High protein vegan pancakes recipe

Vegan protein pancakes

Vegan protein pancakes

Vegan protein pancakes

Recently I have been logging my food to see what kind of macro breakdown I’m hitting on a vegan diet. My daily food intake was not at its healthiest, and so I was definitely lacking in protein rich foods.

So now my aim is to hit around 100g of protein daily to improve dietry balance and boost workout results.

It can be a challenge to hit that level of protein on a vegan diet, so I am always looking at diffferent sources of protein to help increase my intake. Luckily I recently found a recipe on Naturally Stefanie’s blog for protein vegan pancakes which I have slightly adapted and ohmygod..they are soooo good!

recipe for vegan pancakes

They are so simple to make – add all ingredients to a high speed blender and that’s it! Ladel the mixture in to a hot pan with oil, and cook on each side until golden. The recipe above makes pancakes for 1 serving and provide around 20g of protein!

The dates make the pancakes quite sweet, but you could add fruits, coconut yogurt or syrup as toppings! Also I realise that my pancakes are not the prettiest and are far from Instagram perfect, however they taste just as good! The yogurt I have used is my favourite (as mentioned in my vegan overnight oats post) – Alpro vanilla.

Fyi – I am currently trying cover a macro ratio of 60:20:20 of carbs, fats and protein.

xx

Switch the sitch: your new life mantra

Switch the switch life mantra

Okay, I’m totally stealing my new life mantra from the GirlBoss series on Netflix. It was literally one line from one episode but it really stuck out for me. And who doesn’t love a good old rags to riches story? Fyi the book trumps the series hands down – thank me later.

Why you gotta switch the sitch

It’s pretty self explanatory, but just in case you need more info here goes. Switch the sitch is a lil self reminder that you are in control. You have the power to switch up the situation you are in and therefore have better control of your happiness, productivity…just about everything! I talked about it in my post about my career situation and honestly, some of the best advice I could give is that nothing is worth scarificing your happiness for.

Anytime I’m feeling fed up or having a lil pity party I try to reinforce the switch the sitch mantra. It can be easy to become caught up in your own situation, when if you take a step back for a moment you can actively re-focus your energy in to a more postive situation.

Let me know if this works for you and what other life matras you live by! xx

Life Lately

Radio 1 Big Weekend

Radio 1 Big Weekend

Hey all! So usually I try and keep to one theme for each blog post, but then I always find that I really enjoy these kinda ‘life lately’ posts so here’s my shot at it!

Radio 1 Big Weekend

If you didn’t already know, Radio 1 Big Weekend was at Burton Constable Hall this weekend and I had tickets for the Sunday. Kings of Leons and Little Mix were the bands that I definitely wanted to see, but we actually stuck around the main stage all day so we managed to see every act. Kings of Leon literally blew me away, I get goosebumps listening to Use Somebody now! Such an amazing day, even more so than I ever expected!

Yummly

Okay if you love cooking and following recipes then you have to check out Yummly. I stumbled across it one day when looking for vegan recipes and now  I use it all the time. The best way I can describe it is a hub of online recipes. Basically there’s a collection of every type of recipe you can think of and you can filter your search to find exactly what you’re after. I also like that you can switch between imperial/metric measurements – I hate having to calculate this!

This Guess T-Shirt

When I saw that Topshop was featuring a Guess collection I immediately had to check it out. I am completely in love with the classic white t-shirt as it’s so simple. I would pair this with some distressed mom style jeans and black/white converse for a really chilled out look. Hopefully they re-stock this t-shirt as it literally sold out straight away!

Foundation Matrix

After chatting to a friend at work, she told me about the Foundation Matrix. If you are looking to buy a new foundation online and are not too sure on what shade you are, this tool matches you based on your current foundation! Pretty nifty.

Hope you enjoy my life lately post – I’m thinking of doing these regularly (like every Tuesday?) let me know what you think! xx

 

How to: one simple calligraphy hack you need to know

Lately I have seen so many articles and cool videos on creating customised planners that are a little less ordinary. Cue impossibly cute headers, doodles and you guessed it – calligraphy skills that you could only dream of. Or so you thought. If there’s one thing I took away from all of these posts is that there is one simple calligraphy hack that anyone can do. And no, you don’t need to invest in an expensive calligraphy set!

Downward strokes.

Okay, so if the above heading is all you have read so far then get your mind out of the gutter!

The most simple way to memorise this simple caligrapgy hack is remembering that all downward stokes are to be accentuated.

Think of this example:

For most people the letter ‘o’ will be written in an anti-clockwise motion. This means that you will accentuate the left hand side of the ‘o,’ and by accentuate, I mean thicken. What we are aiming to do is create the effect that the different angles of a real calligraphy pen create.

I would recommend trying it out on your own handwriting style first off. Grab a notepad and write out a word in your usual style, going back to each letter and then thickening the part where a downward stroke was used.

Once you get the hang of it, try out different handwriting styles (Pinterest is really great for some inspo).

I would love to see your calligraphy pics so go ahead and share your style with me on Instagram and Facebook!

xx

 

Wild Ocean – Thursday Thoughts

Wild Ocean poem

I ♡ the above poem Wild Ocean and feel as though it perfectly sums up my life recently.

Here’s the thing.

I’m 26 and I’m kinda (massively) in limbo at the moment with everything in my life. Seriously. Relationships, my career…I feel like I should have it all figured out but then again should I?

Much like the tide, things in life tend to come and go so here’s the million $ question. Do you take the road well-known and pursue what you know is ahead, or do you take a risk in life and hope that it brings you happiness in what you’re searching for? Do you settle for what you’re ‘supposed’ to or do you take bliss in saying no to what is expected?

From experience, the freedom of taking a risk pays off in terms of happiness a million times over. Sure, there will be moments of WTH and where is my life going, but there is also untold amounts of exploration and motivation that can come with uncertainity.

Sometimes we all need those moments in life where we can be indecisive. We don’t need all the answers right now or to need to know what we want. Great adventures can lie in the pursuit of what we really desire, and I don’t know about you but I’m pretty excited about what may or may not lie ahead.

Meet Nala the miniature dachshund!

Nala the miniature dachshund

Nala the miniature dachshund

Nala the miniature dachshund

Nala the miniature dachshund

Nala the miniature dachshund

Nala the miniature dachshund

A quick blog post to share a few pictures of the most recent addition to our ever-growing doggie clan. Meet…Nala! She is a chocolate miniature dachshund aka a sausage dog, and I can’t believe how perfect she is! She has really settled in and has been so well-behaved – she has the cutest character and is so sweet natured. Dare I say it already…she is definitely such an easy-going lil pup!

As a household we now have 5 dogs ranging from 14 weeks old to 12 years old. I absolutely love having so many dogs – I know for most people it seems like a lot but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Seriously, I am in ♡

I will be sure to share pictures of Nala on the Balm & Blyss blog and on my Instagram and Facebook accounts so make sure to keep an eye out! xx

Floral boot envy

I feel as though the floral trend is something that I gladly left behind in my early twenties as my wardrobe has evolved to more simple items of clothing and less print, however I am kinda falling in love with the current floral trend that’s all over the high street.

And it’s not your typical floral – it’s definitely got a more classic, grown-up yet edgy vibe, with floral details embroidered on to just about every fashion staple.

Cue the most dreamy pair of boots I have probably ever owned.

They’re your must-have black ankle boot with a twist – the perfect amount of pastel pink embroidered flower detail on the side of each boot.

They are so versatile and can be worn with black skinnies, denim mom style jeans turned up, or rocked with bare legs and a faux leather skirt. The heel is just the right height that’s doable during the day and workable for the night-time. In all honesty they have so far caused slight discomfort on the balls of the feet, but I’m optimistic that this will fade after wearing them in a bit more!

Shop them here…definitely predicting a sell-out (you heard it here first!) xx

 

Should you always be striving for more?

Should you always be striving for more? Believe me, this is not a trick question.

After listening to one of my favourite podcasts on the train home from work, I really felt as though there’s something to this that kinda makes total sense – hear me out.

Today, there are so many of us that focus on what we don’t have instead of being happy and content with what we do have. And yes you heard it loud and clear – it’s completely okay to be happy with what you do have.

It seems as though we are faced with constant reminders to always strive for more, sending out a message that we are not good enough or that we need more things in our lives, or that our lives should be a certin way to feel like we are successful and therefore happy. I guess a lot of our perception of striving for more has to do with the perfectly curated pictures we see on our social media, and I am completely guilty of spending a Sunday afternoon scrolling through pictures of what is seemingly someone living their dream life, all whilst making myself feel kinda disheartened and uncotent

What I am trying to say is that it’s okay for you to not want to strive for more, to be yourself and be content in knowing your own worth. Sure, it’s healthy to have positive goals in life, but try not so much to get caught up in other people’s lives and instead stay in your own lane. Be authentic…it’s really not about what you have.

And okay, there are definitely times or certain aspects in life where it’s totally okay to strive for more, but on a whole there is a greater deal of happiness to be found in taking time to be content with what you do have ♡

xx

Total ♡ for The Body Shop

I have legit always been a fan of The Body Shop – ever since my first purchases of the cucumber cleanser and the banana shampoo! (I swear that every teen growing up in the 00s had these two products!)

But seriously, over the past year or so The Body Shop has got it so right. I feel like it’s the perfect high street go to for all skincare and beauty products – from shampoo, to body scrub to liquid lipsticks.

Lately I have been purchasing quite a few bits, and have also received plenty from work friends as birthday presents etc. – guess the bottle of body mist on my desk and my constant spraying of it was kind of a hint that I ♡ the stuff!

My definite favourites have to be the Fuji Green Tea fresh body sorbet – this stuff is such a dream, it’s pretty moisturising but is non-greasy and literally sinks straight in. I am also a big fan of their tea tree skin range – the …wash is amazing and I genuinely find that it seems to last for ages. Polynesian Island Tiare fragrance mist has to be one of my most loved scents from The Body Shop, it kinda reminds me of being on holiday and I have a soft spot for fragrances that smell of being in the sun! Their Rainforest shampoo and conditioner range has left my hair smelling amazing – I’ve even had others comment on it, and I totally love that it has no sulphates in sight. And finally, who cannot love The Body Shop lip balms, they are a staple lip product that I can’t help but pick up everytime I’m in there!

