Resolutions for the New Year

27 December 2018


I'm sure you're sick of hearing this, but I honestly cannot believe we're almost in 2019. The past year was a bit of a turning point for me, a lot changed and I learnt a lot of lessons the hard way...but to say it flew by would be an understatement. Nevertheless, I'm always one to mark the new year with a few resolutions (which I actually stuck to last year - can you believe it?!) to help keep me on track, and really it's just a good time for new starts, isn't it? 

I've kept my list of resolutions purposely small this year, as I find that having a never-ending list is slightly daunting, and I'll definitely spend the entire year avoiding it...I am such a procrastinator. So instead, I've picked a few things to stick to, and fingers crossed, I actually will! Please feel free to hold me accountable if you notice that I'm not! 

1. Pay off my credit card - and keep it that way!


Every year I say this, and to be fair to myself I do pay off my credit card regularly. However this year the aim is to keep it paid off. I've never been much of a saver, but this is the year I need to start being smart with my money and stop spending every last penny on pointless objects that I definitely don't need! So the aim will be to use my credit card for large purchases (for security reasons) and stop putting everyday expenses on it and forgetting about them - which I am so guilty of! 

2. Get back into an exercise regime


Although I lost a lot of weight last year (3 stone and counting!), it was purely through eating and not a result of me 'getting fit' at all. This year I'd like to change this and get back into going to the gym regularly. I'd like to not be out of breath when I have to run for the bus every morning because I undoubtedly spent too many extra minutes in bed...and I'm a much less irritable person when I stick to an exercise regime. I have a few injuries I need to be careful of, so I think I will start with swimming first and build up to getting back into the actual gym. 

3. Start cooking at home more

Last year I did start cooking at home more, but not nearly enough. We had such a good summer that I did stick to this throughout the warmer months, but at the end of the year it kind of fell apart with all of the Christmas meals, catching up with friends, way too much alcohol. I'd like to get back to cooking at home more...mainly so I make sure I actually do eat my veg, but it's also a great way to save money!

4. Start wearing my old clothes more instead of buying new


I am SO guilty of buying a new outfit every time I go out...and I don't even mean for a night out, I will go out and buy a new outfit for casual drinks without even a second thought and it really needs to stop. I have so many clothes that I don't wear, so this year I am going to try to shop less and wear what I already own...and when I do shop, it will be for classic items that I can pair which what I already own and won't go out of style instantly. 

xo Becky


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Saying Goodbye to 2018

18 December 2018


We're now in the final few weeks of the year and for me, 2018 has flown by, and I'm sure it's been the same for a lot of you reading this. It seems it's true what they say, as we get older, the days get longer but the years fly by - blink and you'll miss it. For the last few years I've been struggling to see each year as a year of accomplishments - when we're younger we can mark each year by things like learning to drive, graduating from University, securing that all important first job...but then what? When all of my 'firsts' had ran out, I was a bit all over the place and as I said, I really struggled to see how great each year was when it came to the end. 

This year I've finally snapped out of it, there haven't been any major life altering events, but 2018 has been one of the happiest years of my life. I really feel that this year I found my place again, learned to roll with the punches {because believe me there have been some mighty ones!} and just relax and enjoy life again without this constant pressure to always be looking to the next big life-changing moment. 

So today I thought I'd commemorate this by putting pen to paper {so to speak} and round up some of my favourite things that happened in 2018, so whenever those feelings of accomplishing so little creep back, which they undoubtedly will {I'm only human after all},  I can look back on this and remind myself of all the perfect moments that happened in 2018. 



Travels

2018 was a year of travel for me, which was kicked off with a little work trip to Madrid. Unfortunately we didn't get to see much of the city as we were working, but it was still great to get out of the country for a night! Shortly after Madrid, I hopped on a ten hour flight to Mexico to spend the week in Riviera Maya and Tulum, which you can read about here. Mexico is still one of my all time favourite holidays to date...we didn't really do much apart from a day out drinking and eating in Tulum, exploring the Mayan Ruins and a day swimming in an underground cave river {such a terrifying but unforgettable experience!} but it was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I'd highly recommend skipping the summer holiday in favour of a February break - the beach was quiet and the weather was scorching! 



