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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!

Posted in Life

5 Tips For The Ultimate Cosy Night In

I know it’s nice to go out in the evenings, especially in the summer when it’s still warm as the sun goes down… but that doesn’t mean there’s not something to be said for a super cosy night in, as the weather gets colder and the nights get darker.

That being said, it looks like we’re all going to have a lot more nights at home for the foreseeable anyway, so here are some of my suggestions for the ultimate cosy night in!

1. Have a nice hot bath

Let’s start the evening with something super relaxing: a hot bubble bathTreat yourself to a bath bomb to make it nice and special. Stay tuned for my Lush Halloween haul, the best time of year for bath bombs in my opinion.

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

2. Get comfy

Cosy and comfy just go hand in hand really, don’t they?! My go to comfy clothes are really old and tatty pyjamas, but I’m very tempted to treat myself to some cute new loungewear for the upcoming colder months! I’m slightly obsessed with this set from Nasty Gal, which might not exactly be family friendly but that’s ok with me!

Sorry mum…

Depending on how cold it is, you might also want some cosy slippers or fluffy socks – I personally love a pair of Primark fluffy socks in the winter!

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Why not throw some cosy blankets in there too for good measure!

3. Snacks and hot drinks

Now, if you’re a bit of a food lover like me then the perfect snacks for the occasion are of utmost importance! Depending on the sort of night in you’re having, you might just go for something like popcorn and sweets… which is great, but if you’re going for the full works then you may as well get a takeaway in! Personally, I’d go for a Chinese or a pizza… if you’re not as lazy as me then maybe you’ll make some food yourself of course, but I for one, am no good at cooking!

Photo by Sarah Dietz on Pexels.com

4. Mood lighting

Light your room of choice up however you prefer… I’m a bit weird and like to have lots of light but for the sake of the ultimate cosy night, I’m going to assume that you’re more inclined to prefer a darker room like most people I talk to! Whichever way you prefer, I also recommend lighting some candles to get those extra cosy vibes too! Check out my recent post on my current autumn candle collection for some suggestions.

5. Have a selection of films or a series to binge

Let’s set the scene now… you’ve got your comfiest ever clothes on, wrapped up like a little burrito in blankets, the Dominos has just arrived… and now you can settle in to watch your favourite series on Netflix (or whatever streaming service you prefer, or your favourite film – am I the only one who has DVDs these days?!)

My current favourite for a cosy night in is Once Upon A Time on Netflix. Either that or whatever new crime documentary is about. If I’m up for a film then I have quite a varying taste, but next on my re-watch list is Rocketman! I could write a whole other post about how much I love that film but maybe I’ll save that for another day… Harry Potter is also of course ALWAYS an autumn classic!

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

I hope you’re feeling extra cosy now! Let me know in the comments what else you like to do for a nice, cosy night in ❤

Posted in Home, Life

My Autumn Candle Collection

Don’t get me wrong, I love candles all year round… but there’s something even better about them in autumn and winter. The extra cosy vibes perhaps, or maybe I just prefer the heavier autumnal scents. Either way, I thought I’d share with you the candles I currently have at home and will be burning throughout autumn!

None of the links shared throughout this post are affiliate, I’m just sharing so that you can find any of these products if you so wish! This isn’t a paid for post or sponsored in anyway, this is just my own collection!

Autumn Glow by Yankee Candle

If you had to sum up the smell of Autumn, but without pumpkins… then this scent would be it. The fragrance notes are: sparkling citrus, autumn blossom, fresh cut herbs, patchouli, tonka bean and golden amber. I LOVE the smell of patchouli and you definitely get hit with that first.

I purchased it recently and already have far too many candles than I care to admit, so I went for a smaller jar for now. I can tell you though that I will certainly be repurchasing in future and probably in a bigger jar to last longer!

Warm Tobacco Pipe by DW Home

Another patchouli based fragrance, but with a twist! When I saw this one in TK Maxx (I didn’t realise DW was an American company until searching for the link!) I thought it will surely smell vile… but oh no! It’s absolutely delightful. My boyfriend even likes this one and that’s saying something.

The fragrance notes are: tobacco, brushed suede, aromatic greens, soft weathered woods, patchouli and smoky leather. Honestly, it’s amazing. It smells like… a cosy pub when you come in from the fresh autumn air! Heaven…

Pumpkin Apple Parfait by Yankee Candle

I actually got this one in a sample sale, just before the UK went in to lockdown back in March… so I didn’t buy it in autumn BUT it has pumpkin in the name, so I’m going with it.

I can’t actually find this on the UK site so perhaps the collection didn’t last, however it is still on the US site if you wanted to find it.

It’s a fruity candle so perhaps not what you might first go for in autumn, but it’s definitely worth it and I personally think it can be all year scent! The fragrance notes are: pumpkin puree, whipped cream, apple glaze, allspice, ginger, white chocolate, vanilla bean, cinnamon.

Heirloom Punpkin from TK MAXX

I’ve simply put TK Maxx as this seems to be unbranded. I mainly really liked the jar if I’m honest and the smell certainly isn’t as amazing as some of the others in this collection. I’m yet to burn it properly so I’m not sure how the scent will carry but it does smell very much like your typical pumpkin and patchouli scented, Halloween candle. I’m here for it though!

Vanilla Latte by DW Candle

I won’t lie, I saw this online and didn’t read it properly… I thought it was pumpkin spiced latte! However, when it arrived, I was not disappointed. The description online states: creamy, rich espresso combined with vanilla essence, and topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle. That is exactly what it smells like!

I’d been looking for a coffee candle for so long and so to end up with this is a very happy accident indeed. Perhaps coffee isn’t a very standard Halloween scent, but there are leaves on the lid so that’s good enough for me!

Yankee Candle Campfire Nights Collection

I mentioned in my autumn wish list post, that I was keen to get my hands on all of these scents and so when I saw that all the votives were in stock, I treated myself! I only wanted the votives so that I could smell them all first, without forking out for the jars… and then potentially not like them! However, they did not disappoint in the slightest. My only problem that I did have, is I ordered a lovely autumn mosaic votive holder to go with them… and it was missing from the package. Easily sorted but still, it meant I couldn’t include it in these photos!

First up is A Night Under The Stars. The fragrance notes for this one are: leather, spice, driftwood, clove, saffron, rose, frankincense, patchouli, cedarwood and you can certainly smell them all. It’s lovely, not too dissimilar to Autumn Glow actually.

Next we have Crisp Campfire Apples, which does smell exactly as the name would suggest. If you needed a helpful hint, the fragrance notes are: apple, clove, mandarin leaf, cinnamon stick, oak leaves, tonka, blonde woods. YUM!

Next is Warm and Cosy, which are the best feelings of Autumn are they not?! The name doesn’t give much away as to how this will smell, but I’ll tell you… it’s lovely and you just know there’s patchouli in there. Are you sensing a pattern yet? The fragrance notes are: balsam, peppermint, eucalyptus, cashmere, cedarwood, golden amber, patchouli, lit firewood, musk. Definite cosy vibes.

Last but no means least, and the one I wanted to try out most, is Pecan Pie Bites. This one smells amazing! I thought that at least one from this collection would be a dud, but they’re all divine. Imagine walking in to a bakery on a blustery autumn day and that’s this candle. The fragrance notes are: cinnamon leaf, burnt sugar, raw honey, white hazelnut, pecan, dark chocolate
clove, oak wood, smoked cedar.

So there you have it! I have a lot of candles to burn through this season but seeing as they all smell so incredible, I don’t think it’ll be a hard task! Stay tuned for more autumnal content and if you liked this round up of my autumn candles, then you’ll be in for a treat when we get closer to Halloween as I have a whole other collection just for spooky season!

Posted in America, Travel

My First Solo Trip With Trek America: Days 9 & 10, Death Valley to LA

Since writing and publishing my most recent post about my first time with Trek America, they have very sadly announced that they will no longer be running any future trips. I could probably write a whole other post about how genuinely sad this makes me. However, in the interest of preserving the memory of my beloved Trek, I’m just here to finish off the tale of my first solo trip with them instead. So… hop in the van and buckle up, it’s the last leg of the tour! Check out my previous post here.

The next morning was Christmas Eve, so again, we were all buzzing with excitement. I was embarrassed about facing “C” again, following my drunken antics, but he was just as lovely as the rest of the group had been. Typically though, it was my turn to ride shotgun and play DJ, so we had a good chat and I made it clear how mortified I was, and that I’d never been in that state before! He gave me a little bit of stick about being a lightweight but then kindly took us all back to the Vegas sign, as I’d missed it. Then everyone moved on and the next topic of conversation was… Presents!

We decided to do secret Santa so all picked a name out of a hat, set a budget and headed to Walmart to choose our gifts. I remember buying a sock monkey for my recipient, one of the Korean girls, and it ended up becoming a bit of a mascot on the last day!

We tried to keep the gifts as secret as possible, read to wrap up at our final destination – Death Valley. It wasn’t a particularly long drive , so we all enjoyed the second to last ride in the van and chatter excitedly amongst ourselves.

When we arrived, we set up camp in a quiet little area in Furnace Creek – again, this would have been much busier in summer so it was a nice time of year to go!

Then it was time to explore before our last dinner as a camp… I was definitely starting to feel really sad about having to come home by this point and really didn’t want the trip to be over!

We headed to Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. We all took lots of photos and enjoyed the last full day together. There’s a hilarious photo of the group “playing dead” at the Death Valley National park sign but as with any group photos, I feel like I can’t include them as I’m not in contact with everyone in them.

I will however include this photo of the back of our heads, me with my Santa hat on, looking out at the view. I made this the last photo in my photo album for this trip because it just ends it all so nicely!

You’d think that the last night at camp would be quite raucous but to be honest, the group wasn’t quite like that… and I think my Vegas antics made up for it anyway. It was a sedate last night round the camp fire.

I had to keep going off to the toilet to give my tattoo a clean. Which was interesting as the night got darker… there were no lights at all so I had to keep wandering over to the (very basic) toilet, which also had no light, to give the fresh wound a little clean and moisturise. I’d been told by another tattoo artist before the guy in Vegas, to clean it with water and put on fresh cream every hour on the day after a new tattoo. That was the only aftercare advice I had to go by, because in Vegas I barely got a grunt from the guy once it was done!

It didn’t help that in Death Valley, there’s sand everywhere. So in a bid to keep it clean for that last night, “C” suggested bandaging it up. I’d been previously told not to do that but also didn’t want sand getting all over it, seeing as a healing tattoo is itchy enough as it is. It ended up healing to look fine but there’s definite lumps under the skin but I’m just thankful it didn’t get really gross and infected!

Freshly done!

“C” took me in to the van to help bandage up my leg. We were alone. Remember when I said no more guy drama at the start of the trip? …I hadn’t found him attractive in the beginning, but when he then confessed that he was interested in me and was disappointed that he hadn’t had an opportunity to spend time alone with me in Vegas… I suddenly found myself mentally planning to run away and spend my life touring the US with him, which of course was never going to happen!

Our moment of just us two was soon interrupted as one of the others had come to see where we’d got to. We went back to camp, my leg all wrapped up, and all chatted around the camp fire until yet again, it was too cold to stay out.

“C” sat with me all evening and asked me to go back to his hotel room after the trip ended, also promising to show me more of LA before I went home.

The next morning was Christmas Day! It didn’t feel unusual to me at all not to be home. I was too wrapped up in the little bubble of Trek life. “C” cooked us pancakes and bacon and then we all exchanged secret Santa gifts.

As it turned out, mine was from “C”. He got me a tattoo magazine that I kept for years after.

Once camp was packed up for the last time, we were LA bound for a tour around the city before getting dropped back off at the gateway hotel.

LA was not what I expected at all. In fact, I was quite disappointed! Bearing in mind it was Christmas Day… the place was heaving. You could hardly see the stars on the walk of fame, we sat in traffic for most of the time and what’s more, the Hollywood sign is TINY, and you can’t get anywhere near it. It’s nothing like the movies, which is funny because for all the other American cities I have visited, I always explain that it’s exactly like the movies. It was an experience nonetheless and I’d probably still go back in order to not have to rush about, as I think that was the main reason it ended up a disappointment.

Back at the gateway hotel, saying goodbye to the rest of the group was gut wrenching. I felt like I’d made lifelong friends. As I said, sadly were not all in contact anymore but in fairness it’s now been 8 years and life happens like that when you don’t get to see each other often. Nonetheless, saying goodbye was very sad!

“S” came with me to my room for a while, as she had time to kill before her flight home that night. I ordered room service and chilled out with her until she was due to leave. I always forget that tax isn’t included in American prices so imagine how mortified I was when I told them to keep the change upon delivering my room service (spaghetti and meatballs if you’re interested) …for them to turn round and say, no you haven’t paid enough. It was the most expensive spaghetti I have ever had and I ended up using all of my remaining cash to pay for it, but hey ho!

After “S” left, I went to find “C”. One of others was there and we all chilled out for a while. I hadn’t had much chance to talk to her one on one and was surprised to discover that she was a lesbian and had only just come out to all her friends and family. It suddenly made sense because she had also spent a lot of time with “c” and I’d been very slightly jealous.

She went to catch her flight and once again “C” and I were alone. We started drinking so that I could prove I wasn’t always a complete lightweight. We chatted all night about travelling and he showed me photos from previous trips he’d been on until I became infatuated. We talked about music and traded our favourite songs. I stayed the night and he promised to take me to one of his favourite spots for breakfast the next day.

I woke up on a Boxing Day sure that he’d go back on his word but we spent the morning together, got breakfast and went for a walk along Venice Beach. LA was much quieter and if the previous day had been more like that, then I would have perhaps not written LA off completely!

I naively thought at the time that it might go somewhere with “C” but of course that wasn’t the case. When it was time for me to get to the airport, we said a very quick goodbye and off I went.

There was a problem once I was on the plane, I can’t remember what, but takeoff was delayed for quite some time. The guy next to me on this leg of the journey was an American off to London for the first time, full of excitement. I felt really sad at that point and was not in the mood for his small talk. However, he did offer for me to tag on to his WiFi from his phone. I used it to find “C” on Facebook. We were delayed for so long that I started to convince myself we’d have to get off the plane and rebook the flight. I can see now that I’m looking back, just how silly that was. I messaged “C” in the hopes that if I had to get off the plane I could go back and see him. I didn’t hear back and the plane took off.

The flight was uneventful and I tried to sleep for most of it to avoid the over enthusiastic American guy next to me. He was far too keen to befriend me and I had done enough befriending strangers to last me a lifetime… which isn’t actually the case, seeing as I have since gone in to make many travelling pals!

