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8 THINGS WE ALL REALLY WANT THIS CHRISTMAS

Christmas is not long away now and I have seen so many gift guides, so I thought I had better join in on the fun, well kind of. Instead of your traditional wishlist full of perfumes and palettes, I am going to be listing a whole guide to things we all want, that money can't buy. It goes without saying at least one chocolate orange and handfuls of pigs in blankets have to make an appearance this Christmas, but Christmas is for making wishes come true right? So if at least half of these could come true, I will be a very happy Christmas elf this year...




#1 A LIE IN
I mean, if you're not a parent or a workaholic you probably get one of these at least once a week, however, considering I haven't had a lie in for around 5 years now, I think it had to be at the top of my list. If you have a children this will no doubt be one of the best things money can't buy this Christmas, imagine 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep... if only.

#2 DONALD TRUMP TO LEAVE THE WHITE HOUSE & PLANET EARTH IN GENERAL
2017 has seen Donald Trump go from strength to strength to earn ultimate dickhead of our generation and I don't think anybody who is sane would disagree with that. I think we've all had a moment this year of disgust at his actions, words and just general existence and prayed that we could just strap him to a firework and send him into orbit. 

#3 INSTAGRAM TO STOP BEING AWFUL
If you work in the social media or influence industry, there's no doubt Instagram has been the bane of your profession this year. Bad engagement, shadow banning and general dis-functionality of the platform has sent everyone from bloggers to social media managers into despair. So what would be well nice for Christmas is Instagram allowing our glorious content the recognition it deserves.

#4 NO ARGUMENTS ON CHRISTMAS DAY
I don't know if it's because I am from a long line of firey women, or this happens in most households, but Christmas Day always seems to bring out the opinions and debates from family members, mostly ones that cause an argument after 6 glasses of wine and 400 after eights. Wouldn't it be lovely to manage a Christmas with peace and Pictionary. 

#5 SNOW
There has been one Christmas in my 25 years of existence that I remember it snowing on Christmas day, I was six and it was magical. It's the Christmas dream right? Everyone wants picturesque snow on Christmas day, and if you don't you're a Grinch. 

#6 FOR EVERYONE TO AGREE ON A FILM TO WATCH 

There's nothing worse on Christmas Day than wanting to watch Ratatouille but your mum wants to watch some 1950's Christmas Carol remake, and your nephew wants to watch Avengers. How nice would it be if we could agree on a film to watch on Christmas Day? Seriously wishful thinking.

#7 NO HANGOVERS
Nothing worse than taking it too far, as I always do, over Christmas and waking up with a horrific hangover. What I would really like for Christmas is the ability to drink three bottles of Prosecco without a headache the next day.  

#8 BEING SURROUNDED BY LOVED ONES OVER CHRISTMAS
Christmas is a time to share with your nearest and dearest, something that some people don't get the luxury of. We can really take for granted the people who are most important to us and although you should show them you care and appreciate them at all times, Christmas is a perfect time to make up for lost time. 

I hope you have enjoyed this post, what are you hoping for this Christmas? Leave me a comment below OR find me on social media!


MY FAVOURITE BLOGGERS & INFLUENCERS OF 2017

It's blogmas day one and although I promise I won't be blogging every single day of December, it's the taking part that counts right?
I have been part of the blogging and influencer community for four years now and I have never felt so passionate and in awe about something as much as I am about blogging and creative writing, I love it. This year it became a skill that I have grown enough to become a way to pay my bills and I am so grateful for that. Another thing I am so grateful for, is the people in this industry I can call friends, and the people in this industry who continue to inspire me and motivate me to keep this little blog going. I am thankful for all the direct and indirect support that the blogging community gives me on a daily basis, there are so many people who I am in total awe of, and today I am sharing my favourite bloggers & influencers of 2017.



There are so many people who inspire me in so many different ways so I will be sectioning off my favourites into where they inspire me and why. 

MY FAVOURITE BLOGS



Hannah's blog has been my favourite blog for years and I know a lot of people are with me on this. I am just in absolute awe of her, she makes it look like there's 43473 hours in a day. Her productivity, her freshness when it comes to her content and her resounding class in all aspects of blogging is SO inspiring. Hannah is a true professional and in my opinion, an icon in this industry.



Leah is the ultimate girl boss, and her content is a reflection of that. She has an absolute heart of gold and an incredible handbag collection. Leah's blog is a mixture of lifestyle, fashion and beauty, and I really enjoy reading her content because it is always so well thought out and the photography is amazing.



Alice Spake's blog is a mixed bag of loveliness with everything from beauty to baby Joshua. Her blog is full of well written and honest content which is so refreshing. Alice is an absolute diamond in the blogging industry and she really stands by what she believes in. This year saw her and her partner, Arran, welcome a little boy into the world and Alice has well documented it on her blog with a new type of content, honest insights to parenting.



Amie is a wonderful human being inside and out, her blog is just an extension of her warmth and positive vibe that she puts into everything. Amie uses her platform to talk about more personal and sensitive issues which I really respect. 



Fran is a good friend of mine and an incredibly talented blogger, I love her blog so much. Fran is so cool and so quirky and it really reflects into her content. She is your typical London gal and she always gives really raw and honest opinions about anything she reviews. 

MY FAVOURITE INSTAGRAMMERS



I started following Charlotte on Instagram this year and I am so glad I did. Charlotte is like a real life mermaid, she's so beautiful inside and out. Her Instagram stories are up there in my favourites because she is so funny and so thoughtful, there is a goodnight thought on her Instagram stories everyday that I really appreciate and think is a nice way to end the day reading. Charlotte's Instagram feed is full of pops of colour and full of fun. 



