The Liebster Award

I am so excited to do this post and have to thank the lovely Chloe for nominating me for the Liebster Award. For those of you who perhaps haven’t heard of it before it’s a fabulous award given by and to new bloggers and the rules are simple:

You answer the 11 questions presented to you by the blogger who nominated you, then nominate another 11 bloggers who have less than 200 Bloglovin followers and ask them a brand new set of 11 questions, and so on.

Essentially, it is an adorable way of welcoming each other into the blogosphere, so hello everybody! 🙂

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Thank you Chloe for your questions, here are my answers:

1. What are your ‘Desert Island’ album/TV show/book selection? Only 1 of each category!
Album | Is it cheating if I say that I would make a compilation album before I go? I’d include 90s tunes and Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran. However, if I was really pushed to choose one album I think it would be Kodaline’s new one ‘Coming Up for Air’. Their first album means so much to me sentimentally, but musically wise, I think their second release is incredible with every single track being amazing.

TV Show | Choosing a TV show is a no-brainer, it has to be Friends. With Joey, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross and Chandler for company at least I won’t feel lonely on the island for a good 10 series, 236 episodes, 87 hours, 5236 minutes or so…

Book | My book choice, involves thinking outside the box as I would probably take a scrap book with loads of pictures of my boyfriend, family and friends in, this would probably become my ‘Wilson’ and I would love, cherish and protect it ;).

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2. Are there any kind of blog posts that annoy you?
I find blog posts which are crammed full of adverts quite difficult to read, especially if the ads aren’t stills and instead distract me from the blog post itself. Also blog post lists which feature each element on a new page are so annoying! These never make for easy reading either because you are forever loading a new page. If you are going to do this, then make the photos/text ‘swipeable’ so that the whole page doesn’t need to reboot 🙂

3. Have you ever had a near death experience?
So when I read this question out to my boyfriend he goes, ‘Your driving is always a near death experience’, ehem. I am sure my family and friends can vouch for me when I say that yes I may not be the world’s best driver, but I am sure no one has ever actually felt near death in my car. Personally though, in year six at school I was sat swinging on my chair in maths chewing on a pen lid, when I swallowed it. I panicked and can vividly remember the teacher shouting ‘where do you think you’re going?!?’ as I legged it out of the classroom. I had absolutely no idea where I was heading, but simply whimpered ‘I swallowed my penlid and I am really, really scared’, and continued to sprint out the classroom, down the stairs and away from the situation – probably something which my classmates definitely found hilarious. Obviously I am here to tell the tale, but that felt like a pretty close call.

4. You’ve been elected Prime Minister/President/whatever. What law would you implement/abolish?
If I had to choose one law, it would definitely be that no one is allowed to work on their birthday, and instead is given the day off to celebrate.

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5. If you had to immigrate, where would you go and why?
I have two answers for this, one place I have been and one place I haven’t (yet). Firstly, I would quite happily move to San Francisco, as I really did leave my heart in San Francisco when we visited the city on holiday. Despite boarding a plane to sunny LA with my family for the next part of our trip, I shed a few tears for the incredible place which we left behind. (Below is a shot of my Dad, step-mum, brother and I about to bike the Golden Gate Bridge, what’s that I hear you say? Helmets are the peak of fashion? Why thank you very much #safetyfirst).

Secondly, all my friends and family are fully aware that I am absolutely desperate to visit Australia and have been going on and on about it since I was about eight-years-old. I have idealised the lifestyle and am hopelessly in love with the beach in my home town of Bournemouth, so I guess I want to experience the waves on the flip side too.

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6. What job role do you imagine you will have in later life?
A lot of people say this, but I hope to be a full time writer. Having been inspired by my English teacher and love of the written word from the age of 14-18 (GCSEs-A Levels), I simply cannot imagine my life taking another route. As long as my job involves some aspect of writing, I believe I will be happy, because even if I am not writing about things which particularly interest me on a personal level, I will always have my blog and the amazing blogging community to get creative with! 

7. You can only buy one brand of make-up from now on. What is it?
Ouch, ouch, ouch. This is a tough question! I’d probably have to go for Bare Minerals simply because they have kinda made my dreams come true with their powder foundations. My skin was quite terrible as a teenager and two courses of roaccutane left my skin spot free (dream drug but that’s another post for another day), but I still had scarring. Bare Minerals’ foundation literally feels as though you aren’t wearing any make-up at all, it also blends beautifully.

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8. If you were forbidden access to your own clothes, whose wardrobe would you raid? Celebrities included.
Does the body, hair and make-up come too? If that’s the case then Michelle Keegan, I trust that I don’t even need to start explaining why. <3

9. What do you do in your spare time that you consider to be out of the norm? Blogging not included.
Living in Sheffield the past four years has provided me with some opportunities I wouldn’t have had in my hometown of Bournemouth, one being Sheffield Steelers’ ice hockey games. I guess this is out of the norm for a lot of people as teams are only really dotted around the country. My boyfriend and I have been to quite a few games and get a real buzz supporting the boys on the ice. If you’ve never been to a game, I thoroughly recommend it as you’re guaranteed a brilliant time, win or lose!

