Lifestyle | A Few of my Favourite Things - January 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018

I’ve said it before and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I say it but how quick has January gone? I don’t know if its because I’ve been off work ill or just the old adage of the older we get the quicker time goes but here we are right at the end of January.
This year I am trying my hardest to be more positive, this isn’t easy for me as I’m quite a pessimistic person and often think the worst and I complain a lot. While this year hasn’t gotten off to a great start I’ve decided to start recording things I’ve enjoyed or liked. I guess you could say “here are a few of my favourite things”  


I’ve shared this planner in a post a couple of weeks ago, but it is really working well for me. The idea is only to use it for Blog and YouTube things and so far, this has been the case. This is mainly because I haven’t left the house much. It won’t be a planner I carry around with me or use it for real life planning I don’t think but as far as January goes it’s working well. 

Pain Killers

While I don’t want to be relying on them for ever, they have gotten me through this month and I couldn’t have coped with out them.  


I do love all fruits but a special mention to blueberries as they have now been reclassified as speed food on Slimming World. I do try and each a lot of speed foods and this has added something else I like to my list of foods to eat.

Disney Vlogs

While I’ve been off work, I’ve been keeping myself entertained watching Disney Vlogs, I started just watching Disneyland Paris vlogs but now I’m loving watching Walt Disney World ones as well. I especially enjoy Charlotte Ruff, A Clairytale, Steph and the Spaniels and I’ve just started watching Brogan Tate. I’ve been watching them as I’m hoping to take a trip to DLP at the end of the year and I’m getting in the Disney spirit.

Bookish Mama’s

This is a Facebook book club I’ve joined. It’s not just for mums but it was set up by a group of parent bloggers. We’ve just read our first book, The Power by Naomi Alderman. It was a tough book and one I think I need to read again as after the discussion I feel like I might have missed some of it. We had a FB live to discuss the book and that worked so well. It helped there wasn’t too many of us in the chat as I often struggle with FB live but having that chat and reading people’s opinions and interpretations really helped. I’m looking forward to reading the next book. 

Cath Kidston Backpack

I’ve always been a fan of using Backpacks and tend to buy them over other styles of bags. I grabbed this one in the sale for £26 and I’m really like the print and that it doesn’t scream I’m a Cath Kidston product. 

Marie Hoodie

This was a bargain at £5 in the sale in Primark. My only issue with this is that it’s slightly cropped. I’ve only worn it in the house so far, but it doesn’t seem too cropped, but I don’t think It’s too bad and it’s so soft and fluffy inside. Marie is possibly my favourite Disney character. I don’t really wear a lot of character clothing (I’ve got a few HP bits but not a lot of branded stuff) but with the plan of a Disney visit in the pipeline, it doesn’t hurt to have a few bits and bobs.  

Primark Cardie

A hand-me-down from my mum. No, not really, she’d picked up the wrong size and asked if I wanted it. I wore it for every day for about 2 weeks when I got it at first. I almost cried when I finally decided it needed a wash. It’s soft and fluffy but it has gone bobbly very quickly. 

I love that it has pockets and I don’t care about the bobbles, I feel like I want it in other colours. I did spot it in black last week. 

Kiko Nail Polish

I’ve been meaning to talk about these for quite a while, but these must be the best nail polish I’ve used in a long time if not ever. My nails must be oily or acidic or something, but nothing ever sticks, it either wears off or chips quickly and even gel nails just peel off within a couple of days. It’s very quick drying and a lot of the shades only need one coat. 

I’ve had a couple of these colours last over a week if not longer and they are only £2.50 each. I bought most of mine in Lanzarote where they are €2 and occasionally I’ve spotted them for £2 in store.

There is a blog post planned to talk about these in more detail so if you're interested make sure you stay tuned in February.

I've also made a youtube video talking about these as well so if you'd like to watch the video as well it would be much appreciated.

I'd love to know what you've enjoyed this month so make sure you leave me a comment with a few of your favourite things.


Lifestyle | Cath Kidston Blue Peony Blossom Print Rucksack

Thursday, January 25, 2018

I’ve been a Cath Kidston fan for as long as I can remember but I don’t often buy from there as it’s above my usual price point if I’m being honest. There is also there is so many prints to choose from I can’t make my mind up and finally I don’t always like buying from somewhere, where it is so obvious that it’s that brand. Next can be a bit like that.
Cath Kidston  Peony Blossom Frame Backpack

Between Christmas and New Year, I did see a lot of adverts for sales and further reductions so like anyone would I clicked on the link and fell in love.

Cath Kidston  Peony Blossom Frame Backpack

I had spotted this peony print backpack in the pop-up concession in Manchester Arndale when I’d been Christmas shopping but at that time I was so annoyed they didn’t have the alphabet mugs with the initials I wanted I bit my nose off and wouldn’t buy anything from them! I’m a Taurus this should explain a lot.

