Tuesday, 25 July 2017


Hiyaaa! It's been quite some time since I have done a life update post, so now is a good time as any. 

So so much has happened! So here goes:

I got a new job!
Since moving back home a couple of years ago, you will know I have had a number of promotions. My last job update was getting an Assistant Manager job a year ago and since then I have worked mega hard to be the very best. I started thinking about a new job around 6 months ago, had a look around and couldn't find the right thing for me, and I accepted that. A job advert caught my eye about 2 months ago, and it felt like fate. I am now just finishing my training. I honestly could not be happier, I do have a tough few months ahead of me as it is the busiest time of the year being summer holidays but I am ready and cannot wait for the challenge! (This sounds like a really lame CV but it is the honest truth!).

This is a tough one and I want to be completely honest so I want to write a separate post about this in the coming weeks. I am still going, but the last few months have been tough so it hasn't been the biggest focus for me, but I have big plans!

I have completely fallen in love with Blogging again! I am really enjoying writing and while it is not as often as I would like, I think I need to accept that this is how it will be from now on with a full time job and studying and just generally a busy life. I do have some exciting posts coming up with a mixture of everything - lifestyle to days out to reviews to my trusty Bullet Journal. On this note, do you have any requests of what you would like to see me writing about? 

Slimming World:
So June was terrible, I don't think I have ever been so stressed/panicked/rushing around like a headless chicken. Slimming World had to take a backseat and I maintained on the most part, which is better than gaining back the ½ stone I lost already. In the last week of June I gained 2 lb but this week I came back with a 2 lb loss. I genuinely could have cried with happiness standing on those scales. I was over the moon. It has definitely kicked everything back into gear. I bought one of their recipe books so I always have it at hand to be able to reference to! I feel so much better and by also feeling much happier in myself at the moment, it means I can motivate myself so much more. I want to drop a couple of stone by the end of the year at the very least!

I can tell you how much more relaxed and happy I am feeling right now. I have gone into July what feels an entirely new person, and it feels absolutely incredible. There is so much more motivation there and it makes me so excited to see what the coming months hold!

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English Freesia from Yardley London

Flowers are just the most wonderful thing, are they not? I have recently been introduced to English Freesia's in the form of a perfume and a hand cream. The lovely company behind this are Yardley London* who have been producing perfumes, bath and body products using the delicate fragrance of English flowers since 1770. 

English Freesia has now joined the Contemporary Classics Floral Fragrance Collection bringing to it a refreshing light citrus floral fragrance. 

This would make an amazing gift for a loved one as Freesia is the 7th Wedding Anniversary flower and also symbolises friendship, thoughtfulness and innocence. The sweet, citrus scent with delicate, vibrant flowers are the perfect gift for any lady in your life. 

It is the perfect scent for the Spring and Summer, and is perfectly on trend this year! There are top notes of Bergamot, Lemone, Mandarin, Cypress and Lavender mixed with a heart of Freesia, Lily of the Valley, Ginger and Pepper on a base of Sandalwood, Musk and Amber. 

The first product in this range is the Eau de Toilette which comes in a very traditional bottle that is both iconic and contemporary. The stunning English Freesia is shown on the box to show the key ingredient in the scent. It is worth saying that the Eau de Toilette contains 90% naturally derived ingredients with a vegetable derived alcohol base. The scent is so delicate and smells incredible. The scent lasts all day as well, which is definitely saying something as we all have those perfumes we know last no longer than 5 minutes. You can get your own starting at £9.99 for 50ml and £14.99 for 125ml. 

Another product part of the English Freesia range is a Nourishing Hand Cream which has a conditioning extract from the Freesia combined with Shea Butter, Peach Kernel Oil, Antioxidant Vitamin E and Chia Seed Oil. All of these ingredients in the formula hydrate and protect your hands. The cream makes my hands so soft and it is now a handbag essential! This hand cream is £4.49 a bottle.

The Yardley London range can be found in Boots, Sainsbury's, Asda, Tesco's, Argos and online at YardleyLondon.co.uk. 

The other fragrances in the Contemporary Classics Floral Fragrance Range are: English Lavender, English Rose, Lily of the Valley, April Violets, English Bluebell and English Dahlia. These can also be found online at Yardley London. 

*These products were kindly gifted by Yardley London, but as always, all views and opinions are my own.

