Turning 27 with a lil help from Skinny Tan

Fashion

TBH i didn’t expect to be writing this blog post with one hand whilst i type super slowly with a broken wrist but such is life and that’s a different story for another time. This post is all about my absolute fave skinny tan and their brand new wonder express serum which literally gives you the perfect tan in just one hour. Last weekend i turned 27 and this was just so ideal to ensure i was glowing for my birthday celebrations.
Ive been working with skinny tan for a while now and those that know me will know I’m a huge advocate for it. It’s not patchy, the shades are gorgeous and it just gives your skin this nice little glow that im makes me feel my absolute best. Ive tried everything from the coconut mist (the perfect summer spritz) to the instant tanning aftersun. My go- to normally has to be the gradual mousse which i apply before bed but i think i now might have a new contender.
My tanning routine usually consists of me applying tan before bed and washing it off on the morning but with the wonder express serum, you literally wash off the tan within an hour (or two if you want it darker) meaning you can literally apply it a couple hours before you’re due to go out – perfect for my birthday weekend (it also meant no stained sheets!!). The results were probably the best I’ve seen from skinny tan so far – super glowy but also gorgeous and natural. You can literally watch this develop so can wash it off when you reach a colour you’re happy with and the consistency has the exact same silky smooth feel of the original wonder serum – this one just needs washing off.
To apply the wonder serum, i shower and exfoliate with the pre-tan primer so my skin is prepped and then simply apply all over with a mitt. The bottle gives a guide for the effect you will get depending on how long you leave it on for with 3 hours being the darkest. Added benefits to this lil bottle are that the formula is cruelty free and vegan and trust me when i say a little goes a reallll long way. 
So if you’re looking for a new tanning solution, this is literally the most hassle free option with the nicest formula – perfect for tan virgins as well as tan addicts like me! Grab yours in Boots now.

  • products gifted in exchange for review

My Thoughts for 2020

Fashion, Food

I can’t quite believe we’ve entered into 2020 already, it quite literally feels like yesterday that i was on a beach in Koh Samui bringing in 2019 with a Pina Colada in each hand. This year’s new year’s eve wasn’t quite as exotic but I did get to spend it with my other half and there was also plenty of good food and alcohol (although a view of Allerton Road rather than the distant island of Koh Phangan, but hey). Everywhere I’ve looked on social media in these past couple weeks of the new year are people saying just how much happened in 2019 and do you know what, in terms of blogging, events and growing my own little Instagram, id probably have to agree. Don’t get me wrong i still don’t really have a bloody clue what im doing but i’m excited to enter 2020 with the same amount of drive and determination that I had for the most part of 2019. So, with that said, here are my thoughts for the New Year.

My blog & Instagram

As 2019 came to a close i found that more and more i’ve been running my Instagram and subsequently, my blog, with more lifestyle vibes and not just food. Ive had people messaging me for fashion advice (and sometimes even skincare tips!) and i’ve found that i’ve enjoyed more and more showing the world how i style my outfits and wear certain things. Don’t get me wronf, i bloody love my food and i’ll always be a foodie at heart (people ask me ALL the time where is best to eat in Liverpool and I love trying new places) but i’m definitely looking forward to bringing more fashion content through my blog and insta in the new year.

Diet & Exercise

Ok, this has always been a bit of a touchy subject for me as it’s something that i used to take SUPER seriously. In October i did a video with the fab Sarah Sandison where i discussed my struggles with exercise addiction. I’ll be forever glad i filmed that video as it’s truly made me accountable for my actions and allowed me to admit to myself that there is a small issue there (i also had messages from people struggling with the same thing which was super reassuring). Throughout 2019 and particularly towards the end, ive noticed myself caring less and not being SO strict with the exercise which, for me, is a huge step in the right direction. Now the challenge is to keep having a word with myself amongst the big January diets and gym routines. Don’t get me wrong, i’m still in the gym and running when i want to, but focussing more on how it makes me feel rather than having a purely aesthetic goal. When you actually stop and do this, it feels great. Trust me.