Share your favourites/recommendations below! xx

Lip Product Must Haves

I am soooo sooo happy with my two latest lip product purchases at the moment that it was a no brainer that I share them on the Balm & Blyss blog!

Both were kind of impulse purchases – I wasn’t really on the lookout for new lip products…I already have too many to count!

The lip liner is Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pilowtalk. It’s such a smooth consistency and genuinely the only lip liner that I have ever used where I can over-line my lips and it look completely natural. The colour is perfect and works well as a base under most lipstick colours.

The NYX product is one of their soft matte lip creams in the colour Toulouse. I actually bought this as part of a set where there were 3 lip creams in total, although in all honesty I only bought the set for this one colour which wasn’t sold on it’s own! This is the first time I have ever use one of NYX’s lip creams and I am so in love with the consistency, pigment and staying power. Like the lip liner, you can get away with over-lining/colouring your lips with this product without it being super obvious.

I also have a lip product that I am dying to test out that I bought when I was in Krakow from Sephora which I will review in an upcoming blog post!

Share any of your lip product/faves/must haves below!

xx

 

The Best Relationship Advice

Taking ownership and listening to others are arguably two of the most challenging things that most people have to deal with in relationships – namely myself.

In everyday life I like to think that I am quite a good listener, however not exactly the same can be said when listening to friends (or my mum and sister) when faced with advice. So as you will have guessed, the advice pill becomes almost impossible to swallow when it’s to do with relationships as I am a person (like many others – I hope!) who is often in denial.

Three of the biggest lessons I have learnt from relationships are this:

Don’t look back with rose tinted spectacles

Own up when you’re in the wrong

You can’t control other people’s feelings

The last point for me is the most important, and something that a friend told me recently. Basically what is the point in stressing about things when you can’t control someone else’s actions – and why should you want to? Once you learn to accept that you cannot control other people’s feelings or actions you can learn to relax and be more trusting. And it totally makes sense. I mean let’s think about it – why would we want to try and control someone else? Then they’re only doing things because they feel like they have to and not because they want to.

Don’t make life more complicated than it already is – respect yourself enough to take ownership of your life and actions ♡

xx

The 5 Minute Journal

Actually I can’t quite believe I haven’t already written a blog post on the 5 minute journal, I’ve had mine for a good couple of years now, so is well overdue a moment in the spotlight!

I have always been a bit of a flaky diary keeper/writer – but as most young girls do, I went through a stage of keeping a journal that was obviously a prized possession that god forbid was to fall in to the wrong hands (aka your parents) life would definitely have been over as we know it!

Btw did anyone ever have one of the electronic secret diaries?!

Anyway fast forward 15 or so years and the trend of keeping a diary/journal was something that kinda just phased out.

So what has changed?

I found the 5 minute journal through following one of my favourite you-tubers/influencers Mimi Ikonn. As a joint business venture, the 5 minute journal was created by Mimi, Alex and UJ and was designed to help improve mental clarity and improve positive state of mind by, you guessed it, spending 5 minutes a day writing down your thoughts in the journal.

Like many other journals/diaries in the market, the 5 minute journal has pages ready to populate – every morning and every night there are sections where you can share what you are thankful for and things you want to accomplish for the day. There are quotes scattered throughout the whole journal too which are really uplifting and really fitting with the whole concept which I think is a really nice touch.

So, have I been consistent with it?

No. But I feel like the beauty of the 5 minute journal is that it’s the kinda thing that you can pick right back up even after weeks of not keeping it up – it’s definitely non-assuming, and a great way to genuinely learn to appreciate the smaller daily things and practice a little more gratitude ♡

Let me know your favourite diary/journals!

xx

 

 

 

 

2017: Live for Today

Happy [belated!] New Year!

It seems pretty fitting to start off 2017 with positive intentions for the year, and that’s why I just felt as though I had to share my thoughts on Stylist magazine’s recent article (Jan 11th issue) with guest writer Annie Slater.

I immediately recognised Annie after seeing her on First Dates a month or so back and she struck me back then as an incredibly inspiring woman who simply had the most amazing outlook on life.

Reading Annie’s article in Stylist on my daily commute home actually brought me to tears and I felt urged to pass it on making my mum and sister read the article!

I think what really hit home was how Annie absolutely hits the nail on the head with her outlook on life and I 100% intend to take a leaf out of her book and simply live life in the present. Living life in the present and not dwelling on things in the past that did or didn’t happen isn’t a brand new revelation, but the simple, honest approach … takes in life, genuinely appreciating every achievement and seeing each day as an opportunity to be had however small.

The other message which really resonated was to not envy the lives of others as we see them through social media which is so true as it is so so easy to become so wrapped up and view our own lives as below par or unsuccessful when we should really celebrate where we are and what we have accomplished, without constantly comparing to those whose own race is completely unique to them and perhaps skewed by social media.

Let me know if you also read this article I would love to hear your thoughts!

xx

Scandi Style

 

Scandi/Nordic Style

 

 

Happy Monday guys! If you hadn’t noticed already, I am loving Scandinavian/Nordic style right now! And seriously, all the items above are genuinely on my wish list (if only..!)

What I love about Scandi/Nordic style is that it is always a really tasteful balance – not hyper minimalistic, just the right amount of accessorising/colour/pattern whether it’s clothing or interiors.

2017 goals are to embrace this style with an almost ‘less is more’ kinda mantra, and look to buy key pieces that will last and that can be mixed and matched when it comes to clothing (the interiors might have to wait a little while until I have my own place to decorate!)

Follow my Scandi style Pinterest board here and my favourite Nordic interiors Instagram account here – let me know wh0/what your favourite influencers are!

Ciao xx

City Break #2 – Montpellier

montepellier-airbnb-2 montepellier-airbnb-4 montepellier-airbnb-5 montepellier-airbnb-7 montepellier-airbnb-10 montepellier-airbnb-13 montepellier-airbnb-15 montepellier-airbnb-16montepellier-airbnb-17montepellier-airbnb-18 montpellier-2 montpellier-4 montpellier-5montpellier-6

Okay so I feel a little bit of a cheat with this one as it was last Summer that I actually visited Montpellier with a uni friend for a few days…however the pictures I have are way too beautiful to not share and technically it was a city break so here goes!

France is one of my favourite places, I love the language, the culture, the architecture – just everything about it. Montpellier is a city in the South of France that’s about 10km away from the coast, so has Mediterranean temperatures pretty much all year round which made it the perfect choice for a quick city break in the Summer.

We stayed in an Airbnb in the Centre Historique, which as you would imagine is full of old, traditional French buildings, scattered with small bars, patisseries and cafes. The nightlife and food was pretty good, and surprisingly there are quite a few retail shops throughout the centre. Reaching the beach was a little more complicated than we had imagined, however once you get to grips with the trams and busses it’s pretty smooth sailing and worth a visit, more so if you are there for a week rather than a few days.

Flights are so reasonabley priced, and Montpellier is perfectly located to then travel on to Monaco (I have yet to still go there but would love to!) and is somewhere I would definitely visit again.

So as mentioned in my previous City Break post (check it out here if you haven’t already!) I am planning to travel to 30 countries before I’m 30 – suggestions are welcome so please let me know your must see places!

xx

Book Review: The Year of Living Danishly

living-danishly

Commuting definitely has one pretty big perk  – it’s the perfect time to become totally lost in a good book.

So naturally I wanted to do a blog post on my favourite book of this year so far – The Year Of Living Danishly by Helen Russell (check out her website here). And trust me, you will want to read it.

The book was actually recommended by my friend who has serious book recommending cred, and so I bought it on my Kindle the day after speaking to her.

It’s fair to say I couldn’t put it down, and actually found myself wishing that my journey was longer (already at an 2h30 daily commute this is something even I am shocked I am saying!).

So what is the book about?

If you haven’t heard already, Denmark ranks top when it comes to the happiest countries in the world. The Year of Living Danishly sees Helen and her husband re-locate to Denmark with Helen making it her mission to see what makes Danes so happy, and looks at how to incorporate Danish ways in to their lifestyle.

What I loved about the book was how relatable Helen is as a person, and found her writing style/tone interesting, engaging and humorous. Filled with plenty of facts, Helen has the perfect knack to translate how this effectively plays a part in everyday life. I genuinely feel that I have learnt a huge amount about Danes and Danish culture, so much so that I have been inspired to start learning Danish (maybe a move is on the cards?!) and tried creating my own hygge space at home.

For someone who is admittedly undecided about the future and where my life will take me, I definitely found comfort in reading The Year Of Living Danishly. Helen’s personal story of initial unsure towards relocating to Denmark, but then taking a leap of faith is a reassuring reminder to take a chance and that we don’t have to live out the life we thought we had planned.

the-year-of-living-danishly

 

So enough gushing already…but a really quick fyi that Helen is actually releasing her second book called ‘Leap Year’ on December 15th (hello perfect stocking filler!) which I can’t wait for!

Would love any recommendations on any must read books (I am literally going through a book in less than a week) particularly any that have a Danish/Scandi style or theme to them!

xx

 

 

 

Mini Make-Up Haul

makeup-haul

Cool make up that’s reasonably priced AND available in the UK?

Hello to KIKO make up.

I actually first discovered them like 3 years ago when travelling to Madrid and purchased the perfect peachy nude creamy lipstick, and after to a recent trip to their London store I have a few other products to add to my collection!

I have never done a make up haul on Balm & Blyss despite the number of beauty posts that I do! (Check them out under the Balm & Blyss Beauty category)

But my recent visit to KIKO and a quick lil visit to the Nyx counter at Selfridges and I feel that it is totally necessary to share what I bought with you!

makeup-haul-2

makeup-haul-1

Weirdly most of my products from KIKO don’t appear to be named/numbered on their colour, however the eyeshadow is in 203and is this amazingly deep maroon/purple colour.

The nail polishes are surprising one of my faves (a steal at only £1 each!) and have a real nice consistency and seem to wear pretty well.

The gel eye liner is a re-purchase, however I can vouch that is THE best gel eyeliner I have come across. Super pigmented and wears literally all day.

And the NYX liptstick is a matt grey colour in no.34 which I have been after for forever – would you believe how hard it is to source a grey lipstick?!

