Acne Studios Pink Bomber Dupe

After becoming a little addicted to following Negin Mirsalehi on YouTube (and being a long-time IG follower of hers) I fell in love with her pink, silk Acne Studios bomber jacket that she showed in one of her vlogs.

Cue serious jacket envy.

So after some online digging, I’m pretty sure that the Acne Studios jacket is completely sold out, so I decided to look around the high street for the perfect dupe.

After a disappointing eBay order (the jacket was originally from Missguided) it was kinda accidental that I then found the almost perfect dupe in Mango.

[For those of you who want to see the Acne Studios bomber jacket for comparison click through here]

So the main difference being that the shade of pink differs slightly – the Mango bomber is a brighter pink whereas the Acne Studios jacket is more of a dusky pink, but I was definitely happy to settle on the colour!

The jacket was £34.99 and I bought it in a size M which is slightly loose fitting on me which I prefer anyway, and what I really like about it is that it is slightly quilted so can be worn in colder weather and summer.

I’m heading to Berlin in March and can’t wait to (hopefully) wear it then – more pictures to come!

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

 

 

 

 

Quick and easy vegan pizza recipe

Being plant-based or vegan has never been so easy!

Pizza has become such a staple in most people’s diets and it’s actually super easy and tasty to ditch the cheese and make a vegan-friendly version (almost) from scratch!

Okay so the reality is most of us don’t always have the time to perfect a homemade pizza base so Tesco have made life easy for us and have a ready-made mix that is 100% vegan and a total bargain – all you need to do is add water and follow the instructions on the packet!

Once you have allowed the dough to prove, go ahead and go crazy by adding the tomato puree and vegetable to your base along with any other toppings and then bake for roughly 20 mins. Take out and top with spinach and add a lil balsamic glaze and dig in, I also like to have mine with a side of homemade hummus (find the perfect recipe here).

The perfect fake-away food!

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

 

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