white carnation flowers in a case

With Mothers day looming, I've been having a look online to see what sort of things I could treat my Mum to. Whether you will be celebrating this day or not, there's no reason why any of these ideas couldn't be applied to other members of your family or friends should you need to come up with a gift for them, whatever the occasion.

PAMPER.
Everyone loves a pamper now and again, there are a variety of ways you can turn it into a gift. My mum has recently really got into going for spa days (I think she should take me one time because I have never had a Spa day!) You can always find some really good deals online for spa days which you can give to someone in voucher form, which often go down well. If that's not something your mum would like you could always opt for something on the smaller scale like a gift set which they can use at home.

FLOWERS.
Sticking with a classic, you could purchase a beautiful bunch of flowers as a gift. You can get such an array of different bouquets to suit all budgets. Whether it be a huge arrangement of their favourites, or something more modest like a potted plant that will continue to grow as they nurture it! You could pop into a local florist to choose something pretty, or opt for a delivery service. I have used Blossoming Gifts in the past for flowers after initially reviewing a bouquet for them. I've also used Debenhams flowers, again after initially doing a review! To be honest, everyone loves to get flowers so regardless what style you go for or where you get them from I am sure they will be appreciated!

EXPERIENCE DAYS.
I bought my Dad an experience day gift about a year ago for his 50th Birthday & he really enjoyed it. So it got me thinking I could see if I could find anything suitable for my Mum. The great thing about the companies that offer experience days are that there's such a wide variety available you are bound to find something suitable. Whether it be taking a trip on the London eye, being a zoo keeper for the day or even driving your dream sports car. There really is something for everyone and it's a great gift that will provide a memory for years to come.


PERSONALISED.
In the past Tom has gifted me a personalised photobook of images we took when we travelled around New Zealand. I was so appreciative of it as I knew a lot of time and effort had gone into the planning, from choosing which images to feature, deciding on the layout and getting it printed. There are a wide variety of websites you can use to do this, that are very simple to follow in order to create a fab photobook gift. If you are looking for something a little more personalised in the way of names/dates etc, then I highly recommend Not on the Highstreet, with it's huge product range you are bound to find something your mum wold love. I can waste so much time just browsing that website and bookmarking items!

So there you have it, just a few ideas for you on what to get your Mum for Mothers day, your siblings on their birthday, your Dad on Fathers day (Yes you can be that organised) I hope this has been helpful!

Much love,

29
sportswear-wishlist-nike-trainers-from-asos

Back in the day, when the Spice Girls were everything, I wanted to be Sporty Spice. She was my favourite, I 'supported' Liverpool Football club because of her. I wanted to learn how to backflip because of her. I basically lived in sportswear because of her. Shout out to the popper addidas tracksuit bottoms! Obviously I grew up and sportswear was strictly for the days when I would haul my bum to the gym, however recently it appears the times are changing and walking out in your sports gear to run regular errands is now acceptable.

I've not completely delved into the world of sportswear (or 'activewear' as this fabulous piss take youtube video likes to call it). Opting only to ease myself in slowly with a new pair of Nike trainers (pictured above) to wear on a more casual basis with my jeans! It did get me browsing though, and now I've got myself an impressive wish list of sports themed items in my saved items on Asos! I do think you can pull off the 'yes I have my shit together' look with a simple pair of skinny jeans, a pair of trainers & a sweatshirt. I prefer the simple, casual look when it comes to outfits so this trend is one I will be getting stuck into, with a plethora of different brands to choose from along with various styles and combinations you wont be short of outfits.

With payday fast approaching I have been browsing my favourite online store of them all ASOS & picked out a few bits of sportswear that I wouldn't mind adding to my wardrobe. Would it be wrong to get myself another pair of trainers?





Are you fan of sportswear as...well daily wear?

Much love
19
how-to-get-into-the-habit-of-reading-regularly-blog-post

You may remember me mentioning this before, but reading has become more of a hobby of mine within the past year. I love nothing better than getting stuck into a book, discovering new authors, getting lost in the fictional world they have created. When I tell people this, they always respond the same statements. "I should read more" "I wish I had time to read" "How do you manage to read when you work and blog?". There are a few ways that I fit reading into my routine which I'd like to share. Nothing ground breaking. It all comes down to just managing your time and  being more away of what you do with it.

KEEP A BOOK WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES.
Whether you are a fan of a classic paperback, or prefer something more modern like a kindle or tablet make sure it is in your possession at all times. You then have no excuse not to grab it and read through a few pages. If you commute to work, I bet you use your phone, whether it be for social media, games, music. Why don't you try to put away the technology and read instead. You'll be amazed how many chapters you can get through on what you thought was a short journey to work. It also means you will have it to hand when your lunch break rolls around. Again this is a great time to take some time out and get stuck in to a good book. I would say personally this is the tip that has helped me the most when it has come to reading. Depending on the length of the book I can finish one in a matter of days.

