Posted in Life

Why I Have Given Up Social Media For Lent

By the time I’m publishing this, I’m a good few days in to Lent and have already deleted all my social media apps. The thing is, I’m not religious and don’t normally give Lent a second thought… so why have I have gone for it this year? And why social media…?

This post is not affiliated or paid for in anyway and contains purely my own opinions.

What is Lent?

Traditionally, Lent is “frequently seen as a time of solemn observance and preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. From its start on Ash Wednesday until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence. Just as we carefully prepare for events in our personal lives, as a wedding, or birthday; a commencement Lent invites us to make our minds and hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ life, death and body resurrection.” Quoted from 40acts.org.uk.

My understanding has always been that people will give something up for 40 days and 40 nights, and having gone to a Church of England primary school, I remember that it’s to replicate the sacrifices of Jesus in the desert… alas, primary school is as far as my religious understanding goes. There’s a very in depth article from the BBC all about Lent, as well as shrove Tuesday.

Like many Christian holidays… cough, cough, Christmas… Lent isn’t necessarily about religion anymore and is used as a time to give up something, generally a bad habit! I’m not one to give up things I enjoy, but this year I decided it would be different.

For me, I’m a stickler for having a set time frame for any kind of goal. If I ever start something it has to be a Monday, or 1st of the month. So if I wanted to give something up, Lent seems like the best time to go for it, and a fairly manageable time frame.

Giving up social media

So, why social media?

…Do you ever feel like you’re addicted to your phone? Like, you’re not really doing anything in particular, just aimlessly scrolling? Cause honestly, that’s where I’ve got to lately.

I’m pretty busy day to day with work, so when I get home I like to relax and do things I enjoy. However, I’ve noticed more and more lately that I’ve become a lot lazier than usual. My hobbies fell by the wayside and instead, I’d just scroll through Instagram or tiktok, wasting literally hours. I tell myself I’m working on my blog, but literally I’d just be scrolling and if anything, it’s been to totally detrimental to my blog.

In fact, I’ve well and truly fell in to the trap of comparison. Instead of working on my blog, I’d just look at everyone else succeed and feel bad that I wasn’t… same with my most recent hobby, candle making. Tiktok is full of success stories and I couldn’t understand why that wasn’t me… whilst scrolling tiktok and not making any candles.

By January it was a never ending cycle of feeling like I’m not achieving anything… but also not putting in the time to work towards my goals.

How has it been going so far?

So far it’s been way easier than I though it would be. I expected to be tempted daily to log back in to Instagram “just for a few minutes”, but actually I’ve hardly missed it! I guess that shows how much I needed a break though.

Have you given anything up for lent this year, or take a social media break recently? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Posted in Life

What it’s like to get the COVID-19 vaccination

Well, here’s a post I could have never predicted that I’d write when I started blogging…

I will start by clarifying that this post is about my personal experience, my own opinions and my own understanding of the COVID vaccination. I welcome any questions but do also be aware that there are much more qualified people to direct any queries to!

I think we all know by now that the world as we knew it prior to 2020, has been flipped upside down… probably more than once. Life just hasn’t been the same since COVID-19 reared it’s ugly head and spread like wildfire, so it’s no surprise that the opinion of many people is that the only way out is with a vaccine.

I’m very much pro getting the jab, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it. The vaccine is NOT compulsory, despite what some may seem to think. I can, however, completely understand why many people have reservations in that it came about so quickly… but really, seeing as this is a huge global issue, what else would you expect?! The research has been ongoing and the vaccine certainly wasn’t concocted overnight so personally, I trust the science.

Why I got the vaccine

I want to start by clarifying that I am by no means on the frontline and there are many people working more closely with the public and in a position of higher risk than me. However, I have worked throughout the pandemic in the healthcare sector so luckily for me I was in the second priority group for the vaccine.

In the UK, those currently receiving the vaccine are:

  • people aged 80 and over
  • some people aged 70 and over
  • some people who are clinically extremely vulnerable
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • health and social care workers

I actually feel slightly guilty in a way that I got mine so quickly, because it felt a little like jumping the queue. However, with all that is going on the world, this was not an opportunity to be missed.

What it was like getting the vaccine

On January 13th, 2021, I found myself queuing up outside a health centre, in the rain… buzzing with excitement, but also with slight terror, as I HATE needles. I’m not the kind of gal to get jabbed unless I need it, let me tell you that much!

The system in place was incredible. The queue outside moved quickly and was socially distanced, with everyone respecting the rules and wearing masks. Then at the front door, my temperature was taken and hands sanitised before checking in. I then joined another socially distanced queue, following the markings on the floor of what I assumed would have normally been the waiting room. Again, it moved quickly but there was still enough time to read over the vaccination leaflet and see the ingredients of the vaccine and what side effects I might expect later on. Once I was at the front of the queue, I could see there were a number of rooms in use, with many people gliding in and out, as they received their jab.

A friendly lady called me in, asked me if I was generally healthy and if I may be pregnant. Side note: current advice is to wait until you have given birth to receive your vaccine, and this is purely because they’re not able to trial a vaccine on pregnant women. The NHS website states that “There’s no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe if you’re pregnant. But more evidence is needed before you can routinely be offered it.” That being said, if you’re in a high risk group you can still get your jab, even if you’re pregnant.

I said that I was healthy, just very nervous… she made small talk to put me at ease and let me know that she was actually a phlebotomist, so very good with needles! Fun fact: many of those that work in medicine are training to deliver the jab so that it can be rolled out at quickly as it is.