Let me know what your favourite beauty finds are this month – do you change your makeup to match the seasons?

xx

 

City Break #1 – Copenhagen

city-break-copenhagen

Here’s a little recent background to this post for ya…

I recently was having a conversation with someone at work who had recently got back from a weekend in Stockholm (fyi – I love Stockholm) and she mentioned that she was attempting to do 30 countries before 30.

Long story short, I am hooked on the thought and have so far calculated that I have travelled to 14 different countries – driving through/layovers etc. do not count!

And it made me think about the amazing time I had earlier in the year in Copenhagen, Denmark and starting a travel series (mainly city breaks) on Balm & Blyss!

Basically I decided to surprise my boyfriend for his birthday and head on a 2 night city break to one of the happiest counties in the world – Denmark!

Flights cost less than your average train ticket, and with a greatly priced airbnb apartment we were perfectly set!

Copenhagen is a city that you can instantly fall in love with – I could literally gush about the city and it’s people all day long, but you have probably already heard the good news.

It has a very trustworthy, friendly vibe and has so much to offer for such a small city!

I would recommend getting a local map and just wandering about – it is really walkable in ALL weather.

nyhavn-1

[Nyhavn waterfront, Copenhagen]

nyhavn-3

[Nyhavn panoramic view]

christiansborg-palace

[Christiansborg Palace]

carlsberg-road-1

[The old Carlsberg Street]

round-tower-view

[View from the Round Tower]

apartment-1 apartment-2 apartment-3 apartment-4 apartment-5 apartment-6 apartment-7 apartment-8

[The most amazing airbnb find in Copenhagen]

On the subject of this Danish post, I just want to mention a book I have read called ‘The Year of Living Danishly’ by Helen Russell. Such an amazing book that I actually never wanted to end whilst reading it. It was really interesting and insightful in look at the way of Danish life from a British expat’s perspective – it has even encouraged me to start learning Danish!! Thinking of doing a full book review style post and maybe another on the ‘hygge’ concept which i am already in love with!

Let me know if you have any hygge tips!

xx

p.s….next stop Krakow so please share restaurants/things to do tips!

September is the new January

Sea, sand and new starts

Who said you had to wait until a new year for new starts?

Last month I made the pretty huge decision to leave my life in London and head back home up North.

Some people may think that it’s crazy and why on earth would someone want to leave London, but for me there has been something so calming and therapeutic about being home and being back by the coast that has so far made it so worthwhile.

I wouldn’t change my experience in London for the world (okay a little more money wouldn’t have gone amiss!) and many people when faced with my ‘I’m leaving speech’ responded with ‘London isn’t for everyone’ and they kinda had it wrong. See I feel like London was for me, however I also feel that there are so many other places in the world that are also for me.

Right now that’s back at home by the sea and amongst my amazing friends and family (and of course my crazy dogs) – I swear that Cayton Bay has to be one of the best beaches in the UK (I’m not bias I promise!)

Cayton Bay Beach sign

[Which way to the beach…]

Cayton Bay Beach

[The rocks @ Cayton Bay Beach]

Cayton Bay Beach

[Sea view, Cayton Bay Beach]

Cayton Bay Beach

[Sunset @ Cayton Bay Beach]

Cayton Bay Beach

[Sunset castle view]

Scarborough Castle view

[Burning sunset view]

Cayton Bay Beach

[Floating rocks, Cayton Bay Beach]

Cayton Bay Beach

[Rocky view, Cayton Bay Beach]

xx

 

Why You Need A Wooden Hair Brush

Wood for Good

Who doesn’t want healthy hair? And I bet that most of us want longer hair too right?!

You have the perfect hair oil that I mentioned in my previous post, so why stop there on your journey to the perfect hair?

It’s time to put down that tangle teezer and check out why you need a wooden hair brush in your life.

Here’s why…

☽  So a wooden hairbrush helps to absorb your natural hair oils which means when you brush through your hair it helps to distribute these oils evenly that help to keep it conditioned

☽ Helps to reduce static and breakage

☽ Provides a scalp massage particularly along the acupressure points – promoting good circulation and healthy hair growth

☽ If looked after, a wooden hairbrush will literally last you years & years – a definite worthwhile investment!

Tek Hairbrush 1

[Tek Wooden Hairbrush]

Tek Hairbrush 2

[Tek Wooden Hairbrush – Handmade in Italy]

I bought my wooden hairbrush a couple of years ago and honestly love it. It doesn’t drag like plastic bristle brushes tend to, it somehow doesn’t seem to get that unclean/messy, and it genuinely feels almost therapeutic when using it!

The brand I purchased is Tek which is an Italian brand where they hand-make their brushes. Did I mention that they are also FSC certified which means your hairbrush uses responsibly sourced wood. They are kinda pricey if buying direct through their website, however definitely check out your local TK Maxx as I grabbed mine there for a fraction of the price!

Let me know if you guys prefer plastic/wooden/any other type of hair brushes! Also if you have heard of or had any experience of the hair ‘inversion’ method I would absolutely love to know (blog post coming soon!)

xx

The hair oil you need in your life

 

Hair Oil

This shit is real…milk_shake glistening argan oil is legit the real deal.

Let’s backtrack sayyy 5-6 years when I was at University and first discovered argan oil.

I fell in love.

Hair dried quicker – check.

Smoother hair – check.

Hair feeling generally healthier – check.

So yep – I have pretty much used argan oil on my hair ever since.

I haven’t been particularly brand loyal, I’ve gone from using high street brands to the holy grail Moroccan Oil.

But there’s a new player in town, and if you haven’t heard of milk_shake haircare products already then check them out!

Long story short, my hairdresser recommended milk_shake glistening argan oil and that it’s seriously the best hair oil she has used. (She also used it on my hair and it felt aaamazinggg).

So me being me I kept putting off buying it and wanted to wait until I had used up the argan oil I was currently using. Anyway – cue me researching it online for weeks, checking where had it for the best price etc. until I found it on Beauty Bay.

Basically, they had it at the best price then something INSANE happened. I checked beauty bay on Tuesday and…the hair oil had been reduced to £3. Let’s take that in for a moment – this hair oil retails for £20!!

I ordered 5 bottles (they’re 50ml each) and it’s like the best decision I’ve ever made.

Milkshake hair oil 1 Milkshake hair oil 2 Milkshake hair oil 3

And I’m not sponsored or being paid for this post – I seriously sent an email around friends telling them as I feel that I should share this amazing find!

Let me know if you order any – I’m contemplating ordering more (I seriously have like FOMO in a shopping sense!) or what your favourite hair oil is!

xx

Malta Moments

Malta Balm & Blyss

Everyone loves a snoop at holiday/travel pics – am I right or am I right?!

So recently my boyfriend and I travelled to Malta for 10 nights staying in the St Julians Bay area which fyi is probably the most lively area of Malta, with new buildings/hotels popping up everywhere! (Expect views of cranes in certain areas!)

It was a pretty relaxed holiday – most mornings we got up about 9am and alternated days of sightseeing with days relaxing by the pool or on the hotel’s private beach.

My favourite sightseeing moment was travelling to Comino Island and swimming in the Blue Lagoon – legit the most clear blue amazing sea water I have ever seen or swam in!

The weather was pretty perfect too with most days averaging 30+ degrees which was perfect!

Blue Lagoon 1

[Blue Lagoon, Comino Island]

Blue Lagoon 2

[Panoramic view @ Blue Lagoon, Comino Island]

Gozo 1

[Azure Window, Gozo]

Gozo 2

[Pool @ Azure Window, Gozo]

Gozo 5

[Azure Window view, Gozo]

Blue Grotto 1

[Caves @ Blue Grotto]

Blue Grotto 2

[Blue Grotto Archway]

Blue Grotto 3

[View from inside the Blue Grotto cave]

Blue Grotto 4

[Blue Grotto cave view frame]

Valetta 1

[Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valetta]

Valetta 2

[Fountains @ Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valetta]

So this is my share of my Malta moments!

Food-wise there was some great local restaurants (I would 100% recommend Peperoncino and The Blue Elephant @ The Hilton), and if I had to pick any bones with Malta it would be the lack of vegetarian/vegan options, and the high prices for drinks (even just a regular oj will set you back!)

Anyway aside from that Malta was definitely dreamy and somewhere I would definitely travel back to!

xx

 

 

Quick Post – Blog Re-Brand

BeachLife. Balm & Blyss

It has been close to a year since I posted on the blog, and if you haven’t already noticed…I have made the decision to re-brand from TheGlowDown to Balm & Blyss – blog design makeover coming soon!

In the meantime, this is just a really quick post to get the blogger ball rolling again.

Recently something within my life has genuinely made me take a look at my own values and outlook, and what it is I genuinely want from life.

A quote that I have seen this week has kinda struck home with me that I thought would be cool to share…

“It’s not about wanting to escape life, but not allowing life to escape us”

This feels so true to my mindset at the moment! So in keeping with the quote, let’s see where life takes us!

xx

ps. photo credit to my brother who took this amazing picture of the harbour in my hometown!

Save your Skin. Save the Sea.

Save The Sea Campaign

FOREO is a brand that has been on my radar for years, and recently I was so sooo lucky to receive their LUNA mini Save the Sea – and my skin has been pretty peachy ever since.

If you didn’t know already, FOREO are a Swedish brand that create innovative products that are seriously at the forefront in the world of skincare & oral health. What makes them different – and has always attracted me to the brand and their products, is the fact that they don’t use the conventional bristle brushes (silicone = way more hygienic) and that it is eco friendly – there’s no need to keep replacing ‘brush heads.’

So what is the LUNA mini Save the Sea campaign? Basically the guys at FOREO created a product that help give back to the environment – net proceeds from each sale of the special edition LUNA mini are donated to two different ocean conservation charities.

So aside from the fact that the LUNA mini and the team at FOREO are total stars when it comes to creating a product that gives back to the planet, the LUNA mini itself deserves all recognition it receives and more for a product that truly makes a difference to your skin.

Basically – FOREO LUNA mini > all skincare expectations. There are so many benefits and positives about the LUNA mini, that in true TheGlowDown fashion, I thought I would create a lil list for you guys…

FOREO LUNA mini 2

FOREO LUNA mini 3

FOREO LUNA mini 4

FOREO LUNA mini 5

 ? It takes only 1 hour to charge, and can last for up to 300 uses!!