Paige is one of my good friends, but she is also an incredible content creator, blogger and person. Her Instagram stories are so warm and motivational, I really enjoy them. Paige puts a lot of focus into her incredible fitness journey which is so admirable, she's doing so well. She also talks a lot about being a mum and it really is like having a cuppa and a chat with your friend when I watch her stories. 


Kirsty is just an absolute sweetheart, I adore her. Her Instagram stories are my favourite to watch, she is so funny and incredibly smart, I really appreciate her honesty and how funny her boyfriend is. Kirsty's Instagram stories really do brighten my day, she's such a good soul and I just love good people, Kirsty is vibrant, quirky and unique, and I am so thankful for her.



Jenna is seriously underrated on Instagram, her content is SO good and she is SO talented. Jenna is the queen of flat lay photography, so if you love a flat lay Jenna is your gal. Her photography is so well put together and she has a real eye for arrangements, which is really difficult to grasp. I just think she's great, her content is amazing and she's a lovely person in general.



Nikki is one of the funniest people in the blogging industry, her Instagram stories have me howling. Nikki is not just a comedy genius her photography is top notch and her feed is absolute Instagram goals. Even if you're not into beauty, her Instagram stories will have you in stitches whoever you are, Nikki is so much fun and such a breath of fresh air. 



Alice is an incredible blogger and her Instagram feed is full of fashionable outfit of the day pictures that are just so well put together and thought out. Whenever she comes up on my feed with a new look I am just like YAASSSS, every single time. 



Last but certainly not least is my darling, Georgie. I am so proud and inspired by everything Georgie has achieved this year, from campaigning for men to be recognised in the beauty industry to being the face of Superdrug's B Beauty brand. Georgie is a force to be reckoned with and I just know he is only going to be more successful and more powerful in 2018.



@laurahadleyx
Laura is one of the very best beauty bloggers in the industry and her photography skills are so sick that her Instagram feed is to die for. It is full with fresh, original content and is a must follow if you love beauty and want to keep up with the latest beauty via outstanding reviews.


MY FAVOURITE TWEETERS 



Oh my god, Char literally makes me die on twitter. Her tweets have me in stitches sometimes and I never knew someone could make me laugh so much through social media. Char is a blogger too and has an amazing blog that you should all check out. She is warm, bubbly and incredibly witty. 


I bloody love Anoushka, she's so warm and definitely possesses the northern charm. I know that if anything is going on in my life that I was struggling with or something in blogging was bothering me, Anoushka would be there in a heartbeat to advise and support me through things.



Lauren is someone who I consider one of my blogging best friends. We have TOO much in common to not click and I am so thankful for her, she's an amazing person and she's so ambitious and driven, I am just in awe of her successes and her honesty. She's no nonsense and says it exactly as she sees it which is hard to find in people.



Arran is an exceptional good blogger in his own right but his twitter is my favourite part of Arran's presence in the blogging community. Arran is incredibly witty, his back and forths with his partner, Alice, over twitter, are hilarious, but he also is so aware of what's going on in the world and is so intelligent, he is so in touch with the more important things going on and I really appreciate that quality in a person.



Chloe is a sweetheart, she is an incredible beauty blogger and incredible instagrammer too, but her pictures of her new babies chubby cheeks on twitter were the edge to putting Chloe in this category. I love Chloe's relatable and positive approach to social media.



Kat is another blogger who I consider a friend and I feel so lucky to have her. She is so sweet and I love that just like my other blogging friends, if she has something to say she'll say it. Kat is a great blogger and she is always putting out amazing content as well as being a great friend and confidante to so many people in this industry. 
Issy is quick witted, intelligent and outspoken to say the least. She is expecting a little boy in 2018 and if you want honesty on pregnancy, Issy is the gal to follow. Not only are Issy's tweets incredible relatable and hilarious she also talks about issues that are bigger than blogging, which is such an important quality to have when you have a platform to express yourself on.

There are so many more people I want to shout out to but this post would be seriously lengthy if I did. I am so thankful to all of the above for inspiring me, for being so bloody talented and for being a friend to me this year. I can't wait to see what you all achieve in years to come. 

THE LAZY GIRLS GUIDE TO AN INSTANTLY BIGGER BUTT


 Over the last couple of years having a big booty has become more and more desirable. A lot of hugely influential women in popular culture right now are well known for having a big behind, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Khloe and Kim Kardashian to name a few.
Honestly, I am here for the big bums, what I am not here for, is the 3 billion barbell squats having a big booty requires, failing that surgery around the £10,000 mark.
If you're a lazy, broke gal like me and you want to give your booty a boost there is a market for that, and House of Peach is where it's at.
Today I am collaborating with House of Peach and celebrating their dedication to perfecting your peach with all of their butt lifting, confidence boosting shape wear that will have you feeling as good as you look.

BUTT LIFTERS
This is the push up bra for your booty, butt lifters are one of the most popular and most bought shape wear in existence and it's obvious why. The purpose of this lifting sensation is to grab around your bum muscles and prop them up to give a natural and subtle lift that will look amazing under your jeans. The best thing about this type of bum booster, is that it's all you and it's only there to give you some support and lift to extenuate your natural curves. They don't look very comfortable, but don't be fooled, the fabric is seamless, stretchy and designed to support you in all the right places.

