Wednesday, 30 January 2019

What I've Been Watching Recently


what to watch on netflix uk

Normally I do a round up of what I watched over the festive period, like I did last year, but apart from the movies in question, I pretty much just watched World's Strongest Man and the likes of The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year and Christmas specials. I did binge watch one TV show in December, which I will go on to discuss first but other than that, it was pretty standard festive TV picks for me.

So I thought that I would forgo my December What I've Been Watching post and share what I've been watching since then in today's post. And here is that blog post;

The Haunting Of Hill House

If you have not already seen The Haunting Of Hill House, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is honestly like a work of art and one of the best TV shows that I've seen in a long time. As someone who's a big fan of horror movies, I was immediately intrigued by the hype that had been generated around this show and I was so glad that I gave it a shot at the start of December, when the nights were long and dark.

A few minutes into the first episode, I was genuinely scared (how creepy is it seeing one of the ghosts for the first time?!) and completely drawn into the world of the Crain family. You also actually care about the characters in this, something that can rarely be said about characters in horror movies. Luke and Nell in particular really got to me and having the two timelines was such a smart way to highlight exactly what had happened to the whole family over the course of time and how Hill House was still haunting them, even though they had all moved far away.

There are many genuinely creepy and scary scenes and whilst I did watch quite a few of them from behind my hand, they had my stomach in knots, in a good way, as I had no idea what could or would happen next. There really is only one jump scare in the whole series and it comes as a real shock because you're genuinely not expecting it. It really is the show that keeps on giving with hidden meanings, like the Crain children embodying the five stages of grief or the spooky hidden ghosts (I spotted a good number of them whilst watching it the first time around but will have to go back and watch it again just to see if I can see them in action). All I can say is, watch it now and you will not regret it.

You

When I first saw the trailer for You it looked right up my street. Little did I know how dark and murder-y it would get. Okay, so you know this is about a guy stalking someone but I definitely didn't expect it to turn out the way that it did.

From the very beginning, I knew that I would have to watch it to the very end, even if it was just okay, simply to see if Joe would get away with it. Things escalate so quickly in that first episode that you have no idea what could happen next and that was definitely a positive of the show, as was Penn Badgley playing the lead role. Even though the whole *spoiler alert* him being Gossip Girl ending is one that I like to pretend never happened, he is so good at playing the sociopathic character in this that it's actually a little scary. In some ways, I couldn't feel sorry for Beck (who doesn't own curtains or blinds when you're at street level?!) and kind of agreed with Joe about certain people being bad influences but I didn't find him sexy or in any way attractive like many have on Twitter, much to Penn Badgley's dismay.

I have mixed feelings about the last episode and the way that it ended but knowing that a second season of You is already in the works certainly makes me feel a bit better about that and I'm already looking forward to binge watching it when it airs here in the UK. Also, brb whilst I set all my social media accounts to private *just kidding*.

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

I briefly remembered seeing the furore around Fyre Festival when it was all unfolding on social media in 2017, so when I saw that Netflix had released a documentary on it and everyone on my Twitter timeline was raving about it, I knew that I had to watch it ASAP.

Now, admittedly, I didn't know a lot about what happened at the 'festival' other than vaguely remembering wet mattresses being strewn across a rather grim looking beach but what actually unfolds before your eyes in this documentary is absolutely unbelievable. I mean, shocking, especially when you compare it to what people were promised when purchasing tickets. And not only tickets, people were spending thousands and thousands of dollars to be met with no tents, no toilets, practically no food, electricity or a single music act. It's one of the maddest things that I've ever seen! I don't follow any of the top models like Bella Hadid or Emily Ratajkowski on social media but how they have remained unscathed despite accepting millions of dollars collectively to promote the festival is unbelievable and don't even get me started on Ja Rule! Honestly, you need to see it to believe it.

The Jinx

On the flight home from Orlando back in October (see my what I watched on the flights to and from Florida here) I watched half an episode of The Jinx right as we were about to land and as soon as I got home and had a big nap, I ordered the DVD as I just had to see how it all turned out. If you're anything like me and love a true crime doc or film, you simply have to see The Jinx.