Mental Health

This might sound ignorant but up until mid-2019 id never had an issue with my mental health. Id always felt good, strong and confident to deal with whatever was thrown my way. In the summer of 2019 my boyfriend was away for 5 months with work and it suddenly hit me like a tonne of bricks. Id convinced myself that i was going to be completely fine and carry on as normal and I think my ‘just get on with it’ attitude  allowed me to lie to myself about how I was really feeling. Out of nowhere, I completely lost the ability to sleep. It was like i was getting into bed and overthinking everything so much (even sleep itself) that id just lie awake for hours. The longer i lay awake, the more i’d panic about feeling tired the next day and how id cope doing a full day’s work in a fairly demanding job. After too many sleepless nights to count and actually dreading bed time, i visited a therapist. This has only made me realise just how important talking to someone is, whether that’s a professional or someone you trust. Do it, honestly, it’s amazing. OH and take Magnesium, that stuff is a dream.

Going into 2020, im simply going to do more of the same and whatever i do, will not neglect my mental health. I don’t set resolutions per se but one thing i want to get into more is meditation and yoga. Set me a challenge and i’ll happily give it my all and train my body as hard as i can until im prepared. Ask me to take control of my own mind and that’s a wholeeeee different kettle of fish. Meditation, come @ me.

Relationships

Despite being apart for a huge chunk of the year, me and my boyfriend hit 5 years and are stronger than ever – we bring out the best in each other and that’s how it should be. My girlfriends are fabber than ever, i fell into a gorgeous little girl bloggers group who are just the best ever, I live for our night’s out, met some fab girls in the gym and just felt so grateful and lucky for the friends i have around me – old and new. My family are also amazing and to be honest im just bloody lucky and grateful and #blessed. Im going to try and appreciate every second of 2020 spent with these gems.

Future plans

2020 is a big year for us as we’re buying our first home, HELLO stress and bills and IKEA trips and interior pinterests and adult responsibilities and wine. I also plan to complete two half marathons (gulp), grow this lil blog more and more (I was lucky enough to work with some fab brands and attend some fab events last year) and yeah just be dead happy and grateful for what i’ve got. Unlike when i usually start a new year, i have a specific aesthetic goal in mind (after overindulging at Christmas) but this year ive got no goal weight i want to reach, no particular way i want to look and instead just want to learn to accept who i am already. Life’s too short, y’know?

Styling for the festive season with Mococo Jewellery

Fashion

Ive always said just the right amount of accessories can really make an outfit and I’m a big fan of a micro bag, a hairband or a piece jewellery just really bringing the finishing touches to everyday or party style. So when Mococo Jewellery got in touch to ask me to style a couple of their pieces, i was super excited to experiment.

Mococo’s website and stores have some beautiful pieces from some really creative jewellery designers such as Daisy Jewellery, Vivienne Westwood, Thomas Sabo and Kate Spade and is the perfect place to find a piece of jewellery that you’ll love, whether that’s a gift for someone else or an accessory for yourself.

Knowing i wanted a couple of pieces that would see me through the various outfits of the festive season, i chose a beautiful signet ring from Estee Lalonde’s collection for Daisy London (ive had my eye on this collection for a while because i just love the hint of vintage vibe that encases the whole range) and a super minimal circle necklace from Thomas Sabo which i knew would look just as fab with a high neck chunky knit as it would with a crop and trousers or a party dress and heels – versatile which is exactly what i was after. It was a tough decision but i knew id found exactly what i was looking for.

For daytime style, chunky jumpers have been my go-to for the entirety of December so far and they’re super easy to dress right up with a perfect piece of jewellery. Here, ive styled a high-neck jumper with white wide leg trousers and my trusty snake print ankle boots – my coat is Zara i wear it ALL the time, it’s so timeless in my opinion. I chose a high neck on my jumper because i wanted to wear the Thomas Sabo circle necklace and i think the longer chain goes so well with a high neck.