After Mexico, I headed to Edinburgh to stay with some friends for the May bank holiday weekend. A city I had only visited as a child {we went to the zoo and that was about it}. My friends gave me the full tour of Edinburgh, and we went on a trip around the underground city - which was so much fun! I'm sure it won't be the last time I visit, so next time I'll grab some photos and share them with you all. 


Skip forward to July and I was heading to Paris with my best girls for my 25th birthday {which you can read about here and here}. When I look back on 2018, Paris is by far my favourite memory. It was a weekend full of my three favourite things - laughter, food and friends...and sunshine if I'm allowed to add a fourth! 


Finally, in September my friend and I headed to Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. Thailand is the furthest I've ever travelled and it was so worth it. Apart from a few spots of rain, the weather was gorgeous, the people were friendly and the beaches were beautiful. There was plenty to do, and plenty of time to relax by the pool which was just what the Dr ordered after a busy summer at work. You can read all of my Thailand posts here


This year I also went about exploring my own city more. London has so much to offer and I definitely don't get to seeing it as often as I should. In 2018 I finally managed to get a table at some restaurants I'd been hoping to visit for forever, saw some new areas, and definitely reignited my love for my own city. Definitely something I want to continue throughout 2019. 

Work

This year was my first full year in my current job, so I felt a little more settled and felt like I had a handle on things enough to really go for it {after a year of finding my feet in 2017}. We hosted events around the country, introduced some of my favourite brands to our stores, and I got to meet some of my favourite bloggers - LydiaJodieChloe, and Josie, to name a few. There's plenty more to come in 2019, and I'm so excited to see where we can take things. 

Weight Loss

This may be an odd one to celebrate, and I'd like to start by saying that I don't believe that anyone should feel that they need to lose weight - unless they want to for themselves. However over the past few years my unhappiness in work and a few other things outside of work had meant that the pounds had crept on. I'm a big comfort eater and if I'm honest, things had got a little out of control. I was SO unfit it was unbelievable and after a chat with my Dr to ensure I went about it the right way, I set myself a goal of losing 3 stone, fully believing that it wasn't possible for someone like myself. 

However, I stuck to my set out routine, kept a lid on the amount of sugar I was eating and started eating better all around. This not only resulted in me losing the three stone I set out to lose, but I gained my confidence back. I'm much happier, healthier and little things like my skin clearing up, my sleep being a little more consistent {I was very sleep deprived before} and having much more energy has completely changed my life {not to be dramatic, so unlike me...🙄}. I won't lie and present this to you with rose tinted glasses, losing weight is difficult and I wouldn't have been able to do it without the support of my family and friends who kept me on track - at times I really did feel like giving up, but I'm so glad I persevered because the change it's had on everything has been so worth it. 

If you'd like a post on how I did this, before and after photos and maybe some meal guides, I'd be more than happy to share - I just don't want to share it if it's not something anyone would be interested in...I know how sensitive of a topic weight loss is!

This Blog

And finally, this blog! I used to love blogging, but again had kind of lost my place in the blogging world over the past few years. I'm not entirely sure of my place in the blogging world and a lot of the time I feel like a bit of a pretender when working with superstar bloggers, but that's okay - I've learnt not to take it so seriously and just have fun with it - that was the reason I started this blog {and to combat my terrible memory} and I've really fallen back in love with taking photos and posting on here again. I've been blogging for years, but 2018 was the year I secured my first paid campaign with a brand that I absolutely love, started working with some of my favourite brands and really fell back in love with it. 

Phew, that was a long post...so if you've made it this far then give yourself a pat on the back {and a large mug of tea}. Thank you for sticking with me in 2018, and I hope you have the happiest of holidays and new years...I'm signing off for the year now, so I'll see you all in 2019! 

xo Becky


Spiked Salted Caramel Milkshake Cocktails

12 December 2018


When it comes to Christmas {or any other time of the year really}, cocktails are my thing. I'm not really one to sit down with a beer after a long day, and always one to be a little extra, I never mind spending the time to create a cocktail...or two! I shared these festive cocktails on Instagram the other day and the response was a unexpectedly positive, so I thought I'd pop the recipe up on here too so it's easy to find for anyone looking!

