My Spring Morning Routine

Dare I say spring might be here??? It seems to have been lovely weather here the past couple days and is actually beginning to feel like spring!! So I thought this would be a great time to do a spring post! Guarantee as soon as I post this the sky will turn black and the April showers will be back with a vengeance. I didn’t think I’d be likely to do a post like this but recently I’ve been quite enjoying other blogs of this sort; there’s something nice about seeing what different products everyone uses and seeing how different everyone is, plus it’s great for inspiration!

 

I’m dreadful for snoozing my alarm first thing unless it’s sunny. I am not a morning person as it is, and so unless the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day, the last thing I want to do is leave the comfort of my cozy covers. So I snooze the dreaded alarm…at least three times. Once I finally haul my ass out the bed, the first thing I do is hop in the shower. I was always a bath person until I finally got a shower…I couldn’t cope without my morning shower now! That and a cup of tea are the only things that really make me feel half-alive for the first two hours of the day. I generally try to wash my hair in the evenings so that I don’t have to bother drying it, but if it’s a morning where I didn’t get the chance the previous evening, I’ll wash my hair. At the minute I’m using Phil Smith Be Gorgeous, Coco-licious shampoo. I actually only bought this because it was the cheapest one in Sainsbury and I was horribly skint, but I’ve discovered this is an amazing brand! Plus it’s cruelty-free which is great! The Coco-licious shampoo is a super light-weight product, and you don’t need a massive amount. It’s got a lovely coconut scent that is subtle but sweet and leaves my hair nice and soft!

I’ve then been using Alberto Balsam Sunkissed Raspberry conditioner, as I find it’s nice and thick without being heavy and leaves the ends of my hair much softer and with a light raspberry scent. Next up, I slather myself with Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash. I don’t know of any other body wash that leaves my skin quite so soft! Lastly, I’ll use Lush Let The Good Times Roll cleanser on my face and Barry M Mango Lip Scrub to leave my face and lips nice and smooth! Although I only use these about three times a week, rather than every day!

 

Once I’m out the shower, I’ll moisturise myself with Superdrugs own Body Butter. I’m using the Cocoa Butter and Vanilla one at the minute because I absolutely love the scent, but I’m desperate to try the ‘Treat Me’ range as well! Smelling like salted caramel?! Yes please! Next I’ll use Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer on my face. This will never change! As I mentioned in my Winter Skincare post, I suffer from red blotchy patches on my face and neck and this product is the only one I have ever found that keeps these at bay! Plus, it’s really lightweight and makes my skin feel soft and smooth!

If I’ve washed my hair, I’ll gently towel dry it before spritzing it with some VO5 Heat Protect Styling Spray then dry it with a hairdryer. Before dressing, I use Nivea Stress Protect antiperspirant. I find it’s the best at keeping sweaty pits at bay, especially if you’re running around all day, and has a lovely smell! If I’m going out, I’ll give myself a quick spritz with either ‘Lovestruck’ by Vera Wang, which is musky and floral, ‘Heat’ by Beyonce, or DKNY ‘Be Tempted’, which is my favourite sweet scent at the minute!

 

Once I’m all dried and dressed, I’ll do my makeup if I’m going out. And only if I’m going out! I like to keep it nice and simple, so I use Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation on my face and neck and set it with a light dusting of Rimmel Stay Matte powder. My lashes are quite thick and dark anyway so I won’t usually do anything with them unless I’m going ‘out-out’!

 

Finally I’ll make myself some breakfast. I’m actually quite proud of myself as I used to be really bad for just having a super quick bowl of Coco Pops or a slice of toast and honey. Not that there’s anything wrong with Coco Pops once in a while! But the last few months I’ve been making an effort, and I’m definitely feeling better for it! I try to have eggs at least three or four mornings a week, either boiled with a slice of toast or scrambled with toast and a splodge of tomato sauce! Or, when it’s miserable out I’ll have some porridge to warm me up! My favourite is Chocolate Chia porridge…oats mixed with a little cocoa powder, a touch of maple syrup to sweeten it and milk (always milk, porridge with water is just wrong) and then topped with chia seeds and fresh raspberries. And it will always be accompanied with a lovely cup of tea. Weak and milky. Would you believe I am actually British?

 

After this I’m finally ready to face the day!

Super Soft Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies

Welcome to my first ever cookie recipe! Woo! I was super nervous about trying these because I have to admit that I am not the best cookie baker, even when following a recipe! But I’ve been doing lots of research into the ‘science’ behind the baking of cookies and have learned so much! So I thought the best way to put my new-found knowledge into practice was just to go for it! I spent a little bit of time going through each section from my notes and decided what I was using and how best to figure out how much of each I would need. It took me a while and I wasn’t 100% sure I was totally correct with what I was doing but I decided I would just have to try it and see what happened and then I could go from there! And they actually turned out really well! Read More

Grasshopper Brownies

Is there any better combination that mint and chocolate? Personally, I really don’t think so. My granny used to always make us peppermint slice when I was younger and it was my favourite thing in the world! It’s something that I very rarely see in cafes nowadays, for some bizarre reason and, I’m not gonna lie, it upsets me very much. I was going to just make some of her peppermint slices when I came across recipes online for grasshopper brownies. Brownie base, with a mint icing topped with chocolate. I decided to give them a go! Although I left out the creme de menthe, because I was not prepared to buy an entire bottle of the stuff just for one bake. Read More

Drink Up!