JOIN A LIBRARY.
Joining a library is free, So why wouldn't you do it? Not only will you have an endless supply of books to choose from. By taking a book out on loan gives you a deadline to finish it. Of course you do have the option to renew if you don't manage to finish it in the allotted time. You can borrow more than one book which essentially sets you up for a bigger challenge to read them before having to take them back. I actually dislike spending money on books purely because I'm not a re reader. Once I've read a book I wont go back to it.. (There may be 1 or 2 books that are an exception to this rule though) therefore being a member of my local library is really beneficial for me financially!

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS.
I find that using goodreads (Android / itunes) which is a free app to keep track of your reads, discover others with the same interests, find book recommendations & more is a nifty little app to use when you are reading. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing that percentage read increase! Not only do I use the app to keep track of my progress, I use it to find new books that I may be interested in. Once you have logged 15 books read (I believe) Goodreads will start to recommend others which may be of interest. You can also add friends, join book clubs, review books too. When I track my progress with goodreads, I feel a sense of achievement which spurs me on to read more, thus reading more books in the long run! I've set myself a challenge of 30 books to read this year, I'm on 4 so far, but I am hoping to increase that number soon.If you have the app, feel free to become my friend on there!

SWAP TECHNOLOGY FOR BOOKS
Like I mentioned previously put down your phone and pick up a book instead. I bet the majority of you go on your phone before you go to bed. Staring at screens constantly cannot be good for you. Yes I know you wouldn't be completely winding down before sleep by reading a book and your mind will be active, but it's probably a better way of going about it than aimlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed before you sleep. I remember when I was younger and really into my books, I often fell asleep with a book on my face! when I choose to read before bed I do find I can get to sleep quicker than if I were to watch youtube, or stare at my twitter feed. Also if you a drop a book on your face it definiately doesn't hurt as much as your phone!

SET YOURSELF A TARGET.
You can easily set yourself big or small targets when reading. Like I said I have a target of reading 30 books in 2016 at the moment, and that is what spurs me on! But you don't have to go for something as large as that. You could aim to read 1 book a month. Or even set yourself targets when you are physically reading the book. For example if you find you have a few moments to spare at home, grab your book and set yourself the target to read through a couple of chapters of your book.. If you prefer to read from a kindle you could aim to read 10% of a book at a time. Giving yourself small targets like this will push you to make time to squeeze in those couple of moments peace with your head stuck in a book!

These are just a few things I have put into action myself to help me make time for more reading. They are tried and tested and work. I am proof of that! Slowly but surely making my way through the many books I have on my list that I'd like to read.  Nothing fancy, all very simple and small adaptations you can make to your daily routine to try and fit in a bit of book time hear or there.

So tell me, do you enjoy reading?
(Feel free to leave your good reads profile link below if you use it!)

Much love,
33
ghd-arctic-gold-v-styler-gift-set-blog-review

Can you believe that I have never used/owned ghd hair straighteners before? That’s right the holy grail styling tool of many has only just made it’s way into my hands, I think we can confirm that I was definitely behind the times! That’s all changed though since I was kindly sent the V styler Artic gold gift set to try out. I won't lie to you. I was pretty excited to review them.The ghd brand (also known as 'good hair day') was founded in 2001, despite not actively advertising their products until two years later, the brand quickly made a name for itself simply through word of mouth, becoming one of the most popular brands of styling tools in the beauty industry. They were even the first hair tool sponsor for the Victorias Secret Fashion Show! No wonder there are multiple youtube videos out there showing us how to get those Victorias Secret waves using their tools! With ghd being the godfather of all styling tools (going by popular opinion) I was keen to get styling with the new V styler I was sent.

I have the classic V Styler, which is probably one of the more popular sized straighteners ghd have to offer. There are mini versions and those with larger sized plates. You'd just pick the style that would suit your hair type most. It ticks the box for many features you would like in a hair styler. Advanced ceramic heat technology and contoured plates, perfect for keeping the temperature just right as you glide the V Styler through your hair with ease. The rounded barrel makes it a perfect tool to not only straighten your hair, but flick it, wave it, & curl it - Once you master the skill of course!  Unfortunately I'm always one for leaving my electronic styling products turned on when I'm finished with them which obviously is a bit of a safety hazard. However I don't have to worry when I use these as it has an automatic shut off after 30 minutes which combined with the protective plate guard, the ghd V Styler gets a big thumbs up from Tom as I wont be burning the flat down any time soon!