Ingredients:

50ml Chocolate Liqueur {I used this one from my local Sainsbury's}
50ml Bailey's Original Irish Cream 
100ml Whole Milk 
A handful of ice


To make this super simple cocktail, just add all of the above ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake well. Fill your favourite glass with plenty of ice and strain the mixture into the glass - and voila! If you're feeling fancy, swirl some salted caramel sauce around the glass before you pour, and add a little Lindt Salted Caramel Chocolate to finish.


This cocktail is perfect for holiday get-togethers or just cosying up by the fire on a cold night 🌨. Enjoy {responsibly} and as always, please do let me know if you enjoyed this post or if you'd like to see more of my cocktail recipes on here {I have a few 'go-to' recipes for different times of the year which I'd be happy to share!}.

xo Becky 

A Little Last Minute Gift Guide

10 December 2018


I had no real plans to publish a gift guide this year as there are SO many floating around the internet, but after a few of my friends messaged me asking me either what sort of thing I'd like, or what to get XY&Z..I thought I'd pop my ideas into one blog post. It's a little last minute {I finished my Christmas shopping in November!}, but if you're looking for some last minute gifts, here are a selection of my favourites...

For the Beauty Lover...


When it comes to gifting beauty items, I like to make sure that I gift a mixture of pretty Christmas sets and also products that I know my friends love. It can be quite hard to get it right unless you really know which types of products and colours work for someone, so I try to go for more luxurious items that I know my friends would feel guilty purchasing for themselves.


For the Home Baker...

I have a few friends who love baking, especially in the winter time, so I always like to get them a little something extra for their kitchen - and it always goes down a treat, as do the baked goods they make!

For the Interiors Lover...


Who doesn't love some fancy homeware at Christmas? I love to give {and receive!} candles, lovely coffee table books, and decorative bits that I know will look fabulous in my friends and family's homes.


For Him...

I am admittedly rubbish at shopping for the men in my life...they all tend to go out and buy whatever they want, and never seem to have any idea of what they want for Christmas, so other than going for slippers for the 10th year in a row, here are a few other options.


Little Extras and Stocking Fillers ...

Probably the kinds of gifts I struggle with the most - everyone I know tends to know what they want for their 'main present', but I like to give a few extras, or there's always that last minute secret santa you weren't prepared for. Here are some of my favourites! 



So there you have it...my gift guide for all of the different friends and family members in my life. Hopefully this should give you a little inspiration for your Christmas gifting {or even just for treating yourself...you deserve it!}. Happy shopping! 

xo Becky 

Candy Cane White Russians

6 December 2018


Whenever I have friends over, I love making cocktails...it either stems from my love of making 'potions' in the bath as a child, or the few years we spent with a bar in the house - either way, they're a great party piece, or even a great addition to a night in. I love to get seasonal with my cocktails and tend to go very tropical in the summer, brambles in the autumn and definitely something festive for November and December time.

Today I wanted to share with you one of my favourite festive cocktails for the holidays - a Bailey's White Russian with a candy cane twist. Bailey's is one of my favourite festive {and all time!} drinks, and this festive little number is perfect for holiday get-togethers or even for a little post-Christmas wrapping treat on Christmas Eve! 

What you'll need: 

1 pack of red & white Candy Canes {optional}
White chocolate for the candy cane bark {optional}
50ml Bailey's Original Irish Cream
25ml Vodka {I use Grey Goose for a smoother taste, but you can use your favourite brand!}
25ml Kahlua {or any other coffee liqueur}
15ml Peppermint syrup 
50ml whole milk 
Ice for the shaker 

Method: 

1. Add the ice, Bailey's Original Irish Cream, vodka, milk, peppermint syrup and kailua into a shaker and shake well. 
2. Strain into your candy cane coated glasses and enjoy!

...they really are that easy!



For the candy cane bark {optional}:

As these are festive cocktails, I wanted to be a little extra and add some candy cane bark for decoration! All you need to do for this is spread melted white chocolate onto a lined baking sheet, sprinkle on some of the extra crushed candy cane and leave to set in the fridge. Once it's set, break into pieces and enjoy. Obviously this part is more of a 'nice to have' than a 'need to have', as you do have to pre-melt and set the chocolate, so it takes a little advance planning. 

I hope you enjoyed this super simple recipe {who has time for fancy ingredients during the holidays?!} and please do let me know if you end up trying it for yourself - I can guarantee both you and your friends will love this one! 

xo Becky 

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