SCRUNCH LEGGINGS

The Scrunch style has been worn in bikini bottoms and shorts for a very long time, so House of Peach have stepped up the very popular design by incorporating the infamous butt scrunch into gym leggings. These are great for working out whether that's in the gym or outside, they give you that added motivation in the mirror with the scrunch detail creating the ultimate butt boosting illusion.
These are one of the most popular pieces on the House of Peach website and the customer feedback has been amazing!
HIGH WAISTED EVERYTHING
If butt lifters and bum pads aren't your thing and you're looking to just enhance your everyday wardrobe, high waisted jeans, trousers and skirts are the way forward for a peachy posterior. A pair of high waisted jeans are a girl’s best friend, they completely contour your curves and gives the illusion of a big behind by sucking you in at the waist.

WAIST TRAINER
Last but not least, a VERY popular wardrobe must have with celebrities are waist trainers. They give you the hugely desired hourglass figure, which creates the illusion of big boobs and a bigger booty.

There are so many ways you can enhance your body, and banish the body hang ups with shape wear. Shape wear can really boost more than your exterior, it's about loving yourself and boosting your confidence and self esteem. Looking good is all about how you feel about on the inside, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to enhance your amazing curves. 
You can shop all of the above at www.houseofpeach.com, they are constantly coming up with new, amazing ways to enhance our asset, you can also find them on Facebook and Instagram too.




*This was a paid collaboration with www.houseofpeach.com

ASOS WINTER WARDROBE WISHLIST

I haven't done a fashion wishlist for a VERRRY long time,  I thought I would bring you my ASOS top picks. ASOS is absolutely killing it at the moment & I am so overdue an order it's unreal, there's a variation of casual to cocktails with the gals outfits for you to feast your eyes on.





(from left to right)






I hope you've enjoyed this post, I am off to spend all the money I shouldn't be spending on a huge ASOS order.

8 PIECES OF LIFE ADMIN YOU NEED TO STOP PUTTING OFF.

Life admin, something that we continuously push back and ignore for ages, until we really have to deal with it. I am a serious pro at forgetting or ignoring that I have to do stuff that's actually super easy to do & not really time consuming at all. Instead, I spend my life focusing on stuff that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, which is really bloody frustrating.
Today's a little public service reminder to you all to encourage you to book this or check that and live a better life whether that be financially or health wise by doing these little things that will take you 20 minutes tops.





-SMEAR TEST
If you were born before or in 1992, like me, you are eligible to have a smear test. Basically anybody over 25 is entitled to a smear test once a year and I feel like I don't even need to explain to you gals how important it is to not put this one off. 

-SIGHT TEST
I have literally been hounded by Specsavers to go and have my overdue eye check up for the last 3 months, so I am with you if you've been putting this one off for a while. It's really important for us four eye's fitties to get our eye's checked every 2 years, wearing the wrong prescription whether that be too weak or too strong is really bad for your little peepers. It takes about 15 minutes to go through the whole process of a check up and opticians are open everyday of the week these days, so there's no excuses.

-DENTIST
I feel like once we get to 18 years old many of us forget the dentist even exists, but our teeth are so important and I am so guilty of only ever going when I am in agony. Regular check ups every 6-12 months ensure that your pearly whites are perfect and can often prevent problems from occurring. 

-PHONE TARIFF CHECKER
Checking your phone tariff is important because who wants to pay empty pennies on a contract that they could be paying much less for. Check your usage and give your network a call, especially if you are using way less than you're entitled to. You could save yourself a pretty penny.

-ENERGY TARIFF CHECKER
Did you know that you are free to change your energy provider at any time? Yes, it simply doesn't pay to stay with the same energy provider, as odd as that sounds, surely loyalty pays, well it doesn't. Energy providers see long term customers as those who just pay without actually checking their tariff and they're right, many people are paying hundreds more than they should, especially our parents and grandparents. So even if you are living at home, get on compare the market and save yourself up to £500 a year!

-SELLING UNWANTED ITEMS ON GUMTREE/EBAY
I know a few people who make an absolute fortune selling their things on eBay. My fiance used to be the ultimate hoarder, holding onto things 'just incase', whereas I don't get emotionally attached to materialistic items apart from a few teensy baby things that remind me of how little my kids were. I love a clear out, I thrive from it and I have a great tip for mama's who have bin bags full of their kids clothes. I sort them into age size, and sell them on ebay, and by the time I have sold it all, I have enough to buy the kids all new clothes. It means you're not having to find that extra money to buy new clothes AND you're decluttering your life.


-CHECKING YOUR CREDIT SCORE
Checking your credit score and keeping it up to date is SO important for your present and future financial forecast. Since discovering I had so many errors on my credit report and knowing it wasn't whiter than white, I have started healthily rebuilding my credit rating and creating a brighter financial future for myself. Your credit report has to be immaculate to even be considered for buying your own home amongst many other things, so give yourself ten minutes to check everything is correct and you're doing everything you can to make it as attractive as possible.


-WORK OUT WHAT YOU CAN SAVE VS WHAT YOU SPEND
Me and Justin are AWFUL with money, I am the ultimate consumer and Justin is the ultimate pushover when it comes to me wasting money on absolute shit. I spend an absolute fortune on clothes for the kids, I worked out I spend about £150 a month on clothes for the kids and I definitely spoil them more than I should. We would really like to take Harper on a holiday before she starts school full time in September, so we sat down this week and worked out our incoming after tax and bills, we quickly realised that we are overspending so much, we worked out we could save £1,000 in 6 weeks if I stop spending just HALF of the disposable income that I waste, so for the first time in 25 years I am saving and it feels SO good. Sitting down and working out your finances relieves so much stress and really gives you a perspective of your spending habits.






DRUGSTORE BEAUTY HAUL - TRIED & TESTED

Welcome back to my blog and say hello to a drugstore beauty haul. I usually do these over on Insta Stories but I thought why not brag about my latest beauty faves over on my blog.
 These are all products I have been using over the past month or so, so all of them are well tried and tested and all feature a brief review too!
 I love a good drugstore find and these babe-in beauty buys do not disappoint. I can't promise you won't make a tiny dent in your bank balance but I can promise you need at least one of these products in your life!