As well as casual, everyday office wear, i knew that my gorgeous Daisy London signet ring would bring the tiny finishing touches to my Christmas party dress (borrowed from my sister cos who has money at this time of year amirite?!)  and tbh i haven’t taken it off since, i just love how much character it has, it reminds me of something you’d find hidden away in a vintage shop – i matched the ring with silver nails and a permanent in-hand prosecco glass (of course)!

You can get these pieces (and loads more!) on the Mococo website and it’s the perfect time to either treat a loved one or yourself for Christmas. Elevate your style with Mococo Jewellery. Ps, if you’re Liverpool based like me, we have a store in the Metquarter so go have a little browse!

*this post is in partnership with Mococo Jewellery and the products have been gifted as part of the collaboration. Style advice is my own!

Tartan Trousers: A lil touch of quirky sophistication

Fashion

Back in September I bought this fab pair of tartan trousers to take on a city break to Budapest I honestly haven’t taken them off since. As much as I would have LOVED the matching blazer to make this a full power suit, I unfortunately don’t have north of £100 to be spending on something unless i’m wearing it everyday. The trousers alone however were super reasonable and they have proved one of the most versatile things in my wardrobe.

The fit is fab – super flattering and high-waisted with a flared leg making them baggy and casual but fitted at the same time. I’ve paired with a trusty pair of chunky New Balance and an oversized shirt for daytime style and i’ve also worn them countless times for dinner and drinks in the evening with super pointy boots and either a high neck jumper or bralet. For sophisticated vibes these are also super cute with a blouse tucked in and a trench over the top. To accessorise i’ve been going for chunky gold jewellery and and either a mini handheld tote or a leather backpack. This is just how ive been styling them but these are honestly so easy to wear and the perfect item for when you want to add a little quirk to your everyday style. I’ve seen a lot of straight leg tartan trousers around at the minute and whilst I think these and a chunky knit is such a winter look, I just think the flared leg makes them that little bit more statement (and their neutral tones mean they’ll match pretty much anything in your wardrobe).

Christmas with Added Sparkle: A Festive Trip to the Metquarter Liverpool

Fashion

It’s that time of year now where Christmas events are popping up left, right and centre and i for one am not at all mad about it. Last week one of my favourite places in town, The Everyman Cinema, partnered up with the Metquarter to give us a lil taste of what we can expect from them at Christmas. From mulled wine and nibbles, to a super Christmassy film, blogging pals and goodie bags, it was a super gorgeous Tuesday night.

Arriving at The Everyman, i’m always super amazed at the interior of this place, you really do feel like you’re stepping into a little slice of luxury and i can only imagine how fabulous this is going to look in the lead up to Christmas. We were directed up to screen 4 (this screen has its own lil reception area so it’s perfect for groups and special occasions) and before i knew it, a steaming hot mulled wine was in my hand and i was dipping soft pitta breads into hummous and tucking into little tapas nibbles. Perfect. A few glasses of the good stuff later (and a slight food coma from all the snacks) we were ready to settle down and watch the Christmas movie.

On our seats was a super cute little tub of popcorn and a delicious bar of Green and Blacks white chocolate (fave!!) as well as a goodie bag packed full of everything from mac make up samples to 200 degrees coffee and even a Say it With Diamonds friendship bracelet which i haven’t actually taken off yet i’m that obsessed with it.

As well as amazing movies at the The Everyman (including screenings of Friends episodes!!!) the Metquarter also has some fab places to visit in the exciting run up to Christmas. With so many gorgeous independent and national brands to choose from, don’t forget to spend a lil time here when you’re doing your Christmas shopping.

Thank you so much to Carousel PR for the fab evening, im well and truly in the Christmas spirit now and will definitely be paying another visit to The Everyman before the festive season is over.

City Break Style: Budapest

Fashion

Despite heading to Budapest to attempt the half marathon, i was also there for a few days to enjoy the city, which of course, meant fitting in a few outfit pics along the way. As we all know, fitting a decent amount of clothes and shoes into 10 kilos of luggage is NO mean feat, but i did manage to get a few of my fave bits at the moment, into my lil Ryanair carry on bag – don’t panic. For anyone thinking of going on a city break this time of year, the weather makes it the perfect time to showcase autumn fashion whilst still managing to catch a gin al fresco – which is exactly what we did (apart from the day it rained NON STOP but hey, can’t have everything can ya?). 

