The Ordinary Cleared Up My Skin Blemishes

I’ve had the acne spots/scarring and skin blemishes of a pubescent-teen a lot longer than being a pubescent-teen actually lasts…

Way before Covid, I remember being in Selfridges about to throw major £££ at a high-end brand to treat them, when a lady stopped me to recommend I go to Deciem’s The Ordinary instead.

In that exact moment, I felt so many things… Awkward for myself being in that position, sorry for the salesperson, but also thankful to lady who recommended The Ordinary.

The Ordinary Cleared Up My Skin Blemishes

You might be pleased to know that me and my purse left Selfridges (because I was too cringed out to stay in the building), heading to Oxford Street’s Top Shop (where The Ordinary had a stall). Honestly, that’s when my life (and face) changed, and my bank-balance breathed a sigh of relief! 😅

I’ve always heard of The Ordinary, but I didn’t realise it could work so well for me. The fact that its products are highly potent scared me a bit… All I could think about was “What if they cause my skin an adverse reaction!?” Well, thankfully they didn’t.

The Ordinary Cleared Up My Skin Blemishes

What did I buy?

🌟 Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

Salicylic acid is gentle (and a must for those who suffer from skin blemishes). Even though it’s a charcoal mask, I’d still advise you to use it sparingly. My recommendation would be once or twice a week, as overusing can irritate the skin.

🌟 Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Niacinamide is a type of Vitamin B3 which combats acne, soothes inflammation and brightens the skin. With the addition of Zinc, this also helps regulate oil production, and getting rid of the excess.

🌟 Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

This is a light, topical moisturiser which is packed with azelaic acid. In layman’s terms, azelaic acid is a kind of good bacteria that our bodies naturally produce. Its properties include: anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and even prevention of build-up in our pores.

🌟 Retinol 1% in Squalane

As a squalane cleanser, this product is gentle but effective when it comes to removing makeup, pollution, dirt, and impurities. It also leaves the skin looking clean, clear and smooth to the touch – perfect for getting rid of skin blemishes.

🌟 AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Probably my favourite product, this peel is a deep-exfoliant which helps fight off skin blemishes and improves radiance. What’s more, is it helps the appearance of our skin’s texture, gradually reducing the look of fine lines. Pretty much an all-rounder!

Putting it bluntly, The Ordinary’s AHA 30% is a strong solution. So, a little goes a long way. I’d recommend using it no more than once a week.

🌟 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rosehip Oil or 100% Plant Derived Squalane

As you’ll come to realise, your skin will start to dry out when practicing this regimen. I guarantee you’ll be reaching for the oils in no time. When you do, give The Ordinary’s soothing rosehip or nourishing squalane a try.

The thing I love about both of these is that they’re 100% organic… They’re raw and filled with nutrients. My preference? I’d say rosehip.

The Ordinary Cleared Up My Skin Blemishes

My beauty routine for clearing skin blemishes:

Below is my morning regimen:

  • Cleanse (Squalane)
  • Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  • Suncream (I use Kheils)

Below is my evening regimen:

  • Cleanse (Squalane)
  • Retinoid serum (three times a week)
  • Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% (optional)
  • 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rosehip Oil or 100% Plant Derived Squalane
The Ordinary Cleared Up My Skin Blemishes

How this regimen improved my skin blemishes:

I don’t know what it is, but seeing %s and types of acids included on the label/packaging is always a major worry. Looking back, that was probably what put me off in the first place…

However, I was very pleasantly surprised by how gentle they were on the skin (when used carefully).

Honestly, they dried my skin out quite badly, but I suppose that’s what needs to happen for the acne to stop. I went from “OILS FOR DAYS!” to “dry skin AF”!

But, you get your skin under control, you’ll be able to move onto other product lines.

Have you tried The Ordinary? Let me know in the comments!

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blogging for beginners

In keeping with the blogging theme, I thought I’d share a post specifically for blogging beginners…

Blogging for beginners

Do some research

My advice to blogging beginners would be create a blog stands out from the crowd (which is the only way, if you want to succeed). So, do some research!

