It's okay to have an 'off-day'


It's completely human to feel that once in a while, there'll be a moment that you feel a little bit blank and that's not necessarily a bad feeling. Sometimes I just can't put my finger on it. We wake up, following our usual routines and then there's one day that just feels a little off. Our bodies feel like something is wrong, we just need to keep telling them that nothing is wrong at all. 

I mean, speaking for myself... I find that when i'm having an off day my motivation is reduced dramatically. Just to clarify it doesn't mean i'm necessarily feeling sad. I'm just not interested in doing anything. The worst part of that though is that  I really want to be doing something to make an attempt of making my day better. You just need to remind yourself to not beat yourself down when you aren't rushing to the first opportunity to take your mind off how you're currently feeling. If it means you stay in your pj's accompanied by your duvet and TV. Then roll with it. You aren't a bad person for not seizing the day. 

I think there's times we don't really focus on the fact that our minds are sometimes running a mile a minute. It almost seems normal. We aren't programmed to run like that, there needs to be a moment when our minds need to push the pause button. I can only assume that the pausing sensation treats everyone differently each time. Don't deny the fact that you feel this way, embrace it and use it as a chance to truly listen to yourself, or perhaps talk to someone that lifts your spirits. not feeling particularly chatty? Make yourself a mug of your favourite hot cuppa, get cosy and indulge yourself into a feel good story. 

I say that we should listen to ourselves, but please don't over analyse why you're feeling this way. You'll only anchor yourself down rather than lift your mood. There are a few things you remember when you are having an off day. 

No ones life is truly perfect. Everything you see on social media doesn't really represent what you can see on people's newsfeeds. Think about it, people will always want to show off a positive moment on their Instagram pages or Facebook statuses. Happy perfect photos. No one's lives are really as picturesque as they seem. 

If life was always easy, you would never truly appreciate the good times. It's okay to feel sad if things don't feel like they're going right. Sometimes it does feel hard to feel happy when you're down or feel like things aren't going the way you planned. You can learn from this moment though, improving your future self. 

It's absolutely okay to cry. Don't ever feel like you need to hold yourself back by bottling up your emotions. You don't even need to feel like you should justify the reason for crying either. I have my days where I just want to cry. No reason. I feel like I need to let go through tears. Always know that you can confide in someone. If there's really nothing to say, watch a film that can encourage those tears, I always reach for a film that I know is a tear jerker but actually, lifts my mood a ridiculous amount.

Right now, I can honestly tell you that today, I'm having an off day. I'm about to get dressed but that's only because I need to leave the house soon. Oddly whilst writing this, I am telling you honest words but it's an interesting feeling actually having to take your own advice into account. I'm sure you can relate to this, since i'm sure that at least once in your life you have given advice to a friend and also asked for advice in return. 

Just remind yourself that this isn't you everyday. This is normal. Like I said, It's okay to have an off-day. 

Chilli B's | Hitchin

I love to find new places to stop and have a bite to eat. One place in particular that i'm noticing more and more little treasures in terms of places to eat and drink is in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK. I'm not from Hitchin myself, I would love to live here some day though! Such a lovely little town.

My boyfriend kept on talking about "this amazing place that made awesome sandwiches". For those of you that know me, i'm a big big fan of food. I'm always up for discovering new locations for a bite to eat. Besides, I needed to be the judge if this place really did have amazing sandwiches.

I liked the decor in Chilli B's. They had a clearly marked 'to-go' and dine in areas to order your food from. It's always a good sign walking into somewhere and they are genuinely busy catering for their lunch rush. My first impressions were.. "hm, this must be good?" Did you want to make a first impression? Click here to check out their menu!

Here's a little funny story... So it was only myself and my boyfriend sitting down to eat. Just the two of us. Two people that love food. Two very indecisive people when the menu looks too good to only pick one sandwich. So, that's what happened! We were so indecisive with which sandwiches we wanted to have we ordered 3 between us and shared them. The waitress made us laugh when she queried where the third person was that was joining us. We just admitted we ordered three sandwiches between the two of us. (yes in hindsight I was more than stuffed after tackling the last few bites I could of the sandwich) But Scott was right, the sandwiches at Chilli B's are great. One of my favourite things being that the menu is named after TV/movies. With their own comical sandwich twist! I had the 'Bacon Bad' - cajun chicken, bacon, mayo, toasted with melted cheese. All sandwiches served with a fresh dollop of coleslaw. Ah, so so good.

