SLIDER

A Little Life Update

13.1.19


Hello everyone. I hope you are well! I cannot believe it is mid January already- how the time flies!

I wanted to create an open and honest post about how the year has started off and my hopes for the continuing months. Please let me know yours too!

I can very easily say that the past few months have been very detrimental and a burden on my mental health. Families come in all shapes and sizes and I am lucky to have been taken into a permanent, caring home at my boyfriend Dan's. There have been many twists and turns and although I am a regular minimiser, I am ever the optimist. I am so proud of myself for being able to pull through with university work, something that within this module I did not even know if I would start due to negative circumstances.

For me, it is about finding the joy in little things. I have been offered so many opportunities to freelance, join a team or explore something new to only find that all of a sudden the people that have promised these opportunities are M.I.A. I am determined to find my thing this year. Although university has very much been my sanctuary for learning and broadening my horizons.

I have learnt so much about myself and will continue to learn how to be kinder to myself. I have been enjoying evenings of sketching, colouring and journaling. I find it very hard to switch off and mostly commit myself to working, cleaning or other negative manifestations. So, I am proud to be able to take some "me" time if only for a little bit. This year I hope to fill with more social, career and creative opportunities. A lot of opportunities have been put on hold or postponed due to undergoing some pretty horrendous mental health consequences including anxiety and family troubles.

It has been a struggle with my body image and eating habits (something I find hard to accept is an issue)... despite the fact these thoughts and compulsions have been around since I was little! I have managed to be so much more open about my relationship with food and body image, but I would love to understand and find my personal style this year. I love fashion, however I cannot apply it fantastically to myself!

This post may seem a little bleak, but I do have so much to look forward to and learn. I have met some really fab people already and I am really enjoying my university course. Here is to finding more about myself and putting myself first for once!

Things to look forward to this year

*It will mine and my boyfriend's four year anniversary and we are off to the theatre at the end of January.

*I am looking forward to continuing with my university degree, learning more about my strengths and making memories with some fantastic people.

*I am looking forward to motivating myself, saving and making plans for the future.

*I am looking forward to getting my mental health back on track!


What do you hope for this year?

Amy x






Preparing for 2019

24.12.18


2018 has been a whirlwind of a year as I am sure many of you will agree. I have learnt a lot, treasured a lot and had to endure a lot of tests too. I am a firm believer of enjoying the little things whilst working hard to achieve what you want in the end. The above picture is the epitome' of enjoying the little things. On the 23rd of December I discovered this beautiful side street right on my doorstep.

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018


University




I started and found a university degree that I truly love and want to flourish in. I am studying an undergraduate degree in Fashion Business. It has made me branch out of my comfort zone, explore new places, hobbies and meet fantastic people. I have already had the opportunity to explore London and visit multiple exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert museum. Plus I have attended an arts evening in Birmingham. I cannot wait to see how many more opportunities the course brings next year!

Amsterdam




I was surprised with a trip to Amsterdam for my 22nd Birthday and it was the best experience ever. Take me back please! We stayed in a beautiful apartment, ate plenty of delicious food and drank a sufficient amount of cocktails! Amsterdam exceeded my expectations architecturally and I have never felt so safe having a nose around a city very late at night.

Psychotherapy


This is by far the scariest thing I have ever done but hands down the best. It is terrifying as I have only had around four or five sessions and I feel like I have changed as a person nearly that amount of times too. It has helped me process many repressed memories and numerous experiences. I can hand on heart say that I feel stronger and braver talking through some horrifying times compared to repressing them. The saying is true it gets way worse before it gets better but it has made me so open, feel so safe and clued up. I can not wait for my next session. I would be more than happy to talk in depth on this subject so let me know if you would like a full post or drop me any questions you have!

Trips & Drinks




From Cardiff, Leeds and the Cotswolds. Many a drinks have been enjoyed with many memories made too. Tenby and Broadway have been highlights of the year for sure! I have visited new places to challenge my photography skills, plus found new independent companies to shop with and have a pamper.



Family Time


This year has made me realise how precious family time is, having spent more time with family than ever. I travel up to Leeds a few times a year as half of my family resides up north! It has been great to spend an early Christmas with them all this year. we tucked into plenty of festive food and Baileys/gin too - mmm. Watching my younger siblings have a swimming lesson and seeing them watch Home Alone 2 for the first time was priceless. Cannot beat family time!