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Friday, 21 July 2017

Summer Travel Essentials

It is definitely that time of the year where we are all off on holiday or on day trips. I personally don't take holiday at this time of year, mainly because my job does not allow it. Instead I take plenty of day trips. Some we have been on and also have planned are:
  • Monkey World
  • The Beach
  • Shopping Trips
  • Legoland
  • Planetarium
We are also off to a gaming convention, EGX, in Birmingham in September, so we will be needing plenty of Travel Essentials for that and the following things are going to be absolutely perfect!

I always make a list, because I'm an organised freak and I always have the same things on my list every time.

I do always have stationery with me, I feel a bit lost if I don't have a bit of pen and paper in my bag. This little Kate Spade set* is perfect, it has everything I need, some pencils, sticky notes, washi tape, you name it, it is in here! The Tackle Box is perfectly easy to pop in my bag when I'm going out so that I can quickly jot something down on a sticky note when I need it. You never know when all of these blogging ideas are going to come to us!

I absolutely never leave the house without a drink, another item that feels so odd if I'm not carrying a bottle around with me! This Kate Spade Tumbler* is perfect for taking in the car for those day trips, I can fill it with whatever drink I like, even add a few ice cubes, and sit it in my car to have when I need to. I don't need to worry about it spilling either (omg when did I become such an Adult?), as the lid screws on. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the gold dots too?

A key thing in this day in age. I will personally rarely leave the house without a phone charger and power bank. If I'm off for a day out, I will definitely have a power bank, iPhone cable and plug, therefore wherever I am I can charge my phone! I will also have my headphones on me, just in case I want to drown out the noise of others listen to some music!

Wash Bag:
So I may go a bit crazy when I take toiletries somewhere, when we go to EGX in September, I will cram literally everything I possibly can into my Wash Bag (which is huge FYI, I mean look at this adorable Elephant Wash Bag*). I mean I might change my mind on what I want to use when I get there, and there is literally nothing worse than running out of some of your toiletries and having to find somewhere that sells what I need, but at extortionate prices, am I right?! I will always have separate products I take away with me, saves time for me to repack when I know I'm going away for a night soon after, this Elephant Wash Bag is the one currently packed. I love the material of it and the detail in the embroidery, it's so pretty!!

Extra Large Bag:
Just look at this bag, how perfect is this for taking away?! This Extra Large Tote Bag* is amazing for practically any day trip, it is absolutely huge and would fit in everything you can possible imagine for taking away with you. I know it would be perfect for us to take to the Beach, with two towels, change of clothes and a picnic! Now I am all about saving space! This will be one I will take to EGX with us, for extras like snacks and anything we just chuck in a bag quickly before we go, you know the type of thing I mean!

All the above items can be found on the Amara* website, under Travel Essentials.

What must you have when you are travelling? Are you off on holiday or for any day trips soon?

*These products were kindly gifted by Amara, but as always, all views and opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A Journal To Make You Stronger

As you may know, or you certainly could have guessed it by now, I'm a big fan of journals. Any kind will do!

I recently received a journal aimed at men, called the Mindjournal*. I wanted to share it here, and there will be a male opinion later on, so bear with me. 

I personally believe writing is a great outlet for letting out how you feel, and I have so much written that no one will ever see, it is purely there so I can write down how I feel and it is always a relief to have let out those positive or negative thoughts, it's a weight off my shoulders for sure. It has made me quite an honest and open person, and I don't have much of a problem telling people how I feel, take that how you want! However, I do know for some people this is not always the case and exactly why I wanted to share this journal, Mindjournal, with you. 

Ollie Aplin is the man behind this journal. He reached his target on Kickstarter within 72 hours and eventually tripled his target, and I can completely see why. Ollie used his own personal experiences as well as extensive scientific research and his design skills to create Mindjournal.

In the journal is a unique framework made up of 3 core stages and 30 writing exercises. Something like this is absolutely genius! It takes you through every single stage, talking you through experiences, why you might be writing in the journal and why you started to begin with! I really liked that with each of the writing exercises, there are words, phrases and questions to trigger your own thoughts. That way, you might think about it deep down, but it takes that one word or question to trigger it all and the words just come flowing out!

The Mindjournal is intense but it has been created to strengthen the mind. Very much like eating healthily or exercising is very important, mental health is just as important now. Each section and each writing exercise gradually allowing the writer to open up more. In the end, the writer will find new ways to tackle day-to-day stresses, difficult emotions and the rollercoaster we all know as life.

In recent research, it has been confirmed that men are more likely to suffer from common mental health issues but are less likely to open up about them, something I wholeheartedly believe is true. As Mindjournal has been created, Ollie wants more men to open up and hopefully change their lives. 