This particular set comes with a combined protective heat mat and roll bag. I'm terrible for protecting my surfaces when I use heated styling tools. I once melted a huge straightener mark on the track pad of an old laptop before! Woops! Therefore the protective heat mat is a lovely addition as I can now have it on my dressing table while I get ready & not ruin the top of it! The mat is actually part of the travel roll bag which is extremely handy. I love a good 2 in 1! The bag is white so not particularly easy to keep clean - I can just see it getting covered in makeup residue as it will setting up base on/by my dressing table! However it has a beautiful design on the front which makes it look a lot more fancier than it actually is. Tom and I like to go on city breaks a lot so this bag is so handy for keeping the ghd's protected when packing them into a suitcase or a carry on. As they are a more premium brand I definitely want to make sure I can avoid any damage at all times!

ghd-arctic-gold-v-styler-gift-set-blog-review

As I've mentioned previously, you can create a whole range of looks using a ghd styler, and I really wanted to create something fabulous to show you...... Unfortunately I am not so skilled in this area and at the moment I can only master straightening! (Ha! Not so fancy) I've never tried to do anything different with straighteners so I am a complete newbie at this! I know for a fact you can create a range of beautiful looks because I have seen it done on many a youtube video I have watched since receiving the arctic gold gift set! From glamourous waves, ribbon curls, Messy textured waves, Farrah Fawcett flicks! You name it! I've decided to persevere and keep trying to master some of the other skills so hopefully I can report back in the future with a lovely styled look, but for now you're getting plain straightened hair I'm afraid.  I guess at the end of the day they are straigtheners after all and that is the main purpose of them, so with that in mind I highly rate them as a styler to get my hair super sleek and straight!
I was also sent the ghd heat protect spray to use alongside the styler. I used to be really bad and not use any heat protectant! These days though I realise how much damage that does to my hair by not spritzing something over my locks before attacking it with a heated styling tool, so I ensure I do this every time now even when blow drying! This particular spray smells so lovely, I wonder if it's the same scent for all the products from them? Would anyone like to confirm? The spritz I get from it is nice and even - I don't know why but other brands I've used don't have a very good distribution of product when I spray them - Perhaps I picked up duds! Anyway, the ghd heat protect spray doesn't leave any residue in my hair. It basically makes it smell really nice and protects it. I'm happy with that!

So there you go, my thoughts on the ghd V Styler arctic gold gift set, which you can purchase here if you were looking to upgrade your current straightener! (Or guys, if you happen to be reading this, a nice present for your better half maybe?) I cant believe it's taken me so long to try out this brand! What styling tools do you swear by?

Much love,
28
babyfoot-foot-mask-review-blog-post

 **DISCLAIMER - You will see photos of peeling feet in this post **

So I finally took the plunge and ordered myself the Babyfoot foot mask to try out. After watching reviews on youtube and reading various posts about this infamous mask for literally years, it was finally time for me to try it out myself. I purchased my mask from Amazon and it arrived in 2 days (I chose the free delivery option) I knew from the research I had done, that this was a treatment that was going to have to be done in the colder months as it's best to keep your feet covered during the process!

WHAT IS BABYFOOT?
Babyfoot is a foot care product that targets the dead skin cells on your feet that have built up over time. The formula itself contains 17 different natural extracts to gently exfoliate your feet leaving them nice and smooth once the process is complete! Babyfoot is great for those that suffer with hard skin on their feet, but also those that suffer with other foot related problems like Odor, athletes foot and blood circulation.

HOW DO I USE BABYFOOT?
To start you need to ensure that your feet are completely clean, so its best to do this after a bath or shower. In the box you receive a pair of plastic booties, which you need to cut the top off and slip onto your feet. They are fairly generous in size, so suitable for all feet sizes! The babyfoot solution is already in the boot, so this is not a messy treatment to apply. Use the stickers provided to secure it in place when you wrap the plastic boot to fit around the top of your ankle. To ensure that they stay in place and to enable you to go about as normal while you wait for the mask to do its work, you can wear a pair socks over the top. Wait 1 hour - Watch some TV. Do some housework, Read a book. Then remove the plastic boots and rinse the solution from your feet with warm water. Trial dry and wait!

