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Three Things // February

Three Things // February

So in lieu of a monthly favourites post, I'm sharing my top three things I've been loving this month - let's go!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation // My skin has been terrible this month - so all I've wanted to do is slap on foundation to cover it up (probably not the best course of action, I know!) and this one has been the one I've been reaching for. It's pretty much the same full-coverage effect of the original Double Wear foundation but it doesn't feel as heavy on the skin (I find the original to feel a smidge mask-like by the end of the day!) which I really appreciate. I've been wearing this so much lately, even for 12 hour shifts at work and it still looks good at the end of the day!

Charlotte Tilbury 'Pillow Talk' Lip Combo // Could I bang on about this combo any more? I mean I wittered on for half of a blog post about it! I just bloody love it, I can't get enough! This combo has officially converted me to wearing lipstick on a daily basis, before I'd just whack on a bit of lip balm because I'd feel too 'done up' wearing lipstick in the day but I've been finding myself reaching to slick this combo pretty much every day - does the fact I'm wearing lippy every day mean that I'm officially adulting?!

Disney Life // I have no shame in admitting to the fact that I still love watching Disney movies at my age. I've not had the best mental health month this past month: all I've been wanting to do is curl up in my bed, be on my own and watch something comforting on my laptop. Enter, Disney Life - there's nothing more comforting than Disney movies, am I right? I got a subscription and I've been working my way through all my old favourite movies all month. First up was the HSM trilogy - I realised I'd never watched HSM 3 (sacrilege, I know), so obviously I had to re-watch the first two first! On a side note: If my Troy is out there and wants to bring me pizza and chocolate covered strawberries, I wouldn't turn him away! I've now moved onto the other Disney Channel Original Movies, I'm talking the Lizzie McGuire Movie, Camp Rock, the Cheetah Girls  - yesss!

So those are my top three things for February, an eclectic mix as always! What've you been loving this month? 


Insta-Lately // February 2017

Insta-Lately // February 2017

It's time to share my past month through the medium of my instagram feed - if you fancy following along then my insta is @belsmay13 :) I'm attempting to post every single day of 2017 so if you want to see the other photos that didn't make the cut for this post then head over there!

I decided to completely overhaul our spare room when I was off work for a couple of weeks this month, we laid a new floor and built some new bookcases and I'm obsessed with how it turned out! It's infinitely more of an aesthetically pleasing 'beauty room' and not just a spare room now! 

Also whilst I was on annual leave I decided to give nail extensions another go (again...), whilst I loved them and how pretty they looked, they're just so impractical! But oh so pretty...

I had my first GBK experience this month - I was so impressed! It has definitely made my top 3 of burgers (it just doesn't beat Shake Shack (no.1) or Five Guys (no.2)!), so yummy! Although, the fact that it's not too much of a detour on my way home is quite unfortunate...

I felt like treating myself and splurged on a couple more of Charlotte Tilbury lip products - the new Pillow Talk lipstick and the Pink Venus lip cheat! I've been wearing these two lip combos pretty much non-stop ever since! Plus, I'm so proud of this photo, I love how it turned out!

I'm about a year too late on jumping on the whole bullet journal bandwagon, but better late than never hey? I've finally set one up to use for the ol' blog and I've found it so helpful in keeping me organised and on track with keeping up with posting/promoting regularly.

I received this Olivia Burton watch for Christmas (I'm such a watch person, I bloomin' love them!) and I only just wore it out for the first time, I love it! I'm a #navyornothing kinda gal and I'm all about anything rose gold so this is right up my street! I've got my eye on the bracelet now too...

I was really struggling this month with the attack of midnight anxieties, so I've been trying to create a pre-bed routine that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to try and combat them! What more than fuzzy socks and Harry Potter does anyone need?  

I may be an anti-valentines day single pringle, but I did have the cutest Valentine ever this year! 

Sharing a photo on my instagram every day is really forcing me to try and be more creative with and improve my photos. Flatlays are a weakness of mine but I really like how this one came out! 

I'm no chef (far, far from it!) but I made myself an epic nutella and banana french toast for breakfast a couple of times this month, it was bloody delicious!



