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

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

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

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

City Break #2 – Montpellier

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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]

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[Nyhavn panoramic view]

christiansborg-palace

[Christiansborg Palace]

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[The old Carlsberg Street]

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[View from the Round Tower]

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[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!

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