Look for a missing piece in the blogging world i.e a topic or genre that’s niche, but also up-and-coming.

While you’re there – check out what others’ look like. This will give you ideas for when you make a start on your own.

Blogging for beginners

Blogging Beginners should choose a good title for their blogs

A title that sticks is important when you wish to grow and develop on it in future.

The key here is to make sure it’s not only creative, but sums up what your blog’s going to be about.

Blogging for beginners

Blogging beginners should invest in a good logo or theme

Branding and aesthetic are vital. First impressions really count.

The way your blog looks matters more than what’s on it, in some cases. Especially nowadays when people’s attention span for reading is getting shorter by the day. Take time into making it look appealing!

Blogging for beginners

Let your personality shine through

The worst thing you can do is write in the same way that you think “everyone else” writes. A successful blog shouldn’t/doesn’t feel transcribed, copy-pasted or robotic.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself or authentic. That’s how you attract the right audience for you.

Blogging for beginners

Be patient

Slow and steady wins the race… W’addup turts!? 🐢

Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was your blog. Take your time with it, don’t rush perfection.

Blogging for beginners

Don’t stress over posts that fail or don’t do as well as you’d hoped

Blogging, particularly for beginners, is about trial and error.

If you’re going to be scared of failing, or posting something that doesn’t necessarily do well SEO-wise, there’ll be no posts on your blog.

Blogging for beginners

Be consistent

Another advice for blogging beginners would be: test out posting times/days to find which works for you and offers maximum engagement. Once you’ve found it, stick to it.

Blogging for beginners

Keep that passion and determination

Don’t lose the passion and determination. Keep things fresh. Ultimately, the most successful blogs are packed with posts about topics that the author’s passionate about. That’s how you win long-term.

Blogging for beginners

Have fun with it

Blogging should never feel like a chore… If it does, you’re doing it wrong.

Blogging for beginners

Engage with other bloggers

Build up your audience by engaging with other bloggers. If your content is what they’re looking for, you might even get the same back.

Having said that, don’t expect engagement. On the off-chance that it they don’t reciprocate, don’t take it to heart… It’s nothing personal.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

For years now I’ve had an inflammatory situation that affects both knees mainly… However, only recently I received a suspected Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis.

It’s tough, because I’d hoped that it was a sports injury which kept coming back (at least, that’s what I told myself!)

After countless MRIs – it’s safe to say it isn’t… With a sports injury, it’s not something that continues for years. They usually resolve themselves over time…

Time heals all wounds

But, seeing as mine kept coming back, there was reason to suggest an underlying factor was at play.

Honestly, I was reluctant to agree with any arthritis diagnosis for long time because: apart from the fluid in my knees (which fluctuates and moves around), I didn’t have any pains in other joints. (And, was too busy swimming in Denial, the best river Egypt has to offer 😭)

After my most recent flare-up, I thought I’d put this post together about a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis (or Osteoarthritis) in case it helps anyone at all.

I’ll start with tips on how to control it…

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

Listen to your rheumatologist when they give you a diagnosis

Consultants and rheumatologist alike, really listen to the experts. I know I’ve learned my lesson, albeit the hard way – accept that rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, and find a way to work with it. We think we know ourselves, but their qualifications paired with experience means they know better.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

Find a good physiotherapist

Finding a good physiotherapist after your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis is everything. I prefer the gentler ones who use an ultrasound machine (which gets deep into the muscle tissue). I’ve quite literally limped into the clinic, only to walk almost normally back out.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

Taking the right vitamins & supplements

It’s vital that you boost up your vitamins and supplements intake after a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. The most commonly known vitamins to take for this sort of condition are: A, C, and E, and vitamins D and K.

In terms of supplements, try: Q-10, Ginko biloba, MSM, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, Curcumin, Turmeric, and Fish oil. And of the teas: nettle is best.

FYI: I’m going to be testing out another one which I won’t mention just yet… My aim is to try it out and then give an honest review (backed up by studies I came across).