Cath Kidston  Peony Blossom Frame Backpack

The bag had been reduced to £26 and I reasoned I’d pay this much in TK Maxx for a backpack (My life’s reference point)

It has a wire frame around the opening and this can make it tricky to open and close on the go, but at this point, I’ve only used it a couple of times and I think in time this will be easier / I will work out a way of doing it easier.

Cath Kidston  Peony Blossom Frame Backpack

There is also an internal zip pocket and 2 small pouch pockets inside and as well as the outside pocket with a flap closure there are also 2 pockets on the side which would hold a water bottle or similar, but these don’t have any fastenings.

Cath Kidston  Peony Blossom Frame Backpack

Peonies are one of my favourite flowers, so this print is perfect for me and I like that it doesn’t automatically scream “I’m a Cath Kidston bag” there is a nod to the brand with the oilcloth style fabric and it has a fairly obvious label on the outside but from a distance I don’t think you would easily guess the brand. That might be me trying to kid myself and I do love a lot from the brand including all the really obvious CK prints but I just don’t know if I want to own them all.
I am very taken with a lot of the Disney range, sadly the clothing only goes to a size 16 and were some great tops in the sale for a good price, but I know there is no point even trying to fit into them.

Cath Kidston  Peony Blossom Frame Backpack


Lifestyle | When Primark Met Harry Potter

Monday, January 22, 2018

Harry Potter is everywhere now, last year was the 20th anniversary of the first book and Primark have stepped in to meet a lot of peoples needs/desire to be in the world of Harry and co.
I hadn’t read the books for years and before Christmas, I treated myself to the box set of books and DVDs. I know the films are on TV a lot but I wanted to own them so I could watch them whenever I wanted.

 Primark Harry Potter Merch
While I have no need for any Harry Potter Merchandise I couldn’t help but pick up a few items. I might need some of these later in the year but mainly I have just been sucked in and every time I pop in I pick something up.

 Primark Harry Potter Merch

I’ve also got a couple of PJ tops and packs of socks which I haven’t included mainly because I forgot about them when I was planning this post. The tops are nice and soft and only cost about £4 each.
One of the first things I picked up was a time turner necklace, this is very cute and doesn’t look overly Harry Potter unless you know the books/films you could wear it anytime. I also picked up a pair of the classic glasses and festival bands.

 Primark Harry Potter Merch

I have a weakness for pin badges, but I often find they are quite expensive, I came across this pack of 6 badges for £3 in Primark in Manchester.

 Primark Harry Potter Merch
Bags for life are always useful and again £3 well spent. The only item I regret buying (other than the glasses, I wear glasses so what use am I going to get out of these!) is the wand. It’s my most recent purchase and for £1.50 I don’t feel like I need to return it, but I have no use for it and it’s quite heavy. I might start writing spells and use it for that. It seems quite apt.

 Primark Harry Potter Merch

I love my little stash of Harry Potter Merch and I expect I will pick more up on future visits to Primark. I can’t help myself, but I really should stop. As I’ve said some of these might come in handy later in this year but watch this space. 

 Primark Harry Potter Merch


BOOKS | Harry Potter Books Boxset

Thursday, January 18, 2018

This year my Christmas shopping has been all about me. I haven't had many people to buy for. 3 family members, secret Santa and I did get my friends little boy a couple of little bits but every time I've gone to buy presents I've bought myself something. They haven't been little things either!

The first present I bought myself was the Harry Potter Books Boxset. Are books in boxsets? It has a half box round it so I'm going to say a confident yes.

I haven't read all the books in a very long time, I did have all the books but over time they had been sent to the charity shops. I regret this but as I'd spotted some funky looking special editions for the 20th anniversary in a bookshop. I decided it was time to buy them again. From what I can see the special editions are just of the first book and it was working out cheaper to buy the set from Amazon.
I have spotted the books in Tesco on 2 for £7 which would be cheaper £28 plus an extra book as there are 7 books (8 films) but as bad as this sounds I didn't like the covers.

The covers I've got are the adult editions (That makes them sound a bit 50 shades - the content is the same, but covers are more grown up) (Feeling prudish right now)

I've had the books around a fortnight now and I'm halfway through the set. I'm as in love with the series now as I was back when I first read it about 15 years ago.

I find myself picking little holes but and going "really" a lot, probably more than I did back then when the magic (Boom Tish) was all new to me and I've rewatched the first film and picked more holes. Mainly about some of the change they made. Small but annoying but that's a whole (Boom Tish) other post.