? It buzzes at 15 second intervals so you know when to change up which area of your face you are cleansing

? It is super easy to keep clean, and waterproof – I use mine in the shower for ease!

 ? It’s super compact and portable

 ? I am in love with the Save the Sea design – skincare that is functional, charitable anddd has a cute design – erm yes please!

 ? My skin felt soft and more plump after the first few uses. Seriously. No word of a lie, I had to get my sister in on this because it’s kinda crazy how plumped and supple my skin now feels!

 ? My skincare products and make-up go on a lot more smoothly

If there ever was a list of reasons why you should have the FOREO LUNA mini in your life, I’m pretty sure I have got it covered! The LUNA mini is as an absolute skincare staple, and not only that – but I love that FOREO are a brand that are also passionate about global matters – a brand and message that’s worth investing in.

TheGlowDown xx

 

What is on my mind..

Mindful

I wanted to do a quick post here on TheGlowDown on how I feel my general outlook in life has changed over the past few months – and for the better. In a nutshell, I feel more calm, relaxed and positive about my future but mainly where I am right now in life.

I feel like time is far too precious to not go after what you want or to fret about outcomes that you can’t control or affect. I feel like too often we can get caught up in the small things (which can be totally understandable) but it’s about learning to let them go.

I am a believer in working hard and creating your own path in life, and in creating that journey, reflecting your personal attitude is key. And sure there will be the odd bump in the road but it’s the learning to accept, respond and move on that strengthens and reinforces your purpose.

And on one last note – I want anybody out there to know that giving in to negativity that may present itself to you in life is not weakness. Strive to do good and be passionate about what you believe in. Chanel your energy in to the life and surroundings you deserve – true happiness to me lies within being content within yourself in each and every moment.

TheGlowDown xx

Summertime & Scented Pieces

Summertime

So I know that it has technically been summertime for a while now (almost not believable here in the UK!) and we are nearly 3/4 of the way through another year, but I can’t help but feel summery and slightly smug as I head on a lil vacay on Monday!

Me and my best friend from Uni are heading to Montpellier for some summertime funtime! I am so excited as I have never been to the south of France before – and I am love with French culture and the language, and Montpellier looks so picturesque and full of historic buildings. Fyi this is the first time I’ve traveled with only a carry on luggage allowance – wish me luck!! There will definitely be a Montpellier post coming post vacay on TheGlowDown – so stay tuned!

On a different note, I’ve made a couple of purchases lately (and a couple of unsuccessful holiday purchases booo) that are home related/scented pieces. The first is a green fig room spray from Marks & Spencer that smells divine, and the sea salt scent candle from The White Company. I love the ambiance a candle creates but usually on a morning a candle isn’t so practical – so I quickly grab my room spray and give it a spritz!

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, it felt so good setting my out of office on Friday! I spent the weekend at Sea Fest – a local seaside festival (duh) and grabbing last minute pieces for my holiday.

Scented Pieces

[The White Company Sea Salt Candle & M&S Green Fig Room Spray]

Montpellier Essentials

[ Montpellier Essentials]

TheGlowDown xx

p.s. if anyone has any tips on amazing places to eat and drink, or must visit places in Montpellier please let me know below!

 

 

# Lately I’ve Been…

Lately I've Been

Okay lately I’ve been kinda off the blogging radar at TheGlowDown, and so in true list-loving-style here’s a quick-fire round up of what I have been doing lately…

♡ Watching Pretty Little Liars

♡ Work

♡ Gym

♡ Experimenting with raw vegan recipes

♡ Living Raw Til 4

♡ Badminton & tennis

♡ Dreaming of holidays to France – and now actually booked one eek!

♡ Picking up learning French again

♡ Weekend spent in Harrogate

♡ Getting passionate about things that matter to me

♡ Weekend trip to London

♡ Catching up on some reading

….Annnd phew! So many things to catch up on and lots more to come. I actually love writing recent things style blog posts on TheGlowDown (just thought I would spice it up with the ‘lately I’ve been’ title) so please let me know wht you guys have been up to lately too!

xx

 

 

Bedside Stylin’

Oooo I am totally loving home interiors & home styling – I have so many ideas I think I really oughta make a career out of it!! >>>New direction for TheGlowDown?! We’ll see!

My latest little style piece/life saver comes in the form of a wooden tray. Yep a wooden tray – pretty bae-sic. But it’s totally transformed my bedside table organisation…like literally everything feels so much more in place, its kinda crazy!

After spending hours looking through plenty of Instagram posts and pages on home interior design & home styling, I decided to have a shop around online for some bits and pieces – most have which have made it to my desk at work!! But this little tray caught my eye on HM.com which has ended up on my bedside table and I have never looked back.

Bedside Stylin 1Bedside Stylin 2

 Bedside Stylin 3 Bedside Stylin 4

Okay so the last pic isn’t of my bedside stylin’ tray but I have just started my Victoria’s Secret body mists that I got for Christmas – and thought how pretty they look on my OTHER bed side table!

So what do you guys think of TheGlowDown bedside stylin’ revelation?! Trust me – it’s the next big home styling thing…watch this space!!

Recent Things with TheGlowDown

Positive Vibes

Another week is nearly over – seriously still living for the weekends here at TheGlowDown!!

So I thought I would share some recent things/bits/pics from the long weekend which mainly involved food, and a day out with the girls – we decided to go somewhere different for a change and I definitely appreciated it! And I love these kinda lifestyle posts, I find so much inspiration from other lifestyle blogs and definitely want to create that kinda vibe here on TheGlowDown!

Also this week I have really started to feel as though I’m getting more organised, I still want to invest in a really sturdy, good quality diary so if you guys have any recommendations let me know – I love writing things down I’ve never really used my phone as an organizer – only for the odd note or too! I’ve definitely been making lists here there and everywhere (not so organised right…) of my daily to do’s, health food shopping lists and a few lil payday treats!

Anywayssss I hope you have all had a lovely week – I’ve finally started reading The Secret and definitely feel more aware of my thoughts and the kind of vibes I give off on a more subconscious kinda level. I think I’m gonna really love the book, I think it has something that everyone can take from it and apply to their own lifestyle – even if you don’t agree with it all. I think it’s definitely worthy of a blog post when I’m done reading it so keep tuned! xx

Banana Pancakes

[The most beautiful banana pancakes ever. Made by me!]

Girls in Whitby

[Me & my beautiful friends in Whitby]

Me & Jordan

[Me & Jordan]

Georgia & me & Rosie

[Georgia & Me & Rosie]

Bread Loaf 1

[Homemade bread – made by my brother]

Bread Loaf 2

[…because 1 piccie doesn’t do it justice!!]

Healthy Blueberry & Yogurt Treats

Healthy Blueberry & Yogurt Treats1

Blueberries are one of my favourite fruits and actually one of the healthiest too! So when I stumbled across a post on Facebook about making some healthy blueberry & yogurt treats I couldn’t resist!

This recipe – which is so simple you can barely even call it a recipe! Calls for just two ingredients: blueberries (duh) and fat free greek yoghurt – simple recipes = totally approved of at TheGlowDown!

Blueberry & Yoghurt Treats Prep

Blueberry & Yogurt Treats Prep2

Healthy Blueberry & Yogurt Treats

>> Using cocktail sticks, dip your blueberries in to your fat free greek yohurt – making sure to coat they am evenly as possible.

>> Place on a tray lined with baking parchment.

>> Once you have filled your tray/used up your blueberries, place the tray in the freezer and leave for 2 hours

>> After 2 hours you can take the tray out of the freezer, and place your blueberry & yoghurt treats in a sealable bag or container

>> Enjoy!!

I kept mine in a freezer bag for ease, and reach for them usually once I’m home from work and feeling a lil peckish before tea or before I head to the gym. They are pretty cold to eat straight from the freezer (…) so I like to take them out of the freezer and leave on the counter side for 5 mins if I can. They almost taste ice-cream-like! I definitely think I’m going to try these with raspberries and strawberries next!

So let me know if you guys try these healthy blueberry & yogurt treats or have other healthy recipes & ideas for me to try!! I’ve definitely got a couple more healthy food ideas coming up on TheGlowDown over the next couple of weeks so make sure to keep checking!

I hope everyone has a lovely long weekend xx

May Must Haves: Home Edition

Hold the phone (is that the right saying?!) how are we are halfway through May already?! I think I’ve mentioned before that May is a funny month for me, it always brings back memories of school/college/uni when it was deadline/exam time. Yuck. Let’s not go there. But we are one step closer to the summer months!!

And lately I have become a little obsessed with home interiors and design and have been dreaming up the perfect wishlist of decor, colours and styles for when I decorate my own place (one day!) I feel like my taste in interiors has definitely changed recently – and definitely for the better! I would probably say that it has evolved as my own personal taste has changed and I guess I have matured (a little!) over the past year or so to bring me to this kinda style state of mind.

So once again, I have taken the effort out of shopping around and created a collage/moodboard of perfect home interior accessories!

Home Accessories

XOXO print

Industrial lamp shade

Zig zag cushion

‘Z’ Alphabet mug

Tripod stand lamp

Vase

Seychelles room spray

Seagrass basket

Grey knit throw

Really loving white and grey tones with a hint of metallics – clean finishes but complimented with natural materials. Again this kinda Nordic/Swedish inspiration that I did a post on before with a few room inspiration pics! Also I have a board on Pinterest (clearly it has more pins than any other board on my page!) that is dedicated to my new fave thing  – home interiors and design!! Seriously considering looking in to a career in it!

I’ve also slowly started to build up styling pieces for my desk at work and adding lil bits here and there to make it more personalised! I’m seriously loving H&M for their home pieces – I am going to do an upcoming post on my bedside organisation and my desk workspace so watch this space!!

Ooo also on a completely (or not so) un-related note, I have created a new e-mail account for TheGlowDown Blog! (Erm why didn’t I do this sooner?!) It’s zoe@theglowdown.com so feel free to get in touch! Also keep up to date and follow TheGlowDown Blog on Facebook and Twitter – as always I love hearing what you have to say and keeping up to date with things via social media!

This week has zoomed past and I’m looking forward to some well over due retail therapy, hope evryone has a lovely weekend! xx

A lil Weekend Recap

Bank Hol Weekend

Because who doesn’t love the weekends?