Oversized denim

Ok, im a huge lover of denim, be that a dress, a jacket, jeans, or a shirt, im all over it tbh. I spotted this super cute oversized denim shirt in Zara and to make it a lil different it comes with a brown waist belt. I tried it on and immediately loved the fit (the sleeves are a little bit rouched as well). Ive just paired this with tailored but kinda slouchy (is that even a thing?) black trousers, trainers and my super cute beaded Matalan grab bag (and a bloody huge glass of wine). This top would
Also be fab dressed up with a mini skirt and boots and if u take the belt off it’s long enough to be a lil oversized shirt dress, perfect with scraped back hair and big earrings – it’s a must-buy really! 

Maxi shirt-dress

I just love this and wore it twice when we were away, once in the day and once for an evening meal. I was after a long sleeved maxi dress to take away with me (and one that would be fab for different events in the autumn) but i dunno about you but im kinda done with the long flowery dresses now and wanted something a little more structured and a lil more sophisticated. I fell in love when i saw this in Zara – the pleats at the back are just everything. With it being a block colour it’s so easy to play around with and style how you want. I dressed it down in the day with trainers but still kept it quite glam with my accessories (this Zara plaited hairband is also fab to quickly dress up an outfit) and for the evening, i switched my trainers for these lil green Topshop mules but then pulled it back a bit with a leather backpack and my hair up (otherwise i probs would have been a little bit TOO overdressed for the curry and wine night that was on the agenda). But basically what I’m trying to say is that you really can play around with this however you like, it’s kinda like a blank canvas but a super classy one – if you catch my drift. Im literally already seeing this with chunky boots and a jumper layered over the top for when the weather turns all christmassy. Can weather be christmassy? Idk but you know what i mean. 

Tartan trousers

Ok i kinda picked these up in Zara on a whim – you know them feels where you CBA with the changing room queue so u just grab anything and run to the till before the world and his wife decide they wanna buy stuff too? Well, yeah i did that. But am i glad i did! These fit perfectly all over (some random gal even commented on how great my arse looked when i wore them in manchester lol – true story) and i love how they flare out at the bottom rather than just fall as a straight leg. I wore these for daytime style (we had various city break things to do and sights to see) so dressed em down with chunky trainers and this cute, beige oversized tee. When the wear gets colder i’ll most likely replace the tshirt with a jumper or sweatshirt and maybe some heeled boots? All underneath a trench, probs. Ofc these can also be paired with a lil bralet or crop and a pair of heels if you need an occasion outfit. BETTER STILL – you can buy the matching blazer and go full power dress (if i had the money, i would totally do this).

Richard Allen Blouse

Every time H&M collabs with another designer am there knocking on the door because, it’s always fab. This time it’s Richard Allen and the prints and pieces are insaneeee. I’ve bought a few bits from the range but i think my fave is this monochrome blouse cos it’s just so easy to wear and really ticks that jeans and a nice top box. Here i’ve just worn with jeans, trainers, black bag and then statement earrings for a lil bit of contrast but i’ve also worn it with white wide leg trousers and heeled boots which is a fab combo as well.
It’s sophisticated but not boring and just quirky enough to dress down or up, i love it. Im tempted to buy some black leather pants and the matching scarf for a killer outfit. Just need an occasion so i have an excuse…

My #matalanmoments

Fashion

This month, id promised myself (and then promised again) that i wasn’t going to buy any clothes AT all. With saving for a mortgage and a few *ahem* costly summer plans in the pipeline, plus a love for weekend cocktails, i really couldn’t afford to be buying any new bits (as much as id lusted at new high street collections and had to give myself a talking to when ASOS randomly announced 20% off sitewide – 1st world probs, i know). So when Matalan got in touch to gift me a few bits to style, i counted all of my lucky stars that i was going to get a chance to experiment with a few new pieces, ready to transition into autumn. It wasn’t an easy decision (i wanted everything, naturally) but eventually i chose my winners and i’m super excited to show you all:

Red denim jacket and skirt co-ord:

I know this dreamy two piece had to be mine the moment i spotted it – super cute and easy to dress up or down (up with a little crop and heeled boots) or down like i have here with trainers and a little black off the shoulder top. Obviously, you can wear as separates as well and im going to throw the jacket over a slogan tee and straight leg jeans with black ankle boots for an AW vibe and the skirt with bare legs, sandals and a tied white shirt for the last of the summer sun (ive got this ready for winter with chunky knits, tights and docs as well!)

