A bottle of gin with a glass of gin and tonic

It’s no secret that I like an alcoholic drink once in a while, either on a night out with the girls or to wind down after a stressful day. Imagine sitting in the garden on a warm Summer’s evening enjoying a refreshing gin and tonic, now that sound’s perfect to me.

I was lucky enough to be sent a parcel from Hayman’s Original Gin* to try out a few cocktails, so you can guess how excited I was!

A bottle of gin next to a glass of gin and tonic

Gin is usually mixed with ice and topped off with tonic, how much is really down to each person’s taste. Never having tried Gin before I had to play around until I found the mix that I liked, obviously this was a very difficult task!

Cocktails have become really popular lately and there are loads of different recipes out there using gin, so I’d been looking forward to experimenting with a couple of different ones. I had some friends round on Saturday evening, which was the perfect opportunity for me to try out some cocktails using Haymen’s Gin. To be honest, I had expected gin to taste too bitter for me but to my surprise I really enjoyed it, and it tasted even more delicious when I mixed it with a few extras.

Hayman’s date back over 150 years and still make their gin in the traditional way, by hand, using family recipes from the 19th century. There have been five generations of the Hayman’s family who have acted as custodians of the English Gin style. Ten botanicals have been beautifully blended to create a distinctive, classic finish, which truely sets it apart from others. Hayman’s uses a unique two day distillation process taking place in a traditional copper pot, which is still called ‘Marjorie’, this allows the botanicals to work and capture the lively citrus flavours.

A bottle of gin

Hayman’s London Dry Gin has subtle hints of juniper, coriander, lemon and orange peel, along with cinnamon and other spices for a delicious combination of flavours.

If you like the idea of spicing things up a bit and making your gin and tonic into a delicious cocktail, here are a couple of recopies that I enjoyed.

Cocktail recipes

Victorian Mojito

Ingredients

50mls Hayman’s London Dry Gin

25ml Lime Juice

20ml Sugar Syrup

6 – 10 Mint Leaves

Top with a dash of soad or tonic

Floradora

Ingredients

50ml Hayman’s London Dry Gin

20ml Lime Juice

10ml Sugar Syrup or Grenadine

4 – 8 Fresh Rasspberries

Top with Ginger Ale

I absolutely loved the taste of Haymen’s Gin and experimenting with a cocktail or two. A hot Summer’s day is the perfect occasion to try out different styles but I’d enjoy a refreshing gin and tonic any time of the year. A 70cl bottle costs around £25, which is a very reasonable price and I’ll definitely be stocking up on some more to keep in my drinks cupboard.

You can find more about Hayman’s Original Gin on their website or their Twitter and Instagram pages.

Do you like Gin and Tonic? What cocktails have you tried?

*Products in this post have been sent for review. All opinions and photos are my own

Follow:

A handful of conkers over autumn leaves

If someone were to ask me what my favourite season is I’d find it difficult to answer. I love the Summer months, especially the sunshine, light evenings and my summer wardrobe, however, every year I get a little extra excited about Autumn. As soon as we get to the middle of August I start looking forward to the months ahead and all the cosiness that goes with it. Let’s face it, I don’t need any excuse to wrap under a soft blanket and bring out the fairy lights!

Here are all the wonderful reason’s why I love Autumn more than any other season.

Hot Chocolate

Well lets face it, a hot chocolate is delicious anytime of the year but there’s something warm and comforting about having one in Autumn, topped off with loads of whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles and marshmallows.

Autumn Walks

Going for a walk on an Autumnal day is better than any other time of year, everything becomes so colourful. I love watching the leaves  change to a bright orange and having piles to kick about, pretending I’m five years old again. I love the sound of the crunchy leaves on the ground and seeing bright red berries everywhere.  I’ll take my camera along as every thing looks so picturesque. Autumn smells different too, there’s more of a crisp, earthy smell or as I used to say when I was younger “It smells like potatoes!”

walking amongst Autumn leaves

The Weather

I don’t mean when it’s tipping it down with rain and I end up at my destination looking like a drowned rat. I mean those crisp, cold sunny days where you can wrap up in the thickest coat, stick on a pair of boots and have fun swooshing through the leaves on the ground. If it has been raining, I’ll always having fun splashing through the puddles! There’s also something magical about going out early on a foggy morning with only the wild life for company.

red Autumn berries

The Makeup

I live for Berry, Plum and Burgundy, you name it, I’ll be wearing it. I think I’m just about done with the pinks and peaches of Summer and I’m ready to wear a bold plum lipstick, a smokey eye look or a beautiful burgundy nail polish. I get so excited when brands release their Autumn makeup collections and just want to buy it all at once.