THE RESULTS.
DAY 1: No visible peeling. The skin on my feet felt quite dry & tight. Mainly in the arch of my foot. I didn't expect there to be any visible developments after one day.
DAY 2: Peeling started on the heels. It was as though I had gained two large blisters on them!
DAY 3: More peeling now on the ball of my feet, no progress on the heels from the previous day.
DAY 4: Even more peeling on the ball of my foot, it has now started around my toes & on the top of my foot, not just the underneath. The skin on the arch of my foot feels very tight.
DAY 5: A LOT more peeling. So much so halfway through the day I had to do some emergency peeling off while at work as it was a bit annoying! This meant I was able to peel off quite a considerable amount.
DAY 6: The novelty is wearing off a little. The peeling on the top of my foot is in small little flaky bits, which all I can do is use a flannel to exfoliate off. The underside of my foot just has smaller bits to flake off around my toes. Still waiting for the last little bit of dead skin to come away from my heels. I think this may be because they are the main problem area.
DAY 7: Still just the little bits that are left to come away. I exfoliated my feet to try and get rid of some of the excess skin which worked. I think this is something I will just have to continue for the remaining areas still left to come away.

Babyfoot-peeling-foot-mask-blog-review-korean-beauty
Top left: Day 2 | Top Right: Day 4 |  Bottom: Day 6

I figured I would answer some of the FAQ I got from various people when I informed them I was using the babyfoot treatment.

DOES IT STING WHEN YOU HAVE IT ON YOUR FEET?

No, there was no stinging at all. The mask just feels cold on your feet and slimey!

DOES IT HURT WHEN IT PEELS/CAN YOU FEEL IT?
No, You cant feel the skin peeling off. On day 2 where the peeling first started, my words to my colleagues at work were 'Oh I feel like I have a blister coming on my foot'. You know that soreness when a new blister has pressure on it. That was the only time I felt a bit of soreness on my feet. I was surprised on the daily when I took off my socks/tights and saw the shear amount of skin that had come away from my feet because you don't feel it coming away. It doesn't hurt. Think of when you get sunburnt and your skin peels.The same can be said for the results of babyfoot.

WHAT DOES THE NEW SKIN FEEL LIKE, IS IT RAW?

The new skin isn't sore, it looks pink but there's no tenderness or painfulness at all. I'm amazed at how smooth it is. Some people said to me who were brave enough to look during the process "Oh it looks sore" but it isn't at all I think its just because the skin underneath the peel is quite pink.

IS THE PEELING SKIN ITCHY?
No, not itchy at all. You don't realise its happening, you just get the nice surprise when you remove your socks or tights at the end of the day.

DOES IT AFFECT YOUR DAY TO DAY LIFE/IS IT ANNOYING?

My husband banished me to the spare room.. I'm joking he didn't, but we did joke about it when the peeling was in full swing. Like I noted previously I do recommend doing this footmask when you are going to be wearing closed shoes so the peeling is hidden! I didn't go to the gym during the week of the major peeling because I didn't want to change into trainers in a communal area with peeling feet! You wouldn't want to go swimming while you are using the babyfoot treatment that's for sure! By about day 5 the novelty had worn off though and the flaking/peeling did start to annoy me a little bit. But I knew it would take a week or so for the results so I just had to deal with it!

Overall I am pleased that I decided to give this treatment a go. I'm happy with the results, as the peeling shows that there was infact dead skin there that needed to be removed! The skin that has been revealed after the peel is a lot pinker and healthier looking. I'm not as embarrassed of my feet anymore! I'm happy to show them off now rather than hide them. I didn't expect the peeling to start as quickly as it did, however I would imagine that this differs from person to person. It was definitely quite a disgusting experience, if you don't wear socks you will be leaving a trail of skin behind you! On the flipside, when you do wear socks, be prepared to take them off and find skin that has flaked off in them!

So, are you totally grossed out? Would you try a babyfoot mask? I hope this review has been helpful, I know a few people were curious about how it works! If you'd like to try it for your self, you can buy babyfoot here.

Much love,
29
ways-to-earn-extra-money-online-blog-post

January has been and gone, the practice month is over. It's time to get serious. This is probably the main point of the year where I try to think realistically about my finances for the year ahead. Can I do anything extra to make my money stretch a little further throughout the year so I’m a little more prepared for Birthdays and Christmas', how about actually having funds during Jnauary? Well to put it simply the answer is yes, and what’s even better you can fit it into your regular ‘laptop’ time too.  There are actually a multitude of ways of earning extra money online. The following are just a felt that I take advantage of to gain some extra dollah throughout the year. I will say this, it isn’t instant and you do have to put a bit of time in. However I am sure I am not alone when I say I spend a lot of time online at my laptop anyway so it doesn’t feel like a chore because I just do it alongside my usual online browsing/shopping/blogging etc.

