Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The importance of taking time out: A weekend break in Center Parcs Longleat Forest.

When I was growing up family holidays were always spent whizzing through the trees on rickety bikes, laughing with my family as we tried out an array of crazy sports, and making a splash whilst racing down the rapids ar Center Parcs. It's a place where some of my happiest memories were made, and a place which always brought my family all together, so when my dad booked a surprised mini break to Longleat Forest I was over the moon. 

I'm gonna miss these sunset cycles
After settling into life as a post-graduate (self-confessed) girl boss in my cute little flat, and getting used to my crazy shooting schedule which has sent me all over the country, it was so amazing to take time out last weekend with my family and boyfriend. It made me realise that I've not actually taken some time out to myself to spend with some of the most important people in my life in so long. I've been constantly on the go, getting ready for the next shoot, the next event, the next date in my diary. 

All I needed was a weekend spent in the dappled sunlight under the fir trees to make me realise that I need to make more time for these little things in life that I love. I wrote about how important the little things are in a post a year or two ago, and I guess I've become so involved in what's going on around me that I've kind of overlooked that. 
I don't think we could have picked a better weekend weather-wise...

From now on I'm going to get back to living for those sunset walks by the sea (or cycles round the lake as was the case last weekend!). I'm going to focus on taking time away from the hustle and bustle of life, and here's why... 

1. It gives a chance to recharge

I have a habit of overdoing things. I try and squeeze in everything I possibly can into each and every day. Of course, this is sometimes a good thing. It means I'm productive, organised, and I get shit done. But this often leaves me feeling so exhausted and run down. Sometimes it's good to have a day where you simply do nothing. After a weekend of cycling, breathing in the fresh air and eating good food I feel so energised.

2. It gives you time to reflect

I guess with starting a new job, moving away from home and getting into the swing of working life I feel as though I've almost neglected the things that were so important to me just a few short months ago. I feel far more focused and I'm ready to put those things first; this little blog of mine being one of them!
Finishing the weekend off with a delicious pancake stack at The Pancake House

3. Makes you feel so energised

I'm back in work and ready to smash it! I feel far more energetic, well-rested and happy. It was also so lovely to spend a few cosy nights in with my favourite person too! Taking time to rest and to relax is so important for the body and mind. 

4. It allows you to step away from social media

Not gonna pretend I went the whole weekend without posting on Instagram, scrolling through my Twitter feed and snap chatting the hilarity of me trying to cycle (major lols), but not being glued to my phone was simply amazing. I spend way too much time on the damn thing. 
Making wonderful memories with my favourite person

So here's to making more time for ourselves!
Lots of love. xoxo

Friday, 9 June 2017

Beauty products I'm loving for Summer 2017.

Can we officially say that summer has arrived now? It's been so lovely here in Cardiff over the past few days (albeit with that seriously insane thunder storm!) and with June just a few days away I am so excited for summer and all that it brings. I just love this time of year, and especially love sprucing up my wardrobe and makeup options for the occasion! My summer beauty staples are all about bronzing, keeping my skin clear, and finally getting my hands on some of Spectrum's beautifully decorated brushes...
I seriously don't know why it took me so long to try out Bondi Sands. I love tanning - I personally feel more confident with a bronzed glow - and with all of the exciting summer events I have planned I've been keeping my tan topped up with this bloody fabulous tanning foam. I apply it before bed, using a tanning mitt and applying in circular motions, then sleep with it on to allow it to develop and wash it off the next morning. It leaves a wonderfully natural finish that lasts for days! Just make sure to wear some old pjs while it develops - it can get quite messy!

With my hectic filming schedule and the humid weather a thorough facial cleanse every now and then is a must. I love this mask from LUSH. It's got tiny evening primrose seeds and aduki beans in it so it works as a fantastic exfoliator, as well as lots of honey for its antibacterial properties and peppermint oil to leave your skin nice and bright, which also gives it its beautiful fresh scent. It leaves my skin feeling clean and soft, and also draws out any pesky blemishes. By this I mean that my spots all come to the surface, so it's not one to test out before a big night out or special occasion!

I absolutely love my high-end fragrances, but in the summer heat I like to carry a less expensive scent in my bag to spritz whenever I'm in need of a little refresh. This Ghost Girl perfume fits the bill perfectly. It gives off a lovely fresh scent and is just the right size for popping in my handbag. It means I don't have to use up loads of my expensive perfumes and can still smell fabulous. 