Much like Evil Genius, which was wild, it's one of the strangest true crime stories that I've ever came across. Initially it looks like a rather gruesome murder but nothing too out of the ordinary when it comes to true crime documentaries or films but then it gets weirder and weirder and each twist and turn has you in disbelief. All I can say is, if you have an interest in true crime or get completely hooked on shows like this and you haven't seen it already, you simply have to watch The Jinx!

Luther

Luther returned to our screens here in the UK on New Year's Day and even though I've shared my thoughts on Luther on here before, I just had to write about it again to hopefully get it on more people's radars. All of the seasons, including the new one, are on the BBC iPlayer and the earlier ones are also on Netlfix, so there's no excuse for missing out on this gem of a TV show.

Just when I thought the 'person sliding out from under a bed' scene (you know the one if you've seen it!) couldn't be topped in terms of giving me nightmares forever and me cramming so much crap under my bed to stop it happening to me, this series takes creepy and scary to a new level. There were so many stomach churning scenes and like many others, I will no longer be doing the following; sitting on the top deck of a bus, selling a fridge online, or going to a therapist and to be fair, the list goes on. This new series also sees the return of Ruth Wilson as Alice, which you just knew was going to be good and well, it was! She's as maniacal and cunning as ever.

I won't spoil it for you but at the end of last episode all I could say was 'WTF just happened?!' Idris Elba has teased the possibility of a Luther movie which I could 100% get on board with but all I can say is, hopefully they don't leave Luther with that being the ending, for too long anyway.

So there's what I've been watching recently, in addition to the likes of Ru Paul's Drag Race All Stars and Hell's Kitchen, etc.

What have you been watching recently? Have you seen any of the shows or documentaries in today's post? If so, what did you think of them? And is there anything that you're looking forward to watching soon?

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Sunday, 27 January 2019

Can You Use An Electric Toothbrush On Receding Gums?: The FOREO ISSA 2 Review


foreo issa 2 silicone sonic toothbrush

As someone with receding gums, I really have to watch when I brush my teeth, particularly with my traditional electric toothbrush. After making the transition from a standard manual toothbrush a few years ago, I very rarely brush my teeth with one of them now, apart from when I travel but more on that later. Nothing beats an electric toothbrush for me but there are some serious drawbacks to my current one.

So when I was given the opportunity to try out and to review FOREO's sonic electric toothbrush* I was really excited and intrigued to see how it would perform, especially compared to a manual and an electric toothbrush.

These are my thoughts on the FOREO ISSA 2;

issa 2 review

First things first, the design of this toothbrush is so sleek and futuristic looking. Many of you might know FOREO for their electronic skincare devices but they do much more than just that. Available in four colours (Cool Black, Cobalt Blue, Mint and Pearl Pink), it was love at first sight for me and the beautiful pink shade. I was a little bit worried about getting it dirty or covered in toothpaste but it's been easy to keep it clean so far.

The ISSA 2 uses up to 11,000 pulsations a minute to clean your teeth and gums as the silicone clings to debris and plaque (think about just how much clings to the outside of your NARS products and you'll get a feel for how this silicone technique works). It really is unlike anything that I've ever used before and for that reason, it did take a few days of brushing to get completely used to it and to make sure that I had really got rid of any plaque or debris build up.

foreo issa 2 reviews

One of my biggest bugbears with my traditional electric toothbrush, other than it irritating my tender gums, is how often it needs to be charged. It feels like it's almost on a weekly basis these days and it doesn't just take an hour or so to charge it fully, more like 12 hours or more, which is pretty crazy.

The ISSA 2, on the other hand, has a 365 day charge. 365 days!! That means a single charge, if you use it morning and night, will last you six months or a whole year if you use it once a day. The device is also guaranteed for 10 years so whilst it might not be the cheapest electric toothbrush on the market, this is a completely different take on the standard electric toothbrush. You really do need to try it out for yourself!

As alluded to earlier, one thing that I hate about travelling is the fact that I have to use a traditional toothbrush, normally one of the folding travel ones and my gums in particular do not enjoy it one bit. I'm talking bleeding and irritated red gums (never a good look, particularly when you're on holiday). I can't wait to take this in it's little pouch and not have to worry about it losing charge over the few weeks that I'm away.

I feel so much better about using the ISSA 2 toothbrush on my often irritated and sore gums. Brushing is no longer a painful or scratchy feeling experience.

foreo issa 2 toothbrush review

If you also suffer from sensitive or receding gums, I would definitely look into investing in an ISSA 2. They also do baby toothbrushes and toothbrushes for children in lots of fun colours too, so the whole family can benefit from a different type of brushing.