Candles

I have candles burning in my home all year round but there’s something extra special about lighting a pumpkin spice or ginger bread candle on a cosy autumn evening. Autumn candles not only smell divine, they create a certain ambience in the room I’m in and generally put me in a happy mood.

A lit candle surrounded by autumn leaves

Cosy nights in

With the evenings getting darker earlier, there’s nothing more comforting than coming home and snuggling up in a pair of soft pjs and a some fluffy socks, all wrapped up under a cosy throw whilst watching a film. You can guarantee I’ll have switched on every single set of fairy lights I own and be sipping that hot chocolate I mentioned earlier!

Autumn Clothes

I wear hats all year round but I love wrapping up in a knitted hat and chunky scarf to keep warm in Autumn. I have quite a collection of hats but my absolute favourite hat for Autumn is a floppy burgundy one. I’ll be wearing boots and 100 denier tights with almost everything, I probably have more pairs of thick tights in my wardrobe than anything else! Let’s not forget the chunky knit, right now I’ll be pulling every one I own out of storage and eyeing up a few new ones. Wrapping up in a thick cosy jumper along with a hat and scarf on a cold autumnal day is a wonderful feeling. I just love the colours of Autumn fashion, I can’t get enough of berry, burgundy, plum or teal and being able to layer up the best part.

Candle next to pumpkin cupcakes

Food and Drink

I’ll admit I’ve become a lover of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, one hint of Costa’s new Autumn drinks menu and I’ll be running straight to my nearest store. For breakfast I swap granola for a bowl of hot porridge made with almond milk, berries and bananas. I can’t wait to tuck into a hearty home cooked vegetable casserole with a chunky slice of bread, plus I suddenly get a craving for mashed potatoes with everything. It wouldn’t be Autumn without having made enough cinnamon muffins to feed an army. Oh this is making my mouth water!

Bonfire Night

I just love the excitement of Bonfire Night and I’m lucky enough to live near a few large displays that are on around the 5th November.. I’m wrapped up in my thick, cosy Parker (well it’s more like a duvet!), eating a jacket potato crisped off on the bonfire and drinking hot tomato and red pepper soup from a flask. I just love the smells on Bonfire night. It maybe freezing cold but that’s half the fun, being all huddled up around the bonfire trying to keep warm and having a good laugh while watching the pretty colours erupt in the sky.

Pumpkin Lantern

Halloween

This is a tricky one considering I don’t like masks or scary movies! Luckily my friends are the same, so we all get dressed up in non scary costumes for our Halloween party. I usually wear a witches outfit and putting on a black wig for the occasion, this year I may try something different. I also love making the pumpkin lantern and putting it in the window, the best bit is getting all messy while I’m scooping out the inside. I’m a big wus when it comes to scary movies, so I’m looking forward to watching something light hearted like Hocus Pocus.

I hope you enjoyed my Autumn post, well I certainly feel all warm and cosy now so I’m off to make a hot chocolate, snuggle up under a blanket and watch something on Netflix.

What’s your favourite time of year?

Follow:

flowers, makeup and makeup brush

Being on social media is a huge part of writing a blog, I didn’t realise quite how much when I first started just over a year and a half ago. As well as it being a great opportunity to promote my blogs posts, I absolutely love chatting to other people and finding amazing bloggers to follow.

Blogging was never meant to be full time, only a hobby. I love being on social media, but at one point I felt the need to be online every minute, of every single day. I felt so overwhelmed with trying to keep up that I almost stopped blogging altogether. I’d forgotten how to be me and stopped spending time on other hobbies I enjoy, so I learnt to balance my time better and now keep a list in my diary in case things get too much and I need reminding to step away from technology for a while.

I thought I’d share some of my non-blogging hobbies with you.

