Sunday blues realness…

The truth is tonight I was hoping on posting the recipe for a chicken & chorizo risotto dish I came up with this week which was delish! But in all honesty I’m not feeling as cheery and positive as I usually do and therefore I feel like making a ‘cheery and positive’ blog post would just feel fake and icky, which are both things I’ve never wanted this space to be about. I mean, everyone has days like this right? Where you just feel worthless over something as fickle and ridiculous as weight, or in my case, weight gain. Now don’t get me wrong I haven’t piled on dozens of pounds, in truthfulness I’ve probably gain a few pounds at most, but it’s more the fact I’ve eaten a lot of indulgent foods this week like pasta, takeaway and chocolate… Ok a lot of chocolate.

I’m extremely fortunate in that food isn’t usually a constant mental battle for me like I know it is for many many people, I genuinely love food and see it as way more than just an energy source. I am also extremely fortunate in that I have a relatively fast metabolism and enjoy eating food without having to go to the gym, but again this just accentuates my self loathing when I have days like this because I end up feeling like even more of a lazy slob who never goes to the gym and enjoys her food way too much. I know I am just having  an ‘I feel sorry for myself’ kinda day like everyone has and that I am soso fortunate to have a life in which I have very few worries, which is why I was wanting to post this on my blog, even if it isn’t my usual content.

It’s ok if you’re having a bad day! Even if your problems aren’t as bad as someone else’s, don’t feel guilty, you are allowed to have bad days – it is what you do with that feeling that counts. For instance I know that the reason I feel the way I do today is because I’ve eaten so many bags of crisps and a whole bar of chocolate today. So, I’ve prepared a healthy breakfast & lunch for tomorrow and I plan on doing 15 minutes toning yoga before bed to make me feel better.

Please comment below how you beat the blues when you’re having a bad day so that we can help everyone who is reading have a better day!

nat-xo

 

 

p.s I promise to post that risotto recipe and be back to my positive self in my next post x
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Mindfulness Monday

As we approach the end of this month it is time for me to set myself 3 new goals for March. I try and do this each month to focus my mind and to help myself feel a sense of achievement, as I am usually a massive procrastinator.

Usually I will set myself 3 easily achievable tasks. What I actually mean by ‘easily achievable’ is that I don’t tend to set too many boundaries on each goal. For instance I won’t say “eat healthy every day this month” or “drink 2 liters of water everyday”as for me this makes the whole process less enjoyable and more stressful which defeats the objective. Obviously everyone is different and therefore should tailor their goals to meet their needs however, personally I think this would make me less likely to actually achieve any of my goals. We all know each day is different and presents different difficulties which would make ‘boundaries’ such as these difficult to stick to on a day-to-day basis. Remember, setting these goals are supposed to motivate you and make you feel good; not make you stressed!

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The way I like to plan my goals generally is as follows; 1 of the tasks will be something to better myself, 1 will be something enjoyable i.e: ‘me time’ and the last will be an activity with family or friends. For me this is the balance I need each month to keep myself feeling happy and constantly motivated.  For instance, my 3 goals for February were; 1) start my driving lessons, 2) book a holiday and 3) get prepared for my new job.

My goals will change month on month depending on what I am planning on doing, or how I am feeling at the time. At the moment I am feeling a little less confident about the way I look and also want to work on my fitness (it’s appalling how unfit I am for my age!) so my first goal will be to sign up to the gym so that I can start going to spin classes again. Next I’d like to treat my Mum and Nana on Mother’s day and take them out for a lovely, relaxing breakfast to show them how much they mean to me and for my 3rd goal I’d like to tick something off my bucket list and get a tattoo!

So my goals for March are as follows;
1. Sign up to gym and go to spin classes
2. Spend time with mum and nana on mother’s day
3. Get a tattoo!

I challenge you to do something similar to this yourself in March! You will be surprised how happy and well-rounded it will make you feel. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips for a healthier mind or if you do something similar to this already

You can read further about the effect that accomplishing goals has on our brains here.

nat-xo

Un Nouveau Départ

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Not getting the best grades in my A-Levels and choosing not to go to university is what initially sparked my want to start a written blog. All of my closest friends were getting excited to go to their chosen university and were investing a lot of their time sorting out which duvet covers they wanted for their new dorm bed or how many strings of fairy lights that they would need to cover their entire room whilst I was wondering what the hell had just happened, how it could of happened and wtf did this mean for my future career now?! I was convinced for weeks my life was over and I may as well hibernate for the rest of eternity.

