I’ve been wanting to visit Brighton for as long as I can remember, but somehow never made it there. A few months ago my blogging friend Holly invited me down for the day and of course I jumped at the chance, so we arranged a date and counted down the days until we met each other for the first time.

I got up ridiculously early, like a child on Christmas morning, as I was both excited and nervous to be going somewhere and meeting someone new. Although Holly and I had been chatting on line for about a year and we had sent insta stories to each other, we hadn’t actually seen each other face to face. We decided to meet at the Railway Station as it was a busy public place, just to be on the safe side, but when Holly arrived we clicked instantly and we got on so well, it felt as though we had been friends for years.

Holly showed me around all the exciting places that until then I had only seen on the internet. One place I had wanted to see was Brighton Pier, so we had a wander round, stopping to look at all the stalls and amusements, not just once but twice, only the second time we decided to have an ice cream as it wouldn’t have been a trip to the seaside without one! I had to guard my ice cream from the huge seagulls, they weren’t going to take this beauty from me!

Holly and I explored round some of the old streets of Brighton, she was my guide for the day and pointed out all the exciting, tourist places. We stopped to look in  a few little gift shops and one of my favourites was Sass & Belle, which you may have already seen on Instagram. I bought myself a mug with a gold letter S on the front and Holly very kindly treated me to a pretty pink and white trinket dish as a special reminder of our day together. There were so many cute bits that I’d fallen in love with, I mean just look at the pink flamingo, but sadly I couldn’t have everything.

We were both in need of caffeine and sugar, so Holly and I stopped at a quaint cafe near the Pavilion gardens where I had the most incredible piece of carrot cake. I was so excited to eat it that I completely forgot to take a photo!

We then took a walk around the beautiful gardens, stopping to look at the Pavilion, the history of this place is absolutely fascinating and it’s such a stunning building that I had to take a few photos. Unfortunately it was a really cloudy day until much later on in the day when it eventually turned into a gorgeous hot summer’s evening.

Brighton is honestly one of the prettiest cities I’ve been to with so many beautiful views, a day really isn’t long enough to see everything and visit all the amazing places, I really would like to go back there. Parking is an absolute nightmare, next time I go I think it will be much easier to take the train as the station is right in the city centre and only a short walk from the sea front.

I hardly wore any makeup but my day trip to Brighton did give me a chance to try out these rose gold sunglasses, which are a slightly different style to ones I normally wear.

It was wonderful to finally meet Holly, she is so lovely and we had the most amazing day together. We talked about everything from blogging to life in general, next time I see her I won’t feel half as anxious before hand.

Where is your favourite seaside town?

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I’ve not long written a post with all the beauty products I’m obsessed with right now, so for my Monthly Favourites I thought I’d chat about some of the other things I’ve enjoyed doing. June has been a great month, not just because we’ve had some amazing weather but it’s meant I’ve been able to get out and explore some lovely places, read new books, watch new TV series and a whole bunch of other stuff.

A Mini Break

As we’ve been having such gorgeous weather, Adrian and I thought we’d take a trip to the seaside, so we decided to visit Norfolk, which is a lovely area of the UK and holds a special place in my heart as my Nan used to take me there on holiday when I was a child.  I have family living in Norfolk and they’d been inviting Adrian and I to stay for ages, so we travelled up early on the Wednesday morning, which was the hottest day of the year and what better place to be than by the coast! Our first stop was Sheringham we went for a stroll on the promenade along the sea front, which is a beautiful. We found a quaint little beach side cafe and I had the most delicious scrambled eggs on toast to keep me going throughout the day. I almost forgot to take a photo!

Sheringham is a beautiful old English seaside town, complete with plenty of tourist shops, pubs and restaurants, a museum and an old steam railway. There’s also a Little Theatre for music events, plays, films and exhibitions, but we didn’t have the chance to go there this time. I love the row of brightly coloured beach huts and my absolute favourite has to be the pink one (naturally!)

Later we travelled along the coast to Blakeney, which is a quaint little seaside village. Here it’s much more peaceful than Sheringham, there’s plenty of wildlife to take photos of and most of the time all you can hear is the sound of the birds and the boats tinkling in the breeze. Blakeney is the sort of place you visit if you just want to switch off and relax, although it has a couple of really old pubs, places to eat, B&Bs and a hotel. There’s one thing I have to do when I’m away and that’s have an ice cream by the sea, somehow it tastes better than back home!