NIP + FAB HYDRATE DRAGON'S BLOOD FIX PLUMPING SERUM
 I have been using this serum for over a month and it has completely transformed my skin. I saw a few people raving about it, so I had to try it out, and I am so glad I did. I use this serum in the morning and night, it makes my skin glow all day and it makes my base makeup look and feel better on my skin. I'm so glad I discovered this serum and it has now become a holy grail in my skincare routine. 

L'OREAL TRUE MATCH HIGHLIGHT LIQUID GLOW ILLUMINATOR
I am obsessed with the glow right now, glowy skin is in and I am hereeee for it. I am a sucker for a sick highlight and I have been LOVING this illuminator by L'Oreal. This is definitely a more subtle glow that you can use as a primer, mix with your foundation or use as a skin finish. I do all three with it. It has a golden tone and is a great day time illuminator that can be built up for a dazzling night time look.

LEE STAFFORD COCO LOCO SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER & HAIR MASK
I've been having an absolute nightmare with my hair at the moment. It has been so dry at the ends and so oily at the top, it has been driving me crazy, so I have been on the hunt for a new shampoo, conditioner & hair mask to try to bring my hair back to life. 

BENEFIT COSMETICS DEW THE HOOLA 
I have had the sample size for this product for a while and never used it until about a week ago and now I am obsessed. If you need a dramatic, snatched contour look no further than dew the hoola. I apply it on top of my base in the crucial contour areas and blend in with a beauty blender for an effortless dramatic contour.

L'OREAL PARADISE EXTATIC POMADE GEL
My ABH dipbrow pomade dried out recently and I was really annoyed about it, actually. I had about a quarter left and every time I tried to use it, it had dried out more, so I gave up and popped down to my local boots to find an alternative. I discovered the Paradise Extatic brow pomade by L'Oreal and thought I would give it a go. Well, my brows have never looked so good, I feel like this just gives a much more subtle finish and instead of giving you a full on brow,  it allows you to build up the colour from natural to dramatic for whatever suits your needs. I really love this pomade and I think it may have officially replaced ABH dipbrow in my makeup bag.

LOTTIE LONDON SLAY ALL DAY LIQUID MATTE LIPSTICK IN HEY BAE
I am a sucker for a liquid lipstick and it was one of my friends who suggested I try these liquid lipsticks out. I got the colour ''HEY BAE" which is a dark brown colour, my fave and perfect for Autumn. I have only worn this a few times and the only thing I will say is that you will need 2-3 layers of this to get a full cover lip. Other than that, the colours are great and when it dries it doesn't dry your lips out, which is a must for me.


SHOP THE HAUL

NIP + FAB SERUM
TRUE MATCH LIQUID ILLUMINATOR
COCO LOCO HAIR CARE COLLECTION
DEW THE HOOLA
PARADISE POMADE
LOTTIE LONDON HEY BAE LIQUID LIPSTICK


I hope you've enjoyed this little beauty review and try some of the products I have mentioned. Have you tried any of these? What do you think? Leave me a comment below or say hello on social media. 

BIG SCHOOL

So for some of us our little angels are starting their first days of infant school this week, and it is Harper's first week too. I honestly can't believe we have reached this point and milestone in her life, and a part of me is trying to pretend it isn't happening. I still see my teensy little toddler, who I forget is not a toddler, she's not a preschooler, she's a little girl, an infant, a schoolgirl. 
If you're like me you've already had a little cry, and on those monumental moments that you leave them to go into the big world of full time education for the first few times, you will cry too, I know I will. 


I am writing this to document how I feel about my first born babe going to big school so we can read this back when she's sixteen and laugh at how soppy I am. We can laugh at how I worried that she wouldn't eat the school meals because chicken nuggets are life, love, everything to her. We can laugh about how I worried she wouldn't find friends who adore her, as much as we do.We can laugh at how I worried that she would throw an epic tantrum.

In reality I know she won't have a care in the world and all my worrying will amount to nothing but a few tears shed on the short walk home. I know Harper will thrive, I know Harper will love school because she just loves to learn. She loves to discover, explore and challenge herself. As I read this back I will realise that I never had a single thing to worry about and embracing her next step is the best thing I can do for her, even in the moments when I want to just cradle her in my arms and never let go. 



I know she will add value to her class and bring happiness to everyone she meets. I know she will draw, paint and colour so many pictures of tigers that there won't be enough room on the fridge for them all to be displayed. I know she will jump in the muddiest puddles destroying her clothes. I know she will talk to and play with everyone and anyone.

In 12 years time, when we look back on this, I hope she can say we helped her to achieve everything she wanted. I hope that our choice to move to the city to give her the best education we can provide makes her happy and gives her the education she deserves. I hope that she has made mistakes, learned from them and then made some more. I hope that she has passion and big dreams of becoming whoever and whatever she wants to be.


HOW TO SPOT & ELIMINATE TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS FROM YOUR LIFE, FOREVER!




I LOVE my social life and my friends, there's no doubt about that, but I have been in some of the most toxic friendships you could ever imagine. As someone who is open minded, honest & loyal, I find it extremely easy to make friends and even though those qualities in me are what attracts them, that doesn't immediately mean that they offer me the same.

I feel like I do need a lot from my friendships, I have never had a strong family unit to fall back onto, apart from my little sister, and she is my best friend of all. I have always tried to surround myself with strong friendships to compensate for what I lacked in family. I lean on and depend on my friends maybe more than I should, I depend on them to be as loyal and as honest with me as I am with them, which almost always won't be the case.

