Down to Devon

For Christmas, I decided to surprise my parents with a holiday to Devon, on the south cost of England as part of their gift. My parents have not been away in 10 years, and I knew that this was exactly what they needed. I made them really cute vouchers and loved watching their reactions as they realised what had been planned for them. I’ll be sharing a few highlights with you over the next few weeks, but I thought I would give you a quick update.

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We have been to Devon before, about 15 years ago, so I knew roughly how long it would take to get there and that it was a place my parents and I had really enjoyed visiting. It was lovely to see their excitement build as the holiday came closer and closer, and I really loved going shopping with my mum for holiday clothes…everyone needs new clothes for their holidays right?

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I had decided to book an apartment so that we had more space and could come and go as we pleased, eating in or out and without needing to think about when a hotel stops serving food…I really like midnight snacks! The apartment was beautiful and it was the perfect place to relax after a long day of sightseeing, and would have been perfect for staying in if the weather had been bad.

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The weather was perfect and we were able to spend our week exploring lots of coastal places. My dad and I even went star gazing as there is much less light pollution than in Manchester. The beach was absolutely beautiful and I could have happily stayed there forever. This holiday was so needed, and my batteries are all recharged ready for my next adventure.

Where did you last go on holiday/vacation?

Things My Skin Loves

Things my skin loves

I seem to have the most challenging skin type ever! My skin, if left to it’s own devices, is dry and dull. To make it worse, my skin is also really sensitive. I have spent many years searching for the perfect products for me, and I am finally really happy with the items I am using.

Angles on Bare Skin – £6.40 from Lush is the most amazing facial cleanser, and at only £6.40 for 100g is super affordable. This was recommended to me by one of that staff whilst I was looking for the holy grail of skincare, and they were so right! It contains kaolin to absorb grease and dirt, leaving skin clean and nourished, but is super gentle. The lavender, which I will admit I was a little worried about at first (it’s not my favourite scent) works with the ground almonds in the cleanser to gently exfoliate your skin, leaving it looking brighter, whilst the almond milk leaves your skin feeling more toned and baby soft. This is a solid cleanser, and you simply break a little of, mix it with water to form a paste, and then begin rub it into your face. The results are amazing.

Hand Food – £5 by Soap and Glory was a surprise discovery a few months ago. I love Soap and Glory products, but because of my sensitive skin I am always really wary of trying new products. My mum had actually bought me some little treats to put in my Christmas stocking, and this was one of them. It is now a firm favourite. It moisturises my hands without leaving them greasy, and without my sensitive skin reacting badly. A little goes a long way with this one, so although it is a little more expensive than some others, it is worth it.

Butter Yourself Body Cream – £10.50 again this one is also from Soap and Glory. I decided to give this a go when a friend said that it was one of the best body creams she had ever used. This looks expensive, but for 300 ml of really good, high quality body cream it is excellent value for money. I love using this straight after having a shower, and it smells divine!

Balmi Lip Balm – £4.99 by Balmi is a fairly new brand over here. It was the unusual shape of the container that first caught my eye, and as it was on a 3 for 2 offer I decided to give it a try. I picked the raspberry one, and it constantly being used. As with most women, I seem to have a million lip balms, and I leave them everywhere. I keep this one in my bag, and then not only do I know that I always have one with me, but the sturdy case keeps me reassured that the top is not going to come off and stain everything. The balm itself is clear, but has a lovely flavor and keeps my lips soft for hours.

Total Moisture Facial Cream – £28.50 from Benefit is a real game changer for me. I often find that I either have a reaction to a face cream straight away, or after using for a while, suddenly something changes and I have to go on the hunt for another. I have been using this for about a year now, and it always feel lovely to put this on. Whilst the pot is not the easiest for application, it does mean that you can use every last drop. My skin feels so much better now that I have discovered this, and the scent is lovely and clean.

Moisture Prep Toning Lotion – £23.50 by Benefit is one of my best skincare discoveries. It makes sure that there is no make up or dirt left on my face, and really helps to hydrate and sooth my skin. As with all of Benefit’s skincare range, a little goes a long way, and your skin will thank you for it.

Triple Performing Facial Emulsion – £21.50 by Benefit is a new discovery for me. About three months ago whilst stocking up on all kinds of lovely things. I now use this on top of the Facial Cream every morning, and there is a noticeable difference. I love that just as with the Facial Cream, it does not leave my skin oily or shinny.

What is your skin currently loving?

Green Fingers

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This year, I have been making a real effort to focus on little things that make me happy. One big thing that always makes me happy is sunshine. Here in Britain, there are usually one or two glorious weeks of sunshine followed by constant rain. It did not even snow here in Manchester this winter – it just kept raining.

As soon as the weather was dry I made sure to spend as much time in the garden as possible.My dad and I had decided that we were going to completely renovate the garden, and that is exactly what we did. I booked a few days off work, took a trip to the local garden centre and stocked up on supplies.

It was hard work, but it has been really lovely to watch all of the flowers begin to bloom. There are more and more opening up every day, and the garden has completely transformed. Whilst I do not think that I will ever be presenting at The Chelsea Flower Show, I am very proud of my little patch of heaven.

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Motivation and Passion

I have been thinking over the past few days about motivation. Why do some people seem to never run out of it? Why do some people have it and then lose it? And why do some people never seem to have any at all?

When I was a student, even as a child, I would look forward to the first day back at school after the summer holidays. I could not wait to buy all of my new stationery (something that I still enjoy, but far more frequently), and to do so well. My first few days work was always beautiful, colourful and done with passion. The same happened when I was in high school, college and university. I always started with such good intentions and high hopes, before slipping back into old habits.

This past year though, things have changed. I find myself maintaining my drive and exceeding my expectations for myself. This year, I found my passion. It took three career changes, but I found the perfect fit for me. Within weeks I had this burning passion back, and so far it has not left me. Passion has pushed me and driven me in ways that I never thought were possible.

I am determined to push myself and to achieve as many things as I want to, and I now believe that I can. As we are heading into holiday season, it always makes me reflect on the year, and what I have accomplished. Finding my passion and letting it guide me are the biggest lessons that I have learnt.

I’m hoping that my passion is reflected here, and that I can share it with all of you. I would love to know how you found your passion.