We had the most amazing few days, it was great to get away from our normal daily routine and catch up with family again. I love being by the sea, I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the feeling that all my stresses are being carried away by the sound of the waves or just the slower pace of life in this part of the country. Whatever it is, I can’t wait until the next time we go back!

Jordans Mill

Jordans Mill has to be one of my favourite local places to visit, it’s not too far from where I live and we’ve been there quite a few times before. Adrian and I enjoyed going for a long walk by the river next to the mill where it is really peaceful and tranquil, I often get totally lost in my own thoughts, plus there isn’t much of a mobile signal, so I was completely undisturbed! We didn’t go inside the mill itself this time but we did take a stroll round the beautiful flower gardens and ended up taking a load of photos. I also popped into the gift shop so I could pick up a few postcards for my scrapbook, I’m trying to collect things from places I visit so my scrapbook is full of happy memories.

Jordans Mill has a wonderful restaurant/cafe which not only sells a good selection of food and drink but the most amazing porridge and fruit for breakfast. There’s something about fresh air that seems to make me super hungry, so after our walk we stopped in at the cafe and sat on the balcony over looking the gardens and river. I had a huge coffee and the most delicious piece of chocolate cake I’d ever tried!

Penpals

I love sending and receiving handwritten letters and this month I’ve made a few new penpals via social media. I love hearing everyone’s news and what they’ve been up to, I think there’s something more personal about an actual letter compared to an email or text. Some of my penpals have even sent prints, cute bits of stationery or trinkets along with their letter, which I think is a lovely idea and always makes me smile.

My Book Of The Month

I’ve been reading a lot more books this month, it’s a great way to unwind before I go to bed. I’ve been going along to my local library and borrowing books just like I used to as a child, that way I can exchange them for different titles when I’ve finished and I don’t have shelves of books that are gathering dust.

One book I had to treat myself to is Capture Your Style by Aimee Song, it’s the perfect coffee table book and you can dip in and out of chapters when ever you get five minutes to yourself. It’s packed with advice on how to tell a story in your photo for Instagram, even tips on where to hold the camera for the perfect selfie. I have’t read all of it yet but so far it’s absolutely fascinating, I know I don’t have the best Instagram feed out there but when I look back at some of my earlier photos I just want to go through and delete a load of them. Yes there are bits with all the technical info in but I think it’s done in such a way that I can relate to it a bit more, rather than your standard photography book.  It’s not only been helpful for my social media, I have a long way to go yet, but the book has made me think about backgrounds if I’m taking a photo of me and Adrian to go in the photo album.

The Handmaid’s Tale

I don’t often mention TV shows in my favourites post, so I thought I’d tell you about one in particular I have been gripped by this month. The Handmaid’s Tale is a series I wasn’t expecting to enjoy but a friend asked me if I’d seen it and after the first few episodes I was absolutely hooked. It’s set in totalitarian run country of Gilead after a religious cult has taken over America. Environmental pollution  has left most of the ruling class women barren and any fertile women are rounded up and forced to live as Handmaids. Their only purpose is to be surrogate mothers for the wives of rich and powerful men, they are treated like slaves and must have no personal identity or will of their own. Without giving too much away, it is extremely intense and I must have gone through every kind of emotion, one episode left me crying in shock because it felt as though I was really there with the main character, Offred. It was extremely well written and well acted but certainly left me thinking about what life could be like if this were actually real.

What have you enjoyed doing over the past month?

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I’ve tried so many beauty subscription boxes before and I’d eagerly await their arrival, but the majority of the time I’ve been disappointed with what was inside. Sample sizes and tiny foil sachets that hardly contained any product at all, most of which sat in the drawer unused. I wanted more for my money, so I simply fell out of love with beauty boxes.

I first heard about the Curated Combination Box on social media and I knew I was going to love it before it even arrived at my door!

This is totally different to any other subscription box I’ve had before, it’s run by bloggers for bloggers. They only have 30 boxes available each month, so it’s first come, first served, you need to be quick if you want to order one! Each box costs £12.50 with free delivery, unlike many other boxes that have £3.99 added on to the subscription price. I’d already decided I was going to love this beauty box when I found out it contains full size products, not mini samples! I think the creators of the Curated Combination Box saw that people weren’t happy and decided to do something about it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m extremely excited about the wonderful goodies they’ve sent this month.

First of all, the dark chocolate coated cranberries were a very great addition to a subscription box, but they didn’t last very long, I just about managed to get a few photos before opening them and I must say they were absolutely delicious!