You will find the ISSA 2 at the likes of John Lewis, and Feel Unique and on FOREO's own website.

What kind of toothbrush do you use? Are you a manual or electric kind of brusher? And does the ISSA 2 sound like an interesting and intriguing concept to you?

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Wednesday, 23 January 2019

How To Save Time & Money In Orlando: My Top 10 Tips


orlando on a shoestring budget

I haven't shared much from my trip to Orlando at the end of last year, other than some Instagram posts when I was there, so this is a bit of a two for one kind of blog post. Not only will I be sharing some of my top travel tips but I'll also be showing you some of my favourite snaps that I took on my last holiday.

As you will know, if you've been reading Ellis Tuesday for years now, I have been to Orlando, Florida more than ten times in the past twenty years and as result, have so many tips and tricks that I've picked up over the years.

So here are my top tips for saving time and money in Orlando;

Go during 'holidays'

And no I don't just mean the Summer holidays. What I actually mean are national holidays, ones that the American's really do in style.

There are lots of different holidays to vacation during or in the lead up to. From the obvious ones like Christmas or Halloween, to Epcot's fantastic Food & Wine Festival, beautiful Flower & Garden Festival and amazing Festival Of The Holidays in the run up to Christmas, this only adds to your Orlando experience.

You also get so much more for your money than you ordinarily would, as I'm about to explain.

best time to go to disney world 2019

Attend a ticket holders only party at the Magic Kingdom

This is one of the biggest tips that I could possibly give in terms of saving time and money. During Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party we waited no more than 10 minutes for any ride in the park and that is almost unheard of during a typical day at the Magic Kingdom. We walked straight onto Splash Mountain, Pirates Of The Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion.

There's also the added bonus of exclusive shows, parades and character meet and greets that only happen at the parties. For example, the Halloween party would be the only place to meet Jack Skellington and Sally, Lotso Huggin' Bear and many of Disney's greatest villains.

The party officially starts at 7pm and this is when guests without a band on their wrist for the party will be asked to leave the park by but you can actually enter from 4pm onwards. This is 3 more hours of park time for your money and a tip that not everyone knows about.

Buy your park and attraction tickets before you fly

This might seem like a bit of a no-brainer but you can save some serious money by buying your tickets in advance versus paying at the gates. We always get our tickets from Florida Tix who I cannot recommend highly enough!

Paying in advance also means that your credit card or spending money won't take a hit when you get there, leaving you more money to spend on making memories and bringing home US goodies that we can't get in the UK (I could easily bring home an entire suitcase full of American snacks and candy!)

universal express pass worth it orlando

Get the Universal Express Pass

Without a doubt, the best 'add on' that we had during our holiday was the Universal Express Pass. It is SO worth the money!

Instead of spending hours (it all adds up) standing in line for your favourite rides, you get to skip the queue and go from a 45+ wait to less than 5 minutes. Universal only sell a certain amount of these passes each day so you won't ever wait more than 10 minutes in an Express line.

We crammed in so many extra rides and even rode some of favourites more than once during the day, all thanks to our Express passes. With the money we saved from some of the other tips in today's blog post, we put that towards our passes and did not regret it in the slightest. We would never go back to standing in the regular lines after trying Express!

Take your own snacks and food to the theme parks

And whilst we're on the topic of theme parks, if you don't plan on having a sit down meal at a theme park, bring your own snacks! The price of a bottle of water or a packet of chips (crisps to us Brits) can be pretty jaw-dropping and not in a good way. If you'll be buying several of them throughout the day, or for multiple people, it soon adds up to quite the amount. I'm talking enough to get yourself a Universal Express Pass kind of money! Make a trip to your nearest supermarket, where you will get multi-packs for the same price of just one item in the parks. It's money you don't have to spend and really shouldn't be.

I've seen people bring entire picnics with them so there's no judgement at all (like you might feel at the cinema, for example) for bringing your own snacks, meals or drinks with you. If you don't want to go as extreme as bringing a literal picnic basket in with you, even just bring a few bottles of water, which you can buy in volume from the likes of Wal-Mart for a few dollars and then fill them up throughout the day for free, will save you money in the long run.

tips for staying offsite at disney world 2019

If you're going with a large group or lots of family; book a villa

As much as I would one day love to stay on Disney property, for as long as we've went to Orlando, we have always booked a villa. If a big group of you are going or you're going with multiple family members, I can't recommend a villa and staying off property highly enough! You have privacy, normally your own pool, sometimes amenities like clubhouses, basketball and tennis courts and play parks, lots of space to roam around and the perfect base for days when you don't want to be out at a theme park or mall all day.

I would say though, unless you want to spend a lot on Ubers or taxis, at least one of your group or family should be confident driving in the US, as the villas are often located about 10-15 minutes drive from Disney and about 30-45 minutes (depending on traffic) from Universal and many of the shopping malls. We honestly wouldn't have it any other way.

Check out the outlets

If shopping is more of your thing, a trip to the outlet malls is a must! I'm not the biggest fan of the outlets on Vineland Avenue (it's just a personal preference as it's always twice as busy as the other outlet mall and I never get anything) but I absolutely adore the ones on International Drive!

My favourite stores have got to be the Kate Spade New York and Victoria's Secret Outlet stores. I'm talking bras for $7.99 each and basically everything under $150 in Kate Spade, which is pretty unbelievable, especially when you consider the prices that we pay here in the UK. I got a leather backpack for under $80 and a leather bum bag for less than $40! Let me know if you'd like to see some of my best outlet finds in another blog post at some point soon.

how to save money at walt disney world

Allot at least a day to Disney Springs

Disney Springs is one of our favourite places to spend our time in Orlando and we often visit it at all times of the day. Go early to get some great pictures before it gets too busy, head there in the afternoon to shop 'til you drop and at night for some incredible dinners and atmosphere.

And the biggest perk of visiting Disney Springs; no parking fees! When you've paid $20+ a few times to park at Universal, Disney or LEGOLAND Florida, you'll soon jump for joy when you see somewhere like Disney Springs with free parking. There are plenty of fantastic restaurants, shops, a cinema, a bowling alley, live entertainment and more.

Buy some of your souvenirs from Wal-Mart or gift shops instead

If you've ever walked through the doors of a Wal-Mart in the US, you will know just how much they manage to stock under one roof. Well, the Wal-Mart's in Orlando and close to the theme parks have all that plus huge Disney and other characters like Harry Potter and Despicable Me etc. souvenir sections. With everything from t-shirts, pyjamas and beach towels to autograph books, it's wise to check your local supermarket (Target and Publix also have sections but they're significantly smaller) before buying at the parks. We also used to bring back quite a few bits like keyrings, magnets and pens from the gift shops located on the US 192. There are definitely still some bargains to be found if you're staying nearby or travelling down that stretch of highway.

Of course there are certain souvenirs that you can only get on Disney property but if you're just bringing home some mementos for family, friends or work colleagues, this is a great way to get more bang for your buck.

how to watch magic kingdom fireworks for free

Visit the Disney resorts and hotels for free

This is a little known travel trick but you can actually visit any of the Disney resorts or hotels for free! Some of the resorts like the Grand Floridian and Animal Kingdom Lodge are true sights to behold and you can also dine at the resort restaurants, many of which are so highly regarded. It's also a great way to get your Dole Whip fix (head to the Polynesian to do this) if you're not visiting Animal Kingdom on this trip or to look for hidden Mickey's without having to fork out for park tickets.

You can even stake out a spot at one of the hotel properties where you'll get a great view of the nightly firework displays, again without having to pay for a park ticket.

So there are my top ten tips for saving time and money in Orlando, Florida. Let me know if you'd like to read more blog posts on my travel or money saving tips.

Have you ever visited Orlando or any of the theme parks mentioned in today's post? If so, what made the holiday special for you? Or have you always wanted to go at some point but thought that it would cost too much money?

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Sunday, 20 January 2019

The Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Collection Is Now A Permanent Addition!!


charlotte tilbury pillow talk collection

The first Charlotte Tilbury product that I had ever heard of and the first that I actually tried in person, was the iconic and universally adored Pillow Talk Lip Cheat. It was also the first product that inevitably started a love affair with the brand in question, one that has only grown with time.

After the success of the Pillow Talk Lip Cheat liner, Charlotte then released the Pillow Talk shade in lipstick form and again, it was a huge hit and something that every beauty junkie added to their wishlist and eventually, their collection.

Last year two more products were added to the Pillow Talk collection, with these being the Pillow Talk Cheek To Chic blush and the Pillow Talk Luxury Palette. They sold out in record time and have been out of stock pretty much ever since they were first released but I now have some very good news to share. The two latest releases, which were initially limited edition, are now permanent additions to Charlotte's line!

I've wanted to share my thoughts on these new additions and the Pillow Talk range as a whole for a while now but I didn't want to do so whilst the two limited edition items were out of stock.



So now is perfect timing to hit publish on this blog post and here is the lowdown on the now permanent Pillow Talk collection;

charlotte tilbury pillow talk lip liner review

Pillow Talk Lip Cheat (£16)

First up we have the original product, which quickly gained cult status; the Pillow Talk Lip Cheat lip liner. For many, this is the perfect nude/your lips but better shade and it truly does look beautiful on every skin tone and lip shade. It's actually a bit darker/browner than my natural lip colour but that's why I love it so much. I haven't found anything quite like it elsewhere and whilst it will look different on every person, it also unquestionably suits absolutely everyone, which is quite the feat.

It has a velvety finish and applies so smoothly. Without a doubt, this is my most used lip liner and I was absolutely over the moon to add a travel size version of it to my makeup bag when I picked up the After Hours Look Gift Box before Christmas. This set, which is easily the best value for money when it comes to buying Charlotte's products, is still for sale on her website and also includes a full size of the Pillow Talk Lipstick, which I will be going on to review next. To see my full review of the After Hours Look Gift Box, check it out here.

charlotte tilbury pillow talk lipstick review

Pillow Talk Matte Revolution Lipstick (£24)

A few years after the original Lip Cheat release, Charlotte finally released the Pillow Talk Lipstick, which quickly became an absolute staple in so many makeup bags and collections since then. Before getting the lipstick, I would often apply the Lip Cheat liner all over my lips, essentially wearing it as a lipstick, so I was ecstatic when the actual lipstick bullet was released.

I'm a big fan of the formula of Charlotte's Matte Revolution Lipsticks anyway, as they are matte without being drying in the slightest on the lips and this addition to the range was no different. They're so creamy but they also stay put for most of the day/night.

charlotte tilbury pillow talk eyeshadow

Pillow Talk Luxury Palette (£39)

Now, if you've tried any of Charlotte's Luxury Palettes before, you will know just how impressive they are. Whether you're a novice or as skilled as a makeup artist, the Luxury Palettes are so easy to use as your entire eye look is mapped out right there for you. There's a prime, an enhance, a smoke and a pop shade in each palette and in this specific one there are two matte shades and two shimmers, all of which are absolutely dreamy. This is just one of the most wearable palettes that I've ever tried!

charlotte tilbury pillow talk eyeshadow review

I was a little bit worried that it might be too pink for my eyes, as any time that I add anything with even the slightest hint of pink to my eyes, it can often make me look like I've had an allergic reaction to something. I can, however, confirm that this looks like a beautiful soft dusky nude on my lids and just enhances what you already have. I really shouldn't ever worry about Charlotte's products not suiting me to be honest, especially when I have a pretty similar colouring to her. I also love that you can go really natural during the day with the buttery soft shades and glam it up for night and special occasions simply be adding more shimmer.

charlotte tilbury pillow talk blush review

Pillow Talk Cheek To Chic Blush (£30)

I hadn't actually tried any of Charlotte's Cheek To Chic blushes before owning this but again, I had heard so many good things about them. Normally the Cheek to Chic blushes are made up of two contrasting but complimentary shades that can either be used separately or swished together to create her trademark pop to the cheek.

The Pillow Talk Cheek To Chic is slightly different in the fact that the central colour is actually a champagne shimmer highlighter with the dusky pink Pillow Talk shade making up the outer ring. Charlotte is all about looking 'lit from within' and that's exactly how I would describe the effect of blending both colours together on my skin. As I already use her insanely good Beauty Light Wand as my go-to highlighter, I normally just swish the two shades together and it gives you a finish that is unlike any other traditional blush.

pillow talk charlotte tilbury

You can buy the entire Pillow Talk collection as a whole, which I would 100% recommend if you're looking to treat yourself to products that will quickly become your holy grail favourites or you can buy the products in two other bundles, as you will see below (make sure to remove your ad blocker if you can't see them there). And of course, you can also buy each of the products individually.



So what do you think of the collection as a whole? Have you tried any of Charlotte's Pillow Talk products? Or her range in general? If so, what do you think of her products? Have you jumped on the Pillow Talk hype yet? And what would you add to the collection next?

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Friday, 18 January 2019

My Top 5 Dream Winter Getaway Destinations


best places to visit in january for sun

Surely I'm not the only one of us dreaming of a Winter getaway right now. There's something about knowing that we are a good few months away from what will hopefully be warmer and sunnier weather *fingers crossed*, that has me longing for sunkissed skin and wearing some of my favourite Summer dresses, even if only for a few days.
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Sunday, 13 January 2019

Is The 'Art Of Tidying Up' Really That Life-Changing? (+ A Marie Kondo Book Giveaway)


tidying up with marie kondo netflix review
(Image Credit: Instagram)

If you saw my 2019 Goals blog post, you will have seen that one of my goals for the new year is to Konmari the hell out of my bedroom. If you've not already been completely sucked in to the new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (what have you been doing with yourself since it started streaming on January 1st?!) or read any of her much-loved and best-selling books, Konmari is the method of decluttering and organising created by Kondo.

If you haven't already heard of it and experienced how seriously life-changing it can be, I thought that I would share what I've learned so far from putting the Konmari method into practice and hopefully give you some inspiration to tackle the areas, rooms or categories in your life/home that most need dealing with.

So here are my top takeaways from the new TV series and Kondo's two books that I've dipped in and out of;

Tackle categories, not rooms or spaces

Marie splits tidying up into 5 separate categories with these being clothing, books, paper, miscellaneous (aka. komono, which includes the kitchen, garage, bathroom, etc.) and sentimental. By tackling one at a time you don't get as distracted as you would, or I often am, when I start opening drawers. If I find a big pile of sentimental items like photographs, birthday cards (why do I still have cards from my 18th when I'm about to turn 27 this year?!) or old schoolwork, I inevitably sit down and look through it all instead of clearing out the drawers like I initially meant to. I then say I'll go back to it another day and never do.

So instead of just working on your wardrobe one day, you take every piece of clothing you own from every room in your house and go through it all together. This means that you don't do what I often end up doing and find that you've opened up a nice amount of space in your wardrobe only to realise that your coat and a few jackets are hanging somewhere else or that you have a pile of ironed clothes sitting somehere else that then need to be tidied away.

Dedicate more than a few hours or an afternoon to the process

Most of us will probably dedicate an afternoon or a few hours, when we have it spare, to decluttering and tidying up and whilst every spare moment helps, don't expect to be able to do a full declutter of your room or home in a day. The Konmari technique can even take a full month (or longer) to complete, which does mean that some areas of your house can look even more cluttered as you work through everything. But once it's done, you really should have transformed your room/home and most importantly, the way that you look at and interact with your belongings.

konmari method blog

Make things properly visible with the Konmari fold

As soon as I saw Marie perform her trademark fold I knew that I had just witnessed something that could be a real gamechanger for me and the way that I currently store my clothes. I've always been a big advocate of rolling my clothes and will still continue to do so when I'm packing, for example.

And whilst rolling saves you a lot of space, it meant that I ended up with at least three layers of rolled up tops and t-shirts, which is why I rarely wore or could even see anything on the bottom row and ended up wearing the same t-shirts or tops all the time.

I mean, how good does my top drawer look now?!

Here's the page that helped me to achieve it from 'Spark Joy';

marie kondo method of folding

Treat your belongings with respect

Now when you first see Marie thanking clothes or silently paying respect to the houses on the TV show, it looks so foreign to us or at least me, anyway. But a lot of it makes sense. We often take what we have for granted and always want more and more, so realising what we do have and what we really love (and what sparks joy), is really a much healthier way to look at what you already own. I've also got a feeling that I'm not the only one with clothes thrown over the back of a chair in their bedroom, a disorganised makeup collection or cherished items strewn all over the house.

In addition to finding out what 'sparked joy', I wanted to give certain items a new lease of life by letting them go to new homes and people who will hopefully get a lot more joy out of them than I did. My biggest tip would be to donate or sell items that are brand new or in really good condition, pass on unused beauty bits or special pieces to friends and family and take slightly tattier items and clothes to a recycling drop-off (H&M take any fabrics in the bins at their tills and you even get a £5 off voucher to use on your next purchase with them).

You truly receive a wealth of knowledge from the Netlfix show but for even more in depth information and tips, be sure to check out Kondo's bestselling books, which I have a pair of to give away today.

marie kondo book review

For a chance to win both 'The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying' and 'Spark Joy', all you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter entry form below;

a Rafflecopter giveaway There will be one winner picked by random - Prize issued by Ebury Publishing - Open internationally

Is tidying or just organising your life/space one of your 2019 goals or New Year's Resolutions? Have you been watching the Netflix show? And what area of your home or life needs the most attention?

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Sunday, 6 January 2019

My 2019 Goals: 5 Things I Want To Make Happen This Year


glasgow influencers

Even though I've begrudgingly made them in the past, I'm not the biggest fan of New Year's resolutions. They're normally pretty generic and you end up beating yourself up for not completing them. So this year I've decided to share my goals for 2019 on here both to let you see what I hope to achieve but also as a visual reminder of what I'm hoping to do this year. I plan on returning to this blog post every month or so to see how I'm doing and to hopefully check off the goals that I've achieved.

Here are my 2019 goals;

Open a Help To Buy ISA

Even though I probably won't be moving out of the family home anytime soon (this year at least), I want to start making my savings work harder for me than they currently do in my current account. I'm hoping to cross this goal off my list in the next week or so so hopefully that will start 2019 off right.

If anyone else has one, was it a pretty simple process?

Konmari the hell out of my bedroom

Now I'd read a few chapters of Marie Kondo's 'The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up' a while back but I kind of dipped into without actually putting any of it into practice. If you didn't already know, Netflix have created a series with Marie entitled Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and it was the perfect show to start streaming on January 1st (haven't Netlfix hit it out of the park this festive season, with the likes of You, Birdbox and the new Black Mirror all premiering?)

I try to go through my wardrobe and drawers when we change from Autumn/Winter to Spring/Summer and vice versa but my current storage technique of rolling everything means that my tops drawer, in particular, is about three layers deep at this point and as a result, I forget what I have and inevitably buy another grey t-shirt, only to find that I already have two perfectly good ones. Marie's Konmari method of folding and being able to instantly see what you have looks like the perfect solution to my problem and I really have been putting off doing a big declutter for a while. So if you need me for the next few weekends, I'll be Konmari-ing the hell out of my bedroom!

scottish bloggers

Take time off social media

As someone who works online, I spend pretty much all of my time chained to my laptop and phone. I often feel guilty about putting my laptop down or having my phone more than a few metres away from me but over the festive period I actually completely logged off of my computer and kept my phone charging in my bedroom and the difference that it made to my general wellbeing was pretty unbelievable. It was so nice to completely disconnect and enjoy family time, curling up with a book and just generally sitting with a Buck's Fizz in one hand and my other hand in a tub of Celebrations. The time away also gave me some time to reflect on what I want to achieve blog and side hustle-wise in the New Year and I've come up with some exciting ideas for posts for throughout the year.

Reducing my screen time and not feeling guilty about doing so is something that I'm really keen to achieve this year. Which leads me onto my next goal for 2019.

Read 12 books

For a lot of you, this might sound like a tiny amount but for me, someone who used to love to read until we had to read 3 or 4 books a week (that's right; A WEEK!) at University as part of my English degree, one book a month seems like a much more realistic number. I've probably only read 3 or 4 books total since I graduated from Uni over five years ago.

If you want to keep up with what I'm reading, I just recently started a Goodreads account and have already checked off my first book of 2019; 'The Wives' (the third in 'The Devil Wears Prada' series).

Explore more of Scotland

If you read my blog last year, you should remember me sharing snaps and stories from the two CCW Blogger Road Trips (Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter) that I was invited along on. And without a doubt, they are some of my best memories of 2018.

I'd love to spend another day or maybe a long weekend in St Andrews this Summer, mainly to visit the best fish and chip shop in Scotland and Janettas Gelateria (which was unreal!) and also have visiting The Kelpies and Loch Lomond on my list for this year.

glasgow fashion bloggers

I have some other smaller goals like finally getting onto Space NK's press list (seriously, this would be the dream), keeping on top off the photos that I take and actually deleting some of them from my memory card/computer and getting my teeth whitened professionally. I'm excited to see what 2019 has in store for us all.

What are your goals for 2019? Or have you made New Year's resolutions that you're looking to achieve this year? And what do you think of mine?

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Wednesday, 2 January 2019

10 Staple Shoes Every Woman Should Have In Their Closet


10 Staple Shoes Every Woman Should Own

- GUEST POST BY HOLLY TOMLINSON -

Whoever said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend must have completely forgotten that shoes exist. Capable of turning a boring outfit into a high-end runway look, a good pair of shoes can be seriously transformative. Though many women prefer quality to quantity (we hear you!), no proper closet is complete without these 10 staple shoes.

10. Tall boots
When the weather starts to cool down and you’re forced to stow away your sandals until next year, tall boots swoop in to save the day. Whether they’re heeled or flat, mid-calf boots are a seasonal essential. Black and brown boots tend to take the market and the streets by storm, but spicing your color palette up with a pair of red or olive green boots have the same versatile effect!

9. Espadrilles
Nothing screams summer, sunshine and beach time than a cute pair of espadrille wedge sandals. Easily paired with dresses and jeans, neutral toned espadrilles are far more comfortable and functional at summer parties than heels. Go vegan with Susi Studio’s Dolores wedge.

8. Black Ankle Boots
Regardless of season or climate, it’s always a good time to break out the black ankle boots. Whether your style is sleek, grungy, polished, or girly, there is a pair of trusty ankle boots out there for you. Guaranteed to jazz up any pair of jeans or skirt and tights combo, the options are endless with these bad boys in your closet. Check out Jeffrey Campbell’s MUSK-JH for all the glam, glitz, and grunge you could ask for!

7. Bright colored heels
Everyone has their favorite little black dress, but there is no need to constantly pair that LBD with boring colored shoes. Lay the Louboutin’s to rest for a night and pick up a pair of colorful red or hot pink heels to animate an otherwise lackluster getup. Solid colors, glitters, patterns, textures, and more— there is plenty more to a pair of heels than neutral tones! Treat yourself to some color, your closet will thank you.

6. Chelsea Boots
Chelsea boots have become more popular than ever for women and for men. These trendy booties add a sleek edge to your eclectic closet. Make sure you’re not left behind on the chelsea boot craze train and snag a pair of Topshop’s essential Kiss Chelsea Boots. Dress them up, dress them down, these shoes look great year round.

5. White Go-To Sneakers
Cute white trainers have become the new essential casual shoe. From platformed Fila Disruptors to classic low-rise Converse, all-white kicks are the LBD of footwear. The possibilities are endless with a squeaky clean white shoe — match them up with a summery floral sundress or a business-casual office ensemble.

capsule shoe collection

4. Over the Knee Boots
Wondering how many times you’ll actually wear a pair of over the knee boots? Just trust us on this one, every time you wear them, you’ll be glad you did. These sexy little numbers can turn any outfit from blah to bam! Paired up with a cute mini skirt and a long coat, you’ll look like an A-lister in your own house!

3. Oxfords
Inspired by men’s shoes but styled with women in mind, oxfords add a certain chic effect to an outfit that most shoes can’t do. Perfect for the women who loves the in between of dressing up
and dressing down, oxfords are the perfect mixture of feminine and masculine. Go bigger with metallic colors, cut outs, or wooden platforms!

2. Pointed Flats
From boyfriend jeans to adorable plaid skirt two pieces, a pair of pointed flats can polish any outfit ensemble. Just as comfortable as ballet flats, these angular shoes give a more flattering and sophisticated silhouette than their rounded sisters. Think and dress out of the box with a pair of environmentally friendly Rothy’s pointed flats.

1. Black Pumps
No closet is ever complete without a pair of versatile black heels. Whether you’re into pointed toes or rounded toes, high heels or short stacked heels, closed toed or open toed; a basic black heel is the most functional and fashionable staple that must be in every woman’s closet. Wear them on a date or wear them to the office, there’s always room for a cute black pump.
(IMAGE CREDIT: REX SHUTTERSTOCK)
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