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This is how i sat for weeks, eating myself to death…

This left me feeling incredibly lost because for the first time in 4 years there was 0 pressure on me to complete anything and I no longer had any deadlines to meet; heck, if I wanted to I could stay in bed for days on end and no one would be calling home to check why I wasn’t in that day. Although, this could potentially sound like bliss after being in school for the past 13, 14 years I craved something to focus on. So I made this blog as a way to connect with loads of other people who have similar interests to me and also so I had something to concentrate on and put my spare time in to whilst I found a job.

2 months on from receiving my A-Level results (and after I stopped feeling sorry for myself) I managed to find myself a little job working in a solicitors as a receptionist and office junior. This job offered me everything I was looking for; somewhere I could build my confidence, meet new people and potentially could be somewhere I progress my working career (and of course, earn a bit of money!).I love my job and I’ve really settled in and become content in the role. But that was always going to be it, I was just content. Don’t get me wrong, I was incredibly grateful for my job but I knew I wanted something that would push me a little bit more and make me work my butt off like I had done in college, so when the chance came round to work in the matrimonial department as an assistant of course I jumped at it! Thankfully the lady who was head of the department started in the same was as I had; as an office junior. All of the other applicants for the job were far more experienced in the role but I think the legal executive saw herself in me and decided to give me a chance like she had been given when she was just an office junior. I start my new job next Monday and I couldn’t be happier or feel any luckier. 6 months ago I felt completely lost and like a disappointment to my family and college and now I can’t imagine being in uni doing the course I originally applied for. I still may go to uni or even back to college to further my qualifications and work up to being a legal executive but these short 6 months have opened my eyes a lot to the ‘real life’ outside of school and college.

Of course, everyone’s experience is different but I feel the path I am on is the right one for me at this point in my life and I just wanted to share my thoughts and journey so far, if you can even call 6 months a journey, as I am aware that exams for the current year 11s and sixth formers are fast approaching. Please don’t be afraid because whatever happens in life, however s****y it feels at the time, it is what is meant to be for you.

Thank you for reading and following my little journey whilst I am feeling inspired, hopefully my next post will be less preachy and more to do with makeup again but until then…

nat-xo

 

 

 

 

Whinfell Forest Getaway

At the end of January my boyfriends family kindly booked for us all to go away for a long weekend at Centre Parcs for Caitlin’s 21st.

After a beautiful and incredibly scenic drive through Cumbria, we arrived and hurried in to our cosy lodge. The lodge itself had 3 double bedrooms, all en suite and it even had its own sauna. Myself and Jack picked which bedroom we wanted, which had a beautiful view in to the forest and a double shower! We quickly unpacked all of our food and suitcases for the next few days and spent the rest of the evening getting to know our surroundings and relaxing in front of the log fire.

Most of our day’s were spent in the amazing pool/waterpark that all of the Centre Parcs that I have previously visited had. However, on our second evening we went and played bowling. The lovely staff there even provided a bottle of moet as it was Caitlin’s 21st.

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Jack and myself spent our last full day exploring the forest on our bikes. The weather turned out to be beautiful for this time of year and the lake was even frosted over which made it even more picturesque.

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After exploring and working up an appetite we headed over to the Village for some lunch. We shared a cheeseboard and some garlic prawns at Cafe Rouge; which was set up beautifully to make you feel almost as if you were sat at a suave cafe on a street in midtown Paris (apart from the children’s play area behind us which was empty and therefore thankfully easy to ignore!). We have loved garlic prawns ever since visiting Barcelona on our first ever holiday together and although the one’s served at Cafe Rouge were delicious, they were no where near the same quality or quantity as those we have previously loved eating. Nevertheless, our lunch was delicious and it was just lovely to stop for a moment and spend some quality time together just talking and eating all the food we love to share.

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We all went to the waterpark together on our last evening in Whinfell forest where we relaxed in the out door pools and had as many goes as we possibly could on the exciting indoor and outdoor waterslides. Then it was time to pack and cuddle up next to the log fire for one last time.