I was so excited to see a Make Up Geek Blusher Pan inside, as this is a brand I’ve seen so many times but never got round to trying. I was sent the shade XOXO, which is a stunning peachy pink shade. The blusher is made from tiny milled powder and feels silky soft, it’s highly pigmented so if you’re after a more softer look then apply a light dusting first. It blends really nicely, so you can always build up the colour for something a bit more dramatic.

I’m always on the look out for new hair products to keep my long hair looking good, so I was even more excited to try out the Knight & Wilson Style Freedom Beach Body Spray. Having used it once since it arrived, I have now cast my other styling products aside in favour of this one, it’s that good! It doesn’t leave my hair feeling crisp and sticky, and it has loads more volume and waves after I’d dried my hair with a diffuser. I also like that on the bottle it promises to give me mermaid hair!

The Crazy Angel Gradual Tan is a daily lotion which contains mild tanning agents to achieve a beautiful streak free tan. I’m not a great lover of full on fake tans as I always end up looking patchy, so I love the having a body lotion which is enriched with Shea Butter and Vitamin E and will build up a glowing tan gently over time. I have used it for two days so far and I can already see a slight difference to the colour of my skin, it’ll be interesting to see what shade I eventually go. However, it has left my body feeling super soft and hydrated, so from that side of it this fantastic product to use every day.

There was also a cute pink Solait Prep and Maintain Tanning Mitt to help me achieve that wonderful summer tan when I apply the Crazy Angel Gradual Tan. I thought it was pretty thoughtful of them to include the mitt inside the subscription box as I don’t need to worry about finding my own!

Last but by no means least, there was an adorable Stigu 2017 Planner. Now I love journals, notebooks, scrapbooks, to-do lists but this is all of those rolled into one. Each week has it’s own page, plus each month has a different colour and pretty design. There are 32 blank pages for you to write your own notes or doodles, it also has a blank section for each week for you to be as creative as you want to be. The bits I really love are the motivational quotes and lists to help you get through a busy or stressful week, some give you little tasks to work through to help with your well being. The planner is a decent size (24x19cm) so there’s room for just about everything you want to write down!

Overall verdict, well I’m pretty impressed with the Curated Combination subscription box and it’s incredibly good value for money considering you get full size products! If you’d like to find out when future boxes are available head over to their Twitter page or their website.

Which of these products would you love the most?

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Ever since redecorating a year ago I’ve been adding prints to my bedroom and office walls, making it feel a little more like home. I’ve mainly gone for prints with bright colours or quotes, but all of them reflect the type of person I am.

I was asked from the lovely people at thecardgallery.co.uk if I’d like to choose one of their prints and, after browsing through the wonderful selection they had, I finally decided on the Work Is Always Better In Pyjamas business print. If you know me well, then you’ll already know that this print could almost have been made for me. I’m at my happiest and feel most comfortable when I’m in my pyjamas, in fact I’m wearing a pair of polka dot ones as I type up this blog post!

After choosing which design to go for, my print arrived a few days later and was carefully wrapped in bubble wrap, so it was completely undamaged. The size of the print is 12 x 12 inches, but you can ask if you’d like a different size at the time you place your order. I always seem to choose either A4 or A5, so I wanted to have something different this time. This print also has pink in the design which matches the colour scheme in my bedroom and I thought it looks quite at home alongside my other prints.

I chose to put my print in a black frame as I thought the wording would really stand out, rather than against a white or wooden frame. The Card Gallery do give you the option of having your print on it’s own or already in a frame for a little extra cost.

I am so pleased with my print and it really is the perfect one to hang on my bedroom wall. I think these prints would also make a wonderful gift for someone, I know a few friends who would absolutely love to receive one of these for their birthday. These are just a selection of designs they have on their website but whatever your taste there will be something right for you. I’m honestly thinking about putting the I Love Lists one on my wishlist!

As well having a range of beautiful prints The Card Gallery also sell other stationery from weddings or a new baby to birthdays and other seasonal events. I love the cute party invites, I may have to think about some for my next big birthday, and their children’s section is just adorable.

There’s more information over on The Card Gallery’s Twitter or Instagram pages, and why not have a look for yourself at some of the other amazing prints on their website. I guarantee you’ll love what you see and will take forever trying to decide which print to have, I have I did!

*This post contains items that have been sent for review
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We’re round to another monthly favourites post again and this month I have been trying a number of new products, luckily most of them I’ve really loved using. May was also a great month for me as I had my cousin come to stay for a long weekend, we had a fantastic time and generally enjoyed each other’s company. As much as I love her I almost feel the need to put my makeup and wardrobe under lock and key so she doesn’t help herself to my stuff without asking!

As we suddenly had a mini heatwave in the UK I wanted a body spray that would freshen me up during the day and still smell divine, not a heavy perfume. Superdrug have introduced their Layering Lab range with 6 options to choose from. You can spray two of the scents at once to create your own unique smell or just wear one on it’s own. After smelling all of them I decided to opt for Fresh which has a delicious fruity, citrus smell and it’s such a bargain at only £2.99 that I will probably purchase one of the other scents too. I’ve been wearing it almost every day and carrying in my bag for when I need to freshen up.

After being wrapped up in thick woollies for so many months, I wanted to give my body some pampering. I always suffer from dry skin on my elbows, knees and ankles but this Scrub Love Detoxifying Activated Charcoal Body Scrub from scrublove.com has really help sort those areas out.  It smells so different to what I’m used to with body scrubs, but it made my skin feel so soft and hydrated. I love that it’s 100% natural ingredients, this one contains Avocado and Aloe Vera, which are both great for dry, sensitive skin.

Who doesn’t love a good face mask as part of there weekly skincare routine. I’ve had a few break outs around my nose, chin and across my forehead, I put it down to getting hot and sweaty during the warmer weather. While I was on the Lush store stocking up on bath bombs I came across this Cupcake Mask, I think it was the name that caught my eye rather than the actual product at first because it’s actually meant for oily skin. However after trying it for a few times, I couldn’t help fall in love with it. I’ve only been applying it to areas on my skin that have had problems and it’s pretty much sorted them out. Plus it smells amazing, I had to try not to eat it!

If you’re like me and suffer from dry flaky lips occasionaly then you need to try Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub. You simply apply with your finger and gently rub it in and it leaves your lips feeling wonderfully soft and it’s completely removed any dead skin, I then just apply my favourite lip balm. It smells incredible and leaves your lips with a gorgeous sweet taste afterwards. I’ve been wearing a lot of liquid lipsticks lately and some of them can really dry out my lips, but this gorgeous scrub has made my lips feel so smooth and ready to apply whatever lip colour I’ve chosen that day.

There were some days I’ve not wanted to wear much makeup but still wanted to have a natural, summer glow. I’ve loved using these No7 Perfectly Bronzed Bronzing Pearls to give my face a nice healthy, holiday look. I use a medium sized makeup brush, swirl it over the pearls and apply to areas of my face where I want it to look as though I’ve been out in the sun. It is highly pigmented so you only need to apply a small amount if you’re pale like me. I can see I’ll be using these a lot over the coming months.

There had to be a liquid lipstick in here somewhere, didn’t there? I’ve not used many GOSH products before but after discovering I had some points on my Superdrug card I thought I’d treat myself to these gorgeous items. The Liquid Matte Me Lips is a stunning pink in shade Berry Me (no 006) and feels so lovely to wear, it’s not drying and stays on pretty much all day, The eyeshadow  is beautiful, this one is in Back To Nature (001) which has four gorgeous earthy toned shadows and is perfect for an every day look, I absolutely loved wearing all four shades.

Honestly, I cannot resist Jemma’s shop on Etsy that I have so many of her prints all over my office wall. These two stunning  copper quotes help keep me motivated every time I’ve a day when I feel I can’t achieve what I’ve set out to do, I’ve had a lot of moments like that this past month, maybe it’s the change in the weather! Anyway, I would loved to have featured all of the things I’ve had from Jemma in this month’s favourite but we’d be here all day. I can’t recommend her enough for prints, notebooks, cute trinkets and stationery. You really should have a look for yourself.

Last, but not least, this has been my favourite outfit during May. This short sleeved, knee length floral dress from Dorothy Perkins has been perfect for the gorgeous weather. It’s fitted around the top half and flares out at the waist and made of soft jersey material. I’ve worn the dress with a pair of sandals and this wonderful pinky, nude and black tote bag I got on a recent trip to Primark. The bag has two grab handles with a longer strap and inside there is one larger compartment with two zipped sections. This bag goes with so many other outfits too. On chillier days I’ve loved wearing my faithful denim jacket from GAP. It’s last years but I still get a lot of wear out of it and it just looked lovely with this dress as well as so many other items in my wardrobe this season.

What things have you been loving this month?

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