Okay I feel yaaa sistaaaass who work in retail ( this was me not so long ago!! ) and now I am totally guilty of living for the weekend. Yep. Come 4.30pm on a Friday I am totally lovin life – although you will probably catch me having an early night anyway!!

So last weekend I had one of the best bank holiday weekends I’ve had in a while! I spent Saturday in Leeds, enjoyed a prosseco cocktail in one of the coolest bars ever ( I felt so SATC ) and Sunday night was spent at my cousin and his fiances engagement do – I have seriously never had SUCH a good time at a family party before!! Ooo I also received my first graze box on Saturday too which I have loved!

I also spent Monday day with my brother and sister and had a lil look round town, and then went for lunch which was really sweet – literally. We shared a cookie pizza for desert which was amazing and the waiter was really nice too – I’m a sucker for  good service it can make such a difference!

 

Prosecco Vivant

[Prosecco Vivant @ Angelica’s, Leeds]

Graze Box

[My first graze box!]

Cookie pizza 1

Cookie pizza 2

[Amazing cookie pizza]

I totally appreciate a bank holiday weekend now I don’t work in retail – a 4 day working week yes please!! And I love reading blog posts on what other people have been up to and what cool places they eat out in. I’m definitely going to try do more posts like this (and probably end up being one of those really annoying people who takes pics of food all the time!!)

Chow for nowwww xx

 

 

What’s in my Work Bag

Zara Backpack

I’m not sure this is actually a thing but I decided to mix it up a little and instead of just your reg. ‘what’s in my bag’ post, I thought I would give you guys a nosy in to my work bag – which is actually a backpack!!

Butttt…before you’re all thinking ew a backpack – how can a backpack look good?! I was so with you on this and felt like 1. backpacks are for school and 2. that I wasn’t cool enough to pull off the whole backpack look anyway. So why did I end up with a backpack?! It’s kinda simple – I bike to work and need something that’s safe and handy (should that be hands-free!!) that was still stylish and could fit my lunch in <<< most important factor!!

Anyway so I stumbled across this backpack in Zara a couple of weeks ago and I knew I had found the one!

Its a faux leather, black (of course) quilted backpack. I love the shape of this and I love the fact it’s secure and zips shut, and has adjustable shoulder straps.

Nowwww for the fun bit >>> what’s in my bag?!

What's In My Bag

1. A Water bottle = essential

2. Work lanyard/fob

3. Lipbalms <<< I’m all about the lipbalms and I seriously have to carry like a minimum of two!!

4. House keys – of course

5. Pair of glasses for my computer screen

6. The most amazing Moschino sunglasses (did I mention how much I love sunglasses?!)

7. Purse

8. Makeup bag

9. Hand sanitizer

10. Back comb brush – ya’know

11. Pen

12. Cute lunchbox!

13. iPhone duhh

14. Headphones

>> Don’t mind the numbers – they’re completely not in any kinda order!! I love these kinda posts – I am soooo going to do another one on my everyday kinda handbag! My work bag pretty much stays the same. I have locked drawers at my work desk so I keep things like my diary and a notebook there to save on carrying them about everyday!

What are your work bag essentials? I seriously love nosying!!

 

17 Things To Do On a Saturday Night

Saturday Nights

Saturday nights to me are mainly a night that I spend in now, and I kinda love it. That’s not to say I don’t go out to eat, or go for drinks and socialize anymore, but gone are the Saturday nights where it felt like a total waste if you didn’t go out – quite the opposite feeling now!

So I decided to come up with my fave 17 ideas for a cute/fun night in with either your bf or your bff or both!

  1. Play a board game. Seriously. Articulate and the Would I Lie To You board game are my two faves. A game of Monopoly doesn’t go a miss either
  2. Go out, buy a couple of lottery tickets or scratch cards and write out your bucket list – dream of all the things you would love to do if money was of no value
  3. Grab some cheese, some crackers, a slate serving board, a couple of glasses and some wine, and have the perfect cheese and wine night
  4. Toast some marshmallows over tea-lights, or if you’re feeling brave, over an open fire.
  5. Drive to a scenic spot – I live on the coast and love parking up along the south side of the beach. Take blankets, even pizza if you’re feeling hungry and chill out with friends/bf and watch the night sky. If there are benches or places to sit, why not wrap up in your blankets and get cosied up al fresco? (Get your minds out of the gutter…not cosied up like that)
  6. Mix it up. Literally. I’m talking making up your own drinks and cocktails. Go out and buy a few different juices and spritzers, or use what you have in already, and add to your fave liquor
  7. Make up your own game. I always make up silly lil games to play for fun and always end up having a laugh, and maybe even getting a lil competitive (my game, my rules right?!)
  8. Pick a Spotify playlist from the mood or chill section and let it play uninterrupted – no song skipping! Chill/make dinner/get cosy…whatever takes your fancy
  9. If you have your own outdoor space, set it up to watch the sunset or stare at the night sky. We have a swinging seat in the garden and I love summer nights when you can grab a blanket, light some outdoorsy candles,  pour a couple of drinks and just relax – no tv, no noise – just perfect.
  10. Make your own desert sundae. Get some ice-cream or frozen yoghurt and throw in whatever you fancy…chocolate, fruit, sweets, some meringue – simply share and eat!
  11.  Get organised. There’s nothing to stop you from clearing out and getting in an organised mindset on a Saturday night. Whether it’s your wardrobe, bedside table, or maybe the home office – we can all benefit from a lil revamp once in a while
  12. Two words – treasure hunt. Pick the treasure (sweets/chocolate/a new dvd) and layout some written clues to help guide you to the treasure
  13. Make your own quiz. 20 questions..a Mr&Mrs style quiz..anything really!
  14. Dress up for at home dinner. Make a lil effort but don’t leave the house! Even grab an M&S two dine in for £10 and make it real simple. Just dress as though you are eating out in your local swanky restaurant
  15. Have a Netflix series marathon – or choose a film that you have never watched/heard of before
  16. Take a hike…or just walk!! I think so many people underestimate the fun you can have just walking and the benefits it has! When I was in Melbourne I loved going out at night and walking and exploring around where I lived – it was seriously one of my favourite things to do, and still is now I’m back in my hometown
  17. Hide and seek. Adult hide n seek = best thing ever!!

Saturday Night Chillin'

Some Saturday night inspiration for you guys!! No-one should never have the excuse of being bored/not wanting to spend the night in anymore!! These things are low cost or free so seriously, anyone can do these any night of the week.

I would love to know your guys ideas on what you do on your Saturday nights spent in?!

Hope you all enjoy the weekend!!

Can you believe April is almost over?!

April TheGlowDown

Seriously can you believe it?! It’s actually felt like summer too here the past week the weather has been pretty amazing for April time.

This post is kinda in place of what was my weekly GlowBites post – I have decided I want to shake things up a lil and keep it fresh for you guys and so I will still aim for a kinda weekly update/catch-up style post but I decided that ‘GlowBites’ might not really mean anything to you guys so I’m gonna try keep it cool and just stick with TheGlowDown!!

Sooooo in a nutshell, this month I have indulged in two Thorntons easter eggs, partied on Easter Day, completed Kayla Itsines BBG (<<<that’s 12 weeks of workouts y’alllllll) been on some doggie walks, been on a couple of days out to York and Leeds and had my last day at Topshop!!

April Collage

So yep. April has been a pretty busy month! It’s also coming close to a year since I really got TheGlowDown up and running and looking how it does – I seriously didn’t have a clue about hosting, seo or anything so I’m pretty pleased with what I have learnt and done so far, still learning and taking things on board and have definitely picked up (hopefully) lots of tips from my first week in my new job, so stay tuned!! I’m thinking of giving TheGlowDown a lil revamp summertime too?! Lemme know what you guys think!! Summer seems a perfect time for something fresh right?!

Excited for the weekend although I have no real plans, I’m definitely on the hunt for some cool-ass desk accessories for my work desk – – – share any cool recommendations!

Activewear Goals

I am currently feeling dedicated and motivated with my health/fitness and striving towards my goals. Soooo of course I want to feel and look good whilst doing it and have been lusting after some amazing activewear.

Also – is anyone else slightly obsessed with motivational fitness inspired Instagram pages yaaahh?? My three faves at the moment are coincidentally Aussie gals Steph Pacca, Bianca May Cheah of Sporteluxe and Natasha Oakley swimwear designer.

Anyway so there are some pretty good sites out there dedicated to activewear – even if you’re a die-hard Nike fan, there’s some really cool and stylish brands out there that are fast becoming popular amongst gym bunnies. And so you don’t have to trawl through the internet to find some nice pieces to add to your collection!

Activewear Buys

Can you notice a lil bit of a theme going on here…?!

I love the idea of darker tones for workout clothes to help avoid the dreaded sweat stains visible on lighter colours…no shame in working out hard – I always feel as though I’ve had a good workout if I’ve had a good sweat, but sometimes it’s not the most desired look!! Click the links below to have a nosy!

Onzie Mesh Panel Legging // Lorna Jane Sports Bra // Slinkii Athletic Tank Top // Polar FT60 // Sweaty Betty Run Top // Sweaty Betty Luxe Gym Bag

Other websites to definitely check out >>>>>>>>

LuLuLemon // Missguided // Fabletics

So yeah! I have kinda come to realise that workout wear is pretty expensive, but if I would spend £70 on a dress why wouldn’t I invest  in clothes that [[perosnally]] have a positive effect on my workout! I think I have definitely taken some inspiration from my time spent living in Melbourne with this whole gym wear thing (they take it very seriosuly over there, I wrote a post about it here) I even spent the afternoon in my gym gear yesterday (clean ofc) just because…and I swear it boosts my attitude!!

And one last thing – I have a kinda guilty lil confession to make, I have become slightly addicted to the iPhone app MyFitnessPal – so much I had a dream about it!! <<< Issues, I know!! But if any of you haven’t checked it out it’s worthwhile, it definitely has made me more conscious of making food choices.

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend – first day of my new job today ahhh!!

Why I Have Down-Graded My Skincare

Skincare Update

– ‘Down-graded’ in the sense of trying to get back to basics and simplicity in skincare.

At 24 there is something I have realised – I no longer want to use harsh/unknown/animal-tested products in my life anymore. You would think this would have clicked a lot sooner having being vegetarian/vegan on/off for years, but somehow the whole skincare part slipped my mind. I guess in an ideal world, wouldn’t everyone love to use all natural skincare – so we truly know what we are using?