Visiting Centre Parcs always feels very nostalgic and is a home-from-home for me as it is somewhere I have been to many times with my own family since being a little girl. In fact some of my earliest memories of Christmas were from my first trip to Centre Parcs. This latest trip lived up to everything I remember Centre Parcs being; that cosy, magical and incredibly charming place that everyone of every age loves and I hope to visit again soon.

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I’d also like to thank my boyfriend’s amazing family for being kind enough to take me on this amazing getaway and let me share such an important family trip with them all.
Thank you all xx 

A/W 16 Makeup Routine

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Colder weather, crunchy leaves and pumpkin spice lattes all mean one thing… Autumn is here! Autumn and Winter are my favourite seasons by far but for me it means layering on the moisturiser and lip balm in an attempt to save my skin from drying out any further. This means I generally will change up my makeup routine ever so slightly so here are a few of my favourites for the colder months.

Everyday Face makeup

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When I’m going to work I don’t like to use up my most expensive makeup but I’ve found some less expensive options which I find work just as well.

The foundation I use is Bourjois’ healthy mix foundation No. 54 Beige (RRP £9.99). This foundation has a lovely dewy finish which is perfect for the colder months when my skin gets drier naturally. The quality of this product, which regularly is in the 3 for 2 offers in Boots, is incredible for the price. It is not patchy or oily and does not go cakey when set with a powder. In fact I have heard before that Bourjois and Chanel are made in the same factory and that Bourjois is the ‘value’ version of Chanel but I don’t know how true this is (if anyone knows let me know in the comments!!). The colours in all Borjouis products are great, nothing too pink or too yellow, however disappointingly they don’t do any shades for those with darker skin. Hopefully they will bring out more colours in the future!

Next I use an under eye concealer, I use Maybelline’s Eraser Eye Concealer  in light (RRP £7.99). This product is no secret to the online beauty community so I won’t go too much into it (there’s millions of reviews on youtube). I find this concealer a perfect match to the Bourjois foundation as they are similar in consistency so when blending my undereye concealer out with a damp beauty blender it does not interfere or make the foundation look anything other than how its supposed to. It covers my dark circles enough for day to day, although my dark circles aren’t really too dark, and gives a naturally highlighted look.

For days where I feel like I need a little contour I use Sleek Contour Palette 095 light (RRP £10.99). For me this product is perfect for my temples and cheekbones but due to the product being quite oily it doesn’t work on my t-zone or under my eyes as when it’s set with powder it goes cakey and creases easily on me personally. I really want to try their highlight palette though, let me know in the comments if you’ve tried that!

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Ignore the usage!

To set and powder everything I use Maybelline’s Matte Maker  10 classic ivory (RRP £3.99). I set my undereye and t zone with this using a damp beauty blender like I’d use a loose powder, which is how I’ve got it to work the best and last the longest for me. I love this powder and trust me I’ve tried a fair few horrible, cakey pressed powders from the drugstore, for me this is the best I’ve tried yet!

Going out Face makeup

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These are my favourite products when I want a more long-lasting and luxurious evening makeup look.

At the moment my favourite foundation is Dior Star 030 (RRP £32.50). This was actually a gift so I’ve made sure to make it last and use it only for special occasions. It’s perfect for the Autumn and Winter as it has a gold sheen in it (NOT glitter, I hate glitter in foundation) that makes your face look glowy and candelit in all lights. It stays on very well howvever, I’ve had this foundation before in a different shade and the consistency slightly differs from shade to shade so be sure to try this on at a counter before hand to make sure its right for you.

My favourite concealer for undereye ever is Mac Prolongwear Concealer NC20 (RRP £18). I wouldn’t advise this for anyone who suffers from dry undereyes but this will last on you all night long without creasing. It does what is says on the tin and gives amazing coverage. I’d advise testing this in a store before buying a shade as it does oxidise after being worn for about 10 minutes and the colour will change slightly.

To contour I use ABH powder contour palette light to medium (RRP £39.00). This for me is worth every penny, the colour range in them is amazing and there isn’t one colour in the palette I don’t use. I’ve had this for quite a while now and it’s still got half the pans full. Be careful buying this online as a lot of people have made fakes, I’d stick to buying off of beauty bay to ensure you aren’t getting ripped off!