What is in store for 2019?


  • I am hoping to look into studying abroad as part of my degree.
  • I would like to work with more mental health brands and independent fashion/beauty businesses.
  • Continue with my blogging and have more consistent uploads- hopefully twice a week!
  • To be more organised, I love making lists and writing my thoughts down.
  • Get ready for university/days out the night before!
  • To enjoy lots of memories, but continue to save money.

What are your plans for 2019? How was your 2018 also?

Amy x

Food Budgeting Tips From A Student

5.11.18

As part of university life, budgeting food is a key factor for staying savvy with my spending. A combination of a busy lifestyle and preparing dinner at different family homes and places means that food shopping needs to be properly organised. Here are just a few of my personal tips to stick to a budget, enjoy the food you are buying and shop smart...

SUMMARY 

  • Enjoy your food but do not just rely on brands. Choose taste!
  • Make lists but do not be afraid to branch out of the pre-written recipes and change ingredients.
  • Always check what ingredients you have at home.
  • Price compare online to see which supermarket has what you need and is cheapest.
  • Buy in bulk and possibly buy some frozen items.
  • Have a selection of spices to make food more interesting and tasty!
  • What is in our food shop is down below too.

MEAL PLANNING & LISTS

Try and plan ahead, of course there will be times when your plans change or things come up but try and stick to the meals or recipes you have noted down. I purchased a meal planner recently, it was only cheap from Tiger and I use this to draft with my partner about what we might eat for two weeks at a time. Do not try and plan for weeks and weeks in advance, as you are likely to change your mind about what food you are fancying, it can become tedious and rigid (especially if you have plans and need to change what you previously noted down), plus you may also be less likely to stick to it. 

I also like to make lists in the notes on my phone. This can be recipes I have found or the exact ingredients I need for the dishes. Always check if you have ingredients in at home too to save re-buying ingredients.

Do not be afraid of changing a couple of ingredients to save time and money. If you have easily replaceable, but just as tasty ingredients at home use them instead if it fits the recipe. If you have food left over that is in date the following week too, search recipes that use those ingredients as a basis for a meal plan. Note down ingredients or dishes you and others you cook with or for love, then you can browse online or in cook books for recipes that suit you all. A tasty dish does not have to take forever. During days when we both finish university late, we both prefer to make quicker dishes, however on our days off we enjoy cooking from scratch. You have to enjoy what you are cooking and eating. If it seems a chore- adapt it!

FROZEN NOT FRESH

This heading sounds a little weird I know! As someone who eats veggies every day, this is not a personal tip to buy a load of frozen food in general. Unless that is what you love to eat! I tend to purchase a kilogram of frozen chicken and buy frozen spinach and veg. This is a great tip to a- have plenty of food and b- to be able to re-use ingredients throughout the week and further on. Fresh veggies are delicious, however from what I know frozen veg is just as tasty. It can also be a lot cheaper and you have more product.

CORE INGREDIENTS

Following on from fresh not frozen, buying a kilo of chicken is great for multiple meal ideas. For instance, I am going to make chicken katsu curry and chicken skewers with cous cous this week. The same with veggies, spinach could be tossed into a curry, as part of a salad or wraps e.t.c. It is good to buy core ingredients to keep the cost low, but still enjoy the freedom of multiple dishes. It creates less food waste too. Also, whilst buying frozen chicken or meats make sure you have a small but varied spice collection. These just help to enhance any dish and shape it up a little. 

NO SNOBBERY

I do a lot of price comparing online to look at which supermarket provides our typical ingredients the cheapest. This sometimes means travelling to two supermarkets, however most weeks me and my partner shop at Lidl just the once. If we are staying at my mum's, we may get a couple of easy to cook dishes from the local Spa. Definitely shop around for your food and do not just buy labels. I used to buy so much branded food and now 3/4 of my shop if not more is made up of less heavily branded items. It is about the taste not packaging when on a budget! Some products taste a lot better and are not necessarily the big labels.

WHAT IS IN OUR FOOD SHOP?


(This is not weekly, it is typical ingredients we use).