Okay so I’m not quite there yet – but lately I have definitely been making a more conscious decision to change to products that are at least cruelty free where I can, and not so full of ingredients that I’m unaware of. But it’s also kinda a brand vs quality thing too, I have worked for a skincare/cosmetic brand and throughout that time heavily used higher end products in my routine…butttttt I have since found some great products that are just as good if not better at doing the same job and have not regretted the switch!

Sooooo here are some of the products I have switched to recently

New Skincare Staples

Going in order from L-R…

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Garnier Micellar Water

So I want to say first that I’m pretty sure Garnier does involve animal testing so I feel kinda guilty for using this product but I am looking out for alternatives! Aside from that it does do a pretty good job at cleansing and removing makeup. I have an oily skin type so I hate makeup removers that are oily/greasy on the skin. This literally feels so fresh on my skin and removes all my eye makeup.

Simply Pure Light Moisturiser Sensitive Skin (Superdrug)

Simply Pure Moisturiser

Kinda in love with Superdrug’s own brand products as they aren’t tested on animals/cruelty free! And I wanted a very light moisturiser that sinks in to the skin pronto and this lil one happened to also be on offer! It’s 75ml size too and usually the more high-end moisturisers that I have used before are 30-50ml so it’s definitely a mega bargain!!

Bare Minerals Firming Eye Treatment

Bare minerals eye cream

I have always been a bit of a stickler for eye cream, I have no real concern for the skin around my eyes (yet!) but just the fact that is so much more delicate then the skin on the rest of our face (50% thinner to be exact) makes me want to pay it some tlc. Bare Minerals also states that it does not test on animals – yey! It’s a really nice consistency – not too light or too heavy, and blends in really nicely. Its a 15ml tube and seriously last me f-o-r-everrrr!!

Deep Action Deep Cleansing Lotion (Superdrug)

Deep Action witch hazel

So I use this bad boy as a toner (so after cleansing and before moisturising) and it makes my skin feel uber clean. It has salicylic acid and witch hazel to help clean and tighten pores and eliminate excess shine – phew!! Again its not tested on animals/cruelty free, it’s inexpensive and honestly lasts me forever (I know I’m saying this about every product but I swear it’s true!!)

Okay so this next thing might have you a little bit like WTH but after reading Fashion Lush’s blog post on it I have been kinda hooked on this ever since…

Jade Face Roller

Jade Face Roller

Okay so basically you use this roller to help massage your mositurising products in to your skin – the smaller end for the eye area and around the nose, the larger end for the rest of the face and neck area. It’s freakishly amazing and literally feels as though it has been stored in a fridge – the jade feels super cooling on your skin which really seems to help perk my skin up in the morning. Totally swear by it! Fyi – I googled jade face rollers and bought this one from a website and it cost me about £3 total!!

…Annnddd finally the no.1 most useful, cruelty free skincare product that you NEED to have is…

Coconut Oil!!

I use it on my hair as a deep conditioning mask the night before washing, I use it to oil pull (post coming soon) to whiten my teeth, as a lip balm and on areas of dry skin! You can also use it as a cleanser/makeup remover if you maybe have drier skin or prefer an oily consistency to remove makeup!

So there it is! I did do a skincare routine post back when I was living in Australia which hasn’t changed too much apart from I have substituted or ‘downgraded’ some of the higher end products for the ones you see here. For me it wasn’t an issue with the price of skincare – as I do believe in investing in taking care of your skin, but the fact that there are a lot of similar products with very similar standards of quality and that aren’t tested on animals so it has just been a natural move which I am still continuing to do!

What skincare switches have you made? What are your favourite products? I would love to know!

Happy Hump Day!

21 Gossip Girl Quotes To Live By

GG pic

First things first lets address the elephant in the room and lemme start with a huge-ass apology for going all MIA on you guys and seriously no real excuse here I just seem to have waaayyy lost track of my days and feel like I have been pretty busy! So to fill you in on life in general I start a new job in a week and a half and have been planning on redecorating my room and a ton of other things I can’t think of but yesssssssssy I’m super excited to start my new job!

So the post is pretty straight forward – it’s a way of me showcasing my love  PURE ADORATION for gossip girl. I have been watching it on Netflix and I have felt a real bond to it this time round, I swear I feel as though I’m a part of it and even sported a Blair-esque headband for one day!! And I’m so close to finishing watching it all and so I have kinda postponed watching series 6 (serious issues I know) so I can drag it out a lil longer.

And if you haven’t realised it, gossip girl is literally a hive of life quotes an advice to live by. Really. So I have decided to quote my fave GG words of wisdom and share them right here with you guys…be prepared to re-evaluate your whole existence and live life the only way possible (the GG standard of course)

1. You’d better not be selfish. A woman remembers.

2. Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.

3. Earn the spotlight on your own merits. You’ll feel better.

4. Here’s my advice: Have a little faith, and if that doesn’t work, have a lot of mimosas.

5. If you go back with an uncertain heart, there will be drama and disaster for all.

6. Doing the right thing takes courage and strength.

7. Sex is meaningful, like art. And you don’t rush art.

8. I’m not a stop along the way, I’m a destination.

9. You don’t give up on the people you love.

10. Nothing lasts forever. And when one door closes, another one always opens. The only question is: Who’s waiting behind it?

11. People don’t tell you who you are. You tell them.

12. Things have a way of working out when you least expect.

13. Even when you’re not sure where you’re headed, it helps to know you’re not going there alone. No one has all the answers. And sometimes the best we can do is just apologize. And let the past be the past. Other times, we need to look to the future. And know that even when we think we’ve seen it all, life can still surprise us. And we can still surprise ourselves.

14. We always need a place to call home. Because without the people you love most you can’t help but feel all alone in the world.

15. No matter how far you run, you can never truly escape, everything catches up to you at the end and when it does, it usually kicks your ass.

16. Sometimes the only thing left to do is wrap your arms around each other one last time and then just let go.

17. There’s a difference between a great love, and the right love

18. If two people are meant to be together, eventually they’ll find their way back.

19. Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and where you want to be. And sometimes you have to venture outside your world in order to find yourself.

20. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but what a difference a day makes.

21. Sometimes you have to allow yourself to be weak in order to grow stronger.

 

 And seeing as though this is a pretty lengthy post I will leave it here with the promise of being back to my regular kinda posting style!

Ps my fave quotes are no. 13 & 19 which ones are yours? Do tell!! ♡

GlowBites: Saturday in York

GlowBites York

Helloooo so it’s time for my weekly update for you guys with some cute piccies! So again it’s another food/restaurant kinda post but hey I love reading these kinda posts and nosying at amazing pics on other blogs!

Lil back story for you >> I was travelling through to York for the day (where I lived/went to Uni) to meet my best friend from Uni who I haven’t seen since coming from Aus aka far too long! And we decided to meet for the day to have food, shop around and have a couple of drinks – we had the sweetest day. We headed to a place called Missoula for lunch and I was pretty blown away with just the decor alone! We both chose to have kebabs – and nooooo before anyone judges not your nasty takeout kebab but the most amazing kebabs ever! (Mine was veg and halloumi << mmm)

We also headed to the The Star Inn The City – so I had heard of this place for a while now but never actually knew where it was and o m g. It didn’t disappoint. From the location to the decor to the food and service. Everything about this place is a-mazing. We just stopped by for desert and a lil wine – both were incredible. I definitely can’t wait to head back there and try the rest of the menu (Afternoon tea looked fabbb)

Missoula Interior 1

[Missoula Entrance]

Missoula Interior 2

[Dining area]

Missoula Interior 3

[Decor]

Annie :)

[The BFF]

Kebabs

[Lunch time @ Missoula]

Rose Prosecco

[Rose Prosecco]

Chocolate Indulgence

[Chocolate Indulgence @ The Star Inn The City]

^^^So how amazing does that desert look?!

Has anyone else visited these places in York? If not and you are local or ever visiting you seriously need to check them out!

Happy Wednesday!

How To Fake Blog Editing Like A Pro

Blog Editing

I love blogging and it definitely must be close to a year since I started TheGlowDown – I feel terrible for not remembering, I honestly feel as though I have forgotten an important birthday!

There are so many blogs out there that editing your own blog is essential to help create the best possible version of your blog/brand/image. And yep, if you want to take blogging seriously it is likely you’re gonna need to invest your time and a lil £ in your tools used to edit and create. But don’t panic, you don’t need the latest MacBook or Photoshopping tools to help create your vision, just some time, patience and drive to get your blog looking pro!

Here are just a few low-budget, user-friendly programs/tools/apps I use to make the most out of my blog…

iPiccy

iPiccy

Great for photo editing – slightly similar to Photoshop but free! You do need to register and create an account, but once you do your images you upload for edit are saved to your profile. I have probably used this program the most for photo editing such as adding clip-art and adding text.

PicMonkey

PicMonkey

So you have probably heard a lot more about PicMonkey than iPiccy for photo editing. Again it is free and you don’t actually have to register/create an account with this one. It is super user friendly and a little more visual with the different tools you can use – a definite must-have editing tool if you aren’t too used to any other photo editing programs.

Polyvore

Polyvore

So it took me foreverrrrrr to figure out this was the program everyone was using to create those perfectly simplistic outfit wishlist style posts. Simply go online and create an account and you’re ready to start creating your own collage of fashion/beauty/home wants. There is minimal editing with the images you chose to make up your collage, however you don’t really need to over-edit these kinda posts. The great thing too is that you can add a sort of toggle bar (that polyvore automatically creates for you) so people can easily shop your looks/items!

WordPress

Wordpress

So I feel like this is kinda an obvious one, and if you’re already blogging chances are you have either heard of WordPress or you’re already using it! But I decided to include it just for those who may be using the Blogger platform to see as a comparison. It is a little more complex to use – editing a blog post itself is pretty simple and easy, but there are a lot more tools to help edit your blog on WordPress which may be a little daunting, but personally I definitely think it’s the better platform out of the two.

Etsy

Etsy

So you might be wondering why I have included Etsy for a post on how to edit your blog like a pro but waitttttt…if like me you are still discovering and learning about the world of html, then you might want to check out some of the amazing blog templates or custom designs that people sell on Etsy. I think a big part of blogging is creating your personal style and brand, and that definitely comes across in your blog design. So unless you are a whizz-hand at blog design, do look in to blog friendly template designers.

iPhone Editing Apps

Iphone Apps1   IPhone Apps2

Ahhh okay so this is kinda like find the apps but I will give a brief overview of the ones I use for editing photos for my blog!