EARN AS YOU SHOP.
I’m sure you are all aware of this concept but I can tell you know it really is worth doing. I personally use Top Cashback when I shop online. (Sign up here) Without fail I will check to see if the merchant I am planning to purchase from offers some form of cashback with a purchase. If the answer is yes I WILL  purchase via TCB. If you are a big online shop it really is worth doing. The amount of cashback varies from merchant to merchant but they have lots of popular websites offering cashback like Boots, The Body shop, Look fantastic, feel unique, New Look, ASOS, Dorothy perkins… & that’s just a few. Seriously its worth checking out. Just make sure you continue to use it to reep the rewards. You don’t have to hit a certain limit for a payout, so even if you get £10 cashback you can opt to have it transferred to your bank account or paypal straight away! If you are someone that purchases a lot from Ebay then I do recommend linking up your nectar card to your account. You can earn points as you spend that add up without you even realising to be honest. You can spend your nectar points in store towards your weekly shop, on their Clothing range, in their homeware department… or swap out X amount of points for vouchers to eat in restaurants or visit places of interest.

SURVEYS, GAMES & VIDEOS.
There are a couple of websites that offer a selection of ways to earn points which you can then redeem for cash or vouchers for. This obviously is a task that can take a little more time to build up, however if you just do it inbetween writing blog posts or even while you have a youtube binge the points will soon add up.. SWAGBUCKS is one site I use. Daily polls, games, surveys and videos are the ways you can earn points. It gives you a target to hit each day. If you hit that target on the daily then you are on track to get enough to redeem in no time. Sometimes you can hit target by taking one survey. Other times you may need to do a couple. There is a Swagbucks TV app which makes playing the videos easier. (Honestly I just click on a playlist and let it play while im doing the housework. You don’t need to actually watch the videos, there aren’t any prompts you need to click – So easy!) There is a cap on how many points you can earn through the videos though, so you will have to take part in other tasks as well.
Another website I have recently started using is InstaGC. It’s the same idea of Swagbucks, but just another website you can earn from. I believe the points you need to redeem on InstaGC are lower so theres the possibility you could gain the extra money or vouchers quicker. But at the end of the day I think it all depends on how you want to utilise your time. You could just focus on one of the sites or try and earn from both. 

EARN AS YOU BLOG.
There are various way to earn a bit of extra cash through blogging. One of the main and most easiest way to do this in my opinion would be through affiliate links. I use Skimlinks – I know this is a quite popular platform with bloggers who want to earn a little bit extra when writing posts. 
When you want to link to something your readers could buy within a post, you can post an affiliate link rather than just copying and pasting it from the website. By using the affiliate link you may earn yourself a little bit of commission. When I say a little bit I do mean a little bit. Each merchant is different when it comes to the percentage you could get back. Sometimes it will be pennies, others a few pounds. It really depends on what deal they have set up with Skimlinks and how much someone spends on their site through your link. That being said though, it can build up quite quickly depending how much of an influence you have on your readers to purchase items you have featured or are lusting after! If you would like to sign up to Skimlinks then you can do so here.
 

Are you going to try and implement any of these into your laptop time?

Much love,

16

LIFE: Best of January 2016

Monday, 1 February 2016

The-best-of-january-blog-post

- Enjoying LUSH baths with my Comforter bubble bar. Seriously if you have never used this then you need to place a LUSH order stat and enjoy the deliciousness. Even better if you combine it with the Comforter shower gel. Mmmm. 

 - Treating my newly re coloured hair with the TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey masque* This stuff also smells amazing, leaves my hair feeling really nourished. I will have to buy myself another pot! I'm all about keeping my locks in good condition now I've gone back dark! 

- Getting back to the Gym. Along with everyone else in the world I want to up my exercise regime this year. I've gradually been getting my butt to the gym. I hope to up the number of visits in February maybe I'll even try a few classes! I feel maybe I need some new Gym wear to motivate me?

- Spritzing myself with the Mary Kay Cityscape perfume* Not a brand I had tried before so I was happy to try it out when it arrived in the post from a PR. I lvoe the packaging, it looks so chic! I'm never great at describing scents but to me its very fresh. The top notes include Apricot, Violet Leaves & Bergamot - I don't even know what this is but it smells nice. I also have the shower gel* which I can use together to intensify the scent! 

- Making a great start with my Reading resolution. 2 books read in January. Blogger Book club choice, and I let you go. If you are looking for a thriller with a few twists definitely pick up this book to read. I highly recommend it. If you've like a more in depth review, let me know! Goodreads book challenge: 2/30

- Deciding that I am in fact a lawyer & have all the answers after watching the Making A Murderer series on Netflix. (What series shall we start next? Leave any suggestions in the comments) I love a good sunday Netflix binge!

Much love, 


23