LUSH Cosmetics | Mini Haul

It’s been quite a while since i’ve done a Lush haul, my closest store now is Cardiff which isn’t that far away from where I live but I don’t tend to head that way often so when I was in Cardiff last week I HAD to go in store.

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I’ve been wanting to pick up Sleepy which is one of Lush’s recent new products for quite some time but I was holding out until I could try it first hand. There’s been a lot of attention on this especially from mums saying how it’s worked wonders with helping their kids sleep so I grabbed a sample of it in store and loved it so I went ahead and purchased the 95g pot (£7.95).

Sleepy has a gentle oatmeal infusion, calming lavender flower and sweet tonka absolute, it smells pretty incredible! I’m not quite sure whether it makes the little one sleep better as she’s always been a pretty good sleeper anyway and always has anything between 10-12 hours a night but it does make her skin incredibly soft and leaves her smelling amazing.

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I also grabbed the Lord of Misrule shower cream 250g (£10.75) which I tend to try and grab every year, it’s just a must have in my bathroom and I also grabbed the Lord of Misrule bath bomb (£3.95). Lord of Misrule has a herbal blend of patchouli, peppercorn and black pepper with an intriguing vanilla absolute sweetness, again with most Lush things it smells pretty darn incredible with the scent lingering on your skin hours after.

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Lastly I grabbed the Secret Arts jelly bomb (£4.95), i’m a huge fan of anything spooky and Harry Potter so this is perfect! Secret Arts has cinnamon leaf oil, Brazilian orange oil and sweet almond essential oil. I’ve not yet tried this one i’m saving it for one of those much needed pamper days but the sound of cinnamon leaf oil is perfect for these colder nights.

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What have you got on your Lush wish list?

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Mental Health | Self Care

Mental Health is such an important topic that needs to be more widely discussed but unfortunately there is still so much stigma surrounding it. I’ve recently covered mental health on my blog with posts on my own mental health story and MQ Mental Health Charity so that’s where this post comes in, what can you do to help manage your mental health with self care.

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When struggling with your mental health sometimes even the basic daily routines become a problem such as taking a shower, socialising with friends, attending appointments, not being able to get out of bed, that might seem unrealistic to those who haven’t had a mental illness or not know much about it but when you’ve got a mental illness such as depression these simple daily tasks become unmanageable and less important. Practicing self care techniques may help manage or prevent symptoms from developing but this is not always the case for everyone, some might require the use of medication and/or therapy, everyone is individual and unique, what works for me might not work for you.

If you’ve read my post on my own mental health journey you’ll notice that my mental health is a lot better than what it was, it’s a lot more manageable, it’s not totally gone as I do go through periods where I am pretty low in mood but nothing that requires the use of medication just a little self care when I finally force myself to do it, I am a little stubborn and i’ll keep telling myself and my husband i’m fine.

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With working full time which involves 12 hour shifts 3 times a week and being a mum to a 3 year old life is pretty hectic, it’s really important for me to set a side at least a hour for some self care whether it would be binge watching Netflix, going to the gym or a pamper evening, just that little bit of time for myself. Usually my self care routine involves me running a bubble bath, lighting tonnes of candles, grabbing my favourite face mask out of the drawer which is currently Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal  Purifying Glow Mask (£16), caking my ever so dead hair in a Argan oil mask and catching up on my current favourite shows which are Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy and The 100. Sounds perfect right?! it is, it really does the trick with helping me relax which in turn washes away half of the problems that which when you step back and look at the bigger picture, shouldn’t be an issue.

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There are so many different types of self care that you could try such as meditation, starting a blog/journal, declutter, wear your favourite perfume, spend time with your loved ones or go to an exercise class.

Your mental health is important, it doesn’t matter if you feel it’s the smallest thing in comparison to others it still matters.  If you are suffering from any form of mental health speak to someone, a friend, a family member, a charity, your GP, it is really important that you don’t let it take over your life. I’d like to think that I will always make time for anyone that wants a chat if they’re feeling low.

Do you have your own mental health story? I would to hear how you coped with it in the comments below!