Netflix Series that should be on your next TV binge list


13 Reasons Why
As i'm writing this now, i'm currently watching this. I won't tell you what part i'm up to because A. I haven't finished this series yet. B. I would hate to give away any of the story so far. and C. Isn't this piece of writing meant to encourage you to watch this? You might have noticed that 13 Reasons Why has grabbed quite a lot of social media attention. The main factor that people are taking away from this series is how it shows you the insights and thoughts of Hannah a high school student who commits suicide through 13 pre recorded cassette tapes. For the most part, other than it's story line, it's got people talking about suicide and how its a real thing that shouldn't be over looked especially when people are at a younger age feeling like they have no place to reach out to. Please, if you're out there and you feel like you can't talk to anyone about your feelings, don't suffer alone. Someone will be happy to listen - why not talk to the Samaritans - they'll listen to you.  or call (free) 116 123 if you're in the UK. 

After the death of one of the 'rich and popular' Blossom twins on the 4th July in the small town of Riverdale - where everyone knows everyone - an investigation arises into what happened. The series starts in September, its the beginning of the new school year the mysteries begin to unveil. It's refreshing watching a series that has quite a few fresh faces. You might have recognised from the image above or the trailers that Cole Sprouse is a star of the series. You definitely don't think about the ol' Tipton Hotel whilst you're admiring this different type of character. I'm really into this right now, it's a shame the episodes are on a weekly release! I'm hooked!

Stranger Things
If it's not enough that this TV series that is based in the 80's was nominated for 2 Golden Globes, perhaps knowing the 2nd series is on its way to us! "In a small town where everyone knows everyone, a peculiar incident starts a chain of events that leads to the disappearance of a child - which begins to tear at the fabric of an otherwise peaceful community. Dark government agencies and seemingly malevolent supernatural forces converge on the town while a few locals begin to understand that there's more going on than meets the eye." oooooo. Get watching!

Pretty Little Liars
Okay so this isn't a Netflix Original Series. BUT I'm going to be a little shocked if you haven't at the very least heard of Pretty Little Liars. The saddest thing about that is that the final ever season is on it's way on the 19th April this year and i'm not mentally prepared for it to be over forever. It all starts from when four friends in a town called Rosewood stick together against an anonymous threat which wants to reveal their inner most darkest secrets when they try to unravel the murder of one of their best friends. I'm not going to lie, I've probably watched every episode so far numerous times because I cant get enough of how gripping the story line becomes. Each season will leave you wanting to know what happens next. 

#ManicureMonday ft. Vanity Beauty Academy


Having nice hands and nails might seem like a luxury to some, but to me - it's a necessity for a great first impression. Plus who doesn't like to receive compliments about their fab set of nails!

I've always struggled with my nails in the past. They're pretty frail, thin and snap easily. Boo! So normal nail varnish is something that never lasts more than a day on me without chipping off like old paint. I envy anyone that I see pick up a bottle of Essie/Barry M/etc etc because no matter the brand, nothing lasted on my nails. (So many pretty colours *sob sob*).

I then got to know about gel polish, something with a little more structure to it to guarantee a longer manicure finish than regular nail polish. I'll be first to say I've never really been a nail expert at the time nail polish was just nail polish and that's the same for gel polish too. (I'm so sorry to any nail technicians out there!) Its not until one of my colleagues at work explained it all to me in terms of different types of products and how to care for you nails I began to realise how little I knew. I was recommended to go to Vanity Beauty Academy in Hitchin, Hertforshire, UK.

I've been to nail bars in the past, in all honesty - Vanity Beauty Academy is by far the best one I've been to. It's worth the trip to Hitchin rather than just going to a local nail bar in the town I live in. Upon arrival you can sense the pride in this independent business, not only in the decor, but of all the ladies that work there. Besides who could turn down a cup of tea the the cute little mugs they have?! (I love a cuppa!). 

Prior to the first time I had my nails done at Vanity Beauty, I had never really experienced nice nails. Seems dramatic doesn't it? I never used to get compliments on how nice my nails looked and no one used to ask me for the name of the place that I'd get them done. Without wanting to sound cheesy, I do now and my nails make me feel girly and proud! 

The cost of having gels done with Vanity Beauty Academy costs me £25 a time. The fabulous thing about this is that you aren't penalised if you want to explore creativity. Love a bit of nail art? Fancy a different type of texture? Like a plain colour across your fingers? It's £25 and you'll love it, my nails usually last me at least 3 weeks without chipping - what more could you ask for? (At the moment i'm obsessed with their new work that they're uploading to their Facebook page (click here). You can see snaps of my nail artwork on my Instagram, but for now you can admire some of the recent work that you'll see on their social media. 

Photos are not mine. They are from Vanity Beauty Academy

Vanity Beauty Academy offers other treatments than just nails. You can explore what they do if you click here! 
Are you a beautician yourself? Maybe you want to become one? Want to expand your qualifications or learn a new skill? Vanity Beauty Academy offer more than pampering - have a look at their website or give them a call! Click here <<

Want to see more on their social media?

