Monday, 19 February 2018

How I try to Wind down

If you know me you know I have a lot of unpopular opinions... and I know I'm in the minority here but

 I just don't like sleeping. 
there, I said it

I'm like a toddler, I really am but if we didn't need to do it I wouldn't. I just see it as a bit of a waste of life - there's other things I could be doing with my time! That's the problem though, I do need sleep, I'm only human. I have always been guilty of overdoing it or 'burning the candle at both ends' as my Mum puts it. And I am really suffering lately.

Now don't get me wrong, the dark, icy mornings don't make me want to jump out of my warm bed but I am much more of a morning person that most, I just want to get up. The trouble is, I know I could enjoy sleeping, or at least giving my body that rest that it badly needs. 

Last week I didn't have to worry about early wake- up calls as it was half-term. We don't plan things before 10am and I'm fortunate that M sleeps in til gone 8 most mornings. Now I don't have as much time to get in more sleep so I have made a plan to try and wind down more and make the most of the rest I can get. 

Now, I know the rules about having time away from our phones before bed, it's even recommended to have the thing out of the room as the blue light wakes us up on some level or something... but I just can't do that. 
 What if someone needs me in the night?
 What if I need a torch to guide me to the bathroom?
 What if I need to note something important down?
 What if I want to check my Insta feed at 1am...?! 
 and it's my alarm. 
 I admit I'm not off to the best start. 

spacemask-sleepy-lush-feather-and-down-amara-this-works-sleep-flatlay
But I do have my winding down plan sorted and that my friends, is a step in the right direction, or as the french say 'Un pas dans la bonne direction' -it's not a french phrase, just things sound more fancy in french.

Lush have a load of products which help with sleep. The Twilight bath bomb is one of my favourites, Ylang Ylang and Lavender are key ingredients and oh my! -it smells sooo good you guys. Pop this in a hot bath and you're on the way to relaxville (or something).

 While in the bath it's time to chill. it's not a time for maintenance - shaving my legs is effort in itself. This is a time to just 'be'.  I love the Jasmine infused Spacemask* which you can pop over your eyes and lay back. You buy a pack of 5 of these for £15 and they are a lovely treat. With my eyes covered I'm not tempted to pick up my phone and catch up with Instagram. I might take one quick Insta story though cos if you don't Insta Story your bath- did you really have a bath?

lush-twlilight-bathbomb-good-night-sleep-amara


Scents play a huge part in this routine. A good candle* sets the scene and adds some good lighting. 

Lush's Sleepy body lotion has a great reputation, it's meant to be a similar scent to Twilight, which I love. I don't find the scent makes a huge difference to my sleep personally but it does smell good and the act of applying a nice moisturiser after a bath is definitely calming. 

Another option for adding a calming scent is the This Works Deep Sleep Aromatherapy Roller. This is a little  roll-on for your wrists which encourages clear breathing for a deeper sleep and a less frazzled mind, thanks to a blend of Eucalyptus, Frankincense and Lavender. 

If you don't want to add a scent directly to your body why not add some to your surroundings?! I bought my bestie pretty much everything from the Feather and Down range but the only thing I've tried for myself is the Sweet Dreams Pillow Spray. The scent is different from most 'bedtime' products I've tried, it's a bit sweeter and contains chamomile. I spray this on my pillow and also my son's when he's in need of a deep sleep. 

lush-twlilight-bathbomb-good-night-sleep



Skincare wise I make sure my make-up is all off properly and then I use the  Inner-Soul Healing Night Balm*. It's been designed to use all over the face and support skin healing as you sleep- and the Patchouli and Lavender scent is so soothing too.  It's best to use upward and outward sweeps to help with circulation. Press onto areas of imbalance using the fingertips and it leaves your skin feeling fabulous.

I pop on a lamp, grab a hot water bottle (cos I'm old now) and although there is the temptation to scroll through my phone I get a book out to read. There's loads of books on my Amazon wish list and I plan to get through them this year so swapping my phone for a proper good read before bed will help. 

After half hour or so my eyes are tired enough to rest. Now it's getting a bit lighter in the morning I slip on my A by Amara silk eye mask* so I get an extra half hour in the morning when that pesky sun peeks through my curtains (I love you sun please stay!) and I drift off surrounded by some gorgeous scents and a calm mind. 

I can only hope I keep this up, realistically I won't be able to do this every night (who can afford a Lush bath bomb for every night of the week?!) but I will definitely make the effort to fit in a winding down routine a few times a week. 





*these products were gifted to me but I was not obliged to feature them in any posts



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Monday, 12 February 2018

Essie Valentine's Nails


Looking around the shops at the moment, it's hard not to notice that Valentine's Day is coming up. All those reds and pinks in the windows reminding us to spread a bit of love. There's a bit of a debate about the day - I personally love it. It's nice seeing people with their bunches of flowers heading out on dates to spend a bit of quality time together. Yes, it can seem a little forced but if you just look at it as a reminder to make some time for someone special - well, that can't really be negative, can it? 


I'll probably be wearing  a red lip (any excuse!) and I've dressed my nails for the occasion... 

Using all Essie shades I've put together a little Valentine's Nails look. 

essie-valentine's-nails-design

On my index finger I have Lapis of Luxury followed by In My Orbit 
from the galaxy metals collection  with a little pink heart carefully painted (with my right hand -I'm left handed so that is trickier than it sounds!) using a nail art pen. 
On my ring finger is Baguette Me Not which is one of my favourites at the moment and I'll no doubt be wearing a lot more in the Spring. Muchi, Muchi is on my little finger and did need a good 3 coats but I like it's subtlety, it's a really nice pale pink for every day.

I added the polka dots with the end of a hair pin, it's a little hack of mine -dots with minimal effort!

I actually find painting my nails very therapeutic. I might have to find time to get a little more creative more often.





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Saturday, 10 February 2018

Dreaming of Summer - Zaful Bikinis

I first heard of Zaful when I watched Laura Blair's You Tube channel. She was always trying on such gorgeous outfits and the thing that really surprised me was the price - everything was a total bargain. Of course I ended up taking a closer look at the site myself. They ship from the US so it can take over a week to arrive but it does mean you can get yourself a little bargain if you're willing to wait a bit.

Now the same thing happens to me every year, I get through January and my mind wanders to Spring and Summer, we're on the home straight now, warmer times are coming! I'm ignoring the fact that it has been known to snow in April in the past, I'm mentally planning holidays, weekend breaks and summer picnics with friends. 
I buy a new bikini for every holiday so this was  the first part of the site I explored. Most are £10-15 for a full set so I will no doubt be ordering a couple. With some tops being £30 and bottoms at £15 it's easy to end up spending nearly £50 on a set on the high street. 

I was really pleased to see such a large selection, there was so much to choose from that covered all bases, high waisted, thong briefs, tankinis, even some matching shorts and cover ups.




I love the ease of being on holiday, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to picking outfits so throwing on a bikini makes things much easier for me. I love that there are some statement pieces which are definitely more for show. The blue velvet one is gorgeous! Underwire swimwear  gives you the support you need and also the confidence that you're not going to be falling out anywhere. How amazingly cute is the shell bikini top?! Total mermaid vibes!

For those days where you've indulged at the buffet and I don't want to walk around in a bikini I like the option of  rocking a high waited shorts with a bandeau swim top  it feels a little more like real clothes and you can take a wander to the shops without feeling the need to get changed. Bandeau tops look less bra-like so work well throughout the day.


Take a little browse through the site and think about the summer days! Be sure to check out the zaful blog for fashion inspiration too.  




*sponsored post



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