I am going kinda crazy for highlight lately (a girl can never have enough highlight, am I right?) and this bronze liquid is the perfect match for a bronzed body! It gives a really subtle shimmer but is pretty buildable so you can decide just how glitzy you want to get. I actually received this as part of an internship goody bag, and it's only now that I've actually started using it. I think it'll last forever too!
Keeping up with the highlighting theme, I've been using this beautiful shimmery eyeshadow stick on the inner corner of my eyes to add a little light to heavier makeup looks and I'm loving it. Not sure I'd pay £23 for it (I received this as part of an internship goody bag), but I'm a big fan nevertheless. Glitter eyes aren't just for festivals, you know. 

I only started using setting sprays last year and now can't imagine heading out of the house without applying one! I received this little beauty from Urban Decay a few weeks ago and have loved using it. I spray it onto my face once my makeup is complete, and then allow it to sink into the skin by gently tapping over it with a damp beauty blender. It helps to keep my makeup in place and also works a treat when in need of a little refresh halfway through the working day. I also love the packaging - so sleek! 
Sleek Cream Contour Palette | £10.99
I seem to be going through a phase where all I want to do at the moment is get dressed up and go out. I think it's because it's my first summer in about 8 years where I haven't been studying and I'm really enjoying getting my contour on. This palette is ideal for adding light and shade to your face. Blends perfectly and doesn't break the bank either.

Spectrum Collections Brush Set | Sample*
I went to the most amazing Spectrum Collections blog event a week or so ago and received these beautiful brushes in my goodie bag. Seriously, this Welsh beauty brand has rocketed in the last year or so and I'm so happy for the girls behind it. Their branding is so on point and the brushes are so wonderful too. Super soft, a gorgeous colour and they apply the perfect amount of coverage. 

What products are you loving at the moment?
Lots of love. xoxo

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Late night thoughts...

I can't believe it's been a whole month since I last wrote a blog post. That's the longest I've ever gone without writing in the four years since I started blogging, but I guess I just couldn't find the words. Life has been hectic lately, really amazingly busy and fabulous, but it means that blogging has had to take a backseat and I truly have missed it. I miss sitting down with my laptop on a Sunday morning, reading up on my faves' latest posts and scrolling through my Instagram feed. I miss being creative and letting my thoughts blubber out onto the screen. It feels so lovely to be back writing. 
This week we as a nation, and indeed as a planet, were all rocked by the devastating news of Manchester's terrorist attack. It's completely heartbreaking that young, innocent people - friends, families and loved ones - headed out, filled with excitement, to watch a concert that evening and didn't return home. It could have been any one of us, at any major event, and I feel like it really put things into perspective for me. 

Life is short. It's unpredictable and we should live and love every day to the full. We really have so much to be grateful for. Just waking up and seeing the sun shining through the window when you pull back the curtains is a blessing. I'm incredibly lucky to be surrounded by amazing people - my family, friends, boyfriend, work colleagues - and I'm sure those of you reading this feel the same way too. 

Sending love and prayers to anyone who needs it <33 
We Stand Together. 
Lots of love. xoxo

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

How to make your rented property a home: A tour of my new flat!

This post has been such a long time coming, and it's one I'm so excited to share with you all! In February I received the most amazing news that I had been offered a full-time job working with BBC Wales. It meant finally being able to stop my seriously crazy intern life, which involved travelling across the country and working endless hours for free, living out of a stinky hostel for three months and spending out my own money in order to hopefully land an entry role in this crazy industry. It also meant that I would be moving back to Cardiff, where I studied at university, and it was time to find a little place of my own. 
I decided to hunt for a one bedroom flat on the outskirt of the city centre, and it was a surprisingly painless task. I booked in viewings for four different flats on the Friday before starting my new job the following week, put in an application for a gorgeous flat on the Saturday morning, and within three days it was confirmed and the homeware shop could begin. Honestly, it was so nice to be viewing flats as a "professional" (lol, that title makes me laugh) and not as a student. You were taken seriously, shown flats that really had the potential to become a home, and best of all, they didn't stink of damp and the occasional whiff of weed. 

I moved in mid-March and it's only this weekend that my sofa was finally delivered and I could add the finishing touches of my new home. I'm in love with it. It's honestly more than I could ever have dreamed of, and the fact that I was living alone in a hostel at the start of the year, and I now live in the cutest little apartment with a balcony overlooking sunny Canton makes it even more surreal. I hope you like it as much as I do!