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

Changing my food habits after a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis

Admittedly, I consumed a lot of sugar and carbs, but very little dairy previously. This is not good for most conditions, least of all an auto-immune one.

After finding the correlation between food habits and flare-ups, I decided to cut down entirely on sugar, boost my dairy intake (although I still to this day can’t live without carbs).

Jesus is the bread of life

John 6:35-59 ✝️

There’s a meal-plan specifically formulated to combat RA which I’m going to try for a week and will circle back once completed.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

Start your day with some stretches, find some videos on YouTube

Since my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I was recommended to do some stretches. I’m not going to lie – they kinda help me, but also don’t… What I mean is, the level of help is dependent on the stage of flare-up!

For example, if I’m in the peak stage of a flare-up, trying to copy the moves [when my leg feels like a Rottweiler is strapped to it] just isn’t going to work! I’m just not going to be able to lift it off the bed, or feel when/if the muscle is tensing.

The key is to remember to do the stretches in the early stages, which, let’s be real, I’m too busy stressing out & crying over it to bother, at that point.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

Taking medication is important after a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis

Whether you’re taking Naproxen, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol along with your Methotrexate, they’re being prescribed for a reason. Take them, but if you feel unusual side-effects coming on, let your doctors know immediately. In which case, there are loads of other treatments you can try such as acupuncture or reflexology.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

Hot and cold compression

During the peak of a flare-up, only apply cold compression – as applying heat makes the blood rush to the inflammation, making the swelling worse.

Other than that, if you feel a flare-up coming on, try to prevent it by alternating between cold and hot compression. An ice pack and a heatpad work well.

Normal hot water bottles and ice packs burned my skin, so I’ve had to resort to a heatpad and teething ice moulds! 😂 Honestly, they’re golden.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

Wrapping up warm

Our joints are more sensitive in autumn winter months… So, keep your joints warm at all times.

Now for the coping part…

Keep a diary – note each flare-up from start to finish, even before to after if you can. From this, you should be able to see a pattern forming. Once you know, it could be easier to prevent in future.🤞

Accept it – there’s a lot of strength that comes from/with accepting something. No, you can’t change it, you just have to live with it and find a way to work around it.

Stay positive – a negative mindset won’t solve anything. It won’t take the pain away, nor cure it. Stay strong.

Don’t take anything for granted – honestly, the times before a flare-up are dynamite and I feel so, so blessed.

To be honest, I feel blessed either way – because this is a minor ailment in the grand scheme of things, but: it just feels so good when there’s no pain!

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working from home tips

Are you looking for some ‘working from home’ tips? WFH sure has lasted a lot longer than anyone ever expected, and I don’t know if I’m the only one – but it honestly feels like all the days are blending into one…

It’s like an extended version of the period between Christmas and New Year, where no-body knows what day it is… That’s literally what this whole year has felt like for me! 🙈

So, I thought I’d put this post together about how to stay sane while working from home for another year!

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #1: Have a routine

Routines are so important… This includes waking up at a certain time, going to sleep at a certain time, eating at a certain time, and shutting off your work laptop at a certain time…

Getting into a routine is not only great for mental health, but for ensuring a smoother transition when things get back to normal.

Make some time for meditation, or a walk outdoors. Being out in nature really helps the mind.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #2: make sure your work room is different from your leisure room

If you have the luxury of multiple rooms, use one as your office, and another for leisure. I mean, when your bedroom is also your office, it can be really hard to switch off!

Of course, not everybody does, and in the event that you don’t – maybe try cordoning off a section of the room for work, and make the other specifically for leisure.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #3: try not to be negative

It’s so easy to be negative, especially in such a negative situation like the one we’ve found ourselves in… But, always try to see the positives. That’s what’ll get us through!

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #4: be social

As easy as it is to become a shy and retiring wallflower, it’s more important than ever to reach out to loved ones, seeing them as much as you normally would IRL.

This pandemic has really tested all of us, and taught us too, so – make the most of phone calls, texts and video calls.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #5: practice gratitude

Being grateful only leads to blessings. And trust me, even though it really doesn’t seem like it, there is a lot to be grateful for!

Working from home tips – #6: join virtual clubs to learn new skills

If there’s a skill you want to pick up as part of a new year resolution, now’s your chance

Better still, why not try finding online classes for local clubs, that way, you’ll be supporting the community and meeting likeminded people in your neighbourhood.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #7: play online games

I don’t know anyone who’s watched The Queen’s Gambit and not wanted to learn chess. Or anyone who’s not playing Among Us. They’re both awesome games that’ll help up stay sane amongst the craziness!

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #8: stay on top of your mental health

Take your vitamins and minerals. Above all, your immune system needs boosting – now more than ever.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #9: read more

The worst thing you can do is sit on your phone, scrolling through social media all day… Read a book. Learn something, unwind & lose yourself in a good book.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #10: Watch some movies or boxsets

A life that’s all work and no play isn’t healthy… Press the ‘play’ button on your favourite films/TV shows or even get into some podcasts!

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #11 – volunteer if you can

There might be some opportunities in the area, so keep an eye out for them. It’s really rewarding, and important.

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grow your blog

I’m a hobby-blogger, but I’ve come across full-time bloggers who are loving it! This post focusses specifically on how to grow your blog while maintaining a full-time job…

grow your blog

Grow your blog by writing your posts in advance

Balance is vital. So, I write my posts in the evenings or weekends, and publish them later.

If you’re running out of ideas for posts, check out Macy Michelle‘s awesome and very current list.

grow your blog

Schedule your posts

WordPress has its own version, but it doesn’t work for me… I end up manually having to post it – or else it stays in the Scheduled tab.

Instead, another way to grow your blog would be giving Tweetdeck or Hootsuite a try when scheduling your posts.

I’ve found that an 8:30am and 4:30pm UK posting time works for me at the moment, especially as I’m currently averaging two posts a-day.

grow your blog

Post on Facebook groups

I spent a chunk of my evenings on Facebook and Twitter, this is the only way to grow my blog – whilst keeping my dayjob.

I’ll share posts in relevant groups. For example, when I wrote my supporting small or local business post post, I found Facebook groups dedicated to connecting locals living in various regions across the UK.

grow your blog

Grow your blog on Twitter

Honestly, this is one of the best ways. The people you find on there are so engaging! They’ll support, follow, like and comment on that specific post you shared.

The Twitter handles I recommend you following and even including in your Twitter posts include: @BloggersHut, @GoldenBloggerz, @BloggersTribe, @bloggingbees, @theclique_uk, @cosyblogclub.

An example of this would be…

Another part of Twitter to take advantage of are the #hashtags. Look for ‘#WritersLift’ or ‘share a post’ threads. But, make sure that you actually follow the rules!

🌟 Following the account which started the thread

🌟 Retweeting the thread

🌟 Sharing others’ posts from the thread

🌟 Commenting on posts from the thread

The final part of Twitter which I find useful is the Lists. If you start by following the blogging lists, you’ll get a chance to engage with more bloggers, seeing the type of posts they share for inspiration. If you keep at it, they might even include you in them!

grow your blog

Grow your blog by making use of the ‘Discover’ button on WordPress Reader

I’ve met some incredible bloggers through this feature! I’ve grown my WordPress blog’s following and maintained engagement with all who I’ve found.

The best part is that you can type keywords into the ‘Discover‘ button and find likeminded bloggers, who write about that exact topic!

Also, if you’re on WordPress (or any other blog platform), remember to tag and categorise your posts.

Top tip: make sure your tags aren’t the same as your categories. Also, don’t use the same tags in multiple posts. My advice is: try to ensure they’re different each time.

Another top tip: don’t overtag. I’ve found that three-four tags work, maximum ten. Excessively tagging actually lowers your algorithm.

The final tip: sounds silly, tags are case-sensitive. Lowercase works best for tagging.

grow your blog

Pin stuff on Pinterest

I actually don’t know how to use this, so I’m not going to talk about it much… But, I’ve heard it’s great for others who decided to grow their blog.

grow your blog

Don’t stress, just be consistent

I’ve saved the best to last… You can throw so much money into ads, you can even guest blog – but there are no guarantees that your content will be accepted, or even that the ads will bear fruit.