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10. Out of your five senses – which would you hate to live without the most and why?

Definitely sight followed by hearing. Cringey as it sounds, there’s soo much to see, but it’s also a horrible thought to imagine a life without music.

11. What would your first three purchases be if you won the lottery?

A round the world ticket – see ya! A string of houses right along the beach with the sand for a garden, so all my family and friends could move in (definitely just assumed that I had won big on the euro millions), and probably a new car as my current one is just about surviving (he’s a trooper!).

Thank you so much to Chloe for nominating me, I really enjoyed answering your questions and loved taking a trip down memory lane as well as looking towards the future. Now time to nominate some other lovely bloggers and their blogs, so here goes:

Kiss Me Kate, Life and Looks, Anything Everything Bethany, The Lifestyle Diaries, Stephanie Jayne Beauty,Florrie’s Avenue, The Flower That Blooms, Emily Likes Makeup, Breony Beauty, Here You Me and All Hail the Nails

Here are your questions girlies!
1. If you could spend 24 hours with one celebrity who would it be and why?
2. What’s your most important blogging tip that you would give to people thinking about starting a blog and also your top tip for those who have been blogging a couple of months?
3. Imagine you are musically gifted (and I am sure some of you probably are) who would you most like to go on tour with and why?
4. Name the first five things that come into your head when I say the colour yellow.
5. What are your favourite lyrics or film quote of all time?
6. Describe what gave you the final push to actually sit down, create your blog and hit the publish button on your first post.
7. What do you hope to have achieved with your blog a year from today?
8. Do you believe in Karma?
9. What makes you smile?
10. If you could change your name, a) would you want to b) what would you rename yourself? (I’m thinking along the lines of Mrs Princess Consuela Banana Hammock ;))
11. Finally, if you could be any age again or in the future which age would you choose and why?

So that’s it I cannot wait to read all of your nominee answers, make sure you tag me in the post on twitter or instagram  so I can see them, good luck and have fun 🙂 XO

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Nailbuff Review

Just like a girl can never have too many handbags or pairs of shoes, a girl can never, ever have too many bottles of nail varnishes.

With the classic mono-colour look being well and truly left behind, there is so much potential for different designs, symbols, textures and even scents! It’s a wonder how us girls manage to keep up…

Thankfully two sisters, Harpreet and Kam have come up with an ingenious idea to help us with this beauty dilemma, and so nail-buff.com was born.

NailBuff is a brand new website allowing you to create your own online catalogue of all your gorgeous nail polishes and compare them with others in your collection or those featured on the site.

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Designed to be a handy tool for the beauty world, this slick site is easily accessible from all smart phones (yay). So with a few clicks and a log in with Facebook you will be creating an album of all your nail varnishes in no time!

I have started my own online collection and have to admit it is quite addictive, and while no collection can ever be complete I feel NailBuff is the answer to keeping track of my latest additions.

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What’s more, as NailBuff is a shiny new site, the brand list is still growing, so in order to add some of my nail varnishes which don’t yet feature on the site, I simply took a photograph of the bottle (in good lighting) and swatched it using photoshop, (it’s so easy!).

The best feature about the site is the comparison tool. When you’re out and about (and probably stood for hours next to the nail varnish counters deliberating about which colours to purchase next), you can seek a little help from nail-buff.com and compare your new buys with those already in your collection.

I am seriously impressed with the usability of this website, (it works amazingly well on my phone), and absolutely love the minimalistic design leaving you to add a pop of colour to the monochrome look with your nail varnish collections.

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The Future
In the upcoming weeks NailBuff will continue to grow, so make sure you watch this space for updates on being able to browse other users’ collections. What’s more there are huge plans lined up for the future of NailBuff including a super user-friendly app which is due to go live this summer!

So what are you waiting for, let NailBuff lend you a helping hand and start your collection with them today on www.nail-buff.com and get ahead in the nail game.

Also don’t forget to check out NailBuff on twitter, facebook and instagram, plus while you’re there, be sure to enter their latest competitions!

**I was gifted some gorgeous nail varnishes by the lovely girls at NailBuff for writing this review of their website.**

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The First Weekend of Spring

Sunday is funday and at the weekend my boyfriend, his family and I took a little trip to a gorgeous Abbey in Nottinghamshire…

With spring in full swing (sorry ;)) we set out on a mini adventure in search of somewhere to take a stroll beside the flowers in bloom.

We set our sights on Newstead Abbey, which was built in the twelfth century and once home to world-renowned poet, Lord Byron. I am so glad we did because I love going to new places, and it is somewhere I could visit again and again.

On entering the grounds, it was soon clear that the medieval architecture and tranquil Garden Lake were to become the perfect backdrop for some fresh air and a glorious walk in the sunshine.