BEDROOM

For me, a bedroom needs to be a little sanctuary. It's where I spend my time getting ready in the morning, it's where I relax and unwind, and, of course, it needs to have enough storage to hold approximately 84 thousand pairs of shoes. The flat I'm renting is furnished and it came fitted with a range of white IKEA homeware, including a wardrobe and two chest of drawers, with four drawers each. I had a small shoe rack to place at the bottom of the wardrobe to hold my heels, boots and trainers, and also a jewellery and scarf holder to hang onto the side of my wardrobe. My mam also bought me a white whicker basket to place at the top of the wardrobe to keep a few extra bits and bobs. 
It's ample storage if I'm honest, and it means everything is tidily put away so that the room looks clean and cosy. I also decided to do a little home DIY and purchased some pretty wrapping paper from Paperchase to cut into strips and tape to the inside of my wardrobe in order to hide the clothes hanging up in there. I love how easy it was to do this. Everything looks so much neater and more organised, and it cost about £3. 
The white furniture worked perfectly for me - us bloggers love a clean-cut white room, am I right? - and I decided to keep the decor very minimal with a pretty floral bedspread, my gorgeous mirror from The Range and a few little trinkets to make the place complete. All of these items I collected while moving from house to house as a student, so nothing new was purchased apart from a deliciously smelling Yankee Candle. I love the whole look and feel it looks so homely without being crowded with bits and bobs. The perfect place to snuggle up!

BATHROOM

I guess there's not really that much you can do to a bathroom, but I purchased this gorgeous floral cupboard for £25 from a street-side sale when I was out with my grandparents for the day two summers ago, and it fitted just perfectly beneath the sink to store my skincare and toiletries. The towels were purchased when I first went away to university in 2012, and I picked up the matching bath mat, toothbrush holder and soap dispenser from Dunelm (I believe).
The laundry basket is one my mam found up the attic from before we had our bathroom renovated, and it's the perfect addition. I love the pretty colours in my bathroom, and complete with turquoise smelly candles, it's bright, clean and pretty, just the way I like it. 


KITCHEN

I always remember absolutely hating the kitchen in my student houses. They were always messy, overcrowded, littered with left-over straws and paper cups after hosting pre-drinks, and there was always something grimy growing in the sink *heaves*. Having a kitchen all to myself was going to be a dream and I kind of went to town when it came to decorating it. My nan donated her old, seriously beautiful, baby blue DeLonghi toaster to the cause and I decided to fit all other utensils and appliances around that. She even bought me this beautiful matching kettle so the theme became baby blue and pink florals, and I found everything I could to match. 
The little pots, which now house tea, sugar and coffee, were purchased by my auntie from a seller on Facebook and this beautiful storage box was purchased from Dunelm, along with other decorative items. I purchased floral crockery and glasses from The Range, as well as matching table cloth which covered the pokey IKEA table and is easily wipeable to keep everything nice and tidy. I even managed to find matching chair cushions, a mop and bucket, an ironing board and even a pastel coloured bin. Now if that doesn't scream domestic goddess I don't know what does?
I absolutely love my little kitchen. It's just so nice to have my own space to cook and prepare meals considering I was living off microwave meals made out of a shared hostel kitchen for the best part of three months in the lead up to Christmas. I can't believe how everything has finally fallen into place. 

LIVING ROOM

Saving the best until last, for sure. The living area encompasses the kitchen in one larger room and it really is the most amazing place to chill and unwind after coming home from a hectic week of shooting.
It was the room that took the longest to put together, after the sofa that was originally purchased failed to be delivered (twice!!), and my mam had to hunt one down while I was away on shoots. But it was undoubtedly worth the wait.
Finally, this gorgeous sofa was delivered from a West Wales based furnishing firm last week and with the help of an IKEA rug, snuggly cushions, a beautiful TV stand, pretty flowers and a whole heap of candles and fairy lights, the room - and indeed the flat - is finito. And I'm in love with it.
There's something so lovely about having your own space and finally feeling content with where you live and where your life is going. Now it's time to focus on my career, but to also enjoy myself. To embrace living in Cardiff, and to try not to become a hermit as I'm so obsessed with my little flat!
What do you think?
Lots of love. xoxo



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