My main advice is don’t stress. Just be consistent. That’s the safest and most organic way to grow your blog.

If you do it any other way, you’ll lose the enjoyment. Keep an eye out on your previous posts that worked well, and focus on reinventing (or advancing) on them.

Like I said, I blog for fun, as a hobby and for stress-relief… I can’t see myself blogging for money, because I’d probably lose the enjoyment I get from it. If that does happen later down the line, it’d be an added bonus I didn’t expect.

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bromance

Lads, I haven’t forgotten about you… I’ve done Valentine’s, Galentine’s and now a guide to keeping the bromance alive.

At this rate, there’ll even be a Petentine’s, dedicated to our furry companions! 🤣

Here are some ways to celebrate the bromance!

bromance

Ways to keep the bromance alive:

Games night – Call of Duty, FIFA or whatever else you lads like playing – play it (not that you need an excuse)! That’s right, continue putting that PS5 or XBox to good use!

“Booze up” – to celebrate your completion of Dry January, let your hair down – but please do it sensibly. Better still, challenge yourself by choosing alcohol free options.

Watch boxsets or movies – yes, Christmas is over, but you can still watch Die Hard, or better still: The Godfather. (Other films are available, ofc)

Create a bromance playlist listen to your favourite music and rock out to it!

Do quizzes – set up a quiz virtually or in-person. Oh, the return of Houseparty: the App.

Men’s grooming day – run a bath, light some candles, have a nap. Alternatively, you can get the beard trimmer out… Treat yourself!

Right, so now let’s talk gift ideas… If you’re looking to get your Guylentine something, here are some “bromantic” ideas… Again, small businesses on Etsy feature.

bromance

Keeping the bromance alive with Gifts:

Bath bombs in the shape of a game controller or smartphone – no lie, this is what I wanted to get my own brother as a stocking filler. Check out the Pacman one!

A men’s gift hamper

Nivea Men self-care gift box

Wallet and car-keys set – the stylish and on/trend essentials.

Cheese and chutney hamper – for the sophisticated man who has a more refined palette.

An experience dayan action or adventure day courtesy of Virgin Experience Days.

A game – guys love their. Be it poker, quizzes, video/computer, oh hell – some even mind!

Who said bromance is dead?!

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the fundamentals of caring

If you liked my post about The Healing Powers of Dude, you’ll probably like this one, about The Fundamentals of Caring.

With a cast including Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez, it just has to be good!

The plot of ‘The Fundamentals of Caring’:

The Fundamentals of Caring, released in 2016, tells the story of Ben (Paul Rudd), a writer who retires after experiencing a great loss in the family which changes his life forever.

The grief from his trauma results in him taking up caregiving, and that’s when he’s assigned Trevor – a stroppy 18-year-old who has a passion for landmarks (played by Craig Roberts).

Sadly, Trevor was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy as a baby, and has been confined to an electric wheelchair ever since. What’s worse is sadly, those with DMD don’t often make it past 30. 💔

Upon discovering that Trevor’s never been on holiday before, Ben suggests they take a road-trip to see his favourite landmarks…

During their trip, Ben and Trevor bump into Dot on the road, a hitchhiker (played by Selena Gomez) – who ends up joining them on their trip. They’re later joined by another companion: Peaches, a pregnant woman in need of a lift. The four of them journey together, facing demons that were buried deep along the way…

My opinion on the movie:

Watching ‘The Fundamentals of Caring’ was a roller-coaster ride of emotions. However, I enjoyed the good balance of drama and light-relief.

Its message is simple: there’s hope for everyone, no matter what you’ve been through or what your past is like.

The film is comforting, and a must-watch for people who are struggling because it reiterates what we already know deep down…

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end”

John Lennon

What about the cast?

The cast is an eclectic one to say the least, especially when you take their individual showbiz history into account…

I mean, Paul Rudd’s best know for playing Mike Hannigan in Friends. Selena starred in Wizards of Waverley Place and Craig Roberts played Rio Wellard in CBBC’s The Story of Tracy Beaker. The thought of the three of them acting in a drama just wouldn’t enter your mind… But, it actually works! 👏

I was blown away by Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts, in particular. The chemistry between them was unmatched!

As I said, Rudd is known for being a comedian – so seeing him in a different light was refreshing. His character was empathetic towards Trevor, he showed patience and resilience throughout. His performance was effortless, as was Craig’s.

And, if you remember Selena from Spring Breakers, you’ll know it wasn’t all that… I was glad she got the chance to showcase her talents here, though.

Overall, this is another one of those films that I recommend.

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The Healing Powers of Dude

Tonight, in a change to my Valentine’s Day series, I wanted to blog about a new (to me) Netflix original series called ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’.

As you may know, mental health and anxiety are topics I quite frequently discuss. And, ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’ is a must-watch for its lighthearted yet somewhat real portrayal of social-anxiety, particularly in the younger generation.

More than anything, I was glad to see Netflix streaming an original which focusses on mental-health without letting it play out in a dark or twisted way (like it did on 13 Reasons Why).

Plot of ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’:

This series, spanning across eight episodes, tells the story of 11-year-old Noah Ferris who is battling a social-anxiety disorder, which makes even the most simple tasks difficult…

Noah’s illness is so debilitating that he’s had to spend the years prior being homeschooled by his supportive parents.

In the first episode, Noah makes a brave decision to enrol into middle-school, and make friends with people who aren’t his family.

To help make school-life easier, Noah’s mum & dad get him an adorable emotional support dog called ‘Dude’ (hence the title: ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’) who – it’s clear from the start – has a larger than life personality! (Completely NOT a trait someone with social-anxiety would choose in another 😆)

Even though Dude has no experience in being an emotional support pet, he does have a short attention span which means he gets distracted by treats! 😂

Although Dude’s plans don’t always go to plan, he does succeed in giving Noah the courage to make friends with Simon (aka ‘Turbo’, another flamboyant character) and Amara.

The bond Noah and Dude have develops over time, and we finally start seeing Noah come out of his shell. 👏

Even though they have their fair share of fights, Dude sticks around through the highs & lows helping Noah face his fears, open up to his classmates about his disorder, and even bag himself a love interest, Valerie!

Basically: Dude is Noah’s wingpup, and I’m here for it! 🐶

My honest review of ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’:

Look, I’m not saying this show has the best acting I’ve ever seen, far from it, but at least the portrayal is somewhat relatable.

While I absolutely agree the special-effects seem exaggerated, what we have to remember is: it actually feels like this for people suffering with social-anxiety.

Now, the comedic spin of the show made it a little more lighthearted and family-friendly, something I kind of liked… Although, I do admit it is quite slapstick! 🙈

The main negative that I’ll pick up on is: from what I’ve heard, it’s not yet possible to take pets to school (or class) as emotional-support. So, that part’s definitely fabricated. Having said that, overall ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’ is definitely worth a watch.

Have you seen this Netflix original? What were your thoughts? Comment below… ☺️

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Galentines

** This Galentines Day post’s inspired by the lovely Hannah from Illustrated by Hannah **

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for romance, it’s for spending time with friends, roommates or family too… Hence the term: Galentines Day.

Fact of the Day: for years, I didn’t have a Valentine! I dated a bit, but never settled.

So, if that doesn’t officially make me the official spokesperson for Galentine’s &/or Mumentine’s, I don’t know what will… (Yes, unashamedly, my mum was my Valentine)

Although I wrote a Valentine’s Day post about things to do to celebrate, all of them apply to Galentine’s Day too.

So, for variety purposes, this one’s also going to include gifts to get your Galentines!

If you’ve been following my blog since the end of last year (when I became more consistent with it), you’d know I’m a supporter of small businesses, and a huge fan of Etsy.

Before we get into gifts, let’s discuss stuff to do with your Galentines.

I wanted to start with the ones who live together…

Fun Galentines day ideas for roommates:

Galentines

Have brunch delivered or make it yourselves – who doesn’t love brunch!?

Slumber parties – relive your childhood/teen-hood moments, just because you’re adults and living together, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a pyjama party or pillow fight, gossip about your crushes while donning beautifying face masks / giving each other makeovers!

Have a nail art party – getting your hands on a shellac kit easy, why not order some nail art and your favourite coloured nail polish too!? Get creative!

Start an at-home book club – if you’re both into books, decide on a rom-com novel and read/discuss together over wine.

Watch female empowering movies – whether it’s Wonder Woman, Little Women or Mulan, there is a nice enough selection of women empowerment movies out there. Hopefully, 2021 is the year where the list of choices grows!

Have an at-home karaoke – you really don’t need to buy a karaoke machine for this, just get up on “the stage” (part of your living room between your sofa and the TV) and belt out songs while sipping your favourite beverage. Why not belt out Who Run The World (Girls)?

Galentines

Now for the sisterhood who live apart…

Virtual Galentines Day ideas:

Book an experience day – Virgin Red Letter or Experience Days have a selection of stuff from afternoon teas, to breaks away to a spa retreat. The best part is you get to save the voucher & claim it at a time that’s Covid-free.

Watch the same movies/boxsets and discuss them – Teleparty (formerly known as Netflix party) is good for that!

Bake together virtually – video call each other as you bake your favourite sweet treats.

Galentines Day

Okay, so – now for gifts! What to buy for your Galentine..?

Gift ideas for Galentines dAY:

Etsy has as a Galentine’s Day section, but I’m also going to list my faves below…

A candle

An afternoon tea hamper

Personalised name mug

A Galentines Day self-love treats hamper for 2 (if you live together, or for one if you don’t)

Friendship bracelets

The ‘show her how much you love her’ hamper

Crystals (if she’s into them)

A funny card to go with your gifts

Flower bouquet with a difference – the only gift idea not from a small business, I just added it because I’d love one for myself 🤣 (or a real one – from a small business)

A food and drinks hamper

A cute Galentines Day t-shirt

Mystery book

Jewellery

A ‘Love’ sign to hang on the wall

Looks like I’m all out of ideas… Have I missed any? Let me know in the comments section below. ✨

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Epiphany

** This post is inspired by Dream to Cook **

January 6th is known as the ‘Epiphany Feast’ day in the Christian faith. It’s the day of the three Kings, when Jesus got baptised and when some say is his official birthday.

The 6th of January (day of Epiphany Feast) is also recognised as the 12th day of Christmas, the last chance to take down the tree and all decorations.

Epiphany

Tonight, my household and I celebrated the Epiphany Feast by ordering a Galette des Rois (King’s Cake) from ‘So Choux’ in Fulham, London.

If you’re in England and looking for a French patisserie that offers the full Parisienne experience, choose So Choux!

Epiphany

Fun fact: hidden inside the Epiphany Feast pastry is a special prize, the person who finds it is crowned the King or Queen (hence the gold crown). Traditionally, the special prize symbolises prosperity for the whole year.

What does a Epiphany Feast Pastry (Galette des Rois) taste like?

It’s pretty much like an almond croissant – but in filo pastry pie form. The inside is filled with layers of filo and frangipane (identical to an almond croissant).

Epiphany

What’s the best bit?

Everything about this Epiphany Feast pastry (Galette des Rois) was amazing – from the filo, to the filling &/or the glazed pattern on the top.

It’s fresh and divine. The showstopper for me, aside from the taste, has to be the flower pattern on the top – it truly is a work of art. These pictures don’t do it justice!

Joining the Galette (in the picture) was a teapot filled with chamomile tea, and raspberry still lemonade in the jug.

Also, you may notice the tea-light candle in the back which used to resemble a purple cactus before it melted gracefully… I bought it from Lourdes. 💜 🌵 🕯

Have you ever had a Epiphany Feast pastry (Galette des Rois)? Let me know in the comments. ✨

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