Another thing I have learnt over the years, is that not every friendship is forever. We are constantly evolving, growing and experiencing new things. Some people are there for the roller coaster, some people are there for the plain sailing but very rarely are people there for the long haul. There are many people who have been in my life that I will try to hold onto, because for a moment they were there for me, in reality you've grown apart for whatever reason and the only way to move forward is to stop looking back on things, something I find really hard to do.

I am literally a friendship hoarder, I am that person who holds onto people like a Christmas card from 2005. I forget that people change, and I tell myself that I have to fix whatever went wrong between us, Justin is always saying to me why are you trying so hard to dig up something that died like half a decade ago? I can't explain why I do it, I just remember the fun and happiness that person brought to my life and forget all the things they did to me to hurt me and ultimately, made us drift apart.

I would say I have 6 friendships in my life right now that I feel I get what I deserve from. I would say I have another 4 or 5 friendships that are not toxic but they either have the potential to be or I just don't feel like they're mutually considerate to my needs from a friend.

I don't do toxic friendships anymore, in the past I have put up with it to save an argument or with my hoarding tendencies held onto them because although they were being a total dickhead now, for a moment they were one of my best friends. I just don't have the time for it anymore, I simply spend my precious time on people who love me, appreciate me and know me.

So, here are my top tips on how to spot & when to eliminate friendships that are toxic...

1. Bringing you down, to bring themselves up...

Someone who makes fun of you for laughs from everybody else.
Someone who insults you or your appearance for absolutely no reason at all.
Someone who tries to openly embarrass you in front of a group of people.
Someone who constantly brings up mistakes you have made.

2. Expecting you to do for them what they wouldn't do for you...

People who expect you to do something for them but wouldn't do the same for you are the most frustrating and it is so disheartening to strike up a friendship with someone who doesn't mutually invest themselves into your friendship. These ones I find the easiest to just float away from, they're the ones who are always too busy for you, and you're always the one initiating plans with them. All I can say for this one, is find people worth investing your time in and stop wasting your time on those who don't reciprocate.

3. Talking about you, not to you

Something I struggle to tolerate, is talking shit about me behind my back. Like I have said before, I am a very open & honest friend, I would like to think that if someone had a problem with me or what I have said, they would tell me. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. It's one of the things that I can't get over in a friendship is discovering that a friend has talked shit about me, but pretending like nothing is wrong to my face. That behaviour is shady and it's toxic. There's a difference between talking about something that is frustrating you with a friend, but there is a difference when you're talking shit about them just for the sake of talking shit.

4. Showing no interest in your life...

This is probably the most hurtful one for me, people who are your friend but don't show any interest in your life at all. I have people in my life that I party with and that's it. I wouldn't call them friends because they've never been to my house, they've never interacted with my two children or fiance. They show no interest in your careers, your goals and what you want in your future.

5. They discredit you...

I have had so many friendships with people who can't stand to see me achieve something, and try to compete with me. I still have one friendship now that relates to this, not always, but sometimes they will discredit something I have done that betters my life or makes me happy and that kind of behaviour is never okay.


So how do you eliminate toxic friendships?
It seems easier said than done, but really it's not.
Friendships are at so many different levels and from personal experience, I have lost people who in reality were acquaintances, and I have lost people who were a huge part of particular parts of my life, as you can imagine one of those kinds of friendships was easier to eliminate than the other.
The first thing I would do is weigh up whether I value this person enough to try to resolve it, you know are they really someone who adds enough value to your life for you to overlook some of the toxic qualities they possess?
The second thing I would do, if you haven't already cut them off like a split end, is arranging to meet and talk it out, face to face. Never, ever have this conversation over WhatsApp, because I don't believe you can really hear or analyse what they have to say. You can't read their tone or their consideration for how you feel. Their body language will say everything you need to know, even if they are disagreeing with what you are saying, you will be able to see if they're open to what you are saying or not committed to resolving the situation at all.
The third thing I would do, if you genuinely don't want to lose this person in your life, is to give them the opportunity to change their behaviour towards you and to consider your feelings more. If after a while they slip back into their old ways, then you know what you need to do. Almost everybody deserves a second chance, but very few deserve a third.


I hope you have found this post helpful or just a good read.
I always get lots of messages from you when I write a personal experience post and if you would like to do the same, just find me on social media. I would love to hear from you and I would love to hear your stories on your toxic friendships.
Also, if you like this kind of post, please let me know, I am feeling a little lost in my blog right now and not really sure what you guys want, so just send me a comment below or let me know on social media.



July Favourites & Life Updates...