The needle went in my arm quickly and painlessly. Just like that, I had my first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. I said my thank yous and made my way out of the back door, greeted by some of my colleagues who also had their jab at the same time, and we all went back to work for the afternoon!

I was amazed at how efficient the whole process was.

Did I have any side effects?

Keep in mind here that everyone will react differently to any kind of vaccine and mild side effects are common. With the Oxford vaccine, the most common side effects include:

  • tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising where the injection is given
  • generally feeling unwell
  • feeling tired (fatigue)
  • chills or feeling feverish
  • headache
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • joint pain or muscle ache

You can read more about the less common side effects, as well as all the other information from the vaccine leaflet, here.

For me personally, I feel that I ticked off most of the above but let me be clear in that I did not feel extremely unwell in the slightest. A couple of colleagues felt a lot worse than me (many of us went the same day) but on the other hand, many didn’t feel anything afterwards at all. Like I said, everyone will react differently.

12 hours post vaccine – during the night

I woke up in a cold sweat, like… really sweaty. Plus, I ached all over. That being said, I didn’t actually think anything of this as I also had a really strange dream, which is not uncommon for me and I often wake up in the night, somewhat clammy and aching.

Day 1 post vaccine

After that fairly disturbed nights sleep, I got ready for work. Group chats on WhatsApp pinged away as we all discussed how we felt and then I realise that perhaps my night sweats were actually due to the vaccine. I still didn’t feel too bad so I didn’t mind. Lots of people were feeling much worse then me but as I said, about the same number of people also felt absolutely fine.

For the rest of the day, getting ever so gradually worse in the afternoon, I personally had a very fuzzy head and felt extremely tired, as well as having hot flushes. By the time I was home, I was utterly exhausted.

Some people had a completely dead arm or painful injection site but I personally had no pain at all in my arm.

Day 2 post vaccine

I had an early night and then felt fine the next day. All of my other colleagues also said they felt fine by now as well. I was still quite tired but seeing as the dog kept us up that second night and it’s not unusual for me not to sleep well, again I didn’t blame the vaccine!

My arm was a bit sore by this point but not bad at all, mainly just a little sting around the injection site.

Day 3 post vaccine

I felt completely normal with just a little sting in my arm every now and then. I didn’t even feel the sting by the fourth day and everything was completely back to how I felt pre-vaccine.

Overall thoughts

The whole experience was incredible and without sounding over the top, I feel honoured to be part of it all – let’s face it, this really is history in the making.

Don’t get me wrong though, I have my own doubts too… I can’t help but feel uneasy about the fact that the time between doses was increased from 3 weeks to up to 12 weeks. I understand why it was done and it’s meant that a much larger number of people were able to receive their first dose, however I do wonder how the gap could have been increased by such a significant amount of time. On the other hand, I’m very much one to trust the process so for now, I eagerly await an appointment for the second dose.

But what happens if you don’t receive the second jab?

My completely honest answer can only be that I don’t really know. My understanding is that the first dose only gives a certain amount of immunity, I believe around 60%, and then the second dose then boosts this up to over 90% and means that it will last longer. This is only what I gather from the information that’s been available to me, and I’m the furthest thing away from an expert on the matter! That being said, I’m keen to update you all once I do get the second dose or if I do get any more information.

I hope this post has been helpful and if you have any questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccination, then please feel free to ask away!

Posted in Blogging, Life

Reflecting on my 2020 goals and setting new ones for 2021

In a weird way, I’m struggling with 2020 coming to an end, as it feels like it was such a waste of time and that nothing was achieved… so I thought reflecting back a bit might help me shift my perspective. Plus, there’s always a new day, a new week, a new month, or a new year to set and achieve your goals!

I don’t exactly go back and read my old posts, so I although of course I remember what my goals were for last year, I haven’t read the post properly since I published it… so this feels a little strange delving back to what I thought 2020 would be like, pre-covid but let’s see what I said!

2020 goals… did I acheive them?

1. Write more.
I said in my 2020 New Years post that “I want 2020 to be the year I develop as a writer and a blogger.” Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t stick to writing as often as I would have liked, especially towards the end of the year… but I think in the grand scheme of things, I did pretty well!

2020 was a hectic year for me… I continued to go to work throughout all the lockdowns we had in the UK, and as a big part of my job involves sourcing PPE… you can imagine how the first half of the year was for me! Despite this, I created a blogging schedule and tried to set aside time for writing as much as possible.

So, did I acheive this goal? I’m gonna say yes!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

2. Read more.
Back in January 2020 I said that “my collection of books keeps growing and I owe it to them to get them read! I’d like to finally make sure I set aside time in the evening to read, instead of sitting on my phone.”

I will admit here, that many of my physical books have remained untouched since then, save the exception of perhaps 1 or 2. I feel embarrassed but as I said, the year was a crazy one!

It wasn’t a total failure on the reading front though… in 2020 I discovered audiobooks! So whilst I haven’t really read a physical book, I have listened to a fair few. Still not as many as I would have liked but… have I acheived this goal? I’m still going to go with a yes, but with the aim to try a bit harder again in 2021.

3. Worry less.
“I worry far, FAR, too much and frankly, I need to chill out a little. I’ll never not be a worrier I don’t think, but it’d be nice to learn to try and just let things go a bit more.”

Oh wow, I had no idea what was yet to come, did I?!