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MQ Mental Health Charity | Young People’s Mental Health

I recently covered my own mental health journey on here, I think it is such an important topic, we need to raise more awareness and get rid of stigma surrounding having a mental illness. There is absolutely no shame in having a mental illness, i’ve had one and it’s more common than you think. People shouldn’t have to feel embarrassed to seek help from professionals, family or friends but unfortunately this is still the case.

I believe that mental health should be part of the national curriculum, young people should be educated about this, in my opinion it’s crucial. If children are educated about what types of mental health they could come across and where they can seek help, it may help them take the first step quicker as they will recognise the signs instead of ‘on average taking 10 years to seek help after the first symptom has developed’.

MQ stands for mental health and quality of life, they are the first major mental health charity  funding pioneering research into mental health, they aim to create a world in which mental illness is understood, effectively treated and prevented.

MQ’s current campaign is about raising awareness to the lack of funding for Young People’s Mental Health and how this is negatively affecting the diagnosis rate and treatment, it is just as important as any other type of illness. Three quarters of young people with a significant mental illness are not in touch with mental health services which is shocking, this might be due to fear surrounding the stigma of having a mental illness, rejection and embarrassment. The infographic below highlights all of these shocking statistics.

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Bloom & Wild | A Valentines Gift

I always love having flowers in the house they instantly brighten my mood and the whole room, I definitely picked that up from my mum. My husband woke me up and surprised me today with some gorgeous Bloom & Wild roses for Valentines Day.

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Boom and Wild allows you to give someone that special gift within a few clicks, arriving the next day. I totally love the idea that they just post through your letter box so there’s no waiting around at home for a parcel or any missed parcels, which I must admit is a giant paint in the arse.

The flowers come beautifully presented and delicately wrapped which looks and feels elegant, each flower covered with a thin net protecting those precious petals in delivery, it really does feel like an extra special treat.

The flowers are such high quality, those you would expect from a flower shop but are more affordable starting from £20.

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Grab yourself £10 off your first order using the code PETAL22

*this is NOT a sponsored post*

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My New Blogging Photo Set Up |

I am so jealous of those with beautiful laminate flooring, I have forever lusted over a grey washed laminate floor for my front room, as you will know I have a HUGE obsession with grey and recently painted my front room feature wall Mineral Stone Grey. Unfortunately with renting a house there isn’t a lot you can do to it, well I say that I bet some landlords will let you change the flooring but in the end it will only benefit them in the long run.

I have seen various bloggers photography and they usually have the marble worktop or gorgeous flooring featuring in their photos, I usually take my photos on my grey IKEA fluffy rug but it’s not quite cutting it anymore, after reading a blog post a while a go which I can’t for the life of me remember who it was, I saw that you can create that look with literally less than £20, you can do it with wallpaper, vinyl & laminate samples. I headed to B&Q and had a look at their laminate flooring, I saw their Berkeley Effect Antique Finish Laminate which is beyond stunning and picked up 6 samples of that costing £12, £2 each which is equivalent to a drugstore foundation. My husband glued and attached them to some MDF to make it a little stronger, awaiting it to be cut down to size but it is honestly the perfect size for blog photos and barely cost a thing, grab some fresh/fake flowers and there you have it, a nice little set up for more professional looking photos. Step aside crappy blog photos there’s some new boys in town.

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                                The setup                                                     

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After

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I’d love to build up my photography & editing skills, do you have any goals for your blog?

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Netflix | My Top 10 Movies

moviesThis post is really just a quick one to show you my top 10 movies on Netflix to give you a few ideas of what to watch yourself. I absolutely love binging on movies & TV shows, but when it comes to Netflix I tend to struggle as I run out of things to watch leaving me to re watch things i’ve already seen so I usually head to Twitter for inspiration. I don’t really have a certain type of film of what I watch, I love them all but I do tend to lean towards the horror types which I end up watching on my lonesome as the husband absolutely hates them.

