Yes I know that July ended over two weeks ago, but things have been so busy that I have not had a chance to post about how fantastic July was for me. I spent the month enjoying the lovely weather, eating lots of ice cream and with the people that I love the most.
The first big event that I went to in July was the Tatton Park Foodie Festival. I was a very lucky lady and had won two tickets from Jenny over at Mummy Makes Cakes, so I purchased one more and took my parents for a day out. The festival ran for three days, and after looking at the weather forecast for the weekend I decided to go on the Friday. It was certainly the right choice, as the weather was perfect all day long.
There were such a wide variety of stalls, and there were some fantastic foods and drinks to sample. The most unique stall was this lovely bar that has been transformed from a small trailer. It even has a chandelier!
The second event that I went to was the Giant Spectacular in Liverpool. The event was last in Liverpool in 2012, and is the most amazing street theatre I have ever seen. This year’s performance marked the centenary of the beginning of the first world war, and tells a story through a girl, her dog and her grandmother.
Again I took my parents to see this, and it was a fantastic day out. There were so many people, but the atmosphere was so friendly and it was nice to show my parents a city that they had never been to before. The puppets were so impressive, and I am so glad that we went to see them.
We may have also have stopped at the beach for a bit on the way back…
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?
On Sunday I was lucky enough to attend the launch party to celebrate Essence’s arrival here in the UK. I’ve been listening to Breige over at Rare Opal gushing about Essence cosmetics for a few months now, so I was pretty eager to see what all the fuss was about.
The launch was held at The Studio in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. It is a fantastic location to host an event anyway, but Essence and Flipside PR had completely transformed the room into a make up lovers paradise. There was a 2 meter display stand full of make up to be investigated, as well as areas specifically devoted to nails, lips, eyes and face. These areas were perfect for trying out products and seeing how others were planning to use each item – and it’s a great way to get new ideas and inspirations.
I was really pleased to hear that Essence do not test on animals, and that they routinely inspect their suppliers. I also love that they market their products to those that are young at heart, not just teenage girls – it is so refreshing! I was also really impressed to hear that each year Essence will change 50% of it’s product line, ensuring that there is always something new, and that you can keep up with the latest trends at an affordable price.
As well as playing with all of the delightful make up, there was also the chance to get a manicure from the Pamper Puff Girls. I decided to go for a summery coral fittingly called Off to Miami. I have been searching for the perfect coral nail polish for a while, and this certainly fits the bill. I have been wearing this for 3 days without a chip.
I took home lots of goodies to experiment and play with – but that is a post for another day. You will just have to trust me for now when I say that they are really, really good. If you cannot wait and just want to try everything for yourself, there is an Essence stand in Manchester Arndale, as well as one in Westfields Shepards Bush. They will also be in Wilkonsons/Wilkos stores from July.
Thanks to Essence UK and Flipside PR for hosting such a great event!
Just a quick update to let you all know that I will be attending Kate Feld’s blogging event in Manchester, for anyone in the area that would like to go. Tickets are selling quickly, but you can get yours here.
It would be great to meet any of you that are also attending!
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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.
Seeing as I have been working on my list for almost five months now, I thought that I should quickly post an update about what I have been able to tick off my list. Each item will have it’s own blog post over the next few weeks, and I will post a round up every couple of months. I have been having so much fun completing these goals, and planning which ones to complete next.
1. Come up with 101 things. (Clearly already done)
2. Make 5 new friends through my blog.
3. Complete a color run.
4. Professionally redesign my blog.
5. Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop.
6. Learn how to do calligraphy.
7. Complete 5 craft projects from Pinterest.
8. Write down the birthdays and addresses of all of my friends and family in a book.
9. Put £10 into savings for each goal completed.
10. Kiss under mistletoe.
11. Bake something from Pinterest.
12. Knit an item of clothing. (Currently in progress)
13. Go to New York for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
14. Donate blood 10 times.
15. Have afternoon tea. (With my mum at The Britannia Hotel)
16. Start my own company.
17. Invest in quality business cards.
18. Buy my parents something significant.
19. Send 50 handwritten letters.
20. Learn how to use chopsticks.
21. Take a baking lesson.
22. Send my mum flowers out of the blue. (On Christmas Eve)
23. Get a facial.
24. Read 20 new books.
25. Attend a polo match.
26. Learn to drive.
27. Buy a car.
28. Send a postcard to PostSecret.
29. Have a real Christmas tree.
30. Go on holiday.
31. Be in Times Square for New Years Eve.
32. Ride a horse.
33. Drink 8 glasses of water a day for a month.
34. Purchase a pair of designer shoes.
35. Purchase a designer handbag.
36. Visit 5 museums.
37. Make a snow angel.
38. Watch every Disney film.
39. Have breakfast in bed.
40. Go to the zoo.
41. Build a snowman.
42. Fly first class.
43. Do something special with my brother.
44. Enroll for a new degree/qualification. (Postgraduate Degree starts next month!!)
45. Redecorate my bedroom.
46. Watch 10 different TED talks. (Completed about six times)
47. Try yoga.
48. Sort out my Amazon wishlists.
49. Begin paying into my pension. (Joined my company’s pension scheme in March ’14)
50. Sort out my Good Reads account.
51. Pay off my student credit card.
52. Sell 200 items on eBay.
53. Buy no new cosmetics until I have used all the ones I currently own.
54. Make 20 different soups.
55. Bake a rainbow layer cake.
56. Donate to a different charity every month.
57. Buy 5 items from Etsy and do a feature on each seller.
58. Take three short courses/classes.
59. Get paid for a published article.
60. Organize my iTunes library.
61. Buy luxurious/fancy bedding.
62. Teach a class.
63. Carve a pumpkin for Halloween.
64. Visit Disney World and Disney Land.
65. Learn to identify 10 constellations by sight.
66. Complete level one British Sign Language.
67. Learn to sign 20 words in ASL.
68. Find three things to do as new holiday traditions and do them every Christmas for the duration of the 1001 days.
69. Blog about each goal completion (weekly round ups if needed)
70. Try 20 new restaurants.
71. Grow a plant from a seed.
72. Build a blanket fort.
73. Go to a botanical garden.
74. Have a birthday party.
75. Go to a book signing.
76. Go to an aquarium.
77. Give someone a handmade gift.
78. Ask 10 people what their favorite book is and then read them all. (1/10 done)
79. Spend the night in a five star hotel.
80. Write a business plan.
81. Give £5 to charity for every goal not achieved.
82. Build a sand castle.
83. Find a mentor.
84. Clear out my email inbox.
85. Try three foods I’ve never had before.
86. Contribute to another blog.
87. Master SEO.
88. Become more confident in networking.
89. Spend an entire day in bed watching documentaries.
90. Learn to apply liquid eyeliner.
91. Host a giveaway on my blog.
92. Interview 5 female entrepreneurs that inspire me.
93. Attend a blogging conference.
94. Sleep under the stars.
95. Spend one day saying ‘yes’ to every opportunity.
96. Make a list of 101 quotes that inspire me.
97. Complete 10 random acts of kindness.
98. Be kissed in the rain.
99. Have a picnic.
100. Be in bed before 10pm every day for one month.
101. Watch 40 new (to me) movies.
So far I have completed 6/101 things on my list, and whilst that may not seem like a lot, I feel as though I have been making steady progress. If you would have asked me yesterday, I would have been able to correctly guess around half of the goals on this list, and it feels really good to go over them again and to re-inspire myself to achieve them.
I am really looking forward to being able to cross a few goals off this list over the summer, and I would love to read everyone else’s list. Leave the link to them in the comments section!