A Guide To Keeping The Bromance Alive This Valentine’s Day

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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Cute Ideas for Galentines Day

Galentines

** This Galentine’s 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…

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 Galentine’s 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 your Galentines:

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 Galentine’s 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 Feast Day

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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Romantic Ideas for a Valentine’s Day in Lockdown

romantic

Whether you’re living with your significant other or living apart, here are some romantic ideas for you both – to make your lockdown Valentine’s Day special.

Romantic Ideas for those who live together

romantic

Cook a romantic dinner

Now’s is your chance to be Gordon Ramsay or Nigella Lawson…

This time, rather than creating your household staples, push the (at-home) boat out by making a dish you’d usually order at a restaurant. Pull out all the stops, make sure no expenses are spared…

Look, even if it doesn’t taste as good, you’ll have a laugh – and may even surprise yourself!

romantic

Create a spa experience at home

If you can’t go to the Four Seasons, why not bring it to you? Those oils are essential for setting a romantic mood… Dim the lights and just relax.

You could even go as far as giving each other actual massages (keeping things PG)! Pop a relaxing playlist on in the background to really transport yourselves to Zentropolis. 🧖‍♀️ 🧖🏼‍♂️

romantic

Turn your living room into a dance floor

Love to dance? Kick your slippers off, put the music on blast and have yourselves a boogie… 💃🏼 🕺🏻

romantic

Cuddle up and watch a movie

Sort of like Netflix and chill – but where you actually watch Netflix and chill out on the sofa with a blanket and some hot cocoa.

Very little is better than a cosy night in, if you ask me!

romantic

Play games

Board games, video games, ‘How Well Do You Know Your Partner/Spouse?’ games – literally all the games, play them together. If you win, well done. If you don’t, you let them – it’s fine! 😉

romantic

Take a trip round the world without leaving your house

I can’t decide whether this is cute or just torture (and a sure-fire way of giving ourselves FOMO)…

I heard of a couple who did this at the beginning of lockdown in 2020, and thought it was cute. So, maybe you could give this a try?

If streaming footage of an exotic location isn’t your thing, you can just do themed nights – like Italian wine tasting etc. Order all you’ll need in advance and set it up on the day!

romantic

Set up a treasure hunt around the house for each other

Plant little gifts around the house and go in search of them together. Sort of like an Easter Egg hunt, but for two adults celebrating the cherub with an arrow (aka St Valentine).

romantic

Create art together

This one’s pretty fun, like all before it, basically: get arty and creative! Draw or paint each other, do what you have to do… If they’re good, why not frame them to look back on?

Romantic ideas for those who are dating but live separately

romantic

Have the same food or similar delivered

Lay the table, and make your laptop the centrepiece as you Zoom each each other. Pop a candle on there for extra romance vibes…

valentines day

Cook/bake together on video

Cook or bake together on Zoom and then eat what you make. What’s the worst that can happen!? Honestly, I’ve done this before and it’s a right laugh!

romantic

Watch the same boxset/film

Sort of like book club, but for movies and boxsets. Watch the same shows or films (potentially at the same time) and discuss them while you’re watching (or later).

romantic

Crack open a bottle as you video chat

Start off with a glass of wine, and finish off with a coffee…

Let’s be honest, dating in lockdown is far from ideal – but it’s the only thing we have right now… It sure will make us appreciate the time we’ll be making up for post-lockdown.

What lockdown Valentine’s Day plans do you have in mind? Comment below!

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Why 2020 Wasn’t All Bad

2020

Yes, 2020 was an awful year for the world as a whole with a global pandemic ripping through it… But, let’s focus on some of the very small mercies that we were able to enjoy in 2020…

2020

2020: Lockdown dating

For the singles among us, the pressures of dating was relaxed a bit – with people video dating from the comforts of their own homes…

Granted, it wasn’t the same – but there are elements of it that I actually preferred…

For instance, you can get to know everything that makes them tick. They don’t have anywhere to go, neither do you – so you could spend a lot more time together.

Are you looking for good lockdown date ideas? Watch the same movies and text through them… Bake/cook together on video… Order a takeaway and video while you eat… There’s a lot that can be done from home!

2020

2020: More time for self-care

Another great thing about 2020 was that it gave us a chance to put ourselves first. We had more time on our hands to work on ourselves.

I lost weight in lockdown, cut down on sugar, and had an image overhaul. I chucked pretty much all my clothes out and bought new ones!

2020

2020: Better ability to save money

We all got a chance to really save this year. It’s actually been nice not having to spend money on travelling to work, buying lunch while there – or even paying for expensive holidays…

Most holidays were refunded, with others being either in process or postponed.

2020

2020: Better work-ethic

Although we’re really struggling with the work-life balance and working from home every day, there’s no denying that we’re more proactive since being at home.

It’s quite nice not having to get up early to travel into work, we had the luxury of just switch our laptops on to get cracking.

Granted, there’s not much social interaction etc. but there’s no denying that we’re doing more, which leaves the door open to promotions, pay rises etc.

2020

2020: Appreciation for life before lockdown

I’m pretty sure if lockdown taught us anything at all, it’s that we didn’t do enough with the freedom we had before it.

We’ll appreciate time with our loved ones more, time we spend travelling, or even just doing stuff without restrictions post-Covid.

2020

2020: Getting in touch with nature

I was my neighbourhood’s answer to Snow White… 🙈 2020 was the year I met every single duck, goose and swan at the local park. I made friends with all the Robin Redbreasts and green parakeets too. 😂

Literally, 2020 was parks galore. With Parliament Hill Fields and Hampstead Heath not far from me, I was lucky in that I got to stretch my legs there in summer.

2020

2020: Engagements

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were inundated with engagement posts. Congratulations to all who popped the question, and to those who ‘yes’ed it as God blessed it.

2020

2020: Covid vaccine found & rolled out

At the very end of last year, the light at the end of the awful pandemic tunnel came… Two vaccines have been rolled out since. UK was the first country to start vaccinating.

2020

2020: communities celebrated heroic efforts of the NHS and those on the front line

Claps at 8pm on Thursdays… Our neighbourhoods came together to spread some joy in very dire times, in a nod to the NHS and those on the front line for going above and beyond in the fight against Covid-19… That was a highlight for sure!

2020
103 year-old lady veteran beat Covid-19, twice

2020: stories of vulnerables who kicked Covid-19’s butt

I certainly won’t forget when the news broke that 103-year-old veteran survived COVID-19 twice, or when a 102-year-old veteran also beat it. How miraculous was that!? ✨

2020

2020: Families got more time to spend with each other

It’s a known fact that children grow up too fast, the silver-lining is that parents got a chance to spend some time with their children, even if homeschooling them was a bit of a mission!

2020

2020 was the year of nature

With less poaching occurring due to travel bans, the animal population grew.

Less pollution also meant the air got fresher, and the Earth got a chance to do some repairing for itself, even though the human race was suffering with a pandemic.

Other good news stories to come out of 2020 include…

Captain Tom Moore

BLM movement took hold

A single foster dad adopted 5 siblings so they wouldn’t be split up into different homes

A dog was adopted into his forever home after spending more than 3 years at the dog shelter

A 7-year-old boy threw an at-home prom for his babysitter as hers got cancelled

A lady invited those who were alone and ‘feeling lonely’ to virtual Thanksgiving

4-year-old twins cosplayed as Trump and Biden for Halloween

A mum opened a ‘Special Kneads Bakery’ & hired her son who suffers from cerebral palsy

SpaceX launched two astronauts into space for first time

The craziness of Tiger King, it somehow brought us all together

Did you have anything good happen to you in 2020, no matter how small? I’d love to read them in the comments section!

May 2021 be better for all of us! The only way is up… ✨

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International Womens Day

womens day
My mother

As we look back on International Women’s Day 2020, I honestly cannot put into words how proud I am to be a woman… Women can do it all, singlehandedly. My mother is testament to and of that.

My mother has forever been my best friend. I tell her everything, and she is the only human being on this Earth who holds me most accountable!

Celebrating Womens Day:

She has taught me strength, independence, self-sufficiency, honesty, integrity and only ever instilled peace within me…

Mum taught me patience, her love for me is unwavering and unconditional. Growing up, I wasn’t easy to handle (are pubescent, hormonal young people ever ‘easy to handle’!?) – but she managed to raise me & my brother alone mostly.

My mother is my hero. She is what International Women’s Day is all about… Women who are equal. Women who are empowered/empowering. Women who lead. Woman is she, and she is my mum.

womens day

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London Theatre Week

theatre

This week is London Theatre Week!

Aside from raising awareness for the absolute talent that the West End has to offer, it’s also a great opportunity to to take advantage of some great deals, with TodayTix – the place to book for the best plays and musicals – with tickets from just £15, £25 and £35!

Today is the last day to take advantage of the above prices!

Which theatre shows do I recommend?

The Lion King

Disney’s best loved and most famous classic is an unforgettable experience on stage.

Book now

The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre

Matilda

The multi-award winning West End depiction Roald Dahl’s beloved adorable, smart kid with a big imagination and magical powers. How will she navigate around her awful parents and even more awful headteacher?

There are special effects used in this show that will blow your mind!

Book now

Matilda, Cambridge Theatre

Mary Poppins

Cameron Mackintosh has done PL Tavers (writer) and Disney (film) proud with his newest depiction of the ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious‘ children’s classic!

Book now

Mary Poppins, Prince Edward Theatre

Mamma Mia

Where can you go to experience the greatest renditions of ABBA? Here.

Spend your ‘Money, Money, Money‘ on this smash-hit musical, ‘Honey‘! It promises to be a ‘Super Trouper‘ night!

You can expect to boogie and swap the London cold for an island for a couple of hours for an all-singing, all-dancing experience.

Book now

Mamma Mia, Novello Theatre

Les Miserables

‘I Dreamed A Dream‘ of you booking tickets for this absolutely sensation work of performing arts! Honestly, as far as stage shows go, this has to be the most memorable (probably more-so than Lion King in my opinion).

It’s a heart-wrenching masterpiece that cannot be missed! Bring a box of Kleenex, you’ll need it and prepare to forget you’re in a theatre!

Book now

Les Miserables, Sondheim Theatre

Phantom of the Opera

“Now in its 34th glorious year, The Phantom of the Opera continues to mesmerise and entrance audiences at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London and around the world.” – Official website

Andrew Lloyd Webber never disappoints – and no, the Phantom of the Opera ISN’T dead!

Book now

The Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre

The Book of Mormon

“‘The Book of Mormon’ is wickedly funny, risqué and inappropriate in almost every way, the music is punchy and fun but it’s also sassy and sweet – everything a musical should be!” – Manchester Evening News

The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre London

Book now

Wicked

Two witches, one worse than the other… What’s not to book for?

Defy gravity by booking tickets to this and be spellbound! Join them on the untold story of Oz before it’s too late…

Book now

Wicked!, Apollo Victoria Theatre

What about other theatre shows?

For the full list of stage shows, click here.

TodayTix is great because it could be used to book tickets for shows all over the world, not just in the UK – for London’s West End. You can enter draws to win FREE tickets every day, and experience great discounts on all the newest and best-loved shows that are around!

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