The Maze Runner, The Interview, Pans Labyrinth, The Hobbit, Gone Girl, Good Will Hunting, In Your Eyes, Hush, Saw VI & Craft

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Sensitive Post | Mental Health Awareness & My Own Journey

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Mental Health is always a touchy and sensitive topic for anyone that is going through it or has experienced it in the past, with 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health in the UK and 1 in 10 young people will experience a mental health problem. With working in the mental health sector as a support worker it is definitely something people need educating about as there’s not a lot of understanding surrounding mental health and the different disorders there is, which leads to a lot of stigma surround it there is absolutely no shame in having a mental health problem.

Mental health hits close to home for me, I have experienced depression about 5 years ago when I was with my abusive boyfriend, at first he was lovely and then he totally changed I would say he didn’t necessarily hit me but put pressure on my arms to restrict me from moving sometimes leaving bruises, was controlling and always played mind games but at the same time reverting back to the person I first met, it got to the point that honestly I didn’t want to be around anymore I just felt utterly useless and stuck in a rut it triggered i’d say unresolved feelings about the death of my mum. My mind would instantly wander to thinking of my mum, the grief of when she passed away and not the thoughts of the good times before she passed away but the bad when she went through domestic violence herself on many occasions I saw first hand so as you would imagine wouldn’t do well for my deteriorating mental health.

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After months and months of being with him and constantly feeling utter rubbish I took myself off to the doctors who prescribed antidepressants, and of course that didn’t go down well with him as he kept making me feel like I was attention seeking. After a year of being with him I was lucky enough to be speaking to a guy that I had met through Instagram who is now my husband, he made me realise how much he was controlling me without knowing about the situation, it helped me finally open my eyes. It’s so easy to get blind sighted being with someone who is controlling and nasty even after promising yourself you would never put yourself in that situation regardless of what any one says.

I took the antidepressants for quite a while, they seemed to work but I really needed to get myself out of the relationship where one day I really just had enough of feeling so horrible, it’s not me and to be honest I thought that i’ve been through enough shit in the past without that adding onto it, I broke free of the relationship and persisted despite the endless calls, texts and turning up outside my flat and it honestly was the best thing i’ve ever done. I now no longer need the antidepressants, I have a lovely husband and the most beautiful daughter and aiming to go back to university to progress my psychology degree and do mental health nursing, don’t get me wrong I do feel depressed at points surrounding anniversaries of my mum which as you’d imagine is understandable but it’s manageable without medication.

Your mental health is important, it doesn’t matter if you feel it’s the smallest thing in comparison to others it still matters.  If you are suffering from any form of mental health speak to someone, a friend, a family member, a charity, your GP, it is really important that you don’t let it take over your life. I’d like to think that I will always make time for anyone that wants a chat if they’re feeling low.

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Urban Decay Mini Haul

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Being a beauty blogger makeup is forever on my to buy list especially when it comes to Urban Decay, their product range is gorgeous and i’m never left disappointed. I went to Debenhams a couple of weeks ago and strolled past the Ubran Decay counter and spotted that they had their Shadow Box palette for around £16 instead of their usual price of £23, obviously it went straight in my basket, there’s no doubt about that.. i’d be a fool not to.

This beautiful palette has 12 incredibly beautiful and buttery shades, all 12 of them are super pigmented, creamy and blendable. As of late I have been wearing smog, lost and baked cowboy constantly, it is definitely a perfect autumn look.

Shades: Sin, Indo, Bordello, Tornado, Smog, Blackout, Flash, Mushroom, Lost, Freelove, Moonshadow and Baked Cowboy.

What I love about this palette it that it is just the perfect size for travelling, it’s handy for when your out and about so you can pop it into your handbag or makeup bag without it taking up a lot of space, it also has a nice sized mirror so your able to do that perfect smokey eye look on the go.. perfect right?

I also picked up one of Urban Decay’s Comfort Matte Vice Lipstick in the shade Disturbed (£15), fortunately for myself I really do not need any more lipsticks in this type of shade but you know what? I couldn’t help myself, I am well and truly obsessed as all you lipstick lovers will understand.. I feel so bare without any lipstick on. Even though this is a matte lipstick unlike some brands it glides across my lips without feeling dry or picking up those pesky dry areas, *curse having super dry and chapped lips in winter* leaving a bold and super pigmented statement lip behind. I honestly cannot recommend this shade enough for an autumn/winter look or even those who feel like that want something a little bit more dramatic than pink shades.