 

Last Friday saw the government introduce a ‘sugar tax’ on lots of fizzy, sugary drinks, making them more expensive to purchase in the hope of encouraging people to make healthier choices when it comes to their beverages. Some brands have cut the amount of sugar in their recipes, while others such as Coke and Pepsi have not and will be subjected to the added charges. Now, I personally enjoy a cup of Coca-Cola as a treat when say, heading off to the pictures or having a casual lunch out, but definitely not something I drink on a regular basis. It got me thinking about different alternatives that we can be consuming instead of these super sugary drinks. Here’s some of my favourites drinks that I enjoy, that are better for your teeth and your waistline!

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Cranberry-Mallow Chocolate Popcorn Bars

 

Who doesn’t love popcorn? I don’t have it very often but I do love treating myself to a bag of toffee popcorn every now and then while perched in front of the tv at the weekend! I’ve seen popcorn being made into bars made with chocolate and honeycomb which sounds amazing but I’ve never actually made before myself for some bizarre reason! So I decided to try my own but use some different ingredients! I like trying to use up whatever I have in the cupboards so this recipe was just a using-up day and thankfully worked out really well! Read More

Easter Coloured Cupcakes

More Easter baking! I can’t help myself. Although I haven’t managed to get near as much baking done this Easter as I would like! I wanted to make some Easter cupcakes this weekend but, as much as I love all of the usual suspects like the nest cakes and the grassy-topped cupcakes with bunnies bottoms sticking out, I decided I wanted something a little different and more subtle. I don’t know about you, but I always tend to think of pretty pastels when I think of Easter colours. So I decided to go for marbled pastel coloured cupcakes! These cupcakes are delicious! I generally just make the recipe my granny taught me, which is pretty much the pound cake recipe! I was taking these out to my fiancés granny’s house to have after our Easter Sunday lunch and she’s not too keen on strong flavours, so I decided to keep these quite subtly flavoured but it worked perfectly! The vanilla cupcakes paired well with the white chocolate buttercream and was not too sweet. Personally I actually love a plain vanilla sponge, there’s something about the simplicity and sweetness that I really love. Of course you can feel free to add in some flavourings if you wish! Add in the zest of two lemons to the sponge mixture and the juice from said lemons to the buttercream instead of the white chocolate for a zesty citrus cupcake! Or add in a few drops of strawberry flavourings to the cake mix for a strawberry and white chocolate creation! It’s entirely up to you! Don’t add any cocoa powder however, or you will lose the colours of the sponge and the buttercreams!

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Fudgy Chocolate Easter Slice

Baking for me is something I’ve done ever since I can remember. There’s photos of my sister and I sitting on the countertop in our old family home (when we were still small enough to both fit on and still fit a bowl in between us!) with chocolate and cake mix everywhere waving our wooden spoons around! I’ve baked so much in my spare time and tweaked so many recipes to suit the way that I want them to be, that I decided it’s about time to start being more adventurous and try making recipes on my own! So I thought I would start out quite basic with this traybake so I can start by getting used to figuring out ratios and writing relatively simple instructions! Read More

How You Can Help On Earth Hour…and Beyond!

So on Saturday a really important event is going to be occurring at 8:30pm. Earth Hour. If you’ve never heard of this before, it’s basically an event organised by WWF, where they encourage everyone around the world to switch their lights off for just one hour at 8:30pm. Even the biggest buildings of the world like the Eiffel Tower, Edinburgh Castle and Sydney Opera House take part! It’s to try and raise awareness of how much of an impact we as humans are having on our beautiful planet, and that there are so many super easy things that we can do to try and make a difference, big or small. It’s only for one hour in the evening and WWF even have a list of 60 things to do in the dark so you don’t get bored! And it’s actually really nice to sit in the living room cosied up with just a candle for some soft light. You can also make a promise to the planet on their website too, where you can either pick from a list of suggested promises such as refusing plastic cutlery, turning down your washing machine temperature to 30℃, or switching to green energy, or you can make up your own! And Ariel are doing their bit by donating £1 for every promise made…and at the time of writing there is currently over 35,000 promises that have been made! On top of this, there is so many things that we can all do to try and help save our planet, and it really doesn’t take much effort at all! Here’s a few things that I like to try and be aware of and how I try to do my part. Have a go at some of these if you don’t already, and let me know in the comments section what you do to do your part!

 

Leave the Car at Home

Do you really need to take the car to the shops that are just a 15 minute walk away? Thought not! Most cars release greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change by affecting the greenhouse effect, and can contribute to to our health causing issues with breathing and cancers, and the ghastly pollutant, smog. If you don’t need to take the car, don’t take it. Get some exercise in by walking or cycling to local or close by areas, or hop on the bus/metro/subway instead. Or even try car sharing which is better than nothing! That still helps save one or more cars being on the road releasing these damaging gases.