Hello my loves, welcome back to my blog. I don't really know if I feel like a blogger at the moment because I literally never post anything and I am really struggling to find time to create awesome content for you guys and I don't want to put out just random shit that I won't 100% be happy with so there has been nothing, life has just been seriously hectic the last month or so.
I am due back to work this week however I did something a little crazy, I have given in my resignation. I feel like my time with the company has come to an end and it's time to move on in a different direction. This decision has been haunting me for about a month and I have been back and forth to try to resolve the issues with the management team, however I feel like the ship has sailed and there is no longer a place for me or my passion for the way that I work within the company. I've had a little cry and I've deliberated over the decision for a long time but I feel like my anxiety over the whole situation has calmed down since making the decision and I am totally at peace with it.
 I am really lucky because I have found lots of ongoing freelance work that I have taken on so I am actually going to be making more money from home than going to work for 16 hours a week,. 
I have been looking for jobs and I will be going back to work but I just want to be able to give my career more than 10% of my attention which is something I can't commit to right now.
Another amazing thing that I am now allowed to talk about is the fact my baby sister is pregnant with her second child and we are just so over the moon. She already has my 5 year old nephew, Oliver, and is now around 26 weeks with a little girl. I am going to be at the birth which is an absolute dream come true for me, because I have never been on the other side of it and I am so excited to be part of bringing my teensy niece into this world.
Harper turned 4 this month and has finished preschool, she will be starting 'big girl' school in September at our first choice school which we are absolutely delighted about. We are going to take her big school shopping in the next few weeks and she's so excited to pick her shoes and school bag. 
I have mixed emotions about the whole thing, I am just so sad that my little girl is going to actual school, 5 days a week, 6 hours a day, but at the same time I am so excited for her to have so many new experiences and make lots of new friends. 
Hudson is now 8 months old, crawling and climbing every single thing in my house. He is dragging my furniture around the house and destroying anything in his path, which is exhausting because I literally spend all day following him around. He is also now too big for his co-sleeping crib which makes my heart ache, but he literally stands up in it and tries to climb out which is extremely unsafe. So, he will be going into his big cot bed, in his own room, which is just off our room, next week and I will probably cry and feel a bit lost without him, but he's such an easy baby that I don't think he will have any trouble settling into his room. 
So yeah, lots and lots of big changes and new journeys happening in my household this month, it's been a month of mixed emotions but I have lots of favourite things this month that literally have made my summer, let alone my month, so enjoy!



LOVE ISLAND
If you weren't expecting this in my monthly faves, what's even the point? I have been absolutely hooked and obsessed with this series of Love Island & I don't care who knows it. I have been tweeting about it for the last 7 weeks and not much else to be honest. I would say this series has been the best yet for the personalities they have had in there. I have gone from hating Chris to loving him after seeing him shed a tear when holding Cash Hughes. I have gone from despising Jonny and Tyla, to literally hating them with every fibre of my being. It has been a rollercoaster of pure emotions, I have laughed, cried and screamed at my telly and now, it's over. I am literally lost without my 9pm Islander fix everyday, and I am wishing the year away for another series.

VASELINE COCOA BUTTER MOISTURISER
I suffer with really dry, hard skin on my arms, especially when I fake tan and this moisturiser has literally saved my skin time and time again this summer. Me and my sister go through so much of this stuff it's unbelievable and not only is it a skin saviour it also smells amazing. I really recommend this moisturiser if you suffer with dry skin as it works wonders for me.

L'OREAL INFALLIBLE NUDIST MATTE LIP PAINTS
This matte lipstick has been my go to nude this month, it's not even just the beaut colour that has me hooked, it's the formulation. I have been through my fair share of matte lipsticks and 90% of them are an absolute bitch to remove because they dry to your lips, this L'Oreal lip paint does not dry up your lips at all and can be removed in one swift wipe. My fave shade and an absolute go to is BABE-IN.

MORPHE 35OM PALETTE
I have had this palette since Christmas, but never really appreciated it in all it's glory until this month. I have been really experimenting with my eye makeup the last few weeks and this palette has been my go to. It has such a good spectrum of colours and they're all matte, it's a really good everyday look palette, equally as easy to create daily looks as it is to create amazing glamourous looks too. Extremely blendable, pigmented and all at a really reasonable price!

SCHWARZKOPF GOT2B OIL-LICIOUS WITH ARGAN OIL DRY MIST
My go to hair for a night out at the moment has been brushed out curls and this dry oil mist spray has been a godsend! It takes all the frizz out of the curls and leaves you with beautiful shiny locks! It is completely weightless and has argan oil in it so won't leave your hair feeling heavy.

PRIMARK METALLIC LIP KIT
I am OBSESSED with metallic lipsticks, and this Primark lip kit does not disappoint. It's my first time purchasing anything from the Primark beauty range and I am totally in love with this copper metallic lipstick and lip liner. It lasts ages, it's so pigmented and it doesn't dry out like other leading brands. All these positives and it's only £3, what more could you want?


NIVEA DAILY ESSENTIALS REFRESHING TONER
So, I watched Imogen from Imogenation on Youtube a few weeks ago and she said that this toner has pretty much the same ingredients as MAC fix plus for an eighth of the price, so naturally I had to try it out. It honestly works wonders, go grab yourself a spray bottle & spray on your face after applying your makeup. It does everything a setting spray does, for a tiny fraction of the price. I have used this for 3 nights out now and it has genuinely kept my makeup on alllll night long. Buy it, try it & you won't be disappointed.


SHOP THE FAVES HERE...
L'OREAL INFALLIBLE NUDIST MATTE LIP PAINTS
NIVEA REFRESHING TONER
MORPHE 35OM PALETTE
SCHWARZKOPF OIL-LICIOUS DRY OIL MIST

7 THINGS I LEARNT WHEN I BECAME A MUM OF TWO...

Before I had my second child, having one child seemed like there was never time in the day to take care of anything else. When Harper got to around 2 years old the sudden realisation that she wasn't a baby, she wasn't solely dependent on us and the fact that I couldn't cradle her in my arms without a fight to get free from my loving grasp, was enough to make me yearn for another little bambino. I needed someone to need me and we desperately wanted to grace our little family with another perfect little human to complete us all. 
It was a struggle that I made no secret about, after 11 months of frustration and heartache, I finally fell pregnant with Hudson and we could not prepare for the happiness, joy and love he has brought to us and everybody who meets him. 
Today's post is 7 things I learnt when I became a mum of two...





#1 Nothing prepares you emotionally for seeing your first child interacting with their sibling.