What is on your Urban Decay wish list?

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Next Generation Fitness Gym

When it comes to fitness I have always put it off because when i’m not working I just want to come home and relax on my days off and plus there is the fact that I am just a little bit lazy so it would mean having to peel myself off the sofa, also there’s no one to watch the little lady as my husband is working or going the gym himself. In the past I used to run outdoors using the C25K app but was forever being put off by the weather.

The thought of the gym is pretty daunting, all those fitness freaks around me judging me is what goes through my head everything I think of signing up, and then the issue with getting a baby sitter and finding the time between work shifts just made it too much of a hassle, this changed when a Next Generation Fitness opened up across the road which is crazy cheap compared to everywhere else (12.99 for off peak hours) and even offers a crèche for Scarlett, the best part? there is a ladies only section so no more worry of working out in front of groups of people *phew*

“Our gym is packed with the very best in industry leading cardio and plate loaded equipment. Convenient with ample parking and offering facilities other local gyms cannot match.”

What the membership offers:

1 month contracts, Free joining up fee, Classes, Sauna & Crèche

Most of you will probably know that I am quite a shy person to begin with, but once you get to know me I open up so with such friendly, interactive and welcoming staff at Next Generation Fitness it has helped tonnes, they’ve been fantastic with Scarlett too, she absolutely loves it and is always excited to go.

All of these benefits means that this has been a huge confidence boost for me as I am still getting used to the machines and as I mentioned above I always feel self conscious. The gym also have 1-2-1 support and lots of popular classes to keep me engaged and interested.

Unfortunately this isn’t a gym franchise and is only available in Newport but I think if other gyms across the UK took a leaf out of Next Generation Fitness’s book then working out for busy parents could be a whole heap easier.

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Melt With Love Advent Calendar

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Christmas is the best time of year because I get to indulge into my unhealthy obsessions such as pizza, chocolate, candles and clothes. The whole concept of a small gift every day until Christmas makes the build up that little bit more exciting. Melt With Love released their very own Advent Calendar* (£14.99) I needed it to fulfil my candle obsession, lucky for me Melt With Love sent me one for review. Melt With Love are an independent company that makes little heart shaped soy wax melts in a variety of scents.

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“The Melt With Love advent calendar contains 24 Christmas and winter scented handmade heart shaped soy wax melts

Each individual heart shaped soy wax melt will give you approximately 6-9 hours (sometimes longer) of delicious fragrance when burnt with an unscented tea light. Our soy wax melts work in all electric wax melt burners. When you are ready to replace the melt allow the burner to cool, the wax to set & simply scrape out & rinse in warm soapy water alternatively place the cooled burner in the fridge & the wax will pop out.”

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The scents include: amaretto nog, blue christmas, candy cane, winter fireside, festive fairies, coco frost, pumpkin & chestnut, mistletoe kisses, love christmas, snow dragon, frosted cranberries, vanilla & spice, festive gingerbread, apple strudel & spice, winter wreath, nutmeg & ginger, frankincense & myrthh, cinnamon & apple, mulled wine & berries, chocolate orange, nutcracker, blueberry & vanilla, winter season and christmas cake.

With candles I tend to lean towards the sweeter scents like cinnamon and vanilla so this calendar was perfect for me as it is filled with all of those, if you are one for the fresher scents then Melt With Love offer these on their website. I have used Melt With Love’s soy wax melts before particularly I  love their lime, basil & mandarin which I believe is compared to Jo Malone. I can vouch for the wax melts and honestly I can say they’re incredible, the scent fills the whole room up and last for hours on end which is exactly what you want when burning a candle. Melt With Love also sells 20 soy wax melt jars (£8) filled with your favourite scent including well known perfume scents which are a perfect Christmas gift for a loved one.

*post contains PR samples*

What’s your favourite scent?

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