My Daily Essentials

My Daily Essentials

Everyone has those things they just can't get through the day without - well tbh you could, but it'd be a struggle! So I thought I'd have share a little roundup of my daily essentials, those bits and pieces that make each day run a little smoother:

  • Setting my alarm ten minutes early - having those extra ten minutes to scroll through social media fully wake up before I actually have to start my day really help to ease me into things.
  • Hair mousse - finding this mousse has been a game-changer, it's saved me from having to wash my hair every morning (yessss!) - anything that gives me longer in bed in a morning is a win from me!
  • A speedy makeup routine - like this one! Because I don't feel ready for the day if I don't look at least a little put together.
  • My morning cup of tea - my first cuppa of the day is my favourite, I think it always tastes the best!
  • Spritzing my favourite perfume before I run out the door.
  • Wearing my sketchers shoes for work - they're not the most aesthetically pleasing shoes ever, but bloody hell they are so comfy for spending the majority of my shifts on my feet, running round the lab!
  • A carefully curated pen selection - I'm a stationery addict and my labcoat pen selection has been carefully curated. Having a packed pocket of pens may seem excessive, but I seriously do use them all every day!
  • An afternoon diet coke - I need this little caffeine boost to get me through the second half of my day, otherwise I end up being a smidge grumpy...
  • Listening to a country playlist on the way home from work - I've become quite partial to a drive ft. a sing-a-long.
  • Getting some headspace - I've been making a conscious effort to work more on my self-care lately, and this app has really been helping focus my meditation through a ten minute training session each night. I've become really dependent on that time to help calm my mind.
  • My pre-bed moisturising routine - this overnight face mask, this lip balm and this hand salve are my dry skin saviours for the winter.

So these are my daily essentials, what are yours? Are any of my daily essentials the same as yours? Lemme know in the comments!


Currently // 15.2

Currently // 15.2

I love these quick-fire sharing posts, here's a roundup of all things 'currently' in my life...

Excited for // The weather starting to look a little bit like winter is thawing out into spring - the other day I was actually driving round with windows open and my sunglasses on. It's crazy how a little bit of sunshine and temperatures finally double digits can improve your mood!

Grateful for // Having the last two weeks of work (for the price of only 6 days - wooop!). Don't get me wrong I seriously love my job but having a little break from the stress was very welcome! I jam-packed fun into those two weeks though: I re-decorated the spare room, had a few too many shopping trips (I'm counting down the days 'til payday already!) and finally caught up on my netflix queue - priorities, right?

Listening to // Una Healys solo album - The Waiting Game. I was never a fan of the Saturdays but this country album has really surprised me with how much I like it! So far The Waiting Game & Stay My Love are my faves. Also Little Big Town's new album is about to be released and I've been playing Happy People on repeat - I love it!

Loving // Wagamama. I've had a really craving for Wagamama since before Christmas, and last week we finally went and satisfied that craving - it was so good! It's a bit of a trek for us (about an hours drive) but it was so worth it, we went twice when I was on annual leave!

Reading // There's a few books that I'm working my way through at the moment: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, pre-bed I like to read a few chapters of HP (I'm working my way through the series again, every time I re-read this series I fall more and more in love with it!) and Abbi Glines has just released the first book in a new series (which is a combo of my 2 fave series of hers) Like a Memory.

Shopping // I'm finding it really hard to resist this Mickey & Minnie t-shirt - it's so cute! How many striped shirts in your wardrobe is too many? Because this one is calling my name. Oh and these candles, 1. how pretty? 2. this casa pacifica one sounds right up my street!

Quoting // "When it rains, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars." // "February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer."

Watching // I'm re-watching Full House at the moment (just when I want something on in the background that I don't have to concentrate on) - I bloomin' love that show! I'm also working my way through season 7 of The Vampire Diaries. Plus a new show has recently started airing every Sunday - The Good Karma Hospital - it's so good, I love Sunday night ITV dramas.

Working on // setting up my blog-y bullet journal - I need to find a way to make me more organised with my posts/social media updates and just generally keep track of my blog a bit better.


How to Survive Valentine's Day as a Singleton

How to Survive Valentine's Day as a Singleton

Oh Valentine's Day: one of those days of the year that my single status becomes glaringly obvious - yay!

I really try to get on board with Valentine's Day, I'm all for using February 14th as a reminder to tell your best friends/family that you love and appreciate them, I try to embrace all things pink/red/heart-covered (especially these pjs & this top) and I'm all for a holiday that encourages chocolate consumption. 

The simple act of one guy way back when signing his last letter to the woman he'd fallen in love with 'Your, Valentine' (plot twist: his name) after he'd been sentenced to death for deciding to arrange marriages when Emperor Claudius II had banned them has spawned a million-dollar industry for just one day of the year - all in the name of 'love'. What a crazy little thing. 

But this whole Hallmark Holiday thing, the pressure that everyone seems to have in trying to outdo each other - just seems a bit much to me, if you ask me it detracts from the spirit of Valentine's - just simply loving one another - something that the world we're in at the moment could do with a whole lot more of!