PicFX – great little app for adding light effects to photos, for example when ‘orbs’ appear on photos, you can add these to your photos in a creative way.

Evernote – so this isn’t a photo editing app but it does help with the editing of my blog. I use it to create checklists and to write down blog ideas when I’m out and about and getting out my notebook isn’t so doable.

Moldiv – this one I have been loving lately. Great for creating collages or adding text to images.

Afterlight – this is the only photo editing app I have that wasn’t free, but for 79p you still can’t go wrong. Perfect app for editing photos – esp. if you have taken photos without great lighting and need to edit them to look lighter/brighter.

Fotor – again, a great app for creating simple but effective collages.

& Other Tips

So here are a few quick blogging tips I want to share with you guys that help to make the most out of your blog…

+ Use Bloglovin (follow me here) to promote you blog posts and also to connect with other blogs

+ Hootsuite is a great way to schedule social media posts to promote awareness of your blog

+ StumbleUpon is a great website that allows you to submit links to your own blog posts, but also to ‘stumble’ across other people’s blogs

+ Get organised. Use your phone notes, a notebook, an organiser or create your own blogging calender. Getting organised = more balanced, professional and focused blog

+ Use Instagram and We Heart it for simple images and inspiration (just be wary of copyright issues)

+ Be social media savvy. Everyone says it but it is soooo relevant to blog promotion today. Fake being a pro who has a team of people working on their social media accounts and link up all your social media content – just make sure you don’t overshare/spam your followers with too much content to handle.

So that is it – my top tips on how to fake blog editing like a pro! I know it’s a pretty lengthy post but I hope you guys find my tips useful – this is my first kinda post like this where I have shared blog tips, but seeing as though TheGlowDown has been running for around a year I thought I would share what I have learnt!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and enjoys the start of their week!

March Fashion Must-Haves

March Must-Haves

So working in fashion does have it’s perks in discovering new and upcoming trends – and usually leaves me with an endless list of must-haves and wants for the rest of the season! And to help make it easy for you guys, and to just share what I am lusting after this season, I have created my perfect wishlist/moodboard of what I think is hot this month – even though we are nearly towards the end of the month! Let’s just say it’s a kinda early Springtime collection of what I’m after in my wardrobe!

March Fashion Must Haves

Valentino Heels (I wish) £630

Zara City Bag £39.99

Kurt Geiger Sunglasses £70

Marble Effect Phonecase £12

Topshop Stripe Shirt £34

Topshop Joni Rip Jeans £38

Topshop Camel Trench £79

Boohoo Maxi Thigh Split Skirt £10

So aside from the Valentino shoes (how dreammmyyyy) I think everything else is fairly reasonably priced…I mean £10 for a thigh split maxi…yes please!! I am also obsessing over marble print (like everyone else) and definitely want to invest in this phonecase – anyone else struggling to find nice cases for the iPhone 6 plus – nightmare!

What are your  guys current fashion must-haves? Share the inspiration!

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend, I have had the most perfect Saturday catching up with a friend over food and drink – definitely some pics to come!

GlowBites

19 GB

Another week another GlowBites! And surprise surprise I’m back to the food related posts but I do have other things to share!

So yesterday I went for a celebratory lunch with my sister and a close friend to Eat Me Cafe in our hometown and it was pretty amazing as usual – my sister had never actually been before for the lunch menu so I was excited for her to get to try what they had on! I chose a Thai Green curry (quite a lot of their food has an Asian twist/inspiration) with brown rice and tofu – lemme tell yaaaa it was pretty hot!! And I had to be a little naughty and get a portion of their homemade skin-on chips to share – the.best.chips.ever.

Eat Me Sign

Eat Me Collage

Eat Me Bathroom

Eat Me Thai Green Curry

Selfie

How cool is their style of decor?! The lion head photo is actually of their bathroom – sorry/not sorry for being a little weird  and taking a pic of a bathroom but I had to share! And of course a selfie of what I was wearing!

Also this week I thought I would share a few kinda miscellaneous things I have been loving lately…

Game Of Thrones // The Walking Dead // Gossip Girl (duh) // The Hunger Games (film and books) // Spotify

Can we just talk about Spotify?! So I created an account years and years ago literally before anyone cared so much about it, and when we were at Eat Me yesterday they had the most amazing tracks playing, like I seriously loved every song! And when I asked what was playing they said it was Spotify! Cue me coming home, logging in to Spotify for the first time in yonks (does anyone even use that word anymore?!) and trawling through the different genres/moods and playlists. I’m loving the ‘mood’ section – so many feel good playlists! Not sure about the £9.99/month fee for premium but we will see!

What has everyone been up to this week so far?

Happy Wednesday!

Top 5 Love Your Hair Tips

Processed with Moldiv

Eek yes that is my hair in the pic above!! Anyway so most of us are never completely satisfied with what our parents/genes/god gave us and that is especially true when it comes to our hair! And I am definitely someone who is never completely satisfied with my own – it never grows long enough, it gets dry and/or oily, it’s not as thick as I want it. Everything bar the colour (loving how my hairdresser colours it!) is always kinda in between – I’m talking a barnett with a mind of it’s own…who else is with me here?! So I have decided to narrow down my top 5 most important and crucial haircare tips that you can follow too to help rule reign over your do..

Haircare Collage

1. Use sulfate free shampoos – all those nasties essentially damage your hair as they are only in there to create a lather. Also avoid silicones if possible in your shampoos too.

2. Wash your hair less – Kim K only does it once every 5 days and so should you.

3. Use a hair oil – my favourite is the original Moroccan Oil. It helps soothe and smoothe, nourish and protect, my hair always feels a million times better when I pop some on freshly washed just-towel-dried hair.

4. Use less heat – banish those styling tools! Okay that’s a bit drastic but you should definitely limit them. Try let your hair air-dry or if you need to blow dry it, skip the straighteners.

5. Use gentle hair accessories – lover of a pony-tail or hair bun? Harsh elastics/bobbles break off your hair so opt for more hair friendly alternatives. Think alligator clips and invisbobble style bobbles – seriously they are the best thing since sliced bread..they even keep hair in place when working out!!

Oh and did I mention I am a serious lover of the sleep bun a la Lauryn Evarts on The Skinny Confidential? Yep the sleep bun means serious business and a must for that perfect next day hair with zero effort!!

What are your top haircare tips? Please Share!

Also check out my post here on the best dry shampoo I’ve found on the high street that only costs £1!

GlowBites X Outfit MashUp

GB18

Excuse time…(yawn) but I have been kinda busy with work and things and have been a lil naughty on keeping TGD updated as I promised I would, but here I am with my regular GlowBites post and shock horror it isn’t food related!! I hope you guys like this kind of post as I don’t do so many fashion related posts and I thought why not share the outfit stages/changes I went through at the weekend trying to pick the right look for a Saturday night in town!

*Just a little warning that if you are offended by cleavage then look away!! (Although lets be calm..it’s only one of the piccies!) Also please excuse any background mess you can spot and the mark on the mirror (grr so annoying) – I didn’t initially think of ever using the pics on my blog!

Outfits

Ok ok ok this is not in any way trying to be an outfit post of the day or a look book – I took pictures of my outfit options so my gfs could help me decide what to wear and thought they would be fun to share!

And just in case you’re wondering, I went with option 5 in the end which is a dress from Aqua that I have only ever worn once before! Which outfit do you guys like best?! Let me know what you think!

GlowBites x My Favourite Blogs

TGD 17

It feels like forever since my last GlowBites post! Sometimes it feels as though every other post is a GlowBites one so I wanted to throw in a few other posts and then of course return to my weekly thaaaang (LOL) And seen as I am loving blogging/reading blogs at the moment (btw…how well are bloggers doing at the moment?!) I thought I would dedicate this weeks GlowBites to the blogs that I without fail check daily, and help to inspire me as a blogger – plus a lil rundown of what to expect from each one if you didn’t already know!!

TGD Fave Blogs

The Skinny Confidential (Of Course)

>>Lifestyle/fashion/beauty/home/DIY<<

Milk Bubble Tea

>>Cute lifestyle bits<<

Zoe London

>>Quirky/edgy lifestyle and makeup bits<<

Cupcakes and Cashmere

>>Amazing home style/DIY bits/Advice<<

BLAWNDE

>>Fashion/Food&Health/Spiritual<<

Western Wild

>>Lifestyle/Advice/Fashion<<

Fashion Lush

>>Fashion/DIY<<

Queen of Jetlags

>>Travel/Fashion/Blog Tips<<

The Sunday Chapter

>>Lifestyle/Recipes/Blog Tips<<


 I love finding new blogs! I have actually written all of these down because my list is getting longer and longer and harder to remember to make sure I check them all! I’m currently loving The Sunday Chapter – she’s an Australian Blogger and I love that her blog is really simple, easy to read but has so much interesting and useful content – a definite recommendation, check her out now!!

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far – nearly the weekend woo! What are your favourite blogs?

TheGlowDown Daily Top 10

Daily Habits

Here is my second weekly installment of a how to/DIY/to-do list style blog post and what better way to start your week and your month with making some new and positive changes to you day-to-day schedule!! So I have created my ultimate beauty/mind/health daily to-do list which I intend on doing for at least the rest of this month to help maintain a positive and balanced me! Plus…read on to find out my top secret #1 skincare tip!

 TGD daily To Do

Keep tuned in the next couple of weeks as I totally need to do a couple of posts on oil pulling (which I love) and jade face rolling – bye bye puffiness!

Andddd…here is my #1 to skincare tip (it’s so simple it’s silly)

Pat in your facial skincare products! That’s right – eye creams, serums and moisturisers! Don’t rub them in and drag your skin about, pat them in! They absorb better this way and I always feel as though my skin looks really fresh after doing it! Use your ring finger for around your eye, and the length of your fingers for the rest of your face and pat gently all over (inc your neck) until it is practically absorbed and you’re ready to go!

This week I’m keeping it short n sweet with my top 10 list! What are your daily to-dos for a better you?