Beaded wooden handheld bag:

I just LOVE this. Im obsessed with handheld bags because i just think they immediately bring a touch of chic to any outfit and this one is just so cute. I’ve dressed it up with maxi dresses and down with jeans, trainers and sweatshirts. It’s fairly sizeable as well so fits all my handbag shit in (you know what i mean ladies) and yeah although quite a summery look i think im just gonna wear all through AW as well. Im already picturing an oversized blazer style coat, tailored trousers, trainers and this bag.

Mustard trousers:

Another piece that stood out to me because of how easy they’d transition from autumn into winter. Ive worn these loads just casually with chunky trainers and a sweatshirt (also fab with converse!) but here im styling for that slightly awkward time between warm and cold weather we’ve got coming up with metallic birkenstocks, and a spotty blouse.

Flowery blouse:

I just LOVE the autumn colours in this, it’s floaty and super cute. I sized up with this so i can actually wear it as a dress as well (im thinking barely there shoes and a cute clutch) but for the daytime I’ve styled both underneath dungarees (pictured here) and tucked into mom jeans with veja trainers and a backpack. This is going to be an autumn staple of mine for sure.

White straight leg jeans:

Every gal needs a pair of white jeans in their wardrobe i feel like they’re in and out like nobody’s business and they’re also super easy to style. I’ve replaced my skinny ripped pair with these high-waisted matalan straight leg beauties and honestly they’re just so damn comfy ive worn them LOADS even just with a hoody and doc martens! To dress up you can pair with a flowy white blouse and mules or for everyday style a slogan tee and heeled boots are a winner! White jeans don’t have to just be all about summertime style, either. For winter im going to pair these with a trench and stan smith’s or a cute bomber and some pointy winter boots and i can’t wait!

Thank you so much to Matalan for the gifted products and for kick starting my autumn wardrobe – you should absolutely definitely 100% go browse for yourselves!

The fine art of: Jeans and a nice top

Fashion

For any group of gals planning a ‘smart but casual’ occasion, be that cocktails with the girls, a date night for your fave food or even a daytime baby shower or birthday party – the dress code is always the same. Jeans and a nice top. Sounds so simple, right? WRONG. This is the most elusive outfit there has EVER been, with finding that ‘nice top’ a virtually impossible task that only the really lucky can achieve. And don’t even get me started on the jeans. It used to be the trusty skinny with a pair of heels, but these days I feel we’re moving towards the baggy quirks of the Mom, boyfriend and straight leg, with the good old skinny Joni jean (if you know, you know) taking a back seat in the wardrobe. When it comes to ‘jeans and a nice top’ I feel like good old trusty blue is usually the best choice (black or white will immediately dress up the outfit, which is handy if the occasion is a bit posher than your average denim). In my opinion, jeans and a nice top should always be paired with low-mid heels or a pair of heeled ankle boots (pointed toe elongates the legs FYI) to keep the outfit from being less footballer’s wives and more cute n quirky.

Now, onto the hard bit. The top. If you’re opting for a high-waisted pair of jeans (I always do) then you can either style with a little bralet or crop top with maybe an oversized blazer over the top (keep your shoes casual if this is the case) or you can go all out with a bright organza top, off-the shoulder or one-shoulder blouse (big earrings are a MUST in this case IMO) or even a boyfriend shirt, either tucked in and secured with a belt or left loose with the sleeves rolled up. A slogan tee is also ALWAYS an option but if you are looking to keep it casual on top, maybe lose the rips in the jeans and make your heel slightly higher (I’m thinking stiletto style pointed ankle boots) and don’t be scared to go a little bolder with a slight sparkle to your jewellery, a sleek topknot, oversized hoops and always a handheld tote or micro grab bag to soften the look. aaaand breathe.