Breakfast


Porridge
Blueberries, Raspberries. (the porridge may also be with honey)
Seeded bread
Eggs
(Normally have butter at home and honey or peanut butter for toast).

Lunch


Wholemeal Pitta bread or wholemeal wraps
Turkey slices
Mixed salad

(another tip for veg, check if loose veg/potatoes e.t.c is cheaper than in a packet, as in Lidl a pack of around 6 sweet potatoes was cheaper and the equivalent weight to loose potatoes- but this is not always the case).



(On days off lunch varies from lunch out or meal deals or more home cooked hot food).


Snacks


Cereal bars- Fruit and yogurt bars or muesli bars
Bananas
Oranges

(An array of fresh fruit)

Malt loaf
Crisps
Occasional chocolate bars
Dried fruit & nuts
Yogurts

Dinner


Cauliflower burgers
Burger buns
1 kilo of frozen chicken
Frozen spinach
Mixed frozen veg
Quorn pieces- frozen
Sweet potatoes
Homemade soup- onions, frozen peas, bacon and have spices/seasonings at home
Buy in bulk pasta and rice
Cod
Turkey meatballs and spaghetti
Eggs

Let me know if you would like full recipes and images of what I eat too!


I would love to know what your tips are for staying on a budget.

Amy x

A Morning Pedicure With Lavender Beauty

4.11.18


Lavender Beauty, a serene spa-like setting is situated near Bevere Gallery since its re-location. Sally Moffatt is the meticulously attentive and knowledgeable founder of Lavender Beauty, alongside a close knit team of therapists with years and years of experience in the beauty field. Find out more about the friendly, experienced team here.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS


The Surrounding


I instantly felt relaxed and at ease when pulling up to the salon which is nestled in peaceful woodland. It is calming, plus quiet. The cabin is set back among the shrubbery and trees achieving intimate appeal. Everything feels spotless, well thought out and inviting. It is a unique experience and feeling being in such a one of a kind setting.

What is included and nearby?

*Plenty of parking on site.

*A delicious eatery just next door for healthy, hearty and delicious food. From a light brunch that lasts until after 2PM and many scrumptious cakes.

*Stunning view of fields, trees and occasional woodland creatures!

The Entrance


As soon as you walk in the decor is light, spotless and airy. With a seating area and products on display, the ambience remains cosy but spacious.

Inviting and welcoming is the immediate impression. Sally was there instantly to explain how the treatment would work, the little touches you receive such as the level of attention to detail for my pedicure. The cleanliness is of the highest standard with new scrubbing blocks used for each client's pedicure. From lilac satin hangers to hang your coat up, lavender designs on tea trays and lotus biscuits presented nicely unwrapped on the tea tray- nothing goes a miss. 

A selection of Decléor products, jewellery and nail polishes are presented on the counter, in glass cabinets and on shelves. There are numerous treats to choose from in time for Christmas including a Decléor aroma blend massage. This is tailored to your needs through different blends to target areas you want to work on and works with your body's balance. For instance you may want to combat fatigue or stress. At the moment this is also £45 for a 90 minute treatment. The salon itself also has its own range of lavender treatments as well as Decléor. Read more about the treatments here or call the salon for more information on 07940535942. 

Sneak peak info too: The salon is due for some changes for even more space to carry out its wonderful treatments.


The Treatment & The Treatment Room


Lindsey was the lovely therapist who made my ever so neglected feet look fabulous. With a reputable background in beauty and a passion for customer service, this could not be more evident from her attention to detail. Nothing was too much trouble and the room was so tranquil, I did not want to leave.

I enjoyed a foot spa, my feet scrubbed, moisturised and massaged. Now, for someone who HATES their feet touched and would not have a foot massage ever, I was pleasantly surprised. It relieved a lot of tension!


I particularly loved the scent and light texture of the ginger foot scrub as featured above. I need to get my hands on this!

Other highlights

* There was a lovely array of hot drinks and herbal teas. I enjoyed a green tea with jasmine.
* The service was impeccable, with a loyalty card created, other services offered and I was asked if I needed anything else at appropriate times.
* All of the staff were extremely friendly and chatty.

I found out Lavender Beauty do group bookings too with prosecco included! I will be booking in with my mum and sister to get some treats done for Christmas time!

Thank you for reading.

What is your favourite beauty treat or treatment?

Amy x
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