Harry Potter Boxset
Harry Potter Boxset

The world of Harry Potter is magical and whether you've never read it or haven't read it for a while I urge you to read the books. The films are good, but the books are just so much more. I laugh with them as well as at them, my heart breaks for them. I go "really" (A long thin package. Broom length and width - whatever could it be?) I worry how they will be able to pass the O.W.Ls and N.E.W.Ts when they don't seem to take English and Maths. They do a lot of essays and surely a primary school understanding of grammar is not enough. My primary school didn't really teach that. I'm over thinking it? What would OFSTED Say?! I mean are they even rated? Yes, I am over thinking it but even Witches and Wizards need more than just a potions O.W.L to get by in life.

Harry Potter Boxset
Harry Potter Boxset


Beauty | Snow Ella Sale Bagains

Monday, January 15, 2018

Love her or loathe her you can’t fail to avoid the Zoella brand, personally, I like watching her vlogs and can’t help but think it’s impressive how she has gone from a blogger/vlogger to a brand.
I have used several her bath and body products in the past and while I don’t feel the need to rush out and keep buying them, I do like a few enough to buy again and I like them enough to try new things when they come out.


Personally, I’m happy to wait for sales and special offers. I won’t be queuing up for launch day of products or pre-ordering online, but I do get intrigued and want to try the products.
I called into Superdrug between Christmas and New Year to pick up a eyeliner and they had quite a few of the Zoella Beauty products in the half-price sale.
The two products I picked up were the “Treasure Me” Gift box and the “Snow Ella Fragrance set”
These products have a fresh, sweet and clean scent. I do think it’s a little on the young side but I do like it.

Treasure Me


This Gift box contains 8 products and all but one of these appears to be full-sized or at least a very good size.

Splash of Milk


This is bath milk powder, I’ve never tried anything like this below but I’m assuming it’s going to be a little bit like bath salts. I’m interested to try these and planning on putting them to this test this coming week.

Snow Scoop


I’m not sure what it is about bath cream in a tub rather than a bottle, but it feels a little bit more luxurious than a plain old bottle. I adore taking baths and with my back being bad at the moment I’m taking at least one a day. I’m excited to use up what’s in the bathroom at the moment and get using this

Snow Silky


This is one product I possibly won’t use. I’m terrible at using body cream. I do try and use it and I go through phases but If I look in my product stash drawer it’s full of body creams. I will either give this to a friend at work or see if my mum wants it.

Winter Wonder Hand


From all the Zoella Beauty products I’ve tried the hand cream is one of the ones, I would happily buy over and over again. I’ve recently finished a tube of the original hand cream and I’ve been working my way through my other hand creams before I let myself buy another one so I’m very happy to have this one.

Snow Smooth

Alongside the Snow Silky, I will most probably not use. Another one to pass on to friends and family. Although I really should moisturise, and this doesn’t seem to be a huge pot. I may keep this to take on holiday and see if I use it there before passing on.

Snow Fresh

This is a body wash which I know I will use, I’ve liked and enjoyed using other Zoella Body Washes and I hope this will be no different. This will be going straight in the bathroom to be used once my snow fairy has been used up.

Snow Polished


One of the few products I’ve repurchased from a Zoella Beauty line is the body polish, I think it was the first one she brought out was my almost perfect scrub, I have high hopes for this and I’m looking forward to using it.

Shower Scrunchie


I love the colours of this, which is an odd thing to say as it’s just a shower scrunchie, but it reminds me of raspberry ripple ice cream. It’s a small, compared to the soap and glory scrunchies but I’m more than happy with this and will keep hold of it to take on holiday.

 Snow Ella Fragrance set


Snow Silky

As much as I don’t use body lotion, it was worth getting this set for the fragrance alone. I can’t remember exactly how much I paid for the set, but I know friends who I can pass this on to.

Snow Ella Fragrance

I love the scent of this and it will be perfect for an everyday work fragrance, I do own a few perfumes but I’m still in the mindset of saving things for best. I also get bored or scents quickly so I’m happy to have a few so I can swap and change.



Book Review | Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Recently my kindle took a bath in a full bottle of water that leaked in my work bag and was out of action. I thought it was dead and gone but after a few weeks (I had it in a bag of rice for a few days, then I just left it in a drawer for a few weeks) I bravely plugged it in. It had been stuck on the home screen ever since it's bath. It came to life and doesn't seem too badly distressed by its ordeal.

I wanted to start using it again as I was going away and it is much handier than carrying paperbacks. I scoured NetGally, KindofBooks and the Kindle store for recommendations of cheap and free books to read. I really didn't want to buy a lot of books in case it decided to give up but touch wood it seems to be ok. 
Love & Gelato Kindle Book Review
Love & Gelato
One of the books I came across from KindofBooks was Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch which I think was a free book at the time and is currently showing £1 for Kindle. 