I didn’t specify in my last post, as a I don’t really talk about my mental health that much online, but it’s a lot more complicated for me that “I just worry too much”. I have stuggled with anxiety and panic attacks for most of my life, so it was never as simple as just “worry less”… Then the world was hit with a pandemic and we all faced a whole new level of stress and anxiety.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

I had wanted to start getting therapy in 2020, which was going to take a lot of guts as it was… but to go to a GP in the midst of Covid early in the year, was another level entirely. I also felt like I wouldn’t be taken seriously, as we were ALL scared. However, by August/September, my MH was really suffering. I could write a whole other post on it all, and I probably will later on in the year, but for the sake of getting to the point for now: I finally started seeing a counsellor in September.

So whilst I can’t actually say that I worried less, counselling is helping me understand and manage my anxiety in a way that to be honest, I didn’t think was possible. So did I acheive this goal? Too right I did.

4. Walk 1000 miles.
“Country Walking Magazine do this every year now, but this is the first year I’m giving it a proper go.”

Well… I did do a lot of walking in 2020 but when things got crazy at work at the height of Covid… I couldn’t be bothered to write my miles down and keep track. So whilst I was walking way more than I would have before, even walking to and from work in the spring and summer… I can’t really say I achieved this one without feeling like a fraud.

I am going to try again in 2021 though, so watch this space!

5. Get a dog.
“Now that we’re in a bigger house, and can actually be home more, this WILL be the year we get a dog. It’s not even an option anymore, I need a pup in my life!”

Ok, if you follow my blog and socials then you know I had this goal in the bag! We contacted a lovely breeder in January and were approved for a boy puppy, ready to come home mid-March. The timing ending up being absolutely perfect and Reggie was waiting at home for me after work, the week that the UK went in to lockdown. He was an absolute blessing at a time of such uncertainty and I’ve written many posts about him since!

Reggie and I heading towards 2021 with hope and positivity!

6. Look after my health. & 7. Drink more water.
“As I’m getting older, I’m realising that I take my health a little for granted perhaps, so I would like to work on that this year and well in to the future.”

Another thing the pandemic made many of us realise, I think, is the importance of our health. As I’d said in my 2020 post, I wanted to take better care of myself anyway but I really only recentlt realised just how lucky I am to be healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means the world’s healthiest person… in fact, I’ve piled on weight in the last few years and spent many nights comforting eating at home. I am, however, a lot more conscience now: I drink more water, I eat more fruit and veg, I try to get plenty of fresh air and of course I’m also now taking care of my mental health too.

So did I acheive this goal? I’m saying yes, although I’ve got plenty of room for improvement.

8. Get organised.
“My biggest challenge of all, and to be honest, probably my resolution every year since I was old enough to need to be organised for myself… I am not organised, plain and simple. I buy a diary every year and never use it, I double book myself constantly, I’m always late and just generally never prepared. It’s time to improve – I won’t say it’s time to change, because to be honest I don’t think I ever will, but I can at least TRY to be more organised!”

I might as well just leave this year for a goal in 2021… I can’t really think of any examples of me being particularly more organised in 2020… then again it’s not like I had any plans to stick to! Did I acheive this? I’ll say no if I’m being honest with myself, seeing as my diaries and planners went near enough untouched yet again.

I signed off my 2020 post saying “I’m already off to a good start, so I feel like this year could really be a good one!” which I think now is a tad amusing… so many of us vowed that 2020 would be our year and really… well it just wasn’t, was it?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Perhaps 2021 will be different! I’m not holding out for any overnight miracles, however the new year does bring some hope with it at least. Here are my goals for this year:

1. Take up more opportunies.

Reflecting on 2020 has made me really miss a lot of things, but also realise how many things I’d passed up on pre-covid, taking time and freedom for granted. Little things, like not being bothered to go out fot a drink, or being too nervous to try new things. This year, and beyond, it’s my goal not too pass up these opportunities… they say you only regret the things you don’t do, and I’m starting to understand that now!

2. Follow a proper skincare routine (and stick to it)

I will openly admit that I really don’t understand skincare, beyond washing my face and using a bit of toner and moisturiser. I keep trying to get in to a decent skincare routine, but becuase I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing I end up not keeping up with it.

My mum recently got me the Caroline Hirons book, so I’m trying to understand it all more and actually look after my skin once and for all.

3. Start a business.

I recently started candle making and having enjoyed it so much that I’d like to eventually pursue selling them and starting a business. I’m in no rush to do it, as I’d like to just enjoy it as a hobby for myself for now, and I also feel like I need to get it perfect before I sell. That all being said, I’d like to start this year – even if it’s December 31st!

4. Continue to work on my mental health

Finally starting to see a counsellor at 28 years old, has been a HUGE turning point for me – I can’t even begin to explain how tough it was to ask for the help I needed after so long. I’m already seeing such a difference, so this year I am going to carry on working on this and looking after my mind. I’d like to write more about my experience too, so watch this space if that’s something that will interest you.

5. Document the year

I often forget to appreciate the little things, or take photos, or write down my feelings. This year, I want to take it all in and remember it. I’ve already started mini daily vlogs and you can expect to see a lot more “journal” style blog posts on here too!

Carrying over from 2020…

Seeing as I didn’t quite acheive everything that I wanted to last year, there’s a few things that I’m going to try again with, or just carry on doing.

  • Walk 1000 miles
  • Read more
  • Look after my health
  • Be more organised

So there we go! 2021…. let’s do this. What are your goals for this year? Let me know in comments.

Posted in Corgis, Pets

7 Of The WORST Things About Having A Corgi

Let me just start out now saying that I adore having a Corgi and when I say WORST, I’m in no way shape or form complaining! However, there are still a handful of drawbacks and this small list is mine…

1. You always get attention whilst out for a walk

We actually often take Reggie to remote places or we walk before/after work when not many people are around. Not to avoid attention, and it’s not like we get swarmed every time we leave out house, but just because that’s what our routine is.

However, on most walks we get stopped by at least one person asking about him being a Corgi. It’s lovely when people take an interest but I’m not one for the attention! From what I gather, this isn’t just a Reggie thing, it’s a Corgi thing… so if you’re like me and don’t like the attention, be warned!

2. They shed like crazy

There’s an ongoing joke among Corgi owners that these dogs shed twice a year… for 6 months at a time. It’s not wrong! The shedding is relentless, so I would imagine that they are not a good breed if you have allergies, although I don’t know that for a fact. Regardless, if you don’t want dog hair everywhere, a Corgi really isn’t for you.

3. They need a lot of attention

Reggie will do anything to get our attention and is often getting as close as physically possible. He also gets particularly jealous if we’re fussing over another dog instead of him!

Owning any dog isn’t easy, or purely fun and games, but I’d say that a Corgi is one of the more difficult breeds in terms of how much time and attention they want from you. That being said, Reggie is also happy to have some time alone if he has to… he just wants your undivided attention all the time we’re home!

4. They will nip

Corgis were once used to herd cattle and these instincts are still apparent. It’s never too bad with Reggie but sometimes you can tell he’s trying to herd us and other dogs when we’re out for a walk, he will relentlessly chase if he can and unfortunately…. nip. Let me be clear, he’s not biting, and it never hurts but I know some people may take issue with a bit of nipping, especially if you have kids to think about.

5. They will try to rule the house

It’s in a Corgi’s nature to try and be the boss, so you have to establish your authority from day one. They KNOW they’re cute and will use it to get their own way… we’ve let Reggie get away with a lot, for example, he’s allowed on the bed now which was never going to happen! How can you resist that face though?

6. You need to keep an extra eye on their backs

Another thing Reggie pushes the boundaries on, is jumping off the furniture. Perhaps we should have been more strict in the beginning and not let him up, but he loves to cuddle with us and we love it too… however we learnt a scary lesson recently, when he woke up unable to walk one day.

A lot of expensive vet fees and weeks of anxiety later… we still don’t know really what caused it but the most likely explanation was that he’d hurt himself jumping of the bed in the night. It’s safe to say that we feel very guilty and so have now put provisions in place so he’d less inclined to jump, like a ramp, and he gets carried up and down the stairs. Sometimes we don’t catch him in time but it’s worth knowing that you must keep a close eye.

7. They’re very vocal

I absolutely adore everything about my boy, even with the downsides, but… if there was one thing I could possibly change, it would be his barking. Sometimes the noises he makes are quite amusing, including a range of strange grunts but then other times he goes overboard and will just bark incessantly to get whatever it is he wants.

He also barks if he sees another dog, not to be aggressive in the slightest as he thinks it’s how he can initiate play… but unfortunately and unsurprisingly, not everyone sees it this way and will often turn the other way!

All in all, having a Corgi is wonderful… but there are still down sides that are important to consider before owning one. I hope this post has been helpful and stay tuned for more Corgi content!

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Posted in Home, Life, Reviews

My Halloween Candle Collection

You’ve seen my Autumn candle collection, but now it’s time to get spooky…

Happy Halloween! My current obsession is all things candles and wax melts, so what better way to celebrate the best day of the year that with a round up of my Halloween collection? Some are really old but I do also have some new items in the collection – if they’re still available to buy then I will include a link. None of this is an AD of affiliated in any way.

Witches Brew by Yankee Candle

These are a good few years old now but they’re great to keep bringing out! I have it in a jar and also a votive, which is in the silver holder that is pictured below. The spider web jar holder is also an old purchase from Yankee. Unfortunately I’ve found that in the UK, the Halloween collections from Yankee in recent years have been pretty lacking!

The scent is very much patchouli centred, which I LOVE. I honestly can’t get enough of patchouli which you might know from my autumn collection, as well as my Lush haul!

Skeleton Candelabra-style tea light holder

I got this a few years ago on a trip to San Francisco, funnily enough in a Christmas shop… but they had a HUGE Halloween section as well, so I was in my element. I very carefully bought this back with me, along with some candlesticks that bled red wax – hence all the red wax drips. I hadn’t actually realised at the time that this was meant to hold tea lights! So once I was home, I precariously melted some tea lights and then balanced the candlesticks in them, it worked a charm, and now this just comes out as a decoration.

I’d like to get some more drippy candlesticks for it in future, but I can’t for the life of me find any… they’re all non-drip these days?!

Pumpkin Jar Candles from Sainsbury’s

At least I think these were from Sainsbury’s, it could have actually been ASDA… I actually have four of these bad boys, cause let’s be honest – you can never have too many pumpkins at Halloween!

Skull pillar candle from ASDA

This is such a cool candle, considering it came from ASDA. The wax in the middle is red, although unfortunately it’s a non-drip… like I said, I can never find a drippy candle these days. I did try to pour some of the wax down the side once, for effect ya know, but it didn’t really work as you can see by the pink blob on the right hand side below.

Forbidden Apple by Yankee Candle

Another golden oldie from Yankee! This one smells like… you guessed it, apples! It’s super fresh but somehow still spooky?

Poison Apple tea light holder from Shop Disney

This is a recent purchase but alas, I can’t find it on the website now so I guess it’s no longer available. I saw this on an Instagram ad and absolutely had to have it… it’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be but a very cool addition to my Halloween collection!

Check out the back too…

Haunted House tea light holder from Sainsbury’s

Another Sainsbury’s find – their Halloween stuff is actually always pretty decent, especially in the bigger stores. Unfortunately this year I didn’t go and have a look for anything but maybe next year Halloween can get back on track!

This was surprisingly hard to get a good photo of, but you get the idea!

Cauldron Wax Burner from Cauldron Candles

This is available on other sites I know, but cauldron candles was the first place I saw it advertised on Instagram and it’s where I eventually nabbed one from – they were out of stock everywhere, for ages!

I also nabbed a few of their handmade wax melts, which I HIGHLY recommend!

First up, Spellbound, which has a fragrance of hyacinth, violet and sweet pea, mixed with rose and musk.

I also got a couple of skulls, which come in various scents.

Dark Heart, which comes in black and smells of smoky tobacco and dusty oak, with leather and spice.

As well as Evenstar, which is purple with a glowing amber blend and notes of spice and dark balsamic fruits.

I also nabbed Pumpkin King, which I just couldn’t leave behind! Just as you might expect, he smells of pumpkin as well as a hint of sweet caramel & vanilla – and he’s cute as a button to top it off!

Lastly, I also treated myself this year to the… Autumn Collection box by CushtyCo

The box itself is no longer available, however you can still shop their Halloween and autumn scents.

I want to write a full review of the box so for now I’ll just give you a sneak peek of the Halloween inspired melts…

Witching Hour is a dark purple melt, with a strong scent of amber, patchouli and incense, plus a hint of jasmine and violet.

Pumpkin Poison Pie which smells exactly like a pumpkin pie, funnily enough… right down to the buttery base. Just don’t be tempted to take a bite!

Restricted Section definitely smells like a bath bomb that I’ve had before, although I can’t think which. CushtyCo says “Take a walk into something from a story book, musky, woody tones of antique wooden furniture, crisp sheets of paper from rare leather bound books, with a slight undertone of sweetness.”

Dead Man’s Chest smells so good that I very may well have to become a pirate after all… “Top notes of Bergamot, orange, raspberry and Mahogany. Subtle middle notes of Orchid, lilies, clove and amber with bottom notes of Vanilla cream, patchouli and sandalwood.”

Jack’s Haunted House is next and another absolutely amazing scent. If this is what ghosts and spirits smell like, then I don’t mind! You can almost taste the pumpkin and allspice.

Monster Breath is not as gross as you might think, it turns out! I’ll be honest, this scent does make me think of soap but that’s not exactly a bad thing. The melt is a gorgeous green colour, with tones of sandalwood, cedarwood, green leaf and amber. You can also detect the spices, particularly pepper in my opinion.

Last but by no means least in this brief little summary of CushtyCo’s melts… Coffee With A Vampire. All I’m going to say is… After Eights. It’s fricken heaven in a wax pot.

Stay tuned for a full review of all of these amazing wax melts in a couple of weeks time! I’ll be honest, I don’t actually want to break them all but they’re calling out to be melted so I suppose I’m going to have to.

Which was your favourite in this collection? Do you have many Halloween candles yourself? Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Blogging, Life

Hallotober Blogger’s Tag – Halloween Q&A

Happy Halloween week! I’ve been neglecting my blog slightly this month, but what better way to get back in to it with a tag. This is my first one, so I’m super excited to be involved – especially as it’s Halloween related. So thank you Ellie for the tag, do check out her post too!

First up, here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post.
  • Put the rules at the beginning.
  • You can use the tag image somewhere in the post.
  • Answer the 13 questions.
  • Tag 13 people to do the tag.
  • Delete question 13, add a new question of your own.

Let’s get to it!

What’s your favourite thing about October?

This month is definitely my favourite, I’m not sure I could pick just one thing. The colours of the leaves turning, the crispness in the air as the weather starts to cool down, the colour of the sunset skies as the darker days creep in. There’s something magical about October, for sure.

Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?

Definitely! I try to do something every year, as it’s my favourite holiday.

What’s your favourite horror movie?

Again, I struggle to just pick one. Although I would have to say… the first Saw movie has a special place in my heart – it’s the first horror that really stuck with me. It was showing late one night on TV, before I had my own DVD collection, so I stayed up. I was definitely too young and it really scared me at the time. I love the story line and I’m a bit of a sucker for gore in movies.

Would you rather a cosy night watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?

I definitely like a mix of both, I think it depends what kind of mood I’m in. As I write this, I’d prefer a cosy night in.

Which has been your most favourite costume to date?

I had a party a few years ago and dressed as a devil. The dress was an Ann Summers number that I wouldn’t dream of squeezing in to now, but it’s my make up that I’m most proud of!

Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch?

I’ll go with pin the hat on the witch because putting my face in water terrifies me.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

It varies each year, but usually I’ll put some decorations up at home, carve a few pumpkins and watch horror movies. Depending on the day it falls on and other commitments, I’ll have a night out with friends in fancy dress too.

What’s your least favourite horror?

Most modern paranormal focused films… I prefer something that’s more believable because then it’s actually scary.

Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory?

Maybe not a favourite one, but an amusing one all the same! I’ve only actually been trick or treating once… when I was growing up, we lived in the middle of nowhere and there wasn’t anywhere to trick or treat. In my first year of secondary school, we’d moved somewhere much more built up so my mum let me go out with a friend. I was so excited to finally go… only to be chased home by older kids! Although I’m a lover of horror and Halloween, I’m also a bit of a wimp, so I didn’t want to go back out after that!

What’s your favourite thing about Halloween?

Although I am a self confessed wimp, I love scaring other people – is that really mean?! I love the colours and imagery associated with Halloween as well, particularly pumpkins for some reason.

Scary costume or silly costume?

Scary all the way!

What’s your favourite Halloween candy?

I don’t think you can get it in the UK but candy corn! If I ever actually find some here then I will need to stock up, for sure.

What’s the best face you have carved into a pumpkin?

This one!

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers as much as I enjoyed answering them, happy Halloween!

THE QUESTIONS

  1. What’s your favourite thing about October?
  2. Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?
  3. What’s your favourite horror movie?
  4. Would you rather a cosy night watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?
  5. Which has been your most favourite costume to date?
  6. Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch?
  7. How do you celebrate Halloween?
  8. What’s your least favourite horror?
  9. Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory?
  10. What’s your favourite thing about Halloween?
  11. Scary costume or silly costume?
  12. What’s your favourite Halloween candy?
  13. Do you decorate your home for Halloween?

I’ll be tagging my 13 bloggers on twitter and Instagram, so keep your eyes peeled!

Posted in Fashion, Life

6 Halloween Costume I Would Have Worn in 2020

With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, I had full intentions of planning a costume for a big night out… which of course meant a blog post compiling all my ideas! However, it looks like no one is going OUT OUT this year so, like many things for 2020, I’ve had a rethink.

In my area, we can still go out until 10pm and in small groups, however the chances are that I’ll just stay home instead. I don’t have kids to keep entertained and certainly won’t be having a party, so I won’t be getting dressed up at home either. However, for the sake of staying in the spooky spirit, I decided I’ll share the outfits and costumes that could have been!

Zombie Nun

Spoiler alert – the days of slutty Halloween costumes are behind me. I remember the days when you could stick on a short, black dress and some devil horns or fake blood, and call it a costume… alas, I don’t have the legs or confidence for that anymore!

Zombie nun covers all bases… plain enough that you don’t have to spend a fortune, simple make up that you can make as scary as you like AND still covers everything up. Sorted.

Image from Party Delights

Twins from The Shining

If you’ve got no one to twin with, this still works for one as a creepy kid… although matching costumes would be handy on a night out if you lose your friend!

I figure as well that you can probably use clothes you already have if you didn’t want to fork out for an actual costume.

Image on the left from Party Delights; image on the right from The Shining film

Eleven from Stranger Things

Again, I reckon you could use clothes you already have for this one, or at least buy a cheap alternative! Drip some fake blood down your nose and you’re golden!

Image from eBay

Pumpkin

Image from Amazon

I actually bought the above pumpkin costume for last halloween, which I thought was hilarious… however it didn’t arrive in time so I chucked on an orange dress and painted my face instead. I had a great time but I’ll tell you now… I looked a right state! Especially given that we got caught in an absolute downpour on the way in to the club, but hey ho – I’d certainly love to go back to that night now and enjoy every minute of it! I said I’d save the proper costume for this year, but maybe next year instead…

I mean, it was still a great night!

And if you are going out (whilst sticking to the current guidelines) then you’ll need a…

Spooky Face Covering

I saw a few different bananas on Asos and thought they’re pretty cool, especially if you don’t want to dress up but still get in the spirit!

Image from ASOS

And if you’re not one to fully dress up, you still need to get in to the Halloween spirit, so something like a…

Spooky Little Black Dress

You can’t not NOT dress up, but it’s understandable that not everyone wants to go full on Halloween, so a little black dress with a spooky twist is another option!

Image from ASOS

What are your 2020 Halloween plans and will you be dressed up?

Posted in Films

31 Horror Films To Get You In The Halloween Spirit

Happy October! Spooky season is officially upon us… the best season if you ask me.

I am a HUGE horror movie and general all round Halloween fan, so what better way to get the month started than with 31 movies to binge all the way up to the big day itself?

In no particular order:

1. Halloween (1978)

An all round CLASSIC! You can’t not watch this in the run up to Halloween… if you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen it before then here’s a mini summary. After brutally murdering his sister at just 6 years old, Michael Myers is locked away. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, the now 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes. He returns to his quiet hometown where he looks for his next victims.

2. Mirrors (2008)

Ok this film really stuck with me when I first saw it and I couldn’t look at my reflection for weeks! I often think that I don’t get scared by horrors but it’s only later on, when I’m alone with my thoughts, that I realise actually maybe I was a little spooked!

Check out the trailer:

3. The Purge (2013)

I’m going to put my hands up here and admit that I’ve never actually seen any of the films in this franchise… BUT we all know the premise, don’t we?! Is there anything that can get you ready for Halloween more than a film about a dystopian future, with an annual day where no crime is illegal?

My question has always been, what on earth would happen if this was real?

4. Scream (1996)

A classic slasher and whodunit movie… A series of murders at a high school have everyone suspecting each other. Who did you think it was when you first watched?

5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

You might have noticed already, but a lot of the films on this list are classics… but to be fair, they’re classics for a reason!

A group of friends is attacked one by one by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface and they must do everything they can to escape!

6. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

“Whatever you do… don’t fall asleep!”

7. Friday The 13th (1980)

In this classic, camp counselors are stalked and murdered while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child’s drowning.

8. Saw (2004)

I have to say this is probably the film that made me fall in love with horror. I know that might seem strange when there are so many other absolute classics, but this film really stands out to me… all the gore, the story itself and the plot twist of all plot twists!

9. The Ring (2002)

Another film that stands out for me and my discovery of horror… I recently watched this back and realised how simple it was but I honestly think that’s what made it so scary!

10. The Grudge (2004)

Clearly the early 2000s were good for horror films!

11. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

This is one of those films that I still actually haven’t got round to seeing even after all these years and even though I have the DVD, but SO many people tell me how disturbing it is that I had to still include it.

12. The Shining (1980)

It’s just not Halloween without a Stephen King film fest is it… spoiler alert, there are many more of his stories in this list!

13. House Of Wax (2005)

This was another early 2000s film that sold me on the horror genre. There is something SO creepy about the plot to this one!

14. The Woman In Black (2012)

How this film was only rated a 15 in the UK I’ll never know! By 2012, my horror love affair had evolved and I certainly wouldn’t say that I scare easily but Christ this one got to me… I knew one of the kids in it too, which is pretty cool!

15. Insidious (2010)

There was something really different about this film when it came out. I’m not one for overly supernatural films normally but this one is simply gripping.

16. Carrie (1976)

Another Stephen King classic, enough said!

17. The Exorcist (1973)

Ok I’ll be the first to agree that to the modern audience, this film really isn’t scary… BUT you have to appreciate how terrifying it would have been when it was released in the 70s, which is why it’s still such a classic today.

18. Final Destination (2000)

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of this series, I’ll tell you that now. However, if the first film had been a stand alone then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad… it’s definitely something of a modern day classic though!

19. The Conjuring (2013)

Again, I’m not the worlds biggest fan of this film and the subsequent countless spin offs… but as modern horrors go, it’s not terrible and it does have a few good scares! As I said, I’m not one for overly supernatural films, which I find a lot of films this side of 2010 are all about – it’s still a great run up to Halloween film!

20. IT (2017)

Yep, I’m including the most recent film and not the original, please don’t hate me… I just absolutely adored this film!

21. The Amityville Horror (1979)

If you’re debating the original or the remake, I beg of you watch the original. It’s so gritty and makes for a much scarier watch… the remake is a lot more over the top and less believable. Yes I know I seem like a hypocrite considering I just opted for the IT remake over the original but that’s just different!

22. Sinister (2012)

Ok this film, for reasons I still don’t really understand, scared me way more than it should have. As I said previously, by 2012, horror films genuinely did not scare me… but when I saw this one at the cinema, I literally wanted to walk out because I was so scared! Something really got to me… I’ve watched it since and it wasn’t as bad as I remember so perhaps I was just feeling extra sensitive the first time but yea… a must watch!

23. Pet Sematary (1989)

Something I haven’t mentioned is that a lot of the classic horrors, I first watched during Halloween sleep overs with school friends. Every year on Halloween, we’d dress up in our best scary costumes, order takeaways and stay up all night watching horror films! Pet Sematary was from one of those nights and brings back many fond memories… despite the disturbing story line.

24. Wolf Creek (2005)

I was obsessed with this film when it first came out, I think because it’s quite gritty and simple, rather than all about the theatrics and special effects!

25. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

The title of this film gives me chills for some reason, I must have a guilty conscience! This is another one from the sleepover days and even now, that raincoat is definitely the creepiest horror film outfit in my opinion.

26. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

A classic performance by Anthony Hopkins and just all round horror movie gem!

27. Don’t Breathe (2016)

There aren’t many modern day horror films that really mess with my head but oh my, this film… It’s so tense, you might literally not breath whilst watching.

28. The Evil Dead (1981)

A group of teenagers staying in a remote cabin… in the woods… what could possibly go wrong?!

29. Crimson Peak (2015)

I don’t think this is considered a horror, but it certainly isn’t a family fun fest either! There isn’t all the classic horror scares but it definitely eerie and it stuck with me for a while after.

30. The Others (2001)

I know a lot of people don’t consider this one scary and would even say they saw the twist coming… but I’ll tell you now, when I first saw it… my mind was blown!

31. Gerald’s Game (2017)

Of course I’m finishing this list off with another Stephen King adaptation! This film is a definite edge of your seat, “how on earth is this going to end” type of ride… it’s SO worth a watch this Halloween!

Of course, there are so many more films that could have been included! What’s your favourite horror film, or another film to get you in the mood for Halloween?

Posted in Fashion, Life

10 Perfect Nail Colours for Autumn

Welcome back to my blog and here we are for another autumn themed post, this time… nail colours! Coincidentally, these are all Essie shades. I’m in no way shape or form sponsored by them, I just generally seem to always gravitate towards their polishes! These are all older colours as I’m yet to get my hands on the 2020 Fall collection, although don’t they all look stunning?!

In the mean time though, these are some other shades that I personally think are perfect for autumn:

1. Yes I Canyon

Typically, the first polish I’ve picked out from my personal collection isn’t widely available anymore BUT the colour is too perfect for me not to include it. Yes I Canyon is from the 2019 Rocky Rose collection and although it’s not technically available anymore, you can still find it on the likes of Amazon. It’s a lovely burnt orange colour which just autumn in a bottle really.

2. Exposed

This one is from the Wild Nudes collection, although don’t be fooled, as I would say it’s more of a green rather than nude. You can still get hold of it from some sites too, like this one.

Shades of green are nice transitional colour for autumn I find, a bit like when all the leaves start to turn.

3. Chinchilly

If you’d prefer something more neutral, then grey is usually a safe bet. I’m actually wearing this colour right now and find it to be a lovely universal polish that will compliment any outfit, what’s more, it’s still widely available!

4. Smokin’ Hot

Here we have another shade of grey but this time with a hint of smooth dark purple, for when you want something a little different but still not too colourful.

If you’re in the UK like me then you can get this one on the likes of Amazon.

5. Licorice

Seeing as we’re in the run up to Halloween now, any nail polish collection wouldn’t be complete without a jet black shade!

This staple colour is very much still available from places like Boots etc.

6. On Mute

For something not quite black, but still dark as a spooky soul… this dark slate grey shade is perfect!

7. Say It Ain’t Soho

Back to the warmer colours now… this is such an awesome colour for autumn. Pumpkin orange tones, check… shimmery, check! This was from the Fall 2018 collection so not widely available anymore however it does look quite similar on nails to the new Don’t Be Spotted, if a little deeper in colour.

8. Penny Talk

Another metallic colour but something a little more neutral than Say It Ain’t Soho… this is such a pretty colour for autumn!

9. Clothing Optional

Maybe don’t take the name of this one literally, especially with how the weather can be in the UK at this time of year!

This colour is a classic nude, with a lovely warm tone which to me definitely makes it just right for autumn.

10. Style Cartel

Finishing this list with something slightly different! I wasn’t going to include this one as I’m not sure how I feel about royal blue in autumn… however it’s very similar to the new Shade called Waterfall in Love, so here we are!

I still have a bottle so I’ll get it used up before purchasing the new blue as I don’t like to have too many similar ones!

Which out of these is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Life, Reviews, Shopping

Autumn and Halloween 2020 Lush Haul

A bit like scented candles, Lush bath bombs are an all year round affair for me, but I can’t deny that they really are best enjoyed in autumn and winter. The Halloween collections never disappoint, and then it’s only a matter of time before the Christmas collection comes out!

I haven’t treated myself to any Lush products in a while so when the 2020 Halloween collection came out, I felt it was only right that I treated myself! Here’s what a picked out:

Bat Art bath bomb

Lush says: “Be spellbound by this bat bath bomb. Full of bath-art worthy surprises, deep glittery waters await with a fresh, herbal scent that lingers.”

I gave this one a try this week and was not disappointed. The water turned deep purple and shimmery… as did I when I got out of the bath! (Shimmery that is, not purple)

It’s quite a fresh smell but still has an autumnal tone. It’s an easy 10/10 from me.

Very Very Frightening shower gel

Ok I have a confession… I rarely buy anything from Lush that’s not a bath bomb, or the odd bubble bar. I have had a couple of shower gels before but generally, I stick with the bath bombs… no real reason, I’ve just not ventured in to using much else. However, I’d like to give more of their products a try, and I have to say the bright yellow colour of this one made me very curious!

I can confirm… it’s just as bright when you open it, it almost feels like you’re using paint! I’ve only used it once but definitely like it, the scent is very citrusy which is something I like for a morning shower as I feel like it’s a refreshing way to start the day.

Lush says: “Embrace your sweet side with this bold, uplifting shower gel. Containing fresh lemon and fig juice, it is palm oil and SLS free, plus it’s vegan!”

Monster’s Ball bath bomb

An old favourite of mine and I didn’t need to use it last night to tell you it’s a 10/10… but I did anyway!

Monster’s Ball is one of those bath bombs that puts on a show in the water. Bright pink and blue shoot out to leave the bath a gorgeous shade of purple… and it smells like heaven!

Lush says: “With this monstrously pink Halloween bath bomb, you’re ready for a ball. Full of uplifting neroli, toning olibanum, and cleansing lime oil.”

They’re not wrong!

Bewitched bubble bar

I haven’t used this yet this year but I have done in the past and I’m excited to use it again, mainly because… the water turns black! It doesn’t get more Halloween than that.

Lush says: “This friendly feline will boost your luck with blackberry scented bubbles and plastic-free glitter. Perrrfect for packaging-free bathing.”

I’m so ready for it!

Ghost in the Dark soap

I don’t have a home for this little guy yet so I haven’t tried him out… but look how cute! How could I say no to soap in the shape of a ghost!

Lush says: “A handmade soap with refreshing lemongrass and uplifting bergamot oils, and it glows in the dark!”

It GLOWS in the DARK! Enough said!

Pumpkin Pumpkin bath bomb

I’ve also had this one before and I’d say it’s my least favourite out of the Halloween bath bombs, but it’s still worth it before that cute little face!

Lush says: “Watch this Halloween favourite glide round the surface, releasing bright, mood enhancing citrus oils as it goes.”

I think the reason this one is my least favourite is because it’s very citrus-y and I go to those scents to wake me up, which isn’t what I’m having a bath for! But hey, that’s just me, I’d still give this one a solid 8/10!

Pumpkin Patch knot wrap

I’ll admit that I’m a bit clueless on what to do with a knot wrap but I saw this one, I had to have it and will use the suggestions from Lush for sure. I’ll most likely use it as a headband but I was curious to see if perhaps it can be made in to a face mask!

Oh it’s made from recycled plastic too!

Lord of Misrule bath bomb

I’ve possibly saved the best for last here, as this one is a definite firm favourite! Patchouli GALORE… oh and you think it’s green but guess what? The water turns red!

Lush says: “A Halloween bath bomb with a spicy blend of patchouli and black pepper. A deep green exterior froths away to rich wine coloured waters.”

12/10 from me!

Have you bought or tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments!