My productive morning routine

Hey guys!

I don’t know about you, but morning routines, evening routines and day-in-the-life vlogs are definitely my favourite thing at the moment. I love being a little bit nosy and seeing how other people start and end their day, and how it may be different from my own routine. Today I thought I’d have a go myself, so lets get started.

Truthfully, the first thing I do when I wake up is pick up my phone and have a little ( or long ) scroll through social media. I just like to take these moments to reply to any messages I received during the night, and briefly update myself on what’s going on in the world right now.

When i’m finished scrolling, I get up and make my bed. This step is absolutely non-negotiable, because it means that i’m done sleeping and the day is starting whether my grumpy, pre-caffeinated self likes it or not. If I leave my bed a mess, it can be so easy to just crawl back in and go back to sleep, then before you know it you’ve wasted the best part of the morning. Plus, it always feels nicer getting into a made bed, rather than a messy one, at the end of the day.

I then stumble downstairs in my zombie like state, and make myself either a cup of tea or coffee. Tea is for most normal mornings, and coffee is for the odd occasions when i’m really struggling to so need something stronger to get me going.

If its a weekend or day off work, then i’ll start my morning excersize after my coffee has gone down. I usually do a 30 minute burst of hiit, however it depends how I feel on the day and how much time I have. I then will have a quick shower, brush my teeth and get dressed before having breakfast ( at the moment, it’s either shreddies or porridge with banana) as i’m usually starving at this point.

Finally, I’ll apply some light makeup ( very much similar to my minimal makeup routine), and put my hair up with a cute scrunchie, then head out of the door to start my day.

That’s all guys, although this was a bit of a different post I really hope you enjoyed it! What’s one part of your routine that you can’t go without?

Take care

~ Emma x

Homemade Chicken Pasta Bake

Hi guys!

So this year, i’ve really tried to make more of an effort with cooking meals. I’ve always made excuses like ” I don’t have time to cook” or ” I can bake, but i’m no good at cooking” but decided that if I want to loose weight and be healthier, then I need to start cooking things from scratch. Anyway, I love pasta – you can never go wrong with it. So after watching a Jade Billington vlog where she made a sausage and pepperoni cheesy pasta bake ( Sounds yummy, but no one in my house would like it except for me) I decided to make my own, but adapting it a little bit to suit my family. Heres how I made it.

Ingredients:

  • Pasta ( I didn’t measure it, I just did it by eye)
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Chicken
  • Tomato Ragu
  • Mature cheddar cheese.

Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Put some pasta in a pan and add sunflower oil (or any other cooking oil you may have) into a pan, before adding a pinch of salt and boiling water. Leave the pasta to simmer for 20 minutes.

Cut your chicken into small chunks so it cooks quickly ( or you can buy it readily prepared) and put it into a baking dish with a small amount of oil. Cook for 25 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally to ensure both sides are cooked.

When the pasta is soft, drain it and add a teaspoon of butter to add flavour. Mix thoughroughly. Take your chicken out of the oven, and coat it with a sprinkling of salt, pepper and paprika – before moving it to a different bowl.

In the same baking tray, pour a small amount of pasta sauce in the bottom of the dish so its covered. Then begin to layer it with pasta, then chicken, then cheese. Continue these individual layers until the pasta and chicken is gone ( It should create 2-3 layers.).

Bake for 30 minutes. Once its finished, take it out of the oven and serve immediately. I like to add serve mine with garlic bread and salad, but it’s completely up to you!

Final thoughts:

Although i’m a bit gutted that no one else wants to try this with sausage and pepperoni ( Like Jade did), it still tastes amazing with chicken and is super easy to make! I would definite recommend it for anyone who wants a easy, rich, filling and comforting meal!

Whats your favourite pasta dish? Let me know in the comments below!

Take care,

~ Emma x

Warm summer eyeshadow – Naked Honey tutorial and review.

Hey guys,

One of my favourite eyeshadow colours is gold. I have brown eyes, so find gold really compliments my eye colour. I’ve also had compliments on it, so thought it would be a good idea to get a nice gold eyeshadow pallete. I picked up the Naked Honey pallete and decided to try it out so I could share my thoughts with you guys. Lets get started.

Firstly, after applying concealer to my lid, I blended it out and dusted the shade Flyby all over the lid. Next, I took the shades sweet on a fluffy brush through my crease, before using the same fluffy brush to apply Swarm and Keeper over the top, and also run it along my bottom lash line. I then used a clean fluffy brush to soften the edges, before using my finger to apply the shade Amber all over the lid. To create a slight halo eye effect, I took the shade HBIC and tapped in the centre of my lid. Finally, I used a small angled brush and the shade String and placed this along my lash line – to make my eyelashes appear thicker before applying a black mascara.

My thoughts are that although I love my other naked palette, this one is definitely my favourite! I’ve worn this look on previous nights out and I’ve always had compliments on how it makes my eyes look – which I haven’t had with any other pallet before. I also find that these colours are quite special because they’re not just your normal matte browns and gold shimmers, they have a yellowy mustard tone to them which is something I haven’t seen before from other brands.

Aside from it being different, it’s also such an incredible quality – as all the Naked palettes are. Both the shimmers and mattes are very pigmented, blend beautifully and look stunning on the eye. They are also super creamy and buttery. My only complaint is I wish the first cream shade was matte as thats what I prefer, but I have lots of matte cream shades so that doesn’t matter really. Overall, this is a wonderful pallete that can be used all year round, and is definitely worth the money.

Whats your opinion on this pallete? Let me know in the comments below.

Take care

~ Emma x

Dating App Detox

Hi guys

So today I felt like talking about a topic that I haven’t really spoken about before, but feel it may be good to share as I feel like it isn’t spoken about too often. In May, I decided to delete all my online dating apps after nearly a 2 years of using them on and off.

This was something i’d been thinking about for a long while, however I always found excuses to keep the apps and keep swiping. I guess the constant swiping became a bit addictive. Just the thought of knowing there was so much possibility and potential out there made me feel good, and the surprise of seeing how many matches I got excited me.

I went on my fair share of dates, most of them with lovely people – however it never really worked out for a variety of reasons. Yet there was a constant ticking in my mind that from the age of 21, I needed to try harder and put myself out there to get in a relationship – because I believed that if I wasn’t married by 30 or sooner then that makes me a failure. This is still a mindset that i’m working hard to drop every day, but it really put pressure on me to keep trying with these apps for so long.

Of course, this attitude along side no dates ever really going anywhere became exhausting. I can’t pinpoint when exactly, but it became very clear that it was making me feel quite down about myself. I’d question my self worth a lot, like if I was pretty enough, or if I was good enough, or if I was ever worthy of having a healthy, loving, romantic relationship.

In may, my last… thing… ( not really a relationship but nearly a relationship) ended, so decided it was time to quit dating apps and start putting myself first. I was tired of being so down and it was becoming too much of a distraction, so didn’t feel worth it anymore. If anyone has been througb this, you’ll understand me when I say the first week was a struggle. I looked at dating apps multiple times through the week, and I downloaded a few.. but never logged into them. I just deleted them again and decided I needed to keep myself busy as it was constantly on my mind.

The second week was similar, I thought about them constantly when I was bored. I knew exactly what I was missing, and although I know they aren’t great for me – I missed the swiping and the short term feelings of excitement. Instead, I found myself having to make a conscious effort to stay busy to distract myself from these thoughts.

However, after the two week mark it got so much easier. I kept my head down and got on with my own projects, such as this blog and getting my driving theory finished. ( I passed first time, yay!). I also learnt how to cook, excersized both at home and the gym, and really made an effort to make more friends and reconnect with my existing ones. I feel like this was the massive turning point, where it all suddenly clicked in my head that I am better off taking a break from dating apps. I just needed to spend more time with myself and stop obsessing over my mental ticking clock and live in the present because I am good enough, with or without a partner.

It’s now a two months later, and i’m very proud of the progress i’ve made. I can safely say that although I definitely have lonely nights on the odd occasion ( Putting youtubers on in the background easily fixes that), I don’t miss dating apps as much anymore. I actually feel a lot more at peace without them, and even feel a relieved when I hear of guys not treating their girls right… because for once its not me and my life is actually quite peaceful without men right now. If anything, I just wish that I’d have taken this break sooner. I am very proud of what i’ve achieved so far, however I can’t help but imagine how much quicker I could’ve gotten my driving theory and other tasks out of the way – had I just put my head down sooner and stopped wasting so much time on apps.

Maybe in the future, when I have my own house and car I may consider looking into dating apps again, depending on how I feel when I get there. However i’ve had this time to reflect so will definitely take a different approach. I will ensure that I don’t neglect myself in the process, and try to not take it too seriously. Things like this are not worth feeling sad over, if it works then great, if not then no biggie – life goes on. Life will always go on, because you are really stronger than you think.

Have you guys ever been on datings apps? If so, what did you think?

Take care

~ Emma x

Making Friends In Your 20s

Hi guys!

This isn’t something I talk about much, but I over think a lot. I’m sure we all do, but honestly theres always that little part in my brain that that wonders what people might be thinking of me. Or what would happen if i’d have taken a different path in life? Would it lead me to be now married with a baby yet? Would the change mean I’d have my own house, or would my carreer be different? Would I even be blogging at all? All of these thoughts go through my mind from time to time, but one thing I really think about a lot is making friends in my 20s.

It’s tough, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, I do have some friends and i’m super grateful for them as they’re all amazing – and I hope to keep them in my life forever. However, sometimes I wish I had more friends that were local, as life can get a little lonely sometimes.

One thing I have learnt is that it may be nice to go to more events and activities to make friends – it’s also important not to loose track of who you really are in the process. For example, I thought I would try classes at the gym to make friends however in all honesty – I dont enjoy them so prefer to continue working out alone. The same thing can be applied with drinking and nights out, as although I like a drink it’s a rare occasion, not a weekly thing.

Therefore, it’s just better to do what you feel most comfortable with and not push too hard, as it will give off a lack of genuiness – making it harder to make friends. Obviously dont ignore people, just try and get a balance so you can still enjoy what youre doing, without anything coming acrossed as forced.

Another thing I have tried is Bumble (not sponsored). I guess I was drawn to bumble because a lot of my friends are scattered across the UK and not particularly close, so I wanted friends close by. Although this can be challenging and still continues to be, it can be so worth it if you find the right person. I find starting conversations and opening up to new people quite hard in some situations, but love that bumble offers a range of starter questions in order to help get conversation going if you’re stuck. I’ve spoken to some wonderful people on there and have made a few friends, it’s just a case of remembering to get the right balance, so you’re still talking to all of your current friends as well as the new people you meet.

This next point is similar but you could also start reaching out to people on apps such as twitter and insta. For example, if someone is asking for recommendations on a topic you’re knowledgeable about, then send a friendly reply. Or if someone says something funny and you have a witty comeback to make it funnier, then try it. 95% of the time people will respond well, and if you continue to do this then over time it can help to begin a friendship. The worst that can happen is that they ignore your tweet, and in that case, it may just mean you’re not a great match and that it’s for the best. Either way, you’ll never know until you try.

Finally, don’t forget that this can be a long process, and its important to embrace being alone sometimes too. There will sometimes be days where your friends can’t meet up with you, so you’ll need to become okay with being in your own company. Althoiugh that can be hard at first, it can be a really great opportunity to not only learn more about yourself, but also put more time into things like hobbies or acts of self care. So put the kettle on and switch on netflix, because you deserve to feel happy and content. You are enough.

That’s all guys, I hope you liked these tips. How do you find making friends, and do you have any advice regarding this?

Take care

~ Emma x

Baking Chocolate Crunch

Hi guys!

So lately, all I’ve spent a lot of time binge watching Sophie and Dave vlogs on YouTube. ( They’re so sweet, you should really check them out.) In one of their vlogs, they made chocolate crunch and I felt really inspired to try it myself. It’s quite difficult to describe, you have to have tried it to know what i’m on about. I think the best way to describe it is if a bourbon biscuit and a brownie had a baby, that is how it would taste.

This is such an easy, effortless recipe to make! If you would like to make it, you will need:

  • 300g Granulated Sugar
  • 300g plain flour
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 180g butter

To make chocolate crunch, you will need to:

  • Sift the sugar, cocoa powder and flour into a bowl.
  • Melt the butter, then pour it into the dry ingredients. Mix it together until combined.
  • Pour it into a greased baking tray, and pat it down firmly. Bake for 30 mins at 180 degrees.
  • Once out the oven, sprinkle sugar over the top and wait for it to cool, before serving.

Final thoughts:

This tastes amazing! Although i’m not really sure what you’