In a nutshell, what I’m trying to say is that the jeans and a nice top scenario will forever be the answer. Dinner, drinks, birthday party, baby shower, hen do, you name it, it’s the girl code that we’ll all follow but never really, truly crack.

SKINNY TAN SAVES LIVES: my go-to glow this summer

Fashion

It’s probably safe to say that i’m a fake tan addict. There’s something about having a lil golden glow that just makes you feel READY and realising the impossibility of affording 25 holidays a year for ultimate upkeep, i have found a best friend in Skinny Tan.

Being the fair, blonde gal I am (not hating on the pale gail’s out there btw) Ive been using Skinny Tan products for pretty much ever (after the school days of streaky orange legs caused by tan wipes and the familiar spicy smell Johnson’s holiday skin, of course) and so when they asked to gift me some of their new products i might as well have just emailed back ‘TAN ME NOW’ in the subject line. Yes, i was excited. 

From gradual tan to instant bronze and even tinted sun cream and aftersun, the guys at Skinny Tan have been doing BITS with their new product range. Ive always been an advocate of their gradual tan as i find with their super thick mitt it goes on with a flawless finish, absolutely no patches and doesnt smell either. This develops over night like a dream ready to wash off in the morning and ta daaa, you’re glowin’. However, my current FAVE product in the range is the coconut tanning mist – literally the first tan ive ever seen like this. Simply spritz the refreshing, clear mist all over (i dab with a mitt to avoid patches) and go. It develops as you wear it and smells amazingly of coconuts. It’s cooling qualities are just fab for sweaty summer days and you don’t smell like a walking biscuit. Winner. 

I’ve also been lucky enough to try Skinny Tan’s SPF range which was whisked away with me to Lisbon – a spray on sun cream with gradual tanner plus a tinted aftersun was perfect to cheat a little with the holiday tan and feel top dollar in them holiday selfies. I was also gifted the gradual face moisturiser and mask (they contain aloe vera and are SO moisturising) which build up a subtle glow for the complexion (i put this on about 3 times per week and i swear i don’t even need foundation day to day). 

There’s also a few non-tan products to try from the Skinny Tan range such as the melting moisture balm which goes on like an oil and makes sure alllll those dry bits (elbows am lookin at u) don’t go patchy and the colour of your tan stays gorge for ages as well as the fab exfoliating mitt, which, if you’re a serial tanner like me, you’ll know the importance of when it comes to avoiding a patchy, streaky disaster. 

I’m even more in loveeee with Skinny Tan than i was already after trying all of these fab new products and i can’t wait to try out more from the range – they make tanning super natural, easy and quick, perfect for us busy gals that just crave a bit of glow. Try for yourself if you haven’t already! #fakeeverydaybrighter 

*i was gifted skinny tan as part of a brand collab but these opinions are my own. 

How to wear: Styling a Maxi Skirt

Fashion

You’ve probably noticed that BIG this summer is the maxi skirt, but taking the plunge to wear one can be difficult, especially if you’re a little unsure about how to style one. I’ve heard SO many people say they wouldn’t suit the maxi skirt trend and I think it’s because they can be perceived as a little bit too done up, but the truth is they’re literally the easiest thing to wear with trainers. One that i’ve found to be so so versatile and one that i’ve worn loads this summer already is this cream tie waist linen skirt from Nasty Gal. Above, I’ve styled with leopard print and trainers for dressed down office casual and below I’ve channelled a holiday look with studded sandals and a leopard hair band. I didn’t want to overcrowd the skirt so I’ve kept it simple with a pop of pink and plain white bag. If you are a little wary about experimenting with a maxi skirt, why not just go for a plain block colour and style around it? I’ve also worn this dressed right down with a pair of chunky pink converse and a grey, oversized sweatshirt. There’s loads you can do if you bite the bullet and style it up for yourself.