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The Cop-Out Post

The Cop-Out Post

Insta-Lately // April 2017

Insta-Lately // April 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!

My favourite form of self-care is settling down to re-read HP (again...) with a mahussive tumbler of Ribena and some form of chocolate - it's the ultimate re-set time for me!

On one of my random rest days this month, mum & I decided to head out for some gelato - it was so good! Mind you, we did get some weird looks at going in a restaurant and just ordering dessert...

Little Prin is the perfect snuggle buddy - I got back into my tumblr this month and I've fallen back in love with it again! I've found so much inspiration for my Instagram photos from my tumblr, it has been lovely! Curating my tumblr just makes me so happy (which is ridiculous, I know!) and I find it so much easier and less overwhelming than Pinterest.

I shared a bit of Monday Motivation - this is something I really need to remember at the moment. I'm currently working on my Specialist Portfolio at work and I put it off for the longest time because I just felt so overwhelmed by the thought of starting such a big piece of work again - this quote is the motivation I keep reminding myself of every time I get panicky over writing a piece of work for my portfolio - it has really been helping.

I'm a sucker for a novelty mug - when I found this mug I *had* to have it for Easter - isn't it cute?!

I couldn't pass up this beautiful bunch of hydrangeas and roses - mainly because I bloomin' love hydrangeas but also because I thought they'd look beaut on my insta - seriously though...

Is it even Easter if you don't share a photo of Easter choccy?! Somehow I've still got some Easter chocolate left!

See this cake? I actually baked it with my own fair hands (well with the help of the Kitchen Aid bobs)! The combination of  chocolate sponge, raspberry jam and Betty Crocker chocolate fudge icing, melted dairy milk and mini eggs was just bloomin' delicious!

A big date in my calendar this month was the fact that PLL came back - tbh I spent most of the episode feeling very lost and confused - you can read my live-blogged thoughts throughout the ep. in this post!

How insanely cool is this wall at the restaurant I went out for dinner at last week? I kinda fell in love with these butcher-esque straw hats... It was a pretty crazy place, the table top was copper (if the lighting had been better it would've been my dream insta-shooting location!), most of the meals came on boards and the soup came in a metal tankard! I had a really lovely evening with some of my buddies from work!

What's this? I went out again for dinner? Twice in one weekend? My hermit ways were seriously challenged this month! I went out for dinner for my best friends sisters' hen party and had so much fun! 

I love this photo, there's no real reason for me including it other than the fact I'm just really proud of it! I love how clean and fresh it looks! Looking back on all of my photos from this past four months I'm so happy with how much posting everyday on Instagram has improved my photography (and photo editing!) skills!



The New Bag Post

The New Bag Post

I'm a bag addict...it's a problem. And I'm apparently incapable of swapping out to a new bag without sharing it here on the ol' blog - the what's in my bag post is a classic after all!

BAG (other colours) // I bought this bag back in November, on a complete post-night shift payday impulse buy when we were wandering around John Lewis. I felt guilty about it for a few months so couldn't bring myself to use it (does anyone else get that, or is that just a weird quirk of mine?!). I couldn't pass it up - I love how cute this teeny tiny backpack is! I'm one of those people who will fill whatever bag I carry, that's why I tend to favour small bags - otherwise I just end up carting around everything but the kitchen sink around with me everyday! I'm loving this bag at the moment!

CARD HOLDER // I've been using this card holder for a couple of years now and it's still going strong! There is no way I can fit a 'proper' purse in this bag - plus I'm terrible at carrying cash anyway! I just keep my debit card and driving license in this pretty, sparkly lil buddy and it has been working out fine. It does make paying for parking a bit of a palaver though so I keep a stash of coins in a little coin purse out of sight in my car - it does the job! 

NUXE LIP BALM // My beloved Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream had to be sacrificed - there just isn't enough room in this bag for me to carry it around, I think I need to invest in the stick version to throw in my bag. Until then this Nuxe one is doing the job fine enough.

L'OCCITAINE AMANDE HAND CREAM // I feel like my hands are so dry all the time lately - I feel like I'm always reaching for this! I love how non-greasy this is, it makes applying it on-the-go so easy. I hate that feeling when you put hand cream on and then you can't touch/hold anything for the next fifteen minutes, so annoying!

APPLE EARPHONES // I seriously don't know why I even carry these, I never use them! I think I only keep them for emergencies if I get stuck somewhere on my own and need a distraction...

JO MALONE WHITE JASMINE & MINT COLOGNE // I hate the feeling of leaving the house without perfume one, this mini cologne is perfect for keeping in my bag for an emergency spritz.

MUJI 0.5 GEL PEN // Is it always handy to have a pen in your bag - these muji ones are my fave, they make my handwriting pass as halfway decent! 

PORTABLE CHARGER (not available - similar) // I've had this portable charger for a good couple of years now and it's still going strong! It can fully charge my iPhone a couple of times, and it's pretty slim for something that holds that much charge - mind you not having a portable charger with me is not an option - my iPhone 6 battery is really tragic!

Side note: I obviously carry my car keys with me too, and usually there's an umbrella (or two) thrown in the boot of my car to deal with the indecisive English weather. 