Recently I bought myself with my birthday money the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (RRP £29.00). I’ve wanted this setting powder for sooo long and finally made the splurge and decided to add it to my collection. I’ve only used it a couple of times but I already can tell that this is a quality product. Bye bye to undereye creasing and makeup rubbing off with this product! I’m so pleased with it and happy with the amount of product you get, however it doesn’t come with a powder puff which would be my only critique but a damp beauty blender works just as well.

Eye Makeup 

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I like to keep my eye makeup quite simple most of the time but focus on using lots of earthy tones, burnt oranges and coppers on my eyes to make my blue eyes pop.

My favourite eyeshadow palette is the Cargo Vintage Escape Fall palette (RRP £35.00). It has a perfect mix of matte and shimmer shades which I think is hard to find in a palette. This makes it perfect for travelling as you only have to take this one palette with you.

The best mascara I’ve ever used is Bourjois Volume 1 seconde 61 black (RRP £9.99). I never really like mascaras when they are brand new as I find them too wet to add any volume but I don’t have that problem with this mascara.

For eyeliner I use Collection Waterproof eyeliner (couldn’t find it online). This eyeliner is really good for its cheap price however it does crumble. I’m looking to try a new eyeliner if anyone has any suggestions!

Cheeks

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For highlighting my cheeks I keep it fairly simple, using Clinique’s Chubby Stick Shadow 01 beautiful beige (RRP £17.50) on a fluffy brush on my cheekbones, temples, eyes. nose and cupids bow. It’s the perfect shade for my skin.

Sometime I apply blush on to the apples of my cheeks and if I do I use Sleek’s Blush by 3 palette 363 pumpkin (RRP £9.99). I love the shades and in fact I use the orange shade on my crease too if I’m doing a dark brown smokey eye. The pigment in these is amazing for the price and a little goes a long way, their palettes have something for every skin tone too which is great.

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Lips

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I will only ever wear nude lipstick in the day, for me NYX is the best by far for lip products. I love their colour range and I use NYX soft Matte Lip-cream in CAIRO (RRP £5.50) which is the perfect nude for me. I pair it with Collection’s Lip Liner in a brown shade (can’t find colour online as ran out the other day!).

For night time I will occasionally wear red. When I do I always wear NYX Matte Lipstick MLS08 Pure red. It’s the perfect vibrant red and goes perfect with the NYX mechanical lip liner in MPL09 Ruby. It does smudge slightly but I prefer that than having the lipstick dry my lips out.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post ^.^

nat-xo

 

 

 

 

10-10-16

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This week, on the 6th of October, I celebrated my 19th birthday with my friends and family. (Which is why I’ve been a bit inactive on here the past couple of weeks). I’m not usually one for big parties and feeling like the centre of attention but I went for a lovely meal to a lil cosy italian restaurant called La Tabella near where I live which serves the yummiest food and isn’t too expensive. (This restuarant always reminds me of the restaurant in the film Love Actually that Colin Firth proposes to his love interest Aurelia in; its super sweet and homely feeling).

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My day started off opening my cards and presents on my bed with my mum and boyfriend. I was so so lucky, I hadn’t asked for anything this year as I assumed after my 18th the presents stop. I am v lucky and blessed to have gotten what I did.

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I don’t want to post too much about my presents because honestly the reason I loved my birthday this year was because I got to spend it with all my family, however I’m so happy to say I’m now the proud owner of a mini Polaroid camera! If anyone is thinking of investing in one of these I can honestly say you will not be disappointing, there’s something so exciting about taking a picture and not being able to edit it or not knowing how it is going to turn out until its fully developed. I’ll probably do a review on this camera once I’ve got used to it and used it a bit more.

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My boyfriend also took these next few days off of work to spend with me for my birthday as he had to work last week. He knows how much I love being outside so today he took me to the beach in Crosby near Liverpool and we had a really long walk in the sun and took lots of photos sat on the Iron men’s shoulders (staying on them wasn’t as easy at it may sound). Then we went for the world’s biggest brunch at Moose Cafe in Crosby… yes it really was as delish as it looks.