Makeup and Makeup Brushes

  1. Pamper evening – who doesn’t love a few hours of pure indulgence? Playing with makeup or painting my nails or a face mask, anything that’s a hour or two by myself.
  2. Reading – I love crime, romance, history, fantasy, or comedy books, I also enjoy reading a good biography.
  3. Scrapbooking – I keep everything from postcards to cinema tickets and photos to event invites. It’s the perfect way to look back on all those happy memories.
  4. Art Journal/Diary – I’m not great at drawing, I love to doodle, cut photos or words out of magazines to make collages and generally get creative. I write down how I’m feeling, good or bad, and what’s been happening in my life.
  5. Baking – I’m rubbish at cooking a meal from scratch but I’m pretty good at baking muffins, cookies or a sponge cake.
  6. Exploring – new places or old, I love to get outdoors, a walk in the woods, country gardens, a day by the sea or a historical town with amazing architecture.
  7. Visiting museums – the two I absolutely love are Victoria and Albert Museum and The Natural History Museum, there are some great smaller museums in my local area. Not sure if this counts but I’d love to visit Harry Potter World, maybe one day!
  8. Tarrot cards/Rune Stones – I am definitely not an expert, I have a couple of sets at home and my friends love doing them with me just for fun.
  9. Visiting Art galleries – there are some wonderful pieces of art around, I also love learning about the artist who painted each piece of work.
  10. Watching Films – either at home for a movie night or an evening out at the cinema, preferably with popcorn and a takeaway.
  11. Spending time with friends and family – coffee dates, afternoon tea, meals out, a day trip somewhere exciting, a games night or simply just chilling at each others houses.
  12. Netflix – I’ve discovered some great TV series since having Netflix, I enjoy dramas, crime shows, comedy dramas, documentaries and psychological dramas, if I love something that much I’ll watch it more than once.
  13. Photography – I love taking photos for my blog or Instagram, usually beauty products or something pretty around my home. I enjoy taking photos to go in my scrapbook, people, places I’ve visited, something special I’ve created or a funny moment captured in time.
  14. Vintage fashion – I’m fascinated by clothes ranging from the 1920s upto the 1970s. I often visit museums and make a beeline for the costume section, I enjoy shopping in vintage shops and flicking through books I have with beautiful photos of outfits people wore in decades gone by. My fashion icons are Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. I’d love to create my own fashion brand but I can’t see that ever happening.
  15. Writing to penpals – I’ve made new penpals on line but I also love writing letters to friends or family who live far away. A girl can never have to much stationery, right?
  16. Collecting things – anything Disney or unicorn related, cute or commemorative mugs and thimbles from places I’ve visited.
  17. Going to the theatre – Before I started suffering from seizures I’d love to see my favourite band or artist at a music concert, but too many flashing lights have made it almost impossible now. Instead I’ll stick to seeing a show or ballet, something I’ve done ever since my Grandmother first took me when I was very little.

I’m not quite sure what this vast selection of hobbies says about me but that’s everything I love doing when I when I’m not on the internet.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time and away from the internet?

Follow:

Beauty and makeup products I've loved using this month

Well my plans to do an Instagram Story every day during July went right out the window, although I did manage a few days, this is something I’d really like to make an effort with next month. I’ve really been enjoying taking more lifestyle photos to share on Instagram. When I looked back over my Instagram from before I was blogging, my feed was full of life, hardly a beauty product insight. Gradually it shifted more towards “Rosie Loves Life” and “Sharon” kind of disappeared, it used to be my online photo album to share with friends but then I suppose that’s what Facebook is for.

Anyway, July has been a busy month for me with some very exciting things going on, I met new people, explored new places and went to the cinema for a girls night out. I’ve also been trying out some fab new products and most of them have made it to this months favourites along side some of the other things I’ve loved in July.

W7 Eyeshadow Palette Delicious

W7 Eyeshadow palette in Delicious

This is an absolutely stunning eyeshadow palette and I’d been trying to get hold of it when it first appeared online. Finally I managed to purchase the palette as soon as it came back into stock and I’ve been absolutely obsessed with it ever since! It’s a dupe for the ABH Modern Renaissance palette, but much more affordable at only £12.95. There are 14 different eyeshadows with a mix of berry and neutral shades, including matte and shimmer, some of which are totally out of my comfort zone. I’ve mainly been using the darker, berry tones, which are highly pigmented, but a few of the lighter shades don’t really show up much on me at all. I’ve been getting much braver with my makeup looks but I’m not quite ready to dye my hair pink just yet!