When we landed, my mum was waiting for me with a huge balloon. I burst in to tears as soon as I saw her, in absolute shock at what I had achieved. I’d left her at near enough the same spot, less than two weeks before, a nervous wreck and almost didn’t even get on the plane. Now here I was… trip completed.

I told her all about it in the journey home and immediately ordered the latest brochure from Trek. I booked my second trip not long after and have never looked back!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and much as I have enjoyed reliving the memories. Even though Trek America is to be no more, I still have lots of memories to share of my second trip. If you’d like to read some more of my travelling antics then let me know in the comments! Spoiler alert; after the age of 21, I suddenly became a lot more adventurous!

Posted in Corgis, Pets

8 Of The BEST Things About Corgis

I am definitely biased but… Corgis really are the best breed of dogs in the world. I have loved them for years and always wanted one of my own, I still can’t believe that I finally have one!

Recently I shared some of the things you should know before getting a puppy in general, but I wanted to get specific and hopefully encourage more people to get their own Corgi. In the UK, it’s surprisingly rare to see a Corgi anywhere, so hopefully this post will show you what is so great about them… because honestly having one is brilliant!

1. They’re always happy

Corgis always have a smile on their face but not only that, they have lovely temperaments. I’m sure there are some Corgis out there that are grumpy gits, but as a whole they’re a very happy and excitable breed. That energy is infectious and Reggie has definitely been a shining light during this difficult year.

Reggie is always smiling!

2. They’re full of character

Building on from that, they have generally great personalities and are FULL of character. I often feel like I’m having a proper conversation with Reggie because he’s so expressive (and vocal!). They’re playful, judgmental and all round hilarious.

I’d love to know what he’s thinking sometimes

3. Don’t be fooled by those tiny legs… they’re very athletic!

If you’re looking for a dog to go on long walks or runs with, don’t assume that a Corgis little legs won’t keep up with you! They’ve got the energy to match their personality, that’s for sure. Depending on what you’re looking for in a dog, maybe this isn’t for you but personally I think it’s a great thing.

The perfect companion for a long walk

4. They’re very adaptable

No matter what your living circumstances are, a Corgi will generally adapt and be happy no matter what. As long as you can give a decent chunk of your time to walking and training with them, it doesn’t really matter if you’re in a big house or a flat, the city or the countryside. From experience, Reggie loves a quiet walk along the beach just as much as in a busy town.

Happy to play no matter where he is

5. They’re smart and therefore easy to train

Corgis are very intelligent dogs, which makes them easy to train. They’re working dogs and aim to please so will work hard on learning new tricks… but be warned… they’re often too smart for their own good and will try to be boss!

Reggie learnt how to sit, lay down, roll over and come when called… all within the first couple of weeks we had him!

6. Everything about them is ADORABLE

Everything about Corgis is beyond cute. They’ve got it all covered: huge ears that flop when they run, a cute little waddle with their stumpy legs, a floofy butt, the little paw grabs and of course, the famous corgi sploot!

Sploot!

7. They’re affectionate

As long as he’s had a chance to play as well, Reggie is SO affectionate. He doesn’t understand boundaries though so will often get right up in your face but he loves a good cuddle on the sofa… with plenty of sloppy kisses too!

8. They’re great company

All in all, they’re the best companion you could ever ask for. Whilst I love dogs in general, Corgis really are the best in my opinion and I hope that I continue to have many of these wonderful creatures in my life for years to come!

Kisses!

Are you a corgi lover? If so what’s your favourite thing about them?!

Stay tuned for my list of the WORST things about Corgis!

Posted in Fashion, Life, Shopping

My Autumn Wishlist

I don’t know what it is about the autumn and spooky season, but I always want to buy anything remotely related, no matter what it is… mugs, clothing, nail varnishes, candles, literally any kind of Halloween decoration… if there’s a pumpkin on it, I need it!

I thought for this post I’d share some of the things on my wish list for this year, because why not really?! (none of these links are affiliate and I’m simply sharing things that I have happened to found recently)

Cosy Leaf Jumper (Kiel James Patrick)

@hellomissjordan shared this on her princess picks this week and OMG I need it! It’s the perfect colour, it’s cosy AND it has autumn leaves on it… sold! (well, maybe not literally as it’s a bit on the pricey side for me right now!)

Chances I’ll buy it: slim, unless it’s in a 50% off sale…

Pumpkin Candle Holder (Little Lies)

I mean, just look how cute it is!

Chances I’ll buy it: possible… I’m obsessed with near enough everything on the Little Lies website and have been holding out to treat myself to a few bits on there…

Bargain All Saints Jumper (TK Maxx)

When something from All Saints is reduced by 75%… it’s a no brainer right?!

Chances I’ll buy it: I’ve probably already bought it!

H&M Collared Jumper

I literally need this. That collar is just divine…

Chances I’ll buy it: definitely, as soon as it’s actually in stock

The Whole Yankee Candle Campfire Nights Collection

I am imagining these smell amazing… especially the pecan pie bites one!

Chances I’ll buy it: very likely, I’m waiting for all the votives to be in stock and to find a holder I like (something autumnal of course!)

This Punny jumper (Not On The Hight Street)

It’s pink, it’s cosy looking, it has a pun on it… need I say more?

Chances I’ll buy it: I personally think it’ll be rude not to!

The perfect subtle Halloween-esque umbrella (New Look)

I have a bit of a weird thing against umbrellas but I’m slightly obsessed by this, and have a spooky photo idea in my head to make use of it!

Chances I’ll buy it: at £7.99… definitely!

Basically everything new from Monki

Monki has loads of cute leggings, tees and bodysuits, with cute little Halloween designs and basically I need them all!

Chances I’ll buy it: HIGH

Doc Martens (ASOS)

I’ve wanted a new pair of DMs for a while and particularly have my eye on “slip on” pair, for something easy but comfy to wear in autumn and winter.

Chances I’ll buy it: likely, just praying for them to go on sale on ASOS

The whole vanilla pumpkin Body Shop range

You can’t go wrong with The Body Shop really, can you?!

Chances I’ll buy it: pretty high!

This entire wax melt collection complete with cauldron burner (Cushty Co)

I have literally been checking Instagram daily for the restock date as I absolutely do need every single one of these!

Chances I’ll buy it: if I can get in there quick enough then definitely!

An autumn garland (Amazon)

Last but no means least, how can I not have one of these?!

Chances I’ll buy it: pretty high, if I can decide what I’ll actually do with it!

So, there you have it, a little sneak peak in to the items I’m currently pining after! I could have gone on for much longer, as there’s a ridiculous amount of items on my wish lists, especially ASOS…. I never actually realised how materialistic I was!

What’s on your Wishlist for autumn? Which of these items do you think I should definitely purchase, or which do you think I should steer clear of?

Posted in Travel

My First Solo Trip With Trek America: Days 7 & 8, Las Vegas

Welcome back to my Trek America series! Check out my previous post if you haven’t already, which is all about my time at The Grand Canyon. Just to let you know, there are links in this post but none are affiliate. This series is just for fun and sadly is not associated with Trek America, or anything else that I’ve linked, in any way!

The day we were all waiting for was upon us – today we were Vegas bound! Of course, it wouldn’t be a Trek trip if there wasn’t a bonus stop off, or a few, on the way. So to start the day off, we headed to a stretch of the old Route 66, which, as a America fanatic growing up, was almost as exciting as heading to Vegas itself.

We pulled up in to Seligman and I was instantly in love. It looked as though time had frozen in the 1980s, when the original Route 66 was to be no more. Trek has a blog post all about it, which I think does it more justice than I can.

We stopped here for short while, did a spot of souvenir shopping and took LOTS of photos, before moving on to our next pit stop en route to Viva Las Vegas.

Another novelty to me at 20 years of age, was American fast food chains. So imagine the excitement for my first In-N-Out burger… yep, these are the kind of things 20 year old me got excited about… to be honest, even now at 28 I’d be pretty thrilled.

We had a relaxed lunch and even all got a hat, which I still actually have to this day. Everyone laughed at me for not liking salad in my burgers, and then we all moved on to our next stop… nope, still not Vegas!

Our last stop off before the final destination, was Hoover Dam. I have to be honest, I wasn’t all that interested in visiting here… until I saw it. You’d think a dam is just a dam and nothing really to look at but the scale was incredibly impressive! We didn’t stop for long though and we were all keen to get going.

There wasn’t a lot further to go and I’ll never forget the moment “C” drove us in to Vegas and played “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC. The excitement was unreal. I think it was a little too much for me though because by the time we arrived, I was feeling nauseous and therefore didn’t eat any of the BBQ dinner that the camp sat down to, outside our hotel which was actually more like an apartment complex. Let that be lesson number one on what NOT to do in Vegas.

Instead of dinner, I had a little nap and woke up feeling a little better so I got ready for the night out ahead of us. A party bus was on the way… yes, I was under 21 but I was told I could drink on the bus, so that I didn’t miss out. One of the other girls in the group went to the check out for me during one of our shopping trips and so I had my own bottle of vodka… can you see where this night is going yet?

On the way out the door, I had a Tums to keep my stomach settled, and a handful of Cheez-Its. I picked up my bottle of vodka, a bottle orange juice and my very own plastic red cup and we piled on to the party bus.

I don’t have any photos from the night, which is a shame but then again – maybe it didn’t need to be documented!

The bus was like a mini nightclub on wheels, with a pole slap bang in the middle. I poured myself a drink and then another, then another… I took a sip and thought it tasted a bit too strong, but in my mind at the time, I thought that if I carry on drinking it then I can top it up later with more orange juice. Rookie error.

The rest of the night is a blur.

I remember being SO excited, staring out the windows, driving through Las Vegas at night and seeing everything lit up. I remember the token male of the group, a 6 foot tall Danish guy, dancing on the pole to Pitbull’s “Don’t Stop The Party”. I vaguely remember getting off the bus in downtown Vegas, realising that two thirds of my vodka was gone, and being in awe of the people ziplining up above, whilst Bon Jovi played on the screens. I remember repeatedly telling everyone how I’d seen Bon Jovi live twice, therefore realising I must be quite drunk and so then repeatedly asking what time it was. I remember that it was 8.40pm.

The next thing I remember is going to find a toilet in a casino and being told to make sure I don’t seem drunk, because I was underage… so I walked really stiff. Apparently I passed out in the toilet cubicle and was unresponsive for some time, before finally re-emerging, determined that I was fine. I don’t remember that but I remember suddenly being outside the casino being told to eat some pizza but I was adamant I didn’t need it.

After that, I have a very vague memory of being sick, then carried back to my hotel room and that’s it. The next morning I was told that as soon as I got back on the bus, I was past the point of no return and they had to turn round to take me back to the hotel.

I woke up mortified and covered in bruises. My glasses were missing and so was the bottom half of my outfit, I was still wearing the same top as the night before. I’d never had a hangover before but that morning… I felt like my head was going to explode.

My new friends had looked after me and they were concerned at first, as I was completely out of it, but apparently someone sneezed and I half heartedly said “bless you”, which was the sign that I would be ok! “S” stayed with me for the rest of the night and everyone else went on their merry way… to this day I’m absolutely gutted that I didn’t get to enjoy the evening properly and have never got drunk on an empty stomach since. I have however, vowed to go back to Vegas and make the most of it one day – now that I’m a little older and wiser!

I managed to get myself up and in to the shower, “C” came to check on me but I was too embarrassed to face him, so I stayed in the bathroom and “S” let him know I’d woken up and was ok.

Once I was dressed, I needed to find my glasses. Someone had taken them off my when I started being sick, not realising how badly I need them… “S” didn’t know who actually had them and I didn’t have a spare pair with me, so I was quite worried! Luckily, one of the other girls had kept hold of them for me – when she saw me up and about, she threw her arms around me and said how glad she that was I was alive! I must have been in a bad way the nigh before so I asked everyone how much I had embarrassed myself last night, did I say anything inappropriate etc… but what happens in Vegas, really does stay in Vegas and they all swore that there was nothing to tell me, and I shouldn’t worry. I couldn’t have been with a kinder group of people!

We all headed off together for a late breakfast, at Hooters hotel of all places.

Curly fries and fried chicken with blue cheese sauce… apparently not quite the hangover cure I had hoped it would be. There’s a hilarious photo of me, struggling to smile whilst eating that meal, which sums up just how bad I felt but unfortunately I can’t find it anymore, so you’ll have to just imagine!

The larger group split up after breakfast, so myself, “S” and another girl went off for an explore along the strip in the daylight. I was very slow and steady and to be honest, there’s not much to report of the day. It’s safe to say that my antics from the night before meant that I really didn’t make the most of the short time I had in Vegas. We’d initially planned to do all sorts, and the possibilities are endless so another Trek Travel Tip for you: don’t get too drunk on night one!

We popped in and out of different hotels to be nosey, had a wander round the very large and impressive Hard Rock Cafe and I also searched high and low for a tattoo shop. I went through a phase of collecting tattoos from different locations, and I couldn’t miss out Vegas.

Weirdly though, there didn’t seem to be many tattoo places on the actual strip itself but I’d noticed that in the Hooters hotel there was one tucked away by the pool – as you do! The two girls were gracious enough to accompany me for the evening so that I didn’t have to go alone. I picked out a desert scene with an 8 ball from the flash art and although the experience was generally a little shady, I went for it.

By the time we left, it was around 9pm and we were starving. The three of us decided to go back to the hotel and order a pizza, rather than do anything else too extravagant! Here’s a funny story though… without paying too much attention to the measurements on the menu, we thought we would just go for the biggest option, as it was for 3 of us to share. The size of the thing that turned up was hilarious and I’ve never seen a bigger pizza since!

As I said, there is SO much to do in Las Vegas, and when we first arrived the group of us had talked about doing all sorts, but alas… We called it an early night so all in all, you can see why I said this is what NOT to do in Vegas… although it has been a funny story to tell in the years since.

I went to bed that night with a mixture of emotions. It would be Christmas Eve the next morning and my first Christmas away from home, but in all honesty I didn’t actually mind at all. In fact, I never wanted the trip to end. We had just two days left and I started to feel really sad that it was nearly over… but not over yet so I’d have to make sure to enjoy the rest of the time as much as possible!

Stay tuned for my final instalment which covers Death Valley, Christmas Day in LA and saying goodbye…

Posted in Life

6 Things To Love About Autumn

For me personally, I couldn’t love Autumn anymore than I do already… but I know the chillier days aren’t for everyone so to help get everyone else in to the spirit of things, I’m sharing a list of just 6 reasons to love this season!

Firstly, all things cosy! How can you not love getting all cosy in a jumper, with blankets and a hot chocolate, maybe in front of a fire if you’re super lucky… it’s just the best.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Next up, all of the Autumn LUSH goodies! I don’t know about you, I love a Lush bathbomb on any day of the year, but there’s something extra special about the Autumn and Halloween ones.

Monster Ball from 2016

After shopping at your local Lush, you might want to grab some lunch and a classic Pumpkin Spiced Latte. Yep, I’m that kinda gal. I know it’s become a bit of a love/hate thing in recent years, but I’m here to tell you that I for one… am ALL about pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING.

Pumpkin picking in my favourite Autumnal jacket

Then after the pumpkin spice leaves the cafes and shops… it’s replaced with all things Christmas, and if Autumn doesn’t get you excited… surely the run up to Christmas does?! I’m one of these weird folks that finds the run up to things almost more exciting than the actual event and now is the time that most wonderful time of year starts to creep up on us.

Next on my list, the colours… don’t you just love it when the leaves all start to turn? I can’t think of anything better than a walk in the crisp, fresh air, crunching on all the red and brown leaves as they start to fall from the trees.

Last but not least, and possibly the best thing of all… HALLOWEEN! Of course, with Autumn comes Halloween and honestly? It’s my favourite day of the year, I just love all things spooky.

Photo by Jillian Morkan on Pexels.com

So… grab yourself a pumpkin spiced beverage, run yourself a Lush infused bath, get cosy and pop on a spooky movie… it’s time for Autumn!

Do you love this season too? What are your favourite things about Autumn? Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Life

August Round-Up & Blogging Goals for Autumn

Just like that, it’s goodbye Summer.

Who can believe we’re about to enter September? It doesn’t seem right to me at all… March feels just like yesterday! This year hasn’t exactly been the best for anyone I think, so I suppose it’s not necessarily a bad thing that it’s flown by.

That being said, August seems to have been a busy month and so I thought now was a good time for some reflection before we enter my favourite season… Autumn.

What did I achieve in August?

Firstly, non-blogging related – Bought a new car – If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen my recent reel showing of the car that Dale and I have bought. We went for a Mini Countryman Sport and I love it! There are a lot of luxuries that I never knew I needed, like heated seats and Apple car play… but not only that, it’s a really sturdy car and I actually feel really safe and secure whilst driving. Writing this makes me feel like I should have written a full review!

Planned content for the rest of the year – turns out that coming in to Autumn inspires me and then I was already on a roll so carried on for Blogmas and up to the end of this year!

Managed to publish posts consistently all month – I have struggled with consistency from day one so any time I can keep up with posting regularly is an achievement to me. In August I have shared more of my first Trek America trip, a photo journal, a review of StitchFix and also 8 things to know before you get a puppy.

Reached over 100 followers on my blog and 2,600 on Instagram!

In fact, it’s a been one whole year of Watt The Blog!

When you break it down in to small acheivements like that, the year doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Moving forward in to the glorius Autumn, here are my blogging goals for the season:

Continue to post consistently and more often – I’m going to aim for twice a week in the run up to December, then ATTEMPT a daily Blogmas up to Christmas eve… wish me luck!

Stick to my content plan – it’s all very well making a plan for the rest of the year, but I need to actually stick to it…

Reach 200 followers on my blog – that one might be a bit of a stretch, but I can try!

If I’m gaining followers on my blog, might at well reach 2,700 on Instagram and 900 on Twitter… again… I can try!

Create a blogging Facebook page – I keep meaning to do this, but haven’t quite got that far yet.

I’m sending out optimism and good vibes in to the universe right now and looking forward to reflecting back on these goals later on in to Winter!

What are you goals for the coming months and what are you proud to have acheived in August? Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Pets

8 Things To Know Before Getting a Puppy

Many people will be of the opinion that you should always rescue… however, I personally feel that if you and your breeder are both responsible, then there is no reason at all not to get a puppy. You just need to make sure to do your research and make sure you’re ready to commit. Sadly, I have been hearing more and more lately, of so many people getting new puppies without realising how much hard work is involved.

There are links on this post but none are affiliate. All opinions are my own and I’ve received no form of payment for this post, I just do it for fun!

I’m no expert of course, but after a successful first few months with Reggie, here are 8 things that I think you need to consider before you get a puppy!

The hard work is DEFINITELY worth it!

There will be some sleepless nights and early morning wake up calls

The first two nights that Reggie was first home were very hard, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that. We were fully prepared for it though and it wasn’t a shock, and actually we didn’t really mind, although hearing your new pup cry endlessly is absolutely heartbreaking.

We had already decided that Reggie would not sleep upstairs with us, so the hardest thing was not to give in to his cries and let him come up. It’s really important to ride it out though and start as you mean to go on.

So peaceful… when he’s asleep!

Here are some helpful tips for the first few nights!

  • Play with your puppy for a while before bedtime, and try not to let them sleep too much during the day.
  • A good breeder will give you a blanket, or something with the mother’s scent, this will reassure your puppy when you’re not around.
  • Start as you mean to go on. Wherever you want your dog to sleep, do it from day one and don’t give in to the temptation to change it “just for the first night”.
  • You will still need to keep a close eye to make sure they’re not too distressed. I suggest going to check in between cries and whines, to hopefully promote to them that you will come back when they’re NOT crying.