Phil's thoughts:

The Journal is very well thought out with triggers to help you to write and while some of it I felt didn't really apply to me right now, most of it did and it was great to have some sort of order in my routine instead of everything being crazy.
There are 30 tasks or entries in the journal and although it doesn't say anywhere that you should do one entry a day instead of blitzing through it, I have chosen this route to space this out and really think about what I want to write. 
Overall it is a great little journal and aid for those who are just feeling a bit lost with themselves in any aspect of their lives really, a lot of people shun writing as an outlet for whatever reason but trust me, this really did help.

I think Mindjournal can help so many men out there, whether they believe they have any mental health issues or not. Writing it an incredible outlet that can help so many people!

What do you think of Mindjournal and writing your thoughts down?

*This book was kindly gifted by Penguin Random House, but as always, all views and opinions are my own.

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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Travellers Notebooks & Exciting Twists

Hello Everyone! I am back with another stationery post, with an exciting new twist on a Bullet Journal, as well as the most incredible notebook that is not like any I have seen before!

Travellers Notebooks are something I've been looking into for quite some time now. I wasn't entirely sure on how I felt about them being significantly smaller than my Bullet Journal, what if I couldn't fit everything in it that I needed to?! Bureau Direct have recently stocked the new Rhodia Heritage* Notebooks, and they are so nice! I love the unique design on the front of them and I went for the A5 Carnet Notebook which has grid paper in it. For the layouts that I have gotten used to, and very much enjoy doing for my Bullet Journal, grid or dot grid paper works the best for me. Hence choosing this notebook.

To go with it, I chose the most incredible Galaxy/Cosmic Washi Tape*, I absolutely fell in love with it when I saw it and it works so well in the notebook. I opted to do flags along the bottom of my pages instead of a straight line across, it just mixes it up for me and I love the way it looks on the page.

For the travellers notebook, I have very much done my own adaptation of it. I have said it before and I will most certainly say it again, something as creative as a Bullet Journal or Travellers Notebook is very much something you make it, it can be practically whatever you want it to be, and that is the best part of it. I have spoken to a number of people now that think it has to be perfect and have certain layouts. I guarantee you my books are not like any you have seen before, I keep it so simple, I don't track anything in particular. It is effectively a to do list and a journal of what I have been doing. I have a HP Printer which means I can put photos in without having to go get a full size print done.

My Travellers Notebook is so simple. I have taken one day per page and kept the same theme to every day:
  • The day and date
  • What I am doing that day - whether it be work or a day off, or if there's something particularly exciting I am doing that day
  • A to do list
  • A meal plan
I have included those four things on every single page, as I don't want to over complicate it and keep it as simple as possible. I have also got a monthly page at the beginning of every month to document what I will be doing that month, such as if there are dates in particular that I need to account for and remember.

I think this Rhodia Notebook is perfect for what I wanted to do with it. The paper quality was amazing, I couldn't have asked for anything better, the pens I use haven't gone through the paper at all and I was using markers that I was sure were going to go through the paper! I loved using the Washi Tape in this one too, I have used maste tape before so knew exactly what to expect and it did not disappoint. I am over the moon with how it has turned out and wish I hadn't delayed in starting one!  What do you think? Do you have a Travellers Notebook?

The second most exciting notebook I think I have ever seen in my life, is another new product Bureau Direct are stocking. It is a quirky notebook from Grids & Guides*, I had the pleasure of receiving the grey version. This notebook has many different pages for both writing and drawing and also charts and infographics that are science based. The notebook includes pages such as:
  • Grid paper
  • Isometric Grid
  • Basic Ledger Table
  • Coordinate Map Grid
  • Point Grid
  • Compound Grid
  • Storyboard Grid
  • Circle Pattern Grid
There are then 8 infographic pages:
  • Periodic Table
  • Human Circulatory System
  • International Maritime Signal Flags
  • Geological Time Scale
  • Electrical Symbols & Resistor Colour Codes
  • DNA & Gene Expression
  • Visible Light & the Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • Satellite Remote Sensing

I really think this is an incredible book for Visual Thinkers. It can be used to map out graphs and diagrams, but I personally think it can be used as a notebook using the different styles of pages to make studying and note taking all that more fun! It would make the perfect gift for someone who is in the business of drawing diagrams daily, or for a stationery lover who likes the quirky side of stationery! This notebook from Princetown Architectural Press also comes in two other designs which can be found here. I also have my eye on the Black Edition and also their Mailbox that they have! What's the best notebook you have used?

*These products were kindly gifted by Bureau Direct, but as always, all views and opinions are my own.

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