This is the best part about having multiple children, watching how they bond, connect and become best friends. I was fearful that Harper's interest in Hudson would be dwindling due to her being 3 years his senior and the fact he is the opposite sex. I couldn't have been more wrong, Harper is absolutely infatuated with her brother and vice versa. Her mission in life right now, is to make sure Hudson is happy, that is all she cares about, I mean that and PJ masks.  

#2 Your washing pile will always and forever be, never ending.

Washing, washing and more washing, you do not even understand the level of washing you will do in your lifetime until you have multiple children. Don't get me wrong, with one child it is bad but with two, you think you're done but you never are.

#3 You love them exactly the same, but you connect with them in different ways.

The best thing I have taken from having two children, is that they are completely different in every single way but I love them equally and unconditionally. Your idea of perfection is suddenly split into two and the ability to love and learn their different traits is so endearing and makes my heart implode. Harper is so sassy and headstrong and Hudson is just my cuddly little bear who is so full of love and affection. 

#4 There is more time in the day than you thought.

One of my biggest worries having another baby was the time consumption and spreading myself between the two kids, would I be able to do it? Truth is, it is harder but the time is there. I feel like I manage my time a whole lot better with two children than I did with just one. I know what I need to do and yes, my life is a huge list of timings and structure but it's so worth it and when they are both finally asleep at the end of the day you feel a great sense of achievement!


#5 You can't remember life without the second child

Me and Justin always say how did we feel like we didn't have any free time when we only had Harper!? We thought we were so consumed, but really, we had it so easy. I can't remember not spreading my affection and love to them both, I can't remember waking up without Hudson smacking me on the head to wake up in the mornings from his cosleeper crib. 

#6 Invest in more storage

I cannot even explain how much space in a house 2 children take up, I feel like I need a 4 bedroom house just so all of Harper and Hudson's combined belongings can have their own place. You cannot live without storage if you have just one child, take the amount of shit your first child has accumulated and double it. There are toys in every single enclosed space in my house because Harper has everything and now Hudson is getting older he is accumulating more and more junk! My biggest tip when expecting your second child is to have a huge declutter of your house before the new baby's arrival. 

#7 Leaving the house is more of a military operation than it was before

Literally, I would say it takes around 25 minutes with carefully thought out structure to leave the house on time for anything. You have to imagine every worse case scenario is going to happen weather wise for two human beings, you have to ensure they are both appropriately dressed, and that everything in the changing bag is correct even if you are just doing the school run.



These were the 7 things I have learnt since becoming a mum of two, don't get me wrong becoming a mum of two is the best thing that ever happened to me but I feel so complete and content that I don't think we will ever have anymore children and I am so at peace with that, that conversation is for another post! Thank you so much for reading let me know in the comments below if you have multiple children what your fave thing is about having them or if you're thinking about having a second, let me know & don't let this post put you off, haha! 


HEALTHY PITTA PIZZA RECIPE

I am back with a new recipe and today is more of a healthy eating tweak, than a recipe. We all love pizza but when we are healthy eating or on a diet, pizza has to be off the menu right? WRONG! Today I have a recipe for you that will curb alllll the pizza cravings and keep you in check with your calorie intake. The best thing about is recipe is that it is completely adaptable to your tastes, you can add whatever you like to it, so that you can achieve a close alternative to some of your all time favourites. It's so quick, so simple and so tasty, you can enjoy as a quick lunch, or add salad and syn free wedges to make it a feast, I hope you enjoy!







INGREDIENTS
Serves 2
2 Wholemeal pitta breads
1 tube of tomato puree
Asda barbecue chicken breast slices
125g light mozzarella cheese
75g 50% reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
1 large mushroom, sliced
1 onion, diced

*Slimming Worldies, your pitta will have to be synned accordingly should you not choose to use Asda wholemeal pitta bread which can be used as a HEXB, you will also have to syn your cheese accordingly too, this recipe is based on ingredients purchased from Asda. Most ready to eat cooked chicken breast is FREE on extra easy, including the one I have used in this recipe. You can adapt this recipe and it's measurements to your own, but this is just how I prefer to make mine.*

METHOD

1. Use the flattest side of your pitta to use as your base and spread the tomato puree evenly. 
2. Using the ingredients provided build your pizza however you like it, I usually start with a layer of mushroom, onion and chicken breast, then a layer of cheese, then another layer of mushroom, onion and chicken breast and then mozzarella on top.
3. Set your grill between medium to high and allow to heat up for 5 minutes before putting your pitta pizzas under.
4. Grill your pitta pizzas between a medium and high heat checking on it every 3-4 minutes, it usually takes around 8 minutes for mine to be perfect, but each to their own, you may want it grilled less or more.
5. Serve, I usually serve up with a generous side salad and syn free wedges.



I hope you enjoy this recipe and as always, please let me know if you try it out by tagging me in your pics on social media or even emailing me, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook, all of my social media links are in the top of the sidebar, just click on your preferred platform and you will find me! 

TURTLE BAY REVIEW

A few weeks ago I was invited down to Turtle Bay in Norwich to try their new summer menu and initially I was skeptical about going due to being a total fussy eater and food phobe. I am one of those people who knows what they like and rarely stray from the status quo, however I saw this as a great opportunity to give carribean food a go, and I was not disappointed. I decided to take one of my best friends, Sarah, because she is the total opposite to me and is much more open to new foods than me, and I am so glad I did, because she got me trying stuff on the menu I wouldn't have looked twice at...