Personally I reckon ol' St Valentine would be all for the idea of using Valentine's Day as a day to share the love with everyone we know: family, friends, pets - not just a couples exclusive thing...but maybe that's just the bitter singleton in me wanting to celebrate a day that's 'meant for couples' :P

Anyway, I plan on spending this Valentine's Day focusing on myself, here are the tips I'm going to employ as I try to survive Valentine's Day as a singleton this year:

Buy yourself fresh flowers // couples don't have the monopoly on buying flowers, I know that, but I hardly ever indulge in buying fresh flowers for myself - god knows why because they brighten up my mood no end (not least because I know they'll make the perfect prop for some blog/insta photos!). I'm going to make the effort this year to pick up some fresh flowers to stick in my giant mason jar, why not eh?  

Treat yo'self // I'm a big believer in retail therapy, whilst everyone else on your newsfeed is getting spoiled why not spoil yourself? Maybe there's a new handbag that you've had your eye on for a while or that fluffy cushion from Matalan that everyone has been raving over lately or some new trainers have been bopping in and out of your asos bag for a few months. Just go for it, treat yourself - it won't fail in cheering you up!

Pamper yourself // Book yourself in for a manicure, try out that new sheet mask in your beauty cabinet, have a luxurious bath with that bath oil you save for special occasions - spoil yourself, practise some self-care and show yourself some love - be your own bloomin' Valentine.

Galentine's/Palentine's // Grab your best ones and spend an evening celebrating your love for each other. Head out for a night on the town, get a little tipsy, go crazy on the dance floor or stay in, order pizza and binge-watch rom-coms or get all dressed up and go out for a fancy-smancy dinner - make an effort to spend time with the ones you love and celebrate them.

Play cliche Valentine's bingo when you scroll through social media // now this is a bit of a tongue in cheek suggestion - but we all know we'll be doing it when we have a scroll through fb/instagram on the morning of Valentine's day! Keep a tally of how many #luckygirl, MK bags, cuddly toys, #spoilt, wedding proposals, bottles of bubbles you see on social media all day - it'll keep you busy for sure! 

So there are my tips for surviving Valentine's Day, who cares if you're a single pringle, be your own Valentine! 


2 Current Favourite Nude Lipsticks

2 Current Favourite Nude Lipsticks

I'm much more of a lip balm > lipstick/lip gloss kinda gal - well I was until the last few months. Sure, I'd slap on a bit of warpaint lipstick when I'd go out of an evening (every so often!) but on an everyday basis I just felt that wearing lipstick made me a little too dressed up and fancy for just pottering around the shops. 

So anyway, I thought I'd share the couple of lipstick/lip liner combos that I can manage to wear on a random day without feeling like everyone is staring at me when I leave the house - winner!

Side note: both combos are from Charlotte Tilbury (I can't help it, I fell in love with her lipsticks when I had some of the mini's in a Christmas gift set last Christmas) - both were purchased by myself in a moment of post-night shift delirium (yep, my bank balance hates me now).

PILLOW TALK LIP CHEAT & PILLOW TALK LIPSTICK // I seriously love this combination - I can see myself wearing it everyday: it's so easy to wear, it lasts all day (even through a cheeky GBK lunch) and it's so unobtrusive - it's that shade that everyone is always searching for, completely 'your lips but better'. 
Tbh I've avoided the whole matte lipstick trend so far because anything that accentuates my already dry lips is automatic pass from me, but I decided to give this matte revolution formula a go because the shade just had me all a flutter, I needed it in my life. What I was most surprised about was how hydrating this lipstick is, it's completely the opposite of what I was expecting from a matte formula - application is creamy and tug-free, and my lips don't feel dry at the end of the day - they still feel hydrated!  

PINK VENUS LIP CHEAT & BITCH PERFECT LIPSTICK // Bitch Perfect was one of the lipsticks I had as a mini-version in that Christmas gift set, I've been reaching for it on the regular since then. As I was wearing it though, I felt like I needed a lip liner, things were just looking a little messy without one (I don't know if that's the formula or if I'm just incapable - I suspect it's the latter!). I picked up the big version of the lipstick and the corresponding lip cheat and I'm sooo happy with them! I love the subtle peachy pink, it adds a bit of colour without being too 'in your face' for me to be comfortable to wear. This formula is one of their K.I.S.S.I.N.G (bloody hell that was a pain to type out!) lipsticks - which is more glossy and hydrating than the matte revolution. I find that this lipstick wears off more easily than the matte revolution one (as to be expected) but with this nude colour the fading isn't that noticeable so I don't find myself worrying about having to reapply it post-burger/hot chocolate. 