Thoughts I had during the PLL Season 7B Premiere

Thoughts I had during the PLL Season 7B Premiere

So the final half of the last series (does this half a series malarkey get on anyone else's nerves or is it just me?! You can't have a good binge watch of only half a series!) of Pretty Little Liars aired last night so right a the top of my to do list for today (after work, of course) was to watch the new episode! Then I decided to rather ingeniously combine it with the other major thing that I need to get done today - write a blog post - and this post was born. I've seen a few people live-tweet/blog their reactions during tv shows and I bloomin' love following along and agreeing with them so I thought I'd have a bash at my own!

Here's what I thought whilst watching the PLL 7B premiere (also known as Season 7 Episode 11), I hope that you enjoy following along as I watch the episode...

Currently // 16.4

Currently // 16.4

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

Celebrating //  Easter! Happy Easter Sunday everyone! Sadly I missed out on making the most of the four day weekend because I was working on Good Friday night and Saturday night - but I plan on making the most of the Bank Holiday tomorrow to make up for it! 

Excited for // the final series of PLL - I've been an avid watcher of PLL since the beginning, I'm so excited to see how all of the craziness will end!

Grateful for // the warmer, sunnier weather we've been treated to lately - it has been glorious!

Listening to // I binge-listened (is that even a thing?!) to the first series of this podcast this past week. I've never been into podcasts before but this one is just too hilarious!

Loving // my Tumblr at the moment - I've found so much inspiration from there, the images are just beautiful!

Reading // I'm still working my way through the Holly Woods Files, I've not been reading as much this past month which is terrible, I really need to get back to reading every day.

Shopping // far too many Harry Potter t-shirts managed to accidentally fall into my basket when I was shopping in Primark the other day...oops! I've got my eye on these trainers - I've been wearing my cream/rose gold ones to death since I bought them last year - I think these might be my next payday treat!

Quoting // "Strive for progress, not for perfection" - definitely something I need to remember more frequently, I find it so easy to get paralysed and end up not being productive out of the fear of what I do not being good enough...

Watching // Car Share - mum and I watched all four episodes of the new series in one night, as soon as they were viable on iPlayer - the show is so bloomin' funny, it's genius! The fourth episode had us yelling at the iPad in disbelief, I can't believe they played us like that!

Working on // my Specialist Portfolio - actually properly this time! I'm really enjoying how much I'm learning, but it's making me realise how much I do already know and how much I've learnt in the past (almost) three years (wait, how has it been that long already?!) working as a BMS (biomedical scientist fyi) - it's such a nice, rewarding feeling.


My Week In Numbers

My Week In Numbers

I wanted to write a little 'week in my life' sort of post today, but considering I was at work six out of the seven days, I thought it might get a little repetitive! So instead I'm going to share what my week was like in numbers, I've already shared my Sunday in numbers and my weekend in numbers on the ol' blog before - I think it's a fun way to share what I've got up to, and bring something a bit more personal to the blog - I want to bring a bit more of 'me' back to the blog, I want to bring a bit more of a diary-like quality back, posts that I'll want to look back on to be reminded of thoughts/feelings in the future.

So here's what I got up to last week (i.e. the 3rd - 9th of April 2017)...

The Skincare Routine that I'm Actually Sticking to

The Skincare Routine that I'm Actually Sticking to

For the first couple of months of this year my skin was just bleh; I was breaking out all over the shop, my skin felt uncomfortable, it didn't feel clean even after I'd just washed it and  just felt that it looked really dull all the time (it made my so unhappy with my makeup too!) - ugh it was horrible!

So, I decided that I needed to completely overhaul my skincare - I was using a mishmash of products, but only halfheartedly, not really doing a 'proper' skincare routine every day, more often than not I'd just cleanse my skin and leave it at that (terrible, I know!). To be honest, I needed a complete overhaul of all of my skincare products - I needed a selection of products that I would be excited to use every day, something simple, quick and easy to do (even at 04:30am when I'm getting up to go on an early shift at work!).

I decided to go to an actual department store instead of just ordering online because I wanted to physically try the products before I purchased them! I must've spent nearly an hour wandering around the beauty floor, going to every one of the counters and looking at their skincare products. Eventually I came to the Origins counter, the woman on there was so lovely - she absolutely sold me on the brand and I was basically like "take my money"!

Because I was new to the brand I decided to go for their Skincare Essentials gift set, this was such a good deal - it meant I saved around £40 on those four full-size products compared to buying the products separately! 

I'm basically just using these four products morning and night every day, it's a stripped back routine that is working wonders for my skin! In the last month (well just over that really) my skin is feeling so clean, hydrated and is looking so much brighter compared to earlier on this year. Yeah I still get the occasional spot or two but no breakouts that take over my whole face (thank god!)!

So on to the actual products I'm using as part of my skincare routine:

Happy Little Things #4

Happy Little Things #4

I seriously love writing these posts, I look forward to them each month! I think it's so important to take time to focus and celebrate the little, seemingly insignificant things that bring us joy each day.

So here's the little things that have made me smile this month...

Planner Flip Through // March

Planner Flip Through // March

It's time again to flip through my planner and share the spreads from this past month. I love sharing my stickerating on here, they just look so pretty!

I love how the green theme flowed throughout this month, it has made everything look so cohesive, and it's so perfect for spring. 

March literally flew by for me, pretty much most of the month was a blur - I definitely did some retrospective planning this month!