- Saturday, 26 December 2015 -

10 Things I was Thankful for This Christmas

Hello you lovely lot and a very Merry Christmas! As I type this post, television blaring in the background and tummy swollen with turkey sandwiches, a feeling of pure, blissful contentment grips me; I'm at home, surrounded by good food and good company and right now, can't imagine anything more perfect. Christmas time has always held a special place in my heart, even as an only child growing up with a single mother, I cherished every single year, putting my worries and woes on hold and just living for the day itself, happy to be with the ones I love. And even though I've experienced my fair share of ups and downs throughout the years, I feel that nothing soothes the soul more than being surrounded by family and friends and remembering all you're thankful for...

1/ The fond familiarity of returning to your childhood home - That feeling of being in your own bed as nostalgia rushes through you truly can't be beaten. I love to see my mum buzzing with excitement as she sees the house fill up with old faces.

2/ Being reunited with friends, regardless of the time or distance apart - I love being able to just pick up where we left off, reminiscing over the good times with a glass of wine in hand.

3/ Giving yourself time to breath after a hectic year - Christmas is all about rest and relaxation; that for one day in the year, you should afford yourself a well-deserved break. There's nothing I love more than allowing myself a lie-in until noon and indulging in all the chocolate I can!

4/ Having nothing to do and all day to do it - Christmas is a time where I like to put work aside, replacing it with a good book or TV series I can really lose myself in. 

5/ Being happy and healthy - This time last year I was just out of hospital getting my gall bladder removed and since then *touch wood* I've had no problems with it whatsoever. Having a gall bladder prohibited me from eating after a certain time, so this year I was especially thankful for my big Christmas dinner! As they say, your health is your wealth.

6/ Being lucky enough to spend another year with my grandmother - At the grand, old age of 93 you'd think she'd be riddled with ailments, memory fading and enthusiasm lacking? Well, you'd be wrong. This woman is as healthy as a horse and is my ultimate inspiration. Even though she shows no signs of slowing down just yet, each and every year with her is a blessing.

7/ Never wanting for anything - When my mum and my boyfriend asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I actually struggled to fathom an answer. And although this may seem like some people's nightmare, not knowing what to buy for a loved one, I felt very lucky knowing that I have everything I wanted and everything I need.

8/ Spending some quality time with my mum - It's no secret that my mum is my best friend; she's my partner in crime and my rock and I especially love this time of year as we really dedicate ourselves to each other. Probably my favourite memory from this Christmas is when we went to see Sisters in the cinema and laughed our heads off as we stuffed our faces with popcorn.

9/ Keeping my mental health in check - With this time of year being understandably triggering for some,  I'm very thankful for all the endless help and support I receive. With my last serious breakdown being in April, I couldn't be more grateful for my family and friends sticking by me.

10/ You - Leaving the best for last, I'm eternally grateful to all the friends I've made and bloggers I've met through this little hub of mine. I live in a constant state of inspiration and admiration because of my fellow bloggers and I couldn't be happier to be spending another year in the blogosphere. 

- Monday, 21 December 2015 -

Have a Lush Christmas!

Hello you lovely lot! As I trudge through the threshold of my flat after a long day at university, my body aches for a strong cup of tea and a hot bath. Having always favoured the handiness of a shower, there's just something so nice about being blanketed by warmth as you slide into a bath after a cold, December day. The past few years have seen a surge in popularity for cosmetics retailer Lush, with their homemade hair, beauty and body products proving a hit amongst bloggers and non-bloggers alike. Lush's bath bombs in particular have gathered quite the reputation - seriously, I can't even scroll through Instagram without being met by someone's nobbly knees poking up from rainbow-stained water, what a time to be alive, eh? So, I decided to treat myself to a few treats from their festive Christmas collection, ready to submerge myself in some magic!

 Give this magical wand a swish and a swirl around in your bath and watch as the water transforms into a sparkly pink pool of bubblegum yumminess - that's right, it smells exactly like bubblegum! Also, because it's quite a sizeable bubble bar, it can be reused if you pop it on the side of the bath to dry, well worth the £5.25!

I am such a sucker for vanilla-scented things and so jumped for joy when I found this little fella. Just expecting him to be a generic bubble bar, I was quite pleasantly surprised to discover that he's made of moisturising cocoa butter, leaving my skin feel soft, hydrated and smelling like a sweet shop.

This bubble bar is good enough to eat (but please don't). Yes, admittedly it may look a little like unicorn poop but smells divine and makes the most mesmerising, creamy bubbles! As you let it ripple through the water, you'll notice your bath turning pink (can you tell I'm a bit obsessed with the colour?) making it the perfect magical kingdom to lose yourself in.

Boasting the deliciously comforting smell of vanilla, this bath bomb lets you sail away on a cloud of sugary sweetness. It may look like your plain white bubble bar, but actually bursts into colourful, dissolvable stars when met with water, leaving you immersed in an enchanting pool surrounded by the stars.

When you think of the colours of Christmas, you automatically imagine a glistening green and a ravishing red, right? Well, this bath bomb embodies Christmas from the inside out - literally! With a gorgeous green core that fizzes as its red exterior disappears, this bath bomb will make even the biggest of grinch's feel festive this year!

Have you bought anything from Lush's Christmas collection?

- Friday, 4 December 2015 -

What I Want to be When I Grow Up

Hello my lovelies! I remember sitting in a classroom when a mobile phone was shoved in my face, on it a group of 20-something year old girls beamed drunkenly at the camera. They were buffed and bronzed and all donned a different variation of a LBD; they were my friends older sisters, with emphasis on the OLDER, because all my 13 year old self could think was "these girls are so grown up, they have their lives and jobs and relationships." At that moment, as I was just about to buckle down to Key Stage 3s, I pondered what pathway I'd take down life's winding road, I presumed that by age 24, I'd definitely have my shit together and have a stable income and house with mortgage and strong relationship status - what I DIDN'T realise was that life rarely goes to plan, that you frequently get thrown curveballs and just learn to make the best of it.

As an only child with a single mother, I didn't always have the best direction career-wise, I had created a bubble of ambiguity and repeatedly told myself that 'it'll all fall into place.' Due to my above-average art skills, I'd been gently ushered into going down the creative route, with strict but supportive cooing from my elders that it'd "be a sin to waste talent like that". During college and my A-Levels in particular, I decided to comb my brain and explore all options available to me, I'd considered Psychology, Zoology, History, English Literature, Computer Science, Games Design, Graphic Design -  you see what I did there? Eventually, everything just led back to design.

Even though, right now at this very moment in time and chapter in my life, I'm happy to be a designer, it's not something I see myself pursuing until the ripe old age of retirement. I do want to create, but I also want to help people and open my own business and write my own book and be famous (okay, so only some of these may be viable). I feel that the first chunk of my younger years will be dedicated to me climbing the corporate ladder, where I become senior designer at a respected company until bowing out gracefully as soon as I hit 50. I then either envisage myself becoming a nurse or opening my own book store - or eBook store, depending how soon the robots have taken over. 

When I grow up, I think the thing I want the most is to be happy. It may sound like a clich├ęd generalisation, but it's what we all want at the end of the day, right? I want to feel that wave of  satisfaction wash over me upon arriving home from a hard days work. I want to be able to look at myself naked in the mirror when I'm 40 and still think I've got it. When I grow up, I ultimately want to be able to look back at my life and smile, not because of my achievements or memories or experiences, but because I've managed to make it this far and have survived 100% of my worst days. So far, growing up hasn't been the easiest of feats, but with age comes experience and for the first time in a long time, I'm excited to see what the future brings.