What’s more, the wildlife definitely seemed to agree with us, or should I say we agreed with them as the grounds are home to so many geese, swans and peacocks.

For those of you who enjoy cultural outings or learning something new (I know I do), be sure to spend some time reading the beautiful poem Lord Byron dedicated to his beloved dog Boatswain, near to the Spanish themed gardens.

Admittedly, I am not the best at differentiating between different types of flowers and trees, but the perfectly manicured American, French and Rose gardens to name just a few, were something to be marvelled at. Plus we were completely in awe of the stunning array of waterfalls that compliment the Abbey’s parkland and the stepping stones definitely added to the magic.

I am quite an outdoorsy person and find it a real struggle living in the city away from the beach in my hometown, so it felt soooo good to finally shake off winter and take a seat amongst the grass for the first picnic of the year.

All in all Newstead Abbey is definitely one for all the family, especially as there is plenty of space for flying kites, ball games, picnics and even a play park for the children.

Check out just a handful of the gorgeous pictures we took below and decide for yourself, but I can strongly recommend Newstead Abbey as a brilliant choice for a day out, especially for the Easter period (check opening times).

Let me know if you decide to visit Newstead Abbey or suggest some of your favourite walks in England, in the comment box or tweet me.

XO

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A Guide to Being a Happier You

It’s so very easy to get down and depressed about the smallest of things and before you know it, you are spiralling into a gloomy state of mind. Perhaps you dream of travelling the world but just don’t know where to start, maybe you’re bored in a dead end job desperate to start your career or maybe you just can’t seem to shake off those winter blues.

If you’re nodding along as you’re reading this then take advantage of these lovely and simple steps to pick your mood up off the floor in a guide to being a happier you.

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Stop stalking | Whether you’re scrolling back to May last year on your enemy’s timeline or perhaps taking a not so brief trip down memory lane on your ex boyfriend’s instagram, crying into a pillow about how it used to be, you need to stop.

In fact, you need put either a mental block or even better, a physical block on all of those people whose social media pages you think you need to check up on, but in actual fact, bring you down. Instead, follow a load of brand new pages with amazing photography or beautiful interior/make-up designs and fill your news feed with wonderful distractions.

Start saying yes | Now you don’t have to go mad with this one and spend seven nights a week out partying the night away with your friends, but you do need to embrace life a little more. Every experience either teaches us something, or leads us to something new and exciting – practically a win-win situation every time.

So next time you are invited out but a little hesitant and worried about who is or isn’t going, give yourself a hypothetical kick up the bum and just say yes!

Start saying no | On the flip side, if you fancy staying in and chilling in your onesie with one hand in a family sized bag of Doritos, and the other holding the TV remote aimlessly flicking through the channels, then do it!

Realise that nobody dictates your life and it is yours to live freely as you like, so while you’re busy saying yes to everything and trying to please everyone, make sure you pack in some generous ‘me’ time too and you will soon achieve a happy medium.

Do more of what you love | Life is all about the little luxuries, and while we aren’t all lucky enough to turn our passions into careers (I know I would love to be a fulltime writer), we can make the most of the time we do have.

So if for example, you love losing yourself in a novel but just don’t have the time for reading, make time by getting into bed half an hour earlier.

Do your research | If you are looking for something new and exciting in your life or desperate to take the brave leap and quit your boring job in search of your dream one, then back yourself up first.

Read up on news articles in the industry, speak to other people who have already made the move or attend events and workshops. You will have something amazing to look forward to and become addicted to the buzz and be immersing yourself in what makes you happy. What’s more, you will be so much more confident and have a greater belief in your abilities when it comes to accepting a new challenge.

Be happy, be friendly and be kind | Remember that saying, smile and the world smile’s with you? Also remember that time when Phoebe from Friends tried to prove that good deeds were selfless, and when Joey (strangely, but wisely) explained that all good deeds are selfish because we feel good for doing them? Well take advantage of the good vibes and help away.

Make someone’s day and give your seat up on the bus or train for a pregnant lady or an elderly man. Got a couple of loose coins at the bottom of your bag? Pop into your local coffee shop and buy an extra one for someone huddled in a doorway trying to keep warm. By doing a tiny good deed, you will find happiness in knowing that you have added a little sparkle to someone’s day.

Look out for number one | Stop caring about what everyone thinks, only worry about those closest to you and who mean the most. By relaxing, taking a step back and considering who really matters, you will find that a hell of a lot of your worries will gently float away because you will have started living for YOU.

The future | This is probably the hardest step to follow as the future you need to look forward to may be tomorrow, next week or even next month. Whenever, it is or however you get there, the point is you WILL achieve happiness and your feelings of sadness or depression will pass, just ensure that it is you who makes the change and decides on the right path to a happier you.

What little things in life make you happy? Let me know in the comment box below or tweet me.

XO

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