 

Reduce Food Waste

Food waste isn’t something we generally tend to think about very often, but we waste tonnes and tonnes of food every year. This means that resources used to produce the food have been wasted, and the food waste generally ends up in landfill sites and eventually ends up producing methane, another gas which effects the planet. If you can, try composting any food waste. There’s plenty of guides online that can help you to figure out what foods you can and can’t use, and how to use the food waste to compost. If not, just try to reduce food waste when shopping and cooking. Don’t bulk buy your fresh fruit and veg, shop as you go so you don’t end up with lots going off before you’ve had time to use them. If that does happen, just make a simple soup with the veg (all you need is the veg, some stock and some seasoning!) or make a fruit salad by chopping up the fruit before it goes off and place in a bowl with some fruit juice and have for dessert after dinner! Also, when cooking, only make as much as you need. If you make too much of something, see if you can freeze it and have it another time, or refrigerate and have for lunch the next day. If you’re out for dinner and you can’t finish your meal, ask for a doggy bag and take it home with you! 

 

Switch Off

Obviously you can take part in Earth Hour by switching off your lights for an hour on the 24th, but you can go further than that too! Start switching off your lights when you don’t need them…your house need not be like the Blackpool Illuminations! If you’re just passing through the hallway to another room, do you really need to put the hall lights on for those 5 seconds? Does the kitchen light need to stay on even when you’re relaxing in the living room? Definitely not! Try to make a conscious effort to switch all appliances off when you’re not using them. Switch your charger off once your phone/tablet/whatever you’re charging is full. Only switch the oven on for as long as you need it…don’t switch it on to preheat then not actually use it for another half hour! Try towel drying your hair and letting it dry the rest of the way naturally rather than using a hairdryer (I usually wash mine in the early evening and it’s dry before bedtime…saves me time in the morning too!), and try getting those waves by putting your hair in plaits and allowing to naturally dry rather than using curlers. 

 

Say No to Plastic

Plastic is one of the worst things for our planet. Since plastic tends to take a heck of a long time to biodegrade (hundreds of years in some cases), it ends up in our waters, killing and injuring all sorts of marine wildlife. Plastic is absolutely bloody everywhere, so it’s not an easy one to fix. But we can all do our part to use less. If you have a tendency to grab food on the go, carry a drawstring bag with a knife/fork/spoon from home with you when you’re out, so if you do get the munchies, you have the cutlery ready and can refuse the plastic cutlery that comes with your meal. Get yourself a reusable bottle instead of buying bottles of water all the time…this one saves you a few pennies too, and may stop you from buying fizzy drinks as often, helping your waistline as well! Instead of buying pre-packed fruit and veg, buy the loose stuff, and just pop it all in a reusable bag! And you need not go straw-less! Did you know you can actually buy reusable straws online? There’s stainless steel ones, silicone ones and many more if you just look online! Again, you can carry these with you when you go out so, instead of taking a plastic straw (or forgoing the straw altogether) you have one with you that you can use, then take home and clean before the next time! Another tip that’s quite handy is, if you buy packs of cider/beer etc that are attached by plastic, break or chop the rings so that smaller marine animals can’t get stuck in them. Make the effort to look out for plastics in your everyday life, especially when shopping, and see if you can get things elsewhere with less plastic.

 

Let me know in the comments section if you found any of these tips useful, or even if you have some tips of your own!

Yankee Candle Product Review!

My second batch of Yankee Candle products arrived!! Woohoo! So, if you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts you might remember a few months ago I posted a review of the Christmas Yankee Candle range as I was lucky enough to win a year’s’ supply of Yankee products back in November! They have just sent me my second batch which has loads of products from their latest ranges! They have also sent lots of their more floral scents, along with some sweet ones to remind you of all the sweet smells coming from the kitchen as the Easter cakes were baked and the mass of chocolate eggs were cracked into! There were so many lovely products and I’d be here all day going through them all so I spent a few days going through them and picked out my favourites from this set!

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Primark’s ‘P.S…Chocolate’ Range…Worth It or Nah?

Dupes!!! That’s literally all I have been hearing for the past few weeks whenever Primark is involved. Personally, I have never bought anything from Primark other than clothes. Not because I don’t like Primark, because I really do! But just because I never really thought their other products would be that great. I thought they were too cheap to be any good. So when I saw all of these ‘dupe’ posts all over the internet saying how great Primark’s new makeup ranges are, I felt that I had to try at least one range out! I think I’m right in saying the P.S…Chocolate range is the newest range, which is apparently just a teensy bit similar to the Too Faced Chocolate makeup collection. Now unfortunately I can’t compare Primark’s range to the Too Faced range, because I personally believe there’s so many other more important things I can be spending my money on than forking out £49 just for an eyeshadow palette! So I popped along to my local Primark the other day and picked up a few products from the range to test out.

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