I feel an obsession with CT lipsticks coming on, in fact I've got my eye on the lip glosses that go along with these two combos (High SocietySweet Stiletto, fyi)...

Are you a fan of nearly there nude, your lips but better lipsticks?


Happy Little Things #2

Happy Little Things #2

I loved sharing the first instalment of this new series last month - it was really nice to collate the little things that made me smile or brought me joy throughout the month and have them to look back on. So I've been keeping a note on my phone of my happy little things from this past month ready to share in this post...

  • Post-night shift pamper afternoons - treating myself to a face mask, a fancy face oil treatment & a a long, relaxing bath is the perfect pick me up to help make me feel more human and less vampire-ish after nights!
  • Taking my goddaughter to the cinema and watch her dance around to the music in the film
  • Rewatching old favourite tv shows - it's like a warm hug when you're feeling a bit meh
  • That feeling of accomplishment after successfully building flat-packed furniture without having a mental breakdown
  • My pre-bed cup of tea - especially after a night shift
  • Our new superfast internet - up until about three weeks ago we were still struggling on with our internet via copper wires (the downside to living in the middle of nowhere!) - but our area *finally* got fibre optic broadband and oh my goodness it has been life changing! I mean two iPads can now play YT videos at the same time and downloading a film now only take 5 minutes instead of the 8+ hours it used to take...
  • Having a clean car - I'd been putting off washing my car for ages (it was embarrassingly overdue!) because it has been so bloomin' cold! I finally gave in and took my car to be cleaned and it looks so much better again now! I just feel so awkward and princess-y sitting in my car while someone else washes it for me - anyone else feel like that?
  • Wagamama's! I've been craving Wagamama's since before Christmas and last week we finally went and got one - it was delicious, so worth the wait!
  • Taking my grandparents out for dinner - I'm so lucky that I can spend time with them, we have so much fun when we're together!
  • Having unexpected good hair days

I love how these random little things really brightened up my days. What happy little things have you experienced this week?


Planner Flip Through // January

Planner Flip Through // January

I've been using an Erin Condren Life Planner to plan out my weeks for over a year now - I love the whole process of decoratively planning out my week with sticker kits (aka stickerating!). I really appreciate the creative outlet it gives me whilst still being something that allows me to be productive. I love spending time on a Sunday planning out my week and then adding to my to do list for the next day every evening.

I'm obsessed with watching planner videos on YT but there's no way I'd be able to start a YT channel (I struggle sometimes to keep with the ol' blog!), I've been wanting to share my planner on my blog but I never really knew how to incorporate it in my content - but then I saw this post from Jaye and thought it was such a fun idea!

So, here's my planner flip through for January 2017:

Last year I never used the notes pages at the beginning of each month - it was such a waste, but I could never figure out what I wanted to use it for. I recently found these notes page kits from Pretty on Paper Co and I love it! I love how the space is filled and it looks used, it isn't just wasted space at the beginning of each month. My favourite part is the 'currently' section - I've started to use it as inspiration for my Currently posts! 

I'm also rubbish at using the month at a glance pages - I only ever decorate it with these wacky holiday stickers from Sweet Kawaii Design - they're so fun to look on each day! But seriously I need to get better at using these pages, if you've any ideas please let me know in the comments!

I loved this New Years Eve Kiit from Harriet Wright Designs - this navy and gold combination is my favourite, a lot of kits I saw were pink/gold and I'm much more of a blue girl than a pink one! I love the sparkles too - so cute!

This New Year, New You kit from Harriet Wright Designs was perfect for the second week of the month - these colours are my favourites; grey, navy and copper! This week was a pretty work heavy week - I have to say that I love the stickers I use to denote which section I work in each day - they're so fun! The little labcoats from it's planning time are my absolute fave.

We had snow in the UK in the middle of the month so this HWD Winter Wonderland kit was perfect! I loved all the animals in this kit - the full boxes were so cute, I really like how putting the morning and night full boxes together! I've started using the habit tracker to track my instagram posts, I'm trying to post to insta every day this year and the simple task of ticking it off every day is seriously helping me to remember to post!

The last week in January I used the Winter Chill kit from Harriet Wright Designs (again! I unintentionally used all HWD kits this month - I just love her kits!) - I love the bright blue, and the sparkles! I also really love the cute animals in this kit - I'm not usually the biggest fan of deco in my weekly spreads but these were too cute - look how cute that reindeer is!

I loved how my January spreads still had the ice-y blue colour running through them all - despite the fact I went for the neutral ECLP this year I still love keeping to the monthly colour scheme - I like how uniform the weeks look throughout the month. 

And there it is, my month of January via my planner!