It's aimed at teens but as I still only feel about 17 I thought I'd give it a try. It's centred around Lina American a teen who is still in the mids of grief after losing her mother. Her mother's last wish was for Lina to spend a Summer in Italy as she had done at the same age. 

As resistant as Lina is to this idea her Gran persuades her to go and Live with her father who has never been in the picture and who she has never met and lives in a cemetery and American War Memorial. 

Lina is resistant to move, as I think anyone would be. You've lost the only parent you've ever known and now you're being shipped halfway around the world to live with another who has never been mentioned until now.   

Everything from the beauty of the place she has moved to, how nice her father and his colleague are and how he's made an effort to create a bedroom that makes her feel comfortable is all too much for Lina and she IMO acts like a brat. This feels quite true, you would be so angry and frustrated you (well I) wouldn't want to like anything, I'd be resentful of people trying to do nice things for me when all I wanted to do was stay in the place I know, with friends I like and have my mother back. 

There are a few times where her father's colleague try and talk to Lina but her attempts are ignored or avoided. When one day Lina finds one of her mothers Journal on her bed from the summer she spent in the area, Lina uses it to try and get an understanding of why her mother wanted her to go to Italy and with the help of a boy she meets she follows along with her mother's journal. Visiting places, contacting old friends and seeing the city. 

The book is quite predictable but has some very sweet moments. These may be somewhat cheesy but I feel like they really made the story come to life for me. 

Predictability is something I've come to expect and it's not often a book leaves me with a wow I did not expect that. 

It's well worth £1 and was a nice quick read. One thing I will say is that I had strange dreams after reading this book. I was trying to do one of the things Lina does at the end of the book and I still feel a little odd when I think back to it! 

Fun, lighthearted and quick to read - If you like YA love stories with a high ratio of cheese I'd highly recommend it.


LIFESTYLE | Blog & YouTube Planner 2018

Monday, January 08, 2018

For the past few years, I've been trying to find the perfect planner. I've recently been using a Kikki K planner and I like it but it's still not exactly what I want. Especially when it comes to blog and youtube planning. 

I want something with a monthly view between each of the months. Rather than at the very front of the diary, space to plan and individual pages per day or week or there is plenty of other spaces in the planner. 

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

TK Maxx is a mecca of all things paper for me, they tend to have a lot of American brands which are much further advanced in all things planner than us in the UK.

I found this leaf print planner for under £10 and when I flicked through it I thought it could be what I wanted from a planner.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

There are two main sections. The Diary and the Notes. The notes section is pretty generous and has a mix of paper types. It isn't just plain paper, there is a mix of dotted, squared, lists and boxes. The pictures below might make is a little bit clearer.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

I love the Bullet Journal style banners and flags throughout this diary. It also has some items you'd traditionally find in a diary such as the Year planner, there is also a 2019 year planner at the back of the diary section. I don't always use these sections but I do like the idea of them.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

When I opened the January pages, I was quite excited as this is the sort of layout I've been looking for. I've already started using it before I took some pictures as I was eager to get started.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

I also like the week to view and a blank page. Each week has a different type of paper on the "blank page" For January I've tried to use them all to plan out my month but I'm sure this will change each month.

I'm using the square paper for Blog and Vlog planning. The pens I use are erasable so I can make changes as I go along without it getting too messy or needing to use correction fluid.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

The boxes page has been a nice way of me displaying my yearly goals, I'm not sure this page will always be used like this or even used at all but it's a cute page and has come in handy for January.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

This paper is quite a decent weight, the colours do show through as a shadow but they haven't bled through which is always a bonus.

I'm going to use the dotted page as a bit of a checklist but as I've never used this system before I'm not sure I like it now I've started it. All I can do is try and it won't be the end of the world if this is he only month I try it.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

Because there is a clear cut off at the end of each month where there is space they have included boxes to fill the space, I'm also not keen on the giant squared paper but it's not the end of the world. 

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

Most months follow the above format but February, June and October have the list format rather than the calendar design. I would prefer the calendar boxes but again I can cope with it and I will use it.

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

I've only flicked through it and I did notice this top 50 list page which is cute, I might use this as my Tom Cruise List but I might need more than 50 spaces. (do you all know what my Tom Cruise List is?)

Blog & YouTube Planner 2018 from TK Maxx

I'm only a few days in using this but I'm really happy with it. I like the look and layout of it and there is so much note paper I can use that to plan posts.

Most Diaries I've had have things like dialling codes, conversions etc at the beginning. This has them at the back of the Diary section. I can't say I've ever used them but I like that they have them at the back rather than having to wade through 5 or 6 pages to get into the diary itself.

This diary also includes pages to note down websites and address pages as well as some lined paper before the notes section.

As mentioned above the notes section is a heaty section and is a mix of the square, dotted, giant squares and cute boxes.