You won’t get much sleep the first night, and guess what? The second night is even worse. Persevere though, and after the first few nights it should be fine!

Not only will you not get much sleep during those first nights home, but you’re going to need to get up early too. We were up at 4am from the first morning with him, which gradually got a bit later and now he generally lets us lay in until about 6am, although we often still hear him stirring very early. (I will say that we are also early risers anyway, so perhaps he’s just got used to that!)

Early morning walks since day one!

There will be plenty of accidents

Our breeder had done a fantastic job of getting toilet training started, but that doesn’t mean Reggie came home and knew exactly what to do and where to go for his business!

We had plenty of accidents for the first couple of weeks and had many poops on rugs, and even a wee on our brand new sofa… but it’s just what happens when you get a new puppy. It can be frustrating, but you have to just accept it!

Yep, we covered the sofa in blankets when Reggie first came home… and he peed right through them!

Here are some helpful tips for toilet training:

  • DON’T get angry and punish them, just take them outside or to wherever you want them to learn to go.
  • When they go in the right place, give them plenty of praise and treats.
  • When you think they’ve cracked it… there will still be accidents! Don’t be discouraged, they’ll get there. Reggie went weeks with no accidents in doors, then all of a sudden… it was like he just forgot it all over again.
  • Buy an odour destroyer! This will get rid of the scent and prevent the pup going in the same place again.
  • Take then out to the toilet regularly, even if they might not need to go. We took Reggie outside every two hours for the first couple of weeks and it really helped.
  • Be prepared you either get up in the night for a toilet trip, or get up super early.
  • Be prepared for diarrhoea, and probably vomit too, not just a little bit of wee or poop. I hate to break it to you, but your puppy will probably have an upset tummy when you first get them home.

Besides toilet related accidents, there will always be a mess

Our house is never clean and tidy anymore. Plain and simple! Even when it is, it doesn’t last long… Some mess that we have been left since having a pup:

  • Stuffing from toys
  • Dog food on the floors and walls
  • Fur. So much fur.
  • Laundry taken from the basket and strewn everywhere
  • Chewed up shoes
  • Permanently muddy floors
  • Sand
  • Water from struggling to give him a bath
  • Leaves and dug up plants from the garden
  • Torn up post… bonus info… puppies CHEW EVERYTHING!
I know where the phrase “mucky pup” comes from now

You’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors and in all weathers

This should be a given but we hear of so many people that don’t walk their dogs! I shouldn’t have to say it, but dogs need to be walked and it doesn’t matter if it’s bad weather outside.

Of course, not all dogs require the same amount of exercise so you should make sure that you research the particular breed you’re getting to make sure you give them the correct amount.

Reggie does actually sometimes refuse to walk in the rain, but we still encourage him to keep going so he can at least go to the toilet and burn off some energy.

You need to give your constant attention (even when you’re unwell or tired)

Again, different breeds require different amounts of attention and maintenance, but it goes without saying that when you first have a puppy they will take up all of your time and focus.

They will want to explore everything, chew everything, eat everything, go to the toilet all the time… so you need to keep a close eye! Not only that, but there’s the training and playing too. You’ll be on the go much more than you might think!

Much like a new baby, a puppy will require your undivided attention and honestly it’s just not fair to them if you can’t commit to that.

There are times that Dale and I are really tired, or have been ill, but we still have to walk, feed and play with Reggie – it’s not always cute fun and games!

Make sure you’re financially prepared

Again, different breeds costs different amounts but it seems common that breeders have put their prices up significantly recently, however it’s not just the cost of getting your puppy to consider. You also need to think about:

  • Insurance
  • Vet bills – worming, flea treatments, neutering and the unfortunate unexpected bills (research common health concerns in your breed!)
  • Food and treats
  • Toys… I’m terrible for wanting to get Reggie all the cute toys we see!
  • Replacements for all the things they will destroy…

You’re not just getting a puppy, you’re getting a dog

That probably sounds silly but many people just think about the short term, cute puppy they’re getting. But remember this, they’re not puppies for long… you’re committing to having a dog for a significant number of years!

Reggie certainly isn’t this tiny anymore!

You will have to leave them home alone at some point and the guilt is awful

This was the thing I wasn’t overly prepared for… I genuinely didn’t realise how guilty I could feel leaving my baby at home… yep, my baby. Unfortunately though, we can’t stay home with them all the time, or take them everywhere, so it does have to be done at some point.

Of course, you can’t leave them alone too long either and so another responsibility to consider is making sure someone can always get home. We never leave Reggie alone for more than 4 or 5 hours and I hate it every time we have to do it.

However, it’s always something to look forward coming home to!

Cuddles when I get home, no matter how big he gets!

So, that’s 8 things I think everyone should consider before getting a puppy! If you have anything to add to the list then be sure to mention it in the comments.

Stay tuned for more puppy and Corgi related posts ❤