I've always been a sucker for homeware. Even when I moved into halls at uni, the effort I went to when choosing out the perfect posters and fairy lights to don my noticeboard was quite something :')

For years I've been collecting bits and bobs for when I get my own place and now that I've decided to take the plunge, I feel like I am already pretty prepared on most fronts. There are always a few added extras that I think really make a difference when it comes to making somewhere feel 'homely' though, hence I thought I would share a few tips on here today and list a few favourite places where I like to search for these.

One of my new discoveries of late has been Mi Vida - the most gorgeous gift shop on Bold Street. I picked up this little copper dish there the other day as I thought it would make the perfect coffee table accessory, and also got myself a copy of Garance Dore's 'Love, Life , Style' there for the same reason. Other finds have included a giant wooden S and some of their beautiful hand-painted mugs. If you live nearby and are planning on popping in this weekend, they have a 20% off everything sale on so it's well worth a wander!

Something else I've been on the hunt for are some gorgeous prints to have scattered around the flat - I had already placed an order with Society 6, but then whilst browsing Home and Pantry I came across this coffee one and also fell in love with the marble leather tie chopping board - by no means kitchen essentials, but too cute to resist right? ;)

H&M home is another fave of mine for affordable bits and unlike their clothing delivery, the homeware seems to arrive in a couple of days as opposed to weeks! Their cushions are beautiful - I picked up a couple these green velvet ones the other day and also nabbed myself this pink herringbone throw which is super soft and luxurious.

And finally, everyone's current one stop shop for interior inspiration - West Elm. So far I've gotten my hands on these geometric tumblers just because I thought they were a bit unusual, and this stripy marble bookend ready to support my ever-growing collection of cookbooks.

Still plenty of knick-knacks left to discover, but I think I've made a pretty good start :) Any other suggestions of where to find more beautiful bits would be much appreciated!

Sarah x

It's been a quiet week all in all - thanks primarily to my expert present buying skills meaning I was all set weeks ago without the need for any last minute dashing around.

One of the most exciting parts (sad as it sounds), was finally finding the 'perfect' sofa for my flat - available here if you fancy a gander. It really feels as though things are starting to come together now ready for the move - how do I know this? Because I'm starting to get nervous about the fact that I have a mountain of things to pack and very little time inside which to do so. 

I was one of the unlucky souls that spent up until 1pm Christmas Eve sat behind my work desk, dealing with the the ins and outs of the new Mortgage Credit Directive as opposed to drinking eggnog and eating mountains of mince pies. The evening however, was spent catching up with friends and overdoing it on amaretto and cokes. A splendid way to start off my four day weekend...

And then there was Christmas Day itself, which, if you've read my previous two posts, you will already know was a pretty quiet affair. Mum cooked a beautiful dinner which my Sister and her boyfriend joined us for. We opened gifts and then went for a long wander up the mountain with the labs, followed by an evening of wine, cheese and pjs on the sofa. 

If I'm being totally honest though, despite joining in with all the merriment - today's toasts, charades, copious amounts of trifle - underneath it all there was a melancholy feeling that I couldn't quite shake. It felt like a little part of me was missing. No one to entertain my Uncles with tales of Beatles trivia, no one to pitch in and stir up a bit of controversy during the debate re the Syrian refugee crisis that had just kicked off around the dining table.

Even whilst I'm sat here writing this, I'm hoping something will change. I know there's nothing I can do though. It's something that is out of my hands. Keep on working hard, keep on working on myself, is, I guess, all I can do. Continuing to have fun and to take advantage of any opportunities that present themself. 

Roll on New Year's Eve, house parties and rudimentary cocktails. 

Sarah x

I was a very luck girl again this year with Mumma P and KP spoiling me rotten. You might notice there's a bit of a theme with the gifts too - i.e. comfy and cosy. 

Brandy Melville has been calling my name for some time now and KP was kind enough to get me the softest grey hoodie known to man along with this beautiful burnt orange knit. She was also a complete babe and picked up the denim button up a-line skirt I'd being eyeing up from ASOS. As a little added extra surprise too, she knows I'm going away for my birthday in February so got me a Travalo to make my favourite fragrance handbag friendly :)

Mummy dearest went all out and got me my favourite bath salts from Therapie, the yummiest smelling candle and a beautiful (also very apt) mug from Anthropologie. She stuck with the cosy theme too and gave me this beautiful striped River Island scarf and super cute pooch slippers from Oasis.

I feel so lucky for all I received and so grateful for having a family that are always there when I need them. It's lovely to receive such beautiful gifts, but it's even better to know that people care enough to take the time to tell you how special you are to them.

Sarah x

Christmas in our house these days is quite a quiet affair - we have a couple of visitors in the morning but they don't stick around long, after which it's just me and Mum now for most of the day. It's nice in a way to not have to rush around and entertain, but truth be told, I've always sort of wanted one of those huge families that all gather together, chip in with preparing dinner and spend the morning exchanging gifts - the type that dress up all fancy and that don't spend the day in leggings and the cosiest jumper in their wardrobe.

I know this year is going to be tough, but I also know I have to stand firm and not allow myself to fall foul to getting emotional/reminiscing about how happy things were last year - it would only lead to me saying something I would regret. Truth be told, it doesn't really feel like Christmas either - these last couple of months have flown by so quickly, they feel more like a couple of weeks.

And so, in short - I thought I'd write this post to a) keep my itchy fingers busy and to b) try to help anyone else who is feeling a little 'meh' like I am this festive period.

I find the best thing to do at times like this - the best way to 'cope' - is to make a list  (if you know me, you'll already know this is often the way I like to deal with things :') ) The list should contain anything positive that you can focus on in order to help you get through the day, and also anything that can help keep you calm and stop you from overthinking. Hence, I thought I would share a few of the things that I have found myself jotting down in the hope that they might aid any others amongst you that are finding it hard;

  1. Zone out - put that phone away and stay away from social media. Whip out the old polaroid instead of spending your time hoping to hear off certain people and comparing your Christmas Day to other's online. Make some new memories - even if they are just of the littlest of little things.

  2. Distractions - take some time to read a couple of chapters of your book, shop the sales, watch some feel good films whilst chomping down on your favourite Quality Street (strawberry cream FYI) and finally - cuddle dem dawgies. 

  3. Relax - a long post dinner wander up the mountain awaits me, followed by a Lush bath with my name on it. Taking ten minutes to meditate, or something else I also like to do - read something comforting/inspirational (I have tonnes of this sort of thing saved to my reading list - packed with self assuring stuff about how best to deal with things in order to achieve the outcome you're after/how best to avoid situations that are likely to trigger negative reactions) over and over again, somehow manages to make me feel more in control.

  4. Focus on the positive - for me, and I think for a lot of people, the thought of a new year and a fresh start always helps. Personally, all my energy at the moment is going into making my new place the cosiest cubbyhole possible and towards a couple of exciting writing opportunities that have come my way recently. The two combined have proven to be enough of a target to aim for without thinking too much about what other good things might follow as a result of trying  so much harder to be the more 'outgoing' Sarah I have long aspired to be.
Whatever you spend your day doing though, I would just like to wish you all a Christmas filled with love and laughter, friends and family. It's no doubt important to remember, that no matter what upset you might be going through now - there are plenty of people out there in the same situation/that are far worse off. 'This too will pass', things will get better and this time of year will again one day be all that it once was.

Sarah x

A few posts back, I mentioned that I had been slowly but surely compiling a list of 'kick-ass' songs to accompany those 'sing your heart out' moments where the only things that perk you up are a) your girlfriends b) cracking out the Southern Comfort and c) LUCKY VOICE. You get me?

It's a work in progress, but today I thought I'd share with you on here, a few of my faves that have been stuck on repeat for the past few weeks - some of them awesome, some of them ashamedly cringe/predictable - either way all of them feel good. Give them a listen, and I guarantee they'll brighten up your Sunday!

Bring Me The Horizon - Throne
Ke$ha - Blind
Nicki Minaj - Bed of Lies
Biffy Clyro - Pocket
The Distillers - Beat Your Heart Out
Weezer - Pork and Beans
Mumford & Sons - Snake Eyes
Andrew W.K. - Free Jumps
Bayside - Devotion & Desire

Read into the lyrics what you like ;) 

Sarah x

This week has been a good one, mainly having consisted of food, drink, food, drink and more food. We had our department lunch on Tuesday which swiftly turned into an all day affair. All ten of us graced Hanover Street Social with our presence - somewhere I had never eaten before but had been wanting to try for a while and I wasn't disappointed.

It was also Christmas jumper day yesterday in the office, so as well as donning our outrageous knits, the payroll team put on a pretty impressive buffet and continued to ply us with liquor!

Last night the girls and I had a little festive gathering involving a plethora of prosecco and exchange of gifts. The lovely Laura played host this year, and provided tasty nibbles before the most amazing satay chicken I have ever tasted <3 That girl is a culinary genius! And if that wasn't enough, she also put together what is possibly the most thoughtful gift I have ever received for us all - a little hamper full of homemade treats - chilli jam, choc chip cookies, poached pears and piccalilli but to name a few.

In amongst the merriment I also continued on my search to find some more perfect pieces to help make a house a home - managed to find this copper floor lamp from Made and fell in love. And, in amongst it all I also found time to pick up the cutest little spruce for outside the front door this year.

I've been continuing with therapy which I'm actually starting to enjoy :) and I've even started getting into meditation - something that I didn't really think was for me up until recently. Whenever I start to feel a little anxious, I just take ten minutes for myself and try to zone out/think about nothing - originally it was difficult but I'm definitely getting better at it. Little steps in the right direction.

Like the picture says - 'focus on the good'. By doing that I think the things you want - and fingers crossed, even better things, will come.

Sarah x

It's official - come January 8th 2016 Apartment 228 will be mine I shall be sat on a new sofa, toasting a new year and, fingers crossed - a whole load of new opportunities.

In order to take my mind off something, I always need a longer term project to focus on in which to really invest my full attention. Once I figure out what that project is, then I find it much easier to be able to apply any nervous energy I might have, to think positively and to look forward as opposed to just remaining stagnant.

Lately this new project has involved the new place – sorting out the particulars, and, my favourite part – ensuring I have everything I need to spruce it up and give it that ‘Sarah’ vibe. I’ve taken comfort in the fact that I will no longer have to endure 5am starts, 2 1/2 hour commutes and rush hour train rides. Instead looking forward to girls nights, lie ins and works socials without the prospect of needing to make a hasty escape before 9.30 when the last train home departs.

The thought of having something – a little space to call my own – makes me feel that bit more self sufficient – like whatever happens, I’ll always have a place to retire to at the end of the day where if I want peace I can have it – if I want friends round to witter away the evening over of  a glass of pinot and a greasy takeaway then that’s fine too.

The enthusiasm when it comes to décor has already taken hold – in fact, as we speak I am perusing the White Company website in an attempt to pick out the perfect bathroom candle scent (yes I am aware of how crazy that sounds, but it’s all in the detail!).

Being an ‘independent woman’ as much as I dislike the phrase, has always been part of my ethos – I’ve always earned my own money, never expected anyone else to provide for me. But now more than ever, for obvious reasons – I feel like I want to make it clear to anyone out there who might have been feeling the same way I have, that you don’t need anyone else to go out and achieve what it is you want - you don’t need to hang around until that person arrives. It might be nice to share the excitement, but your soul doesn’t depend on it – in fact, the joy of knowing you are able to do it all on your own  involves a much deeper sense of satisfaction.

Sarah x
A few suggestions here today re what you might consider picking up this Christmas for any loved ones who enjoy a good pamper/making the effort to look extra glam over the festive period.

First off – the ultimate ‘must have’ in any girl’s make up bag at this time of year – the red lip. And of this season’s new releases, my favourite so far has definitely been Illamasqua’s‘Vega’ – a deep, rich red which unlike most of my favourite bolder shades, is a satin finish. In spite of this though, it wears well and would I think, create the perfect pout for under the mistletoe this year.

Of course, if you’re not after something quite so courageous – there is always the option of rouge talons as opposed to the rouge lips. These gorgeous nail polishes from Smith and Cult would make amazing stocking fillers.

Equally though, you needn’t go make up mad if the person you’re buying for is more into pampering than partying – how about a ‘does it all’ face mask like this retexturising one from Origins? Your standard clay mask but with the added bonus of exfoliating the skin through the inclusion of jojoba beads – claiming to smooth, refine pores and help achieve that glorious glow we’re all after. Or, if you really want to push the boat out, this body cream from Aerin is to die for – packaging aside (because let’s face it, that’s what immediately draws you in) – the consistency is rich but sinks in beautifully and the scent is heavenly. Even if you’re not a rose fan, there is a fabulous range to choose from – lilac and jasmine being another two of my faves.

And finally, the pièce de résistance – Becca’s ‘Ombre Rouge’ palette. Beautiful, buttery shadows – easy to blend and perfect for any eye colour/skin tone, you name it. It’s cute and compact, so perfect for anyone who travels a lot or likes to get that extra 15 minutes in bed of a morning and do their make up on the go. Plus, as a happy coincidence - it also makes it onto the cruelty free make up brand list along with Illamasqua (mentioned above), if you’re looking for something that fits that bracket.

What are you hoping to add to your cosmetics catalogue this year?

Sarah x

It's been a mixed last seven days. On the plus side - yesterday I signed the lease agreement for my new place in Liverpool - moving hasn't been an easy decision for me to come to, but I finally decided it was time to take the plunge. It's all too easy to carry on living in your comfort zone, to not address the issues you know you have and to hope things get better by doing nothing - hence I figured, whatever happens, being closer to friends and to work is going to make things easier, as is being in a new fresh space that I can spend time making my own.

And, in light of the whole 'making things my own' mantra, there has also been quite a bit of retail therapy indulged in over the past few days ;)

Something else I have also been trying to work on is the whole 'mental positivity' thing which, though they are only small steps - I think I have been making some progress with. I've kept up the weekly yoga classes - helped by the fact that Yin Yan have set up lunch time sessions in my office building (timing or what!). And though it's not the easiest thing to talk about - I've also started regular counselling/therapy sessions. I've never been very good at talking to people about crappy things when they happen - internalising everything and keeping it shut away has always been my go to, but this time I think I've managed to avoid that and for that I'm proud of myself.

On a cheerier note - my friend Laura and I went out for Mexican food on Monday. Wahaca has just opened up on College Lane and so we thought we'd give it a go as neither of us have been before. Result? Thoroughly impressed! We went for a mix of starters and street food which were delicious - special shout out out to the sweet potato and the guac and chips - so good!

And then there was Thursday - a bit of a strange one. It would have been Dad's 62nd birthday and so there were a lot of feelings flying around - heightened by the time of year and the festivities going on. It's always hard the nearer it gets to Christmas (especially this year), but it's also nice to hear from so many people that care and that make you realise what a wonderful man he was and how loved.

Things are still far from great, it's going to take time before they feel near to ok again, but eventually they'll be better than ever.

Sarah x

My city – The City of Liverpool.  I’ve always had a bit of an affiliation with this place. My Grandad hails from here, my Dad was a Liverpool fan, and in truth – whenever the toughest times in my life have hit, it always seems to have been there as a sort of safety net to catch me. After Dad died, it scooped me up and allowed me to spend what were probably three of the happiest years of my life here – at uni – living on my own, learning how to fend for myself, surrounded by an extended group of friends and having the most fun I’ve ever had – care free!

And now, since March of this year, I have made a return - this time to work. It’s strange because I’d usually consider myself much more of a country girl at heart, but there’s something about being surrounded by smiling Scouse faces, by that infamous accent, by the ‘bants’ and the  ‘giggles’, the ‘dolly birds’ and the ‘Scouse brows’ – it’s infectious. It’s one of those cities where, unless it needs to be – nothing is ever taken too seriously, yet there’s a sense of community spirit similar to that you’d find somewhere much smaller, somewhere much more intimate.

Having such a connection with what I find to be such a wonderful place, really does make me feel proud to be part of it; I work in one of the most beautiful buildings on the iconic waterfront – The Port of Liverpool – that, each time I wander into work in the morning, gives me an enormous sense of pride knowing I can say I’m part of the history that it represents. When I was in uni, my then boyfriend and I would, whenever we could, get hold of tickets for a match at Anfield and would stand there for 90 minutes in the freezing cold – singing YNWA,  wrapped in red scarves, clutching our cheese and onion pies and hot cups of Bovril – and I loved it. It made me feel part of something – part of something that I want to feel part of again.

Recently, the 2 ½ hour commute I face each morning has started to take its toll what with everything else I’ve had going on, and so, I decided it was time to stop waiting until Prince Charming turned up/I won the lottery so that I could buy the mansion down the road I’ve had my eye on :’) Instead, it’s now time to spend some time, with me, for me, in the place I like to think of as my second home. When you walk through a storm and all that…

Here’s to new beginnings.

Sarah x

Whether it's a Sunday evening pamper sesh or mid week way to unwind, a bit of an indulge when it comes to skincare is definitely where it's at for me before bedtime if I want to boost my mood.

Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair is one of those products that has been floating around the blogging world for what seems like forever - receiving rave reviews from those young and old alike. Indeed, it is a firm favourite amongst the more mature ladies in my family who swear by it. Until a month or so ago though, for some unknown reason I had never tried the much talked about serum, that is until I received a free sample from my local Boots store. I only had to use it once or twice to know I would have to pick up the full size. It's light enough to sink in quickly and avoid feeling sticky yet it still feels hydrating and nourishing on the skin. It works well in combatting my slightly oil prone t-zone and also works to reduce the ruddy cheeks I suffer with especially in this colder weather. A firm fixture in my evening skincare routine.

If we're talking hydration, look no further than the Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial - it markets itself as being a serum, oil and moisturiser in one that, if you're not one for the fuss of including several steps in your skincare routine, will take care of most of them in one quick application. Not only is it effectively a bit of a time saver, it is what I would consider to be, the most luxurious product of the bunch. You wake up with skin feeling plumped, glowy and ready to face the day. This is the first product I've tried from the Sarah Chapman range and I am now seriously looking forward to giving some more a go!

And finally, the latest addition to my skincare stash - REN's Wake Wonderful Night-time Facial. With ingredients including glycogen and magnesium, it claims to help achieve a more even, luminous skin tone and at the same time, promises to help hydrate through raising the skin's PH level. All very scientific, but so far so good when it comes to these bold claims as I have been thoroughly impressed. Unlike the Estee Lauder serum, this isn't something that I would suggest you use on a daily basis - one or twice a week in order to mix things up a little seems to work well for me, and if you're already a fan of the Radiance Renewal Mask and the gorgeous zesty scent it has, you won't be disappointed here either as it has the same delicious fragrance.

What are your favourite night time skincare staples?

Sarah x

By Terry has always been one of those high end brands that, although I hear a lot of good things about - there seems to be so much to choose from that I often get a bit overwhelmed re what to pick up and spend my hard earned pennies on.

When I saw Tanya wearing the Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock, like so many people I immediately felt I had to have it and I wasn't disappointed. Apart from the really unique shade - it's almost mauve but with a subtle hint of pink, strewn with tiny silver flecks - the staying power is amazing (even with my oily lids) and the blendability brilliant. Its one of those shadows where all you need is a quick swipe and you're done - the 'I've made so much effort without making any effort' look in stick form.

Same goes for the other shade I decided to invest in - Bronze Moon - a shimmery, warm brown that's super wearable and that can be built up to create the perfect smokey eye for the upcoming festive season. So now all that's left to do is to choose what colour to add next to my collection!

The Terribly Densiliss foundation is without a doubt the priciest base I have ever purchased. I'd heard a few good things floating around the blogosphere and was really intrigued by the whole 'foundation but with the benefits of skincare' talk (it claims to actively firm, tone and plump up the skin). However, it was only when I heard Estee talking about it, saying that it was the first foundation she had tried that hadn't worn off and flaked throughout the day that I felt the need to test this for myself. It didn't let me down. 04 - Natural Beige was the perfect match for me and after a full 14 hours wear in the office, it was still going strong. Despite being pretty full coverage, it feels lightweight on the skin and doesn't leave it feeling suffocated - a definite fave.

And finally, the cult product amongst my picks - Baume de Rose. Just a lip balm right? And one with a hefty price tag at that... Well, admittedly, this isn't an essential but if you want a little bit of luxury then this is where it's at. Feels incredible with more of a gel like texture than the balm I was expecting, smells amazing (especially if you're a rose fan), and does a great job at fending off those pesky dry winter lips whilst adding a hint of sheen.

I'd be really interested to know what other By Terry products people have tried and would recommend. What do I need to add to my wishlist?

Sarah x 

With the festive season rapidly approaching, what better gift to give than a little bit of 'bling' to make someone feel a million dollars - whether they're out donning their dancing shoes at the office party, sales shopping with the girls or enjoying a cosy night in with their other half? Whatever the occasion, I've got you covered.

1. Something Shiny

You could go for all out sparkle here and a statement piece to wow, or, alternatively there is the option of classic and personal.  If it's the latter you're after, then this Monica Vinader Alphabet Pendant is beautiful - the charm and chain are available separately and are at the slightly pricier end of the scale when it comes to gift giving but for that special someone or a best friend, I think they would be perfect. 

2. Keeping cosy

Let's face it, this ones a classic - slippers, lounge-wear, pyjamas - you name it, we all can't get enough of it. I came across these cute little bunnies in Forever 21 and just couldn't resist. If there's one time of year that you can get away with novelty footwear it's now, so make the most of it I say.

3. Winter Warmers

Along the same lines, but instead of staying indoors, this lot will ensure you're wrapped up warm on those icy winter mornings. Nothing beats a good bobble hat, and Zara have the best range of giant scarves to drape yourself in (followed closely by ASOS who also have a pretty extensive offering). I saw Kate wearing this one and just knew I had to have it.

4. Luxurious Leather

If you're feeling generous here, you could splash out and get your loved one that Chanel handbag they've been lusting over forever. But if, like most people's, your budget won't stretch that far - perhaps a smart pair of leather gloves or for those who like to be organised - one of these super cute slogan notebooks from Smythson (the latter is at the top of my list to Santa this year). My personal pick though, would be one of these Whistles card holders - I snapped up this burgundy snakeskin number a couple of weeks back and think it makes the perfect little addition inside an evening clutch (as opposed to the usual giant purse filled with approx 147 train tickets/receipts that I usually end up lugging around - leaving little room for any added extras!).

Of course there's the 'Something Sexy' option that you could consider as well - but I have a whole post of it's own to dedicate to that next week, along with a little something for all you make-up mavens out there ;)

Until then though, what's on everyone else's wishlist this year? Mine is currently a little lacking, so I need some inspiration!

Sarah x

Since discovering the world of beauty blogging, skincare is something that has really got me hooked. One thing I haven't managed to quite crack though, in amongst what are now many 'holy grail' items, is eye care. I've been a floozy and have flitted and flounced between products in an attempt to find the perfect thing but nothing has ever wowed me enough to want to stick with it. Until now that is - step forward Estee Lauder's Global Anti-aging Eye Balm.

Now normally the 'Anti-aging' element and such a clearly ridiculous name would put me off a little - however, the mention of a 'balm' as opposed to a 'cream' and the fact the Anna had already really bigged this up had me intrigued. I quite often find that my eye area doesn't react too well to anything that is too rich and that it can even have a tendency to increase puffiness as opposed to taking it away! The ever raved about Kiehl's Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment is one of the main offenders. And, although when I use something lighter - one of my other favourites being the Origins Eye Doctor, this just doesn't seem to provide the same benefits as something a more substantial would. Hence I purchased this hoping that it would provide the perfect balance.

In terms of consistency, it wasn't quite what I was expecting, which I must admit, did put me off a little at first. Once applied though, it glided on and sank in beautifully with what I would describe as being slightly more of a gel like texture than a balm. My skin felt silky and hydrated without being sticky, which is exactly what I was hoping for. 

I think eye products are something it is particularly hard to tell a difference with over the short-medium term - especially where any signs of aging are concerned as these are something that only time will tell with in terms of delivering results. However, the slightly dry/flaky inner corners that I suffer with in this colder weather seem to have disappeared and I certainly haven't been experiencing any of the irritation that I would normally with something more nourishing like this. Added to that, I am also a big fan of the fact that it is fragrance free as anything too heavily scented when slathered on such a delicate area, never bodes well in my experience at least. 

All in all I am thoroughly impressed and am also starting to realise that perhaps investing in a few more bits geared towards 'anti-aging' may not be such a bad idea. After all, the big three-zero is not too far away and you can never start too early with this kind of thing - right? Definitely one to add to the Christmas gift/wish list for any skincare addicts/Mums/Aunties/Sisters/Grannies that like to dabble - I mean apart from the product itself, does the glitzy gold packaging alone not just do it for you?

Sarah x

In my last post I mentioned that I had been watching Estee's #ForeverNovember uploads throughout this month, and, in amongst the usual daily vlogs and beauty bits there was one that grabbed my attention  - her 'Making Time For' video really got me thinking...

Something I know I fail royally at on a regular basis, is actually putting plans into action. And so, I thought I would adopt the same approach and make a promise to myself to get stuck in with the following - things I have been aspiring to take part and get involved in for a really long time. No more excuses.

1. Work hard. Play hard

For as long as I can remember (especially post uni days), I have been one of those people who, when 5pm arrives and the working day ends - cannot wait to get home, slip into my slacks and spend the evening doing nothing but chilling on the sofa. Now, there's nothing wrong  with doing that every now and again, but I've decided I need to spend a little less time dreaming about what I plan to do -what events I  'might' attend if I 'have time' - and lot more time actually doing them - getting out there, meeting new people and not sitting back waiting for things to happen. Though the thought of having to make the effort to drag myself out for a few drinks after work often ends up filling me with dread - by the time I've got that third whiskey sour down me I'm having a cracking time and so I need to push past the initial inclination to dodge. Note to self - socialise Sarah, don't limit yourself!

2. Diarise

I'm talking appointments (already given the daily journal thing a go, and as much as I liked the idea, it just wasn't for me). What I think I would be capable of with a little effort though, is recording any upcoming deadlines/meetings/events that I have on the horizon. Also hoping that by writing these down this may help with number one on the list and that I will eventually become one of those women who has their monthly nails/brow/hair appointments penciled in - you know the ones a lot of us secretly aspire to be? Even went so far as to purchase a couple of those super swish metallic gel pens from Paperchase to aid me today so there are no grounds for a cop-out!

3. Yoga

Ok, ok I know - how cliche can you get? But I've heard it's good for a wounded heart and I'm a big fan of wacky patterned leggings, what can I say. Plus, it's not too vigorous and as I'm no gym bunny I'm hoping it will be a gentle way to ease myself into more regular exercise. For the last couple of weeks I've attended a class at my local gym and in between I've been following this little routine in the mornings to try and get a bit of 'healing' on the go.

4. Blogging 

You'll know if you've been a long time follower around these parts, that my posts tend to be a bit sporadic - partly due to work commitments, but also because when any sort of 'big change' takes place in terms of my routine, I tend to get a bit seriously lazy. Each time I start writing again, I realise what a huge outlet it is for me and how much I enjoy putting content out there, interacting with others and getting people's feedback. In truth, this little corner of the web has been quite the saviour for me on a number of occasions and so from now on, even if it is just once a week, I plan on getting something up here.

Fingers crossed that now these little 'resolutions' are out there for all to see, that I can succeed at conquering them and making them part of my routine on a permanent basis! :)

What is it you feel like you'd like to make more time for?

Sarah x

Came across this little 'gif'' when I was surfing through Tumblr the other day and it made me smile. Despite having felt a bit down in the dumps lately, I knew that by following it's advice, everything would seem that little bit better. And so, on my lunch break this week, I gathered the necessary components and looked forward to an evening of 'me' time. If you're after a bit of a pick me up yourself, then I would thoroughly recommend you try these tips;

1. Enjoy a nice beverage - Won't lie, most evenings I've been indulging in a hot chocolate with all the trimmings. In light of my recent pledge to switch things up and try to become a little healthier though (post to come soon), the last few days I've swapped this for a Twining's gingerbread and green tea - still with that sweet hit but without the calories.

2. Read a good book -  Caitlin Moran's 'How to be a Woman' has been on my list for a while now. I read somewhere that if you're a woman it will remind you how awesome you are - how you should stop worrying about silly things like getting married by the time you are X years old, having children, being thin and wearing make up. Hence, with current mood acting as a great enabler, I thought YES! What could be better? Searched high and low in Waterstones until I went to leave and there it was - one stray copy at the front of the store - could it be fate? 

3. Watch some silly videos - First off, shout out to all my friends who are currently bombarding me with hilarious/cute gifs/pics/vids of skateboarding bulldogs/trampolining ponies and the like. They are much appreciated! As well as these, I've also been catching up on blogs/vlogs from some of the ladies I find most inspiring on the interwebz. Estee, Victoria - who's smile I find infectious, and the wonderful Fleur but to name a few.

4. Take a warm bath - No one has ever needed to persuade me to do this. It's my nightly ritual after a 14 hour day as it is. However, throw in the added luxury cliche of a Lush bath bomb and voila! Other optional extras to add into the mix include scented candle/the cosiest pyjamas you can get your mits on.

5. Make something - Yet to accomplish this, though I guess blogging might count if we're just talking getting creative? Either way, my friend Laura has inspired me lately with the confectionery masterpieces that she has been creating and so I've dug out some of my favourite recipe books in the hope that I can hone my domestic goddess skills. We're also hoping to visit the Chatsworth Christmas Market next weekend and so getting crafty will no doubt play a part in the fun and festivities.

6. Hug someone - Though I have a couple of 'someones' I could hug, most of the time I like to stick to cuddling my two Labradors - is there really anything more therapeutic than a fluffy friend? 

P.S. If all else fails and none of the above seem to be the mood enhancer you were hoping for, I can confirm that a good dose of retail therapy along with several boozy beverages and a best mate to rant to, will also work wonders!

Sarah x