Plump Your Pout

Plump Your Pout

So I am not naturally blessed with the plumpest of pouts, in fact circa 2003 (secondary school/high school years) I developed a slight complex over it as one boy told me that I had a ‘small mouth!!’ (Mega LOL) Anyway so jokes aside I think most girls have  sought after ways to plump up our lips and make the most of them. I am guilty of neglecting my lips when it comes to makeup at times but I definitely believe it should be at the top of our priorities to keep them healthy and moisturised >> a moisturised pout = halfway there to lips a la Angelina Jolie!!

Whilst I was having lunch and catching up with a couple of girlfriends we got on to the subject of fuller lips as I had just received my CityLips lip plumping gloss. And this is when one of my friends (who happens to be a beautician fyi) mentioned that she had heard of a method that plumps your lips without using any kind of beauty product!! She told us how if you create a suction around the lips, whilst the lips themselves are being sucked in to what is almost like a ‘vacuum’ then it draws blood to the surface and makes your lips swell/grow. Now the kinda things she had used were the necks of water bottles and it had worked for her. There is actually a brand that creates lip plumpers that mimics this exact suction/vacuum effect that you can watch here and buy here.

Now before you all think WTH and is she crazy I googled this craze and look a little more in to it and actually found endless posts and tutorials on how to use this method at home with simply using products you would already have around the house. So I decided to test out a couple of the methods and decided of a firm winner…the bottle cap.

So bear with me here…

 Yes it is just a regular bottle cap from any kind of drinking bottle – they are all pretty a standard size/depth. The technique with the bought version is exactly the same as with your DIY home alternative. Now I apologize as I won’t be creating or uploading a video on how to do this anytime soon (you look kinda crazy doing it!) But I will describe how it’s done.

Firstly, it is your choice whether you want to start with product free lips or to coat them first with a little lipbalm – either works just fine. Secondly you wana take your bottle cap (make sure it is CLEAN) and hold it over your lips >> smaller pouts will find if they pout they can pretty much cover most of their lips >> plumper pouts you may find you want to do this step in 2 parts. Once your pout is covered you want to suck until the bottle cap is suctioned in place and it holds in place on its own – no hands. You will then start to feel a strange pulling sensation as your lips start to plump – you then have to continue the sucking motion so the bottle cap stays in place – do this for about 15 secs then release. Repeat this process up to 6 times.

Lips Before

Before..

Lips After

…After!! So I changed in to a different top here just to clarify! And you can definitely notice that my top lip looks fuller, especially at the outer corners! They look lightly more pink/red as the blood has been drawn to the surface. This was with 4 lots of about 15secs – so you can definitely plump them more!

TIP: You can help plump and accentuate the outer corners of your lips or the top of your lip by moving and placing the bottle cap – you can allow the bottle cap to simply cover just the top lip, or move the cap to the left/right. This works best too if you have already naturally fuller lips.

And don’t worry..there will be some redness/marks from the bottle cap around your mouth area but these die down pretty quickly. Just don’t over-do it with the suction – I have read some people have caused themselves to bruise from being a little over enthusiastic!! Your plump pout won’t last forever unfortunately, fullness can last for 2-6 hours depending on your natural lips and how many times you repeat the steps. Although I have to say I feel as though gradually my lips seem to have become fuller – maybe it’s psychological?!

I hope you enjoy my weird trick to help plump your pout…I would love to hear of any strange and wonderful beauty tips/tricks you guys have to share! Also why not pair your new plump bout with some Kylie Jenner style lip colour and see how I re-create her look here!

How To: Look after you

How To: Look After You

So I want to start another kinda weekly series (checkout some of my regular weekly GlowBites here and here) and I’m really drawn to something that involves lists/how to’s/DIY/top tips as I find I always click on links that share something interesting to do/make. Now I’m not an all-wise guru who knows everything about everything there is to know but I thought it would be fun to share some ways in which I create! And the first idea that popped in to my mind (after a very spiritual/mindful last post) was a sort of how to/to-do list of ways in which we should take time to nourish ourselves – mentally and physically >> in other words how to take care of you…and don’t worry there is nothing expensive or wacky on the list, just a simple (if not ‘obvious) run-down of what works for me…

Mind

Everyone is so different – no two minds are alike. I think it is important to feed our brains in many different ways – enough water, nourishment from foods, sleep, mental stimulation. I think happiness and positivity are key to a healthy mind – I understand this may not be so easy to people suffering from mental health conditions, but I believe a positive mental attitude will always benefit you in life. Worrying always complicates our outlook and can cloud rational judgement (totally guilty here) sometimes it’s best to step back and stop thinking so much and take time to clear the mind – focus on what positive outcomes you may face – most times our worries will not change or affect the course of any actions.

Actually You Can

Sight

This one is kinda personal one for me but I do think it tends to get overlooked. Eye health is so important so make sure you have regular check-ups at the opticians.

Hair

So there are already a million and one tips and tricks that we are always being told to follow to make our hair grow longer, thicker or to get shinier, more voluminous hair. For me having oily hair means I like to keep it really simple but I think it’s something anyone can follow. Shampoo and condition with products that don’t contain sulfates or silicones (and cruelty free if poss!) If you want to go chemical free try out shampoo bars – these ones are great! Use as little heat on the hair and go longer between washes. Coconut oil makes a great over night mask too!

Skin

I think it’s really important to take care of our skin, we seem to forget that it is our biggest organ and therefore the most obvious part of us that radiates how we nourish and take care of ourselves. Moisturize everyday and I promise you will see a difference – skin looks more firm and toned, colour tone improves and so much more!

Body

So by this I am talking about fitness. I really believe that if you truly want to give yourself the best possible chances in life then you really need to take care of you body. Diet isn’t enough – period. There are far too many benefits of exercise to mention but I love the mental benefits you get from it – how good it makes you feel about yourself, how you are mentally and physically working towards something. I don’t care who you are, you are lying if you don’t feel more positive after a workout!

Health

AKA nutrition and what you put in that pie-holeeeeeeeee. I’m vegetarian but any diet has the same principles and food groups – not all protein is meat based. If we look to nature, all animals are grazers and eat throughout the day – what I’m saying is it makes sense to eat small meals more frequently than say 3 large meals. It gives the body more time to easily digest and you don’t feel so hungry for longer amounts of lime.

Relationships

Relationships are the sum of our mental and physical being. We need to be treated no less than we deserve. Stand up for what you believe in, but also remember it is always about give and take and balance. You will never be truly happy with others unless you are happy within yourself – don’t place the search for happiness in others. Be true to who you are, be kind and honest. << Big believer in karma!

Happiness

I would love to hear your input on some of these ideas and what you guys do to look after your well-being!

GlowBites

GB16

Sweeeeet 16th GlowBites post! The piccie I’ve used above is actually one that one of my best friends took on her travels in Aus and I can’t believe how amazing and kinda surreal it looks! – – Thought I would use it to try and get in the mood for summer (ages away I know!) and also because this weeks GlowBites is based on positivity and mindfulness and I feel like this pic radiates positiveness and serenity!

So I was inspired to pull together a few quotes that I have loved recently, and this post was kinda inspired too by posts from Annie at Blawnde and Kaitlyn at WesternWild – and who doesn’t love a motivational/inspirational quote…that’s what Instagram and Pinterest are there for – that and selfies!!

Quote Collage

>> Sorry that the quote on the right of the middle row isn’t so clear…it reads,

“How do you know when it’s over?”

“Maybe when you feel more in love with memories than the person standing in front of you.”

It’s hard to pick a fave out of all of these because they’re all so meaningful in different ways! Personally I’m a bit of a worrier and an over-thinker so it’s good to remember to let go and that whatever the worry it won’t change things! And that whatever the circumstance, you deserve to be happy and treated the way you want to be – something I think is really important. I esp love the very middle photo – as an extra hour spent awake creates the possibility for you to do anything…you can do so much with your time if you learn how to, and we all get  tired and caught up in things but it is seriously an hour of your life that can be spent more wisely and with intention.

Fave quote/poem

But this one is my absolute favourite – basic message >> don’t try to justify your own happiness by filling it with other people who may not meant to be, don’t look for your own happiness in others. Once you open yourself up to creating your own happiness, you attract the right ones in to your life which help complete it [life]

So on that big-ass philosophical note I will end it there for this weeks GlowBites! What are your favourite quotes, I would love to know!

The perf Kylie Jenner-esque lip duo

Mac Duo

Pretty much every girl out there who loves her makeup has lusted after Kylie Jenner’s impeccable lip game – despite the whole has she/hasn’t she lip job debate! It’s actually something I never thought I would be in to, don’t get me wrong I love a nude lip but I have always played safe with a more pinky-nude rather than a brown-nude. Fast forward to Kylie Jenner and she is totally bringing back the classic 90s brown toned lip…only way better. Buh-bye dull browns/way off lip liner and hello to a sexy natural brown that only KJ could make so on trend.

I wasn’t really on the hunt for a KJ lip colour but then I am always a sucker for lip products –  and if you haven’t sort of noticed already (see my lipcare faves here) it’s the one thing I can safely say I have waaaaay too much of…if that can even be possible! I kinda found this lip combo by accident and I actually love it.

So here are the stars of the post…MAC Matte Lipstick in Honey Love and MAC Lip Pencil in Spice (a fave with Michelle Keegan don’t you know!)

Honey love and spice

Lips 1

Lips 2

The top of these two pout photos is just the lipliner in spice all over which you definitely could wear on it’s own and is still Kylie-esque. The bottom photo is with the honey love lipstick on top and I love this look the best. When I first tried it out I found it hard to get used to as I have never worn a lip like this but I love it now – channeling my inner Kylie Jenner!!

Top Lip Tips:

❀ This look is all about being matte – but to avoid the colour catching on dry lips, moisturise them before starting your makeup and then clean with a makeup wipe to remove any surface moisture

❀ Try over-lining your lips – this wouldn’t be a Kylie Jenner look without a lil overdrawing. No need to go extreme, just start of bit by bit and gradually build on your confidence and your lip shape

❀ I can be a bit lazy when it comes to applying lipstick, but for a real perfected look and a true Kylie pout, use a lip brush to apply your lipstick over the liner – esp. if you have overdrawn as otherwise it can get a bit messy!

I hope you enjoy my holy grail lip duo in the style of Kylie Jenner – I would love to know your guys recommendations on products you use in creating her look!

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