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Tomorrow I think he’s taking me to Wales for a picnic, if the weather is ok again, and then it’s back to work for him.

Talking of work, I’ve also had a couple of interviews in the past few weeks and the day after my birthday I found out I’d got one of them! Which was a lovely late birthday present, I start working as office admin at a solicitors in 2 weeks, I can’t wait!

I think that’s everything that’s happened since my last blog post, thank you for reading!

nat-xo

Skincare!

 

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My skin has always been some what of a nightmare for me since about the age of 12. I’ve struggled with cystic acne, oily skin and even extremely dry, cracked skin on my face. You name it, my skin has been through it! Over the past year or so I feel like I’ve finally managed to control my skin’s ‘flare-ups’ as much as possible using these products. I want to share these products on my blog in the hope that they might help someone else going through a similar skin nightmare.

Everyday Daytime Routine
whether I’m putting makeup on that day or just sitting in with no makeup on, these are the products I like to use on a daily basis. 
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I start my day by wiping my face and neck with a clean, steaming flannel in the shower and then splashing cold water on my face after my shower to close my pores.

I will then use Kiehls Calendula Herbal Extract Toner (£30.86) on a cotton pad to tone my face. This product is great, although slightly pricier, as it does not contain alcohol like many toners, so is great on my combination skin all year round. This is my favourite product in my skincare routine as it is so natural and gentle on the skin and has never made my skin breakout or become overly dry like many products do when I first start using them, plus it smells like sweet herbal tea!

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To further close and cleanse my pores I will put Witch targeting clear pore gel (£4.03) on my T-zone. (As you can see mine is well used!!). I have really noticed a difference in my pores since using this and do not get many black heads anymore on my nose, plus it’s incredibly cheap for how well this works. Although, if your skin is prone to being very dry or cracked I would not recommend this step as one of it’s main ingredients is alcohol which is drying on the skin.

 

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I then use a topical treatment from my doctor (called Zineryt) on any spots I currently have or any pre-existing scars.

After this I will start moisturizing. I use No.7 protect and perfect intense day cream (£23.99). I love this as it has SPF 15 which is essential to me (I do not want wrinkles!) and is high enough for here in the UK, it is also hypoallergenic so does not sting my face as some products I’ve previously tried have done although it does have a slight fragrance to it so it may not be great for anyone with really sensitive skin. If you do have sensitive skin then try No.7 dry skin rescue (£16.89) as this does not have any fragrance in it and this is what I use when my skin is extra sensitive and in need of moisture, it is thicker in texture but does not ‘sit’ on top of the skin and does soak in to leave your skin feeling like a baby’s bottom! It does not contain a SPF so do make sure you use an SPF on top of it to prevent wrinkles and skin damage.

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This step is optional, but I like to apply an eye cream. I use Roc 5 in 1 under eye cream (£23.95), it’s thick and soaks in quickly and I don’t know about you but that makes me feel like it is really working.

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My final daytime step is lips! I use Rodial stemcell super food (£17.00) lip balm. I like this because it plumps my lips as well as moisturising and providing an SPF protection. I usually only apply this if I’m about to apply my makeup. I will put it on before I start my makeup, let it sit and then wipe the excess off before I apply any lip product. This helps lightly exfoliate, prime and plump my lips.

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If anyone found this useful then I’d be happy to post my night time routine, what I use when my skin is especially bad as well as the natural remedies and face masks I make at home that have helped me.

nat-xo

August Favorites!

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Favorite Makeup and Beauty

Recently I’ve been loving the brand ‘NYX’. I’ve tried 2 different NYX eyebrow pencils from there this month, the first one being the micro brow pencil in ash brown (RRP £7).

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I would give this pencil a 4.5/5. I like the colour, it wasn’t orangey at all which is hard to come by in an highstreet brand pencil, it didn’t require sharpening as it has a twist-up mechanism, it has a spoolie on one end to brush through the product and the nib is incredibly small and fine so you can create the look of small, realistic hairs. However, the only downfall to this product was that it ran out after 2 weeks and when it got to the end of the product the nib kept on falling out which was incredibly annoying.

The other brow product I tried from NYX is the Auto Eyebrow Pencil in dark brown (RRP £5).

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I’d give this one a 4/5. This pencil is very much similar to the last but it has a larger flatter nib, which I actually prefer, although they don’t do ash brown in this pencil for some reason and the closest was the dark brown and it is slightly orangey in daylight unfortunately. But for £5 I can’t really complain, I’ve used it pretty much everyday for 3 weeks and it hasn’t ran out yet!

My local boots store has just got a NYX counter however I know that not every drugstore in England stocks NYX yet so I’ll put the links to both of these pencils in here:
microbrow – http://www.boots.com/en/NYX-Micro-Brow-Pencil_1771335/
Auto-brow – http://www.boots.com/en/NYX-Auto-Eyebrow-Pencil_1770384/

Favorite Book

My favorite book this month would have to be ‘The Girl on The Train’ by Paula Hawkins. This book is sosososo gripping, after getting a third of the way through the book every spare moment of my time was spent trying to finish it just to find out what had really happened! I don’t usually like crime thriller novels but this really had me gripped from beginning till end, I’ve got a list of friends and family wanting to lend it! I can’t wait for the film to be released this month.

Favorite programs and films

This month I managed to watch all 3 Shrek films for about the millionth time ever, and then to my surprise a 4th Shrek film was suggested on my Netflix which made me so happy as I’d never ever known that a 4th film had been released! I really enjoyed watching them and there’s something about watching favorite childhood films that is so comforting and homely.

I’ve been watching grav3yardgirl on youtube alot this month as well as cutiepiemarzia and pewdiepie. I love gameplay videos on pewdiepie’s channel as well as grav3yardgirl’s video series ‘Does this thing work?’ and of course Marzia’s adorable korean beauty videos and travel vlogs – her trip to Kuala Lumpur has made me want to go back with my boyfriend soso much! >.<

I have also started watching Power on Netlfix as well, this is a seriously addictive program so do not watch if you’re already an incredibly busy person! I’ve watched up to season 2 but now have to wait for my boyfriend to catch up so I’m not tempted to ruin anything for him haha.

Favorite Food

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This month I went to the Tavern Co. Restaurant on Penny Lane in Liverpool for brunch with my boyfriend and 2 other friends. We had to wait about 15 minutes to be seated in this quirky restaurant but it was so worth it. When you are seated a waiter will come and serve you with either tea or coffee at your table (like in an american diner), the milk is served in small milk bottles which I thought was a cute touch and service is incredibly quick. Seen as it was 11.30am by the time we ordered we were all starving, and my eyes are always bigger than my stomach, so we ended up ordering 4 American breakfasts: these consisted of 2 rashers of crispy bacon, 2 fried eggs, beans, 2 slices of thick homemade buttered toast, cubed herby potatoes and a side of american pancakes with maple syrup. We also ordered a plate of banoffee pancakes and a plate of blueberry pancakes to share.

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To our delight the food only came to £41 for 6 meals, which between 4 of us was very affordable for such a delicious breakfast. The service and food was great, I even noticed that young children had goody bags with toys in to keep them entertained which is a great touch.

 

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Bank holiday weekend with friends!

My weekend started off early, on Thursday night, with my boyfriend. We had the house to ourselves, which I always love because it feels like we have our own place. Jack brought me some beautiful flowers

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We had a carpet picnic, watched netflix and made pulled pork burgers on brioche buns which were delish (which were deffo worth waiting till 9.30pm for!!).

Yesterday, for bank holiday Monday, we had a BBQ with friends and family. The day was great, the sun was out, we listened to sing-a-long music all day and even toasted marshmallows once it got cooler in the evening. I started taking some photos with my old camera again and realized how much I love and miss using my camera.

Here is Max,

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Max is Jack’s dog and he’s a springer spaniel-border collie cross. He’s also the sweetest dog I’ve ever known!!

 

Adapting to changes

So a few weeks ago I got my A Level results and although I am proud of my grades, they just weren’t as good as what everyone had expected. This means I will not be going to university this year to study Industrial Design and will instead be getting a job and resitting A Level maths. Although I was disappointed at first, as was expected, I am now feeling very hopeful for what this year will bring for me! I can learn to drive, make new friends and perhaps even rent my first flat – this year doesn’t sound too scary after all!