*Sarah was loving the cocktails*


THE SERVICE

When we arrived we were greeted so politely, our waitress, Evelyn, was absolutely amazing, we later found out that she is the head waitress and it made sense. She was so attentive and engaging with us throughout the whole night and we got on with her like a house on fire. She gave us lots of recommendations and really knew what she was talking about on each thing I asked about on the menu, which I think is a really good attribute to have in a restaurant. We were also met by the manager, Tom, who was so hospitable and again had plenty of recommendations for a first timer, which really put me at ease because I am a fussy eater.

THE FOOD

Sarah had been before and her family have caribbean roots so I couldn't think of a better person to take with me to introduce me to the food. She recommended something called Plantain which is basically cooked banana it was so delicious and I would recommend anyone wanting to try some authentic caribbean food, to try Plantain.

*Plantain is a traditional caribbean dish, better known as cooked bananas* 
For starters I had the duck rolls, which is slow roasted shredded duck with sweet onion, soy sauce & chilli, stuffed in toasted rolled flatbread, served with sour orange chutney. These were absolutely amazing, a great portion size for a starter and so full of flavour.

For main I had the two way chicken burger which is a spicy panko crumbed chicken fillet, topped with pull jerk chicken, crisp gem lettuce, fresh pineapple chow & herb mayo in sweet bun. I felt a bit weak going for a burger where there are so many amazing new foods to try, but even as a fussy eater this burger was incredible, bursting with different, but complementary flavours.
*Duck Rolls*


*two way panko chicken burger & cheesy jerk fries*




For the sides, I had cheesy jerk fries, which were basically sweet potato fries topped with cheese and jerk sauce, so yummy. We shared some Plantain which was my absolute favourite taste of the night, I love discovering new foods and tastes, honestly was delicious. We also shared a side of Trini Watermelon Chow Salad which was such a refreshing addition to the main.

For dessert I had the dark chocolate brownie which instantly attracted me when our waitress told us that it was gluten free AND vegan, so I had to give it a go. It was one of the tastiest brownies I have ever eaten, for some reason I was expecting it to be quite dry which I have found with other gluten free brownies, but this did not disappoint.

*Trini Watermelon Chow Salad*
*Dark chocolate brownie*

The menu is hugely diverse and has a great selection for vegan. vegetarian and gluten free customers, which I think is great because it can be very frustrating when eating out to find somewhere that offers you a great selection of foods with specialist dietary requirements.

THE DRINKS

If you know me, you know I can't resist a cocktail or 10. When I go out I am forever searching for a new cocktail to try and I have had my fair share of different cocktails in this city! Turtle Bay just took cocktails to a new level, I hadn't tried 99% of the cocktails on their menu of 25! I am literally just going to list off everything I drank...

Bay Bramble - White Rum with blackberry liqueur, fresh lemon & club soda.

Passion Rum Punch - Dark Rum, Passoa, fresh passion fruit, orange juice, lemon & bitters.

Reggae Rum Punch - Uncle Wray overproof rum, bitters, strawberry liqueur, pomegranate, fresh lime, orange & pineapple. 





*Rum Sharing Board*


We also got to try the Rum Sharing Boards, and as inexperienced rum drinkers we let the restaurant manager, Tom, help us decide on 4 different  kinds, by this point I was pretty drunk, considering I had 2 each of the 3 cocktails I listed, but I do remember we had a really amazing rum called Koko Kanu Coconut Rum, teamed with a can of Ting, which is essentially Lilt. 

OVERALL...

Overall, Turtle Bay just became one of my favourite restaurants in Norwich, I was so glad they invited me down because as a fussy eater, it's somewhere I would have usually avoided due to fear of not liking anything. I couldn't have been more wrong, there are so many amazing and diverse dishes on the menu that you could go 10 times and taste brand new flavours every single time. The staff are incredibly friendly and I really can't thank them enough for being so helpful and so accommodating to us. The cocktails are incredible and I can't wait to take all my friends down for their 2-4-1 deal. Their happy hour runs all day until 7pm and then starts again at 9:30pm, on all 25 of their delicious cocktails.
I would really recommend Turtle Bay to anyone who is looking for something a little different and an upbeat atmosphere.




*Our meal and drinks were free of charge as an incentive to review Turtle Bay's new summer menu.

BLOOMING WONDERFUL FROM BLOSSOMING GIFTS

Last week I was approached by the lovely people over at Blossoming Gifts and asked if I would review one of their home delivered bouquets, and of course I said yes! 
There is nothing I love more than a fresh bouquet of flowers in my home and my absolute favourites are white lilies.



Blossoming Gifts have an amazing range of bouquets across their easy to use website and I absolutely loved the simplistic look of the white roses & lilies bouquet (£28), which you can find right here.
My bouquet arrived the very next day in a huge box, they were really well packaged and unlike some other home delivery bouquets I have received, there were no damages to the flowers thanks to the really well designed packaging.
I wasn't sure on what size to expect, but I would say these are a medium bouquet and a really even, well picked selection. The bouquet came with the roses fully open, but the white lilies weren't, it took a couple of days to get them going, but once they were in full bloom, they were incredibly fragrant and absolutely stunning. 
Blossoming gifts promise 7 days freshness, and I could definitely agree with that on the lilies, but the roses were fully bloomed from the moment the bouquet arrived so have subsequently wilted slightly
premature to 7 days, nevertheless, they are still beautiful.


If you're looking for an affordable, last minute present, Blossoming Gifts are just what you are looking for, with a huge selection of bouquets, and if you need something a little extra there are wines, personalised gifts, balloons, hampers and much more. Blossoming Gifts deliver 7 days a week and you can get next day delivery until 6:30pm. 
As a thank you for reading, Blossoming Gifts are offering all of my readers a 33% discount with the code BGIFTS33 so you guys can get your hands on some of these beautiful bouquets for a fraction of the price.