Facebook: Click here
Instagram: Click here
Website: Click here

I gave up dairy for a month and this happened...


Going into the new year I wanted to give something a try that could potentially change my lifestyle. If it worked and proved to be better for me, I wanted to keep at it. I'm still trying to keep this mentality but for now, I can tell you how this went for me. I understand my experience won't be the same for everyone. At least this will give you a little insight.

Week One.
Like any new idea, I was in the right frame of mind and ready to tackle what was ahead of me. No dairy, easy! I could just research into alternatives and substitute products so I didn't have to miss out. Technically I didn't have to feel like I would be missing out because milk products weren't a large chunk of my dietary intake. I quite enjoyed products like almond and coconut milk already. My cravings started towards the end of the first week when I wanted things like yogurt and chocolate. Other than that I found removing dairy from my diet was easy if it was an optional product to start with. I didn't have much interest in finding dairy-free products of items I had already lying around the house.

Week Two.
During my dairy free adventure I thought I'd explore the world of soya. The only thing I really knew about this product was that it was a common alternative for dairy. I wish I read into it more beforehand. I discovered that soya gave me skin problems. I reached out to my boyfriends cousin who is a happy vegan for advise. I never thought that soya could upset the hormonal balance with your skin. Funnily enough, hormonal spots were quite an important factor in why I decided to avoid dairy. If I drank too much milk for example, I would break out and my arms would also come out in an acne like condition. Bye bye soya.

Week Three.
Honestly, I felt a little knocked down by the state of my skin on my skin. I was still quite happy having no dairy, but now I didn't feel inclined to try new alternatives. My enthusiasm towards this challenge had faded quite dramatically. My skin was still unpleasant, although it was now on the mend of getting back to it's usual state. The only soya exception I allowed myself to cheer myself up was the Quorn picnic eggs - damn they're good.

Week Four.
By the final week, I think I had already made my decision in terms of how I would continue this no dairy lifestyle choice. Considering I don't have much dairy as it is, It's no harm to either continue having milk when perhaps its the only option available, or just picking a good alternative depending on the drink. If there is a percentage of dairy in a ready made product (ie pasta etc.. ) then it's not an issue with moderation. I generally don't think my skin at the moment can handle a dramatic hormonal imbalance in comparison to what it would usually be familiar to. I think a healthy mix of exercising and eating everything in moderation or giving the opportunity to a non-dairy alternative a chance as and when is the best lifestyle choice for me.

Have you given up dairy before? What was your experience? 

Spring yourself into these 5 simple lifestyle changes


I love the winter months in England. Don't get me wrong i'm a summer-baby and i'd pick the sun over the snow any day. But there's nothing quite like layering up those cosy knits and spending time by the fireplace. It's time to snap our mindsets out of hibernation mode now. Now the clock's have gone forward, I've put together this post to just do that for you. 

1. Drink more water.
I for one can drink water like there's no tomorrow. My 'thing' at work is to carry around my 2.2 litre water bottle to keep hydrated. By all means, don't feel like you need to take a page out of my crazy book, but have you considered how much water you're drinking everyday and if you're even drinking enough? I'd always recommend to drink a glass as soon as you can when you wake up (kick-start that metabolism!) a glass before meals and finally right before you go to bed as your bare minimum. There's no harm in carrying a bottle around with you. Keeping hydrated is so good for keeping your brain alert and healthy. Wash away those toxins and feel refreshed. 

2. Make your meals fun looking and colourful.
I'm not saying strict diets are in order. Even I have a little attention span for boring-ass diets. Add more fruit and vegetables into your meals. Forget the nutritional benefit for one moment, make your meals more colourful and tasty! It also goes towards that oh-so-important 5 a day!

3. Catch those ZZZ's.
If you happen to find the secret to getting a great night's sleep, please do let me know. Sleep is essential to your immune system, metabolism, memory, and overall vital functions. Trying to improve my sleeping patterns was one of the main reasons I purchased a Fitbit last summer. Track my sleep and see where i'm going wrong in creating a better sleeping pattern. Just be sure to try and get your 8 hours and you'll be feeling goooooood in no time. 

4. Move those feet.
I'm not saying join a gym. You should consider different ways of keeping you active. Go swimming, wipe the cobwebs off your dusty bike, or even go for a walk. What can you do that will take up just half an hour of your day? Got a project you're working on that involves quite a bit of physical effort? Go for it. 

5. Not reached for it since last Spring? Time to pass it on.
Have a sort through your wardrobe. Create a pile of clothes you wish to sell if you wish to make a buck out of your unwanted clothing items. Another pile should be designated to donating towards a charity shop, just because you don't find it of any use now, doesn't mean someone else wouldn't be better off without it either! You'll feeling much better and refreshed once you've had a sort out. 

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