The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Body Cream and The Body Shop Skin Defence Essence

The Body Shop has been a place I’ve loved for years but hadn’t been in for a while. I needed to replace a few bits and picked up the Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence and I’ve been using it on my skin before I go out in the sun. It’s a lightweight milk that makes my skin feel so soft, it contains SPF 50 so it will protect my skin against sun damage so it’s seen a lot of use this month and came with me on both trips away.

I’ve also been using The Body Shop’s Atlas Mountain Rose Body Cream as part of my daily skincare routine, it’s super creamy and leaves my skin feeling extremely soft. It’s has a slightly different fragrance than the plain old rose I usually go for, this body cream has less of a sweet smell due to rose mixed with warm spices and amber, so it’s a really comforting fragrance. I’ve been suffering with a lot of dry areas on my skin, especially my elbows, and this has been the only body cream that’s sorted them out. Plus it’s a wonderful body cream to apply after having a relaxing bath, oh that’ll be the next thing on my list, the bath foam to go with it!

NYX HD Foundation and Barry M Lipstick Mannequin

For a drugstore foundation I’ve been pretty impressed with NYX HD Studio Photogenic Foundation, I tend not to wear to much base in the summer but occasionally I need more than a tinted moisturiser. After being outside in the sun a lot I had to get a foundation that was a few shades darker than my winter one, so thought I’d try the NYX range. This foundation applies really lovely with my damp beauty sponge and gives a lovely dewy finish. I only apply a light layer but the coverage is incredible. It doesn’t feel too heavy on my skin and didn’t stick to any dry patches. Plus it comes in a handy size tube, so it’s easy to pack for a holiday.

Barry M Satin Super Slick Lip Paint in Mannequin is a beautiful peachy, nude shade and has been my go-to lipstick on many occasions this month. It contains Shea Butter, so it’s extremely moisturising on my lips, it almost acts like a lip balm and lipstick in one which has been great on busy days. It’s incredibly glossy and last pretty well considering it’s a satin lip product. I’ve also seen a gorgeous wine shade, which will be perfect for Autumn!

Sass & Belle Trinket Dish

The month started of with the most amazing trip to Brighton, I was extremely excited as it was my first time visiting there and I was going to meet my blogging friend Holly. We both had an amazing day together, exploring the sights, eating ice cream on the Pier and generally having loads of fun hanging out together. Holly very kindly gave me this pretty trinket dish as a reminder of our day together and it has sat on my dressing table with my favourite pieces of jewellery on it . Isn’t it so pretty? If you’d like to find out more about what we got up to, I’ll leave a link to my blog post here.

W7 Nail Polish in shade Fluorescent Pink

I adore pink nail polish but this has to be my favourite shade ever! I’ve been wearing W7 Nail Polish In Fluorescent Pink for most of the month and it seemed to go with most outfits I was wearing and looked pretty good when I was holding products for close up shots in my photos too! It applies really nicely, quick drying and stays chip free for days, which is pretty good going for me.

Pink Beach Hut in Southwold

My second trip of the month was a few days in Southwold. I’d never been there before so really didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a really beautiful, quaint seaside town. When we fist arrived I had the most amazing vegetarian cooked breakfast in a cafe by the sea, it was so huge that I was full up for most of the day! We took a walk along the promenade and past the pastel coloured beach huts, had a stroll around the shops and walked along the pier where Adrian and I got caught in the heaviest rain shower ever! We were laughing so much and both looked like we been for a swim in the sea, but luckily soon dried off.

A painting from Dorkface Shop on Etsy

By now you’ll all know how much I adore Jemma and everything she sells on her Etsy store and I couldn’t let the month go without mentioning this gorgeous pink, white and blue painting from her. When Jemma started selling one off pieces of artwork I’ve fallen in love with every single one. She even shows little snippets on her Instagram Stories as she’s creating each piece, it’s so therapeutic I could watch them all day. It is first come first served with these larger canvas paintings, but each one I’ve seen so far has looked amazing. This one is now in my bedroom and I absolutely love it, the colours are beautifully put together. When someone commented on this on her social media they mentioned having the feeling of candy floss, clouds, flamingos and 1950’s tea dresses (sorry, I can’t remember who, so I can’t credit them). These canvas paintings are different to her usual drawings, you see what you want to see in them, she had a stunning orange, yellow and green one which had the feel of freedom in the sunshine and exploring in the woods. Jemma even had one with pom poms and glitter on!

What things have you been loving recently?

Follow:

For most of my life I’ve never been a morning person, I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who jumped straight out of bed, full of the joys of Spring and could take on any challenges that came my way. However, I love my bed way too much and I’ve lost count how many times my alarm clock has almost gone flying across the room in temper! I’ve found I’m at my most productive once the clock strikes midnight, but there are just somethings you cannot do in the wee small hours. During the day I’d end up snapping at people for no other reason than I was just too flippin tired, so I only had myself to blame! Something had to change.

It didn’t happen over night and it took a lot of will power on my part, but eventually I got used to being an early riser, plus I felt a lot happier and healthier. Yes, there are still days when I fancy a lie in or a lazy morning with breakfast in bed, but it feels more of a treat because I’m not doing it all the time.

So if you’re like I was and are up at 3 AM writing your life story or watching just one more episode of your favourite TV show and want to change from a night owl to a morning person, carry on reading as I have a few tips that may help you.

Move The Alarm Clock

By forcing myself to actually get out of bed to turn off the alarm I was less likely to want to crawl back under the covers where it’s warm and cosy. I’m not suggesting putting your clock in another room, but as far away from the bed as possible. Once you’re awake don’t get back into bed, taking away the snooze option is the first step to becoming a morning person.

Hydrate

Going a whole night’s sleep without fluid can lead to fatigue. All those cute beakers that were gathering dust, well I put one to good use and have a drink of water as soon as I wake up. Water is great for making your skin look healthy and getting your metabolism going. If you really can’t face water then try a herbal tea instead of your usual 3 cups of coffee, don’t get me wrong, I’ll still have a mid morning coffee but I found by cutting down on the amount I had I felt a lot less sluggish and much more productive throughout the day.

Start The Night Before

Obviously you don’t need me to tell you to go to bed earlier, I knew it’s what I had to do but never listened to my own advice. I would be at the point of exhaustion where I’d almost fall apart at any stressful situation through the day. I had to be so tough on myself but it paid off in the end. I got myself into a proper bedtime routine with no social media (yes, that’s right, no last minute checking on who’s doing what!)

I now have a bath or shower, do my skincare and then read my book for a while before finally turning out the light. I made my bedroom into a relaxing environment and started using a sleep spray on my pillow which smells of lavender and camomile. All these changes made me want to get into bed, rather than feeling like I had to, because I enjoy my bedtime routine.

Plan Ahead

You know that feeling and you’ve woken up late, you’re in a rush and getting yourself all stressed out because you can’t find your keys or that black top you want to wear? Well I’ve been there too and it wasn’t a pretty sight! I started planning things the night before, what outfit I wanted to wear, preparing my breakfast and sorting out my handbag. I’ll sometimes write my To-Do list so I’m not going to bed worrying about tasks I need to get done the following day. Planning ahead gave me extra time in the morning to enjoy my breakfast, a refreshing shower and leave the house looking half way presentable. I have my most used makeup products organised on my dressing table, so they are easy to grab hold of in the morning, not having to hunt down my favourite mascara or lipstick saved me so much time and a lot less stress.

Don’t Give Up

It’s like any changes in life, becoming a morning person will be so hard for your body to adjust at first, but If it’s something you really want to do keep at it. Do whatever it takes to make you enjoy being up earlier in the day, open the curtains to let in natural day light or blast out your favourite tunes as you’re getting ready. You’ll be so pleased when you walk in work or Uni with a smile on your face instead of looking tired and giving everyone an evil stare until you’ve fuelled yourself with enough caffeine to get you past lunchtime!

Are you a night owl or a morning person? Do you have any tips on feeling your best first thing in the morning?

Follow: