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Favourites // April 2016

Favourites // April 2016

It's favourites times again - already, how has this happened?!

April was such a quiet month (not that I'm complaining!). I spent the majority of the month working (the middle of the month brought with it the milestone of me being on the main shift rota for a whole rotation!) and spent my week of annual leave in bed with the flu - not very fun! I did manage to give my room a bit of a refresh by giving it a fresh coat of paint. Another notable thing that happened was the fact that I managed to muster up the confidence to join in with my first bloggy twitter chat thanks to The Girl Gang! It was so much fun, I'm definitely going to try to join in with more now!

So onto my favourites:

CLARINS HAND & NAIL TREATMENT CREAM // my hands have been ridiculously dry lately - I'm blaming it on the crazy weather we're having this month (it was snowing today - I mean come on, it was 'driving with the windows down and sunnies on' weather yesterday!). But this stuff is seriously fab - it sinks in super fast (not like the hand cream I have in my labcoat at work - it takes ages to soak it which makes it just the teensiest bit impractical but it smells lovely so there's the silver lining, haha!) but is so moisturizing. I've been applying it every night before bed (so it can soak in whilst I do my last social media check of the day :P) and my hands have been feeling far less dry and scaly (ewwwww) than before!

BARRY M COCONUT INFUSION NAIL POLISH // would it be one of my favourite posts without a nail polish? I think not! As always, a new collection from Barry M meant an immediate trip to my local Boots to have a nosy and pick up a couple of shades. What I really like about this collection is the inclusion of a few nude shades - I'm a sucker for any nail polish that's in a work-acceptable shade! These two are Skinny Dip & Starfish fyi.

THE DURRELLS // I love a good Sunday night drama programme on the telly. There's been a lack of good Sunday night viewing (post-countryfile obvs - I lead such an exciting life haha!) for a while (honestly still mourning the loss of Downton and awaiting the return of Poldark) but I love this tv show! It's set in 1935 and centres around a mother uprooting her family from England to Corfu - it's hilariously charming and just so cute. I'm completely unashamed to admit that our Sunday night highlight is sitting down to watch the latest episode!

REBECCA MINKOFF MINI CROSBY // I've recently started using this bag again and I've been loving it! Rebecca Minkoff crossbody bags have become my go-to over the last year or so - I find them perfect because they fit all my necessities in but don't let me stuff my bag full of stuff I need (like I'm prone to do!). I have it in the putty colour - the perfect neutral (so it goes with everything) but it's light enough to be spring-like. I'm just obsessed! I can't seem to find the crosby online but I may or may not have my eye on this little one too!

So this post and my insta-lately post have rounded up my April nicely!

Insta-Lately // April 2016

Insta-Lately // April 2016

It's time to round up the month of April through the medium of my instagram feed - if you fancy following along then my insta is @belsmay13 (I'm really trying hard with my feed at the moment in the hope of improving my insta game so any feedback (or likes/follows :P) would be greatly appreciated!) 

(currently out out of production but this is Hannah's blog to keep tabs on!)

I have been living in this sweatshirt - sorry I'm not sorry! It's so comfy and cosy - I love it! First thing I do when I get home from a day shift at work is change into this and some of my JW sweatpants - all of the comfort!

My version of a wild Friday night: netflix and popcorn *insert crying with laughter emoji*

I also posted about THE SHOWS I'M CURRENTLY BINGE-WATCHING in this post if you fancy a nosy!

I spent my week of annual leave in April stuck in bed with the flu - these bits and bobs managed to get me through!

How instagram-able was this coffee that my mum had? I love it!

So happy with how this blog post photo turned out - it was for my FIVE STEPS FOR A BETTER NIGHTS SLEEP post 

I did a massive overhaul/clearout of my wardrobes the other week! The whole take everything out of the closet and physically look at each item malarky - jeez it was a big undertaking! I'm so glad I've done it though, it has made me feel so much less cluttered and stressed. I didn't even realise that the complete mess that my clothes were in before was causing me such subconscious stress!

I'm just so happy at how my little blog is looking at the moment - I'm so proud of the photography and posts that I've been putting up since the start of the year (but especially this past month!). I've loved putting the work in and making my little space something that I'm truly happy with :)

Barry M sucked me in again with their latest release - coconut water infused nail polishes. I love the range of nudes in this collection (perfect for work!) and I had to get the blue because this type of blue is my go-to colour (I literally have a million different polishes in a similar shade but I just can't help picking up more!). 

MONOGRAM PRINT // CUSHION (this exact one isn't available anymore, but this one is similar!)

I re-decorated my room this month - I just painted the same colour I had before because I loved it so much when I did a massive overhaul of my room a couple of years ago (I posted about my inspiration for that here). We did struggle a little because the paint I'd used had been discontinued so we had to go through the palaver of getting it colour matched! But they did a great job because it now looks exactly as it did before, just a bit fresher and cleaner!

NOTEBOOK (a gift, but I love this one too!) // PEN

I'm a sucker for a cute notebook and am an avid list-maker so this little book was right up my street! Plus these muji gel pens are incredible - they make my handwriting looks amazing! If only I could use them to write on my glossy stickers in my planner...they might just be the things that convert me to matte sticker paper!

So that was April - it honestly went by so quickly! I was shocked when I looked at my calendar when I was planning out posts for this week to see that it was so close to the end of the month already! But then again, every month that passes means we are a month closer to summer, yay!

13 Stripes to Buy For Spring 2016

13 Stripes to Buy For Spring 2016

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         Untitled #9

If there's one thing in my wardrobe that I always manage to find room for, it's anything striped.

I was going through my wardrobes last week (you know the whole deal of taking everything out and physically look at each and every piece of clothing - what a task!) and I realised that I have enough striped tops (blue and white stripes only, naturally) to literally fill a whole drawer. Oops.

But anyway, I've come to the realisation that I have an obsession with stripes. One that has crept up on me over the last year or so and one that I've decided to fully embrace it! 

I just love a good striped piece of clothing - I love how put together and chic they make me feel! Plus it's the only pattern I can wear without feeling to 'not me'. I'm frankly just not cool enough for leopard print and flowery prints just make me feel a bit granny-ish!

So in the spirit of embracing my love for stripes and the fact that Spring/Summer '16 is nearly upon us - cue all of the nautical-inspired pieces that pop up in every store during this season every year (stripes for summer? groundbreaking...) I've rounded up some of the gorgeous bits and bobs that I've popped into my online shopping carts and have got me eagerly awaiting payday so I can hit the checkout button - all of the heart eyed emojis!


I mean, just look at that ridiculously cute shirt dress? That with a straw boater hat and white trainers, an outfit worthy of frolicking along the riviera, right? 

And the kimono shirt? Maybe with white jeans and brown wedges for a summer evening (not that I hardly ever go out but maybe that outfit might inspire me to? Maybe...)

How cute would the espadrilles look to jazz up a white tee and blue skinny jeans for general day-to-day wear?

I think that the floral and stripes dress might (just might) be that one piece of clothing that will make me actually like wearing florals? Who knows...that's reason enough to buy it though, right?

Ugh, I just love everything! Bank balance - I'm sorry in advance for the damage that's going to occur in the next couple of months when all of these babies make their way into my wardrobes!

Currently // 17-4

Currently // 17-4

It's time for another currently post already! Lets go...

Eating // As I'm writing up this post, snuggled under my duvet in bed (of course), I'm munching on the new McVitie's digestive biscuit double chocolate nibbles. Oh wow, these tiny nuggets of digestive biscuits covered in both milk chocolate and dark chocolate are delicious! Plus they are pretty darn moreish - not sure this bag is going to last me writing this post tbh...

Drinking // a massive mason jar filled with ice and topped off with diet coke. The only thing that would quench my thirst tonight!

Watching // I've been getting caught up with The Vampire Diaries - I had all of seasons 4-6 to get through! I fall in and out of love with this show but I'm loving it at the moment!

Listening // As I was driving home after my shift this evening - I had my sunnies on, the windows down and I was having a listen of The Vamps. I feel a smidge too old to be listening to them but their songs are perfect driving tunes - catchy and easy to sing along to!

Reading // Remembrance by Meg Cabot. Oh this book is bringing back all the memories of tween me! When I was 11-ish I was obsessed with Meg Cabot's books, I progressed from Jacqueline Wilson onto her novels and just went crazy for them, I had to read them all! I love how she has been releasing more books in her most popular series but years later in the characters stories. Princess Mia got married and now Suze is back kicking ghostly butt whilst having graduated college and getting engaged to Jesse! I am loving re-visiting my favourite series again!

Planning // out in my ECLP what I want to get done in the upcoming week. It's coming up to a year since I got obsessed with the whole sticker-planning trend and it's still going strong!

Obsessing // over how amazing my room looks! I've had such a struggle in the last couple of days (real first world problems) because I wanted to freshen up my room by re-painting it exactly the same colour it has been for the last couple of years but when I went to pick up another tin of it I discovered they'd stopped making it! Who knew I'd turn into the sort of person that gets stressed out over paint colour?! Anyway, Ma saved the day by getting the exact colour mixed for me and I came home from my 12 hour shift today to a freshly painted room! How lucky am I?!

Smelling // Diptique Baies - so fresh and clean, it's the perfect barely there but still a little something in the air scent.

Wearing // now that the weather has become a bit more spring-like (ignoring the fact that it was snowing yesterday...!) I've finally gotten to wear these rose-gold capped trainers from this post! I've been patiently waiting to wear them since I bought them way back in January and I seriously adore them!

Wanting // a new bag. I realised I haven't bought a bag since this one back in October! As a bag-addict this is pretty good going for me! With Spring in the air I'm itching to add a new bag to my collection - Rebecca Minkoff via Shopbop, I'm coming for ya!

Feeling // oh so sleepy! I was up at 4:30 this morning to get to work for 6am - and a super busy shift has tired me out, and it's not even late!

5 steps for a better nights sleep

5 steps for a better nights sleep

Apologies for how late this post is going up but I've been on nights the last couple of nights and sort of managed to get myself a bit confused with the days because when I woke up this afternoon I was shocked to realise it was Wednesday and that a post was due! Anyway, I was drawing a bit of a blank for what to write about seeing as you should "write about what you know" and all I've been doing the last couple of days is catching up on sleeping hence this post was drawn out of my mind!

Honestly I don't usually struggle with sleeping - as soon as my head hits the pillow I'm pretty much asleep! But ever since starting shift work (side note: I can't believe I've been on the grown up shift rota for a whole rotation already!) I've realised that the quality of sleep is arguably more important than the quantity of your sleep (something that I never thought I'd say!). This is coming from the person who in college/uni couldn't really function on any less than nine hours of sleep (I manage with just seven hours now so well done me!). 

Over the past few months, in order to make me feel well rested I think I've managed to nail down a fail-safe formula to give me the best quality sleep I can, so of course I thought I'd share them!

BATH // okay so this is very obvious but seriously a hot bath is just so soothing and calming - it really helps to get me in the right 'relaxed' state of mind before bed! I swear by these Neal's Yard lavender bath salts - they are the most relaxing bath time addition ever - a lovely long soak leaves my muscles feeling so relaxed and fluid (in the best way!) it's like my muscle are half asleep right from the off! But whatever floats your boat (or bath) whether it be bath salts, oils or a Lush bath offering go for it - take that bath as time for yourself!

HOT DRINK // having a hot drink as I'm snuggled up in bed is just so comforting to me. I always have breakfast tea (at night time - I'm such a rebel!) plus you can't have a cuppa without a choccy biccy - thirst and hunger sated you can't help but sleep well!

SLEEP AIDS // I'm not sure I'm entirely convinced about that this whole pillow/sleep balm obsession that's going around but what I do know is that when I use these two together I manage to get to sleep so much quicker. Plus it makes my bedtime routine feel a bit more fancy and luxurious - liberally spritzing this pillow spray over my bed and dabbing some sleep balm onto my wrists. I think it is the routine part that helps me to sleep easier - there's a reason new parents go crazy over creating a pre-bed routine for their babies, it's so they can get to sleep easier!

WIND DOWN // I know that every sleep expert out there recommends at least an hour of gadget-free time before sleep and whilst I love to read so an hour picking up a book before bed wouldn't be a hardship I find it so hard to put away my ipad (there's always another episode to binge watch on netflix!) or my phone (that endless circle of twitter, facebook, instagram, twitter just sucks me in!) so I like to attempt to get around this exposure to too much blue light pre-bed by switching my gadgets to "night shift" anti-blue light feature - that has to be better, right?! Well I'm telling myself that anyway!

DARKNESS // my absolute stipulation for having a good night's sleep is total darkness. Even a little bit of light peaking in really puts me off my sleeping game! Especially now it's getting lighter earlier in the mornings when I get home after a night shift I'm beyond thankful that I had the sense to have put blackout linings on my curtains! Even then my room still isn't dark enough so I slip on an eye mask (this one from wildfox is just so incredibly soft and snuggly!)

10 Happy Things This Week

10 Happy Things This Week

I've been feeling a little down over the last couple of days - I think it's because I've spent the last week stuck in bed (I literally haven't left the house all week!) with flu which has left me feeling a bit sorry for myself! So I thought that focusing on the happier things that have happened this week might make me feel better and cheer me up a little.

  1. Waking up to sunshine streaming through the windows whilst still being snuggled in bed has started ever day this week in such a positive way
  2. I've spent week of illness catching up on my netflix list - I've managed to finally catch up with PLL, finish Full House and make a good dent into the last two seasons of TVD that I've been meaning to watch for ages! Yay for proudctivity!
  3. The fact that we've reached that amazing time of the year when every day there's a few more minutes day time before it goes dark - honestly knowing that summer is just hiding around the corner is cheering me up immensely
  4. Ice lollies - is there anything more soothing for a sore throat than an ice lolly?
  5. Fresh bedding and pjs - I don't really want to admit to how many times I've changed my bed linen this week, it's the little things to just make you feel a bit better when you're feeling poorly
  6. Copious amounts of hot tea in my favourite mugs - ultimate comforting
  7. Online shopping. Need I say more?
  8. Being able to nap guilt-free in the middle of the day all in the name of wanting to feel better
  9. Easter chocolate - one of my better ideas this week was picking up some mini eggs on the way home from work when I was feeling like death warmed up!
  10. Having 'me' time - I know that having basically no social interaction this week has led me to being a tad stir crazy and lonely but it has still been nice to just exist as just me, I've not had to make conversation with anyone, I've not had to worry about talking to anyone, I been able to just bob along merrily as a party of one.

Sick Days // Little Things to Make 'em Better

Sick Days // Little Things to Make 'em Better

I thought I'd managed to avoid the flu/head cold virus thing that has been doing the rounds since Christmas but no I've not been that lucky!

I could barely drive home after my shift on Saturday morning I was in so much pain in my head/neck/back - I just felt so exhausted and lethargic, it was awful! I got straight into bed when I got home and basically haven't moved for the last four days (and I don't think I'll be doing so in the next few days either!).

My days have mainly consisted of naps interspersed with netflix, hot baths and coughing fits. Oh it has been delightful. So I've been at a loss as to what to post this week on here, I'm afraid todays post is just this cobbled together post about little things that I've been doing to make me feel a little less sorry for myself whilst I'm battling with this flu!

