you could always take a puzzle, activity or colouring in book. I quite often take my copy of Calm. It's perfect for when you're feeling a bit anxious & I find when I return to my desk I feel completely refreshed & ready to start work again.

4. Go outside
I work in a building that looks out onto the outside world. You can see everyone pottering around, doing every day things & walking from A to B. So why is it when my half an hour break comes around, I decide to go & sit in the back room, away from the sunlight eating my lunch / dinner. Crazy. As the weather has been so nice recently, I've made myself cross the road & head into the park. It bemuses me why I never thought this was an option before, but now I try to go out whenever I can (weather permitting) even if it is just for a short walk & I actually eat outside. Just like reading a book, I come back feeling totally refreshed.

5. Take a healthy lunch / dinner
I work shifts, so I could be working anytime between 9.30am & 8.30pm. This usually means if I'm on a day shift, lunch for me will be around 2pm & if I'm on a late, usually around 6pm. I can't stress how important it is to take food with you to work. There is nothing worse than sitting there starving at 4pm, looking at the clock, waiting for the shift to finish. I always try to take a piece of fruit, I've been loving raspberries & strawberries recently, alongside a salad or sandwich. Being hungry at work really can effect your mood, so make sure you make time to bring food with you.

6. Wear clothes that give you confidence
A lot of work places have uniforms, mine is smart dress & it must be either black or white. I actually quite like our dress-code, as it gives you freedom to wear your own clothes plus I'm able to separate work from day-to-day wear as I love being able to wear colour when I'm not working. However, some days I get into my work clothes & nothing looks right. This is where my underwear comes in. I hope I'm not the only one who feels so much more confident when they know they are wearing their favourite pair of pants under their work uniform? Haha! It really does make a difference.. give it a try!

7. Always remember:
"Everyone you meet is fighting their own battle you know nothing about. Be Kind, Always."
If you work in customer service like I do, this quote is very difficult to remember when you're getting abuse thrown in your face for a reason you have no control over. It can be hard, but always remember to this person who is currently shouting at you, in a few months time, they won't even remember it happened. I've had it multiple times where a customer has come back in, I've instantly remembered their face & the conversation we've had, but they have no recognition of it even taking place. It hasn't effected their life, so why should it effect yours? Just smile & let it slide because it's not a personal attack on you.

I hope this gave you a few pointers & it will help you get through that never ending day! Let me know what you do to make the day go a bit quicker! : )

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Life Lately #110


Hello lovelies!

It feels like forever since I did an update post. So much as been happening recently, I've had no time to sit down & blog (thank goodness for the option to schedule posts!)

On 24th July, Cathy & I flew out to Lanzarote! I don't have the greatest confidence travelling as it is, especially to a foreign country, but I managed to get there in one piece! It was one of the best holidays I've been on. We stayed in the gorgeous Coronas Playa Hotel, which was a short coach ride from the airport. We decided to go all inclusive, which meant transfers were included + flights & all the food & drink we could ever want! The hotel was absolutely fantastic & I can't rave about it enough, so I'm going to do a full post on our adventure in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for that!

After spending a week in the sunshine, it was back to rainy England on 31st July. James stayed up waiting for me, our flight landed at 1.40am, so I didn't actually get home till 3am! But he was still awake. It was so lovely to see him as he'd been in France for 4 days before I flew to Lanzarote, so we hadn't properly spoken for almost 2 weeks. We spent the day on Monday relaxing & went on a Pokémon hunt with Honey around the countryside. still massively addicted to that game..

August is so busy for birthdays! Saturday was Cathy's & I unfortunately had to work 11 hours, so I missed the BBQ in the day but joined her in the evening for a quiz & cake.

Sunday was Gail's birthday & sadly again I was working till 8.30pm so couldn't join everyone till later, but we had a lovely evening around the fire pit.

& finally yesterday, the girls & I went to Brighton. We spent the day by the beach, exploring the shops & on the pier. It was so nice to spend some time with them all. It actually turned out to be quite a nice day & we had sunshine the whole time we were there. Of course, no trip to Brighton is complete without fish & chips, so we sat in the sunshine & enjoyed the view!

How has your weekend been lovelies? : )

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Calm

What does the word Calm mean to you?


To me, when I'm calm, I'm relaxed. Which sadly, when I think about it, isn't that often.

I know there's a lot of people like me, who always find they are unable to switch off. I have no problems sleeping once I manage to get to sleep (luckily.. I'd be so grumpy if I did!) but I do struggle to feel relaxed in certain situations & dwell on things that "might" happen.

Since discovering this book, my life has drastically changed. When I first read about it, I didn't think it was possible for a book to help as much as it has done, but taking time out to read a few pages each night, makes me able to relax & feel a lot calmer on a daily basis.


What's great about this book is you can literally dip in & out of it whenever you feel you need too. There are different chapters to combat different areas of life, but I find myself just flicking to a page & reading whenever I need to de-stress.


There are also a few activities through out the book to complete (I'm one of those people though that won't write in it in case I ruin it!) but I have photocopied them & filled them in!


As well as the book, you can also download the free app & practice meditation. I've always been a bit sceptical of this, but after doing a few just before bed, I'm so impressed. Again, you can select what the main focus of the meditation is covering; relationships, stress, happiness etc. I can't begin to tell you how relaxed you feel even after a 10 minute session.

I even managed to get James to give mediation a try & he really enjoyed it. I would definitely advise trying it before you judge it.


"Modern life is hectic and relentless: trains delayed, endless emails filling the inbox, kids squabbling before bedtime… There has never been a more important time to rediscover your pause button. Calm is the book that will show you how to take back a little bit of peace, space and all-important calm. This book contains the simple tools, tricks and habits that will change the rest your life. It is a practical and pleasurable guide to twenty-first century mindfulness."

Have you had a chance to read Calm or downloaded the app?

I'd love to hear your thoughts : )