FUZZY SOCKS // is there anything more comforting than wearing fuzzy socks? I think not.

GUILTY PLEASURE TV // I've been passing the time by watching shows that I've seen a million times before and could probably recite from memory - so it doesn't matter if I doze off in the middle of an episode! Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl have been my faves.

SNUGGLY BLANKETS // this virus has thrown my hypothalamus completely out of whack - one minute I'm hotter than the sun and the next I'm freezing and shivering! Snuggling up in blankets has been completely necessary.

LIP BALM // chapped lips just add insult to injury when you're ill. I've been slathering on vaseline like it's going out of production!

BALM CLEANSERS // as much as I can't be bothered to look after my skin when I'm feeling this ill (too much effort!) having clean and hydrated skin does make me feel a lot less gross and a bit more human!

HOT BATHS // I've found that lying in the bath is a refreshing change from lying in bed - plus I'm passing it off as a medicinal treatment by using this Aromatherapy Associates Lavender and Peppermint bath oil to help with decongestion (it's a delightful illness, really!).

So that's what's getting me through this flu at the moment - apologies for the not very exciting posts this week but I'm just feeling so rubbish!

What I've Been Watching .01

What I've Been Watching .01

I've been meaning to write a post sharing my netflix picks of the moment for quite a while and today seemed to be a perfect day for it! Seeing as my plans for today include (okay revolve around) staying curled up in bed and binge watching netflix trying to recover from the flu that everyone seems to be suffering with at the moment because I really can't face doing anything else!

Fuller House/Full House // I watched Fuller House the other week and whilst I flew through the series and really enjoyed it I knew I wanted to watch Full House to really understand the characters more - and wow Full House is so much more amazing! I now really understand why everyone has been raving about it forever, it's so funny! Plus John Stamos is just all of the heart eyed emojis. I've been bingewatching this lately and I just love it, it's a good mix of humour (oh Michelle is so funny!) and morals mixed in too. I love the whole Tanner family - they're all so cute!

Once Upon A Time // I started watching OUAT a couple of years ago but didn't really get into it but lately my best friend has been telling me I need to watch it so I gave it another go. I love how cleverly they have mixed in the fairytale and real-life elements of the story - especially how they imagine all of the fairytale characters as 'real' people. I do go through phases with watching this show, I get sucked into the plot for a couple of weeks but then get a bit over it and distracted with another show - I need to make more of an effort to catch up!

Pretty Little Liars // For me, this show is the ultimate binge-watch so. I like saving up all the episodes of a series (well all the episodes until it goes off for its mid-season break, I don't have enough willpower to leave it until the whole of a series has completely finished!) and then having a good binge watch of all the episodes in one go! This show is albeit far-fetched and a little bit crazy at times but oh my goodness it's so darn addictive - there's no other show that I watch that has me so hooked at the end of each episode, or one that keeps me so confused (in the best way!) about which way the plot is going to go - I love it!

Shadowhunters // I loved The Mortal Instruments series of books so was so excited when I saw it was being made into a film but honestly I've never been so disappointed in a movie before, it was rubbish! So when I saw netflix were creating a TV series based on the books I didn't really have very high hopes but thought I'd give it a go anyway. I've been pleasantly surprised by the series - it's infinitely better than the film (obviously not as good as the books but when are TV shows ever better than the books?!). I really appreciate how true to the books in terms of characters and plot lines that the series is - I'm loving it!

The Ranch // Okay, so this is quite cheeky of me to include this seeing as I've literally only just seen this on netflix just before I was about to start typing up this post and I've not even started watching it yet - sorry! But I just know I'm going to love it - a ranch in the south, country music and cowboys? it looks right up my street! I'll let you know how I get on with it but I've got high hopes!

Seeing as netflix-ing is one of favourite hobbies I'm always on the look out for new show to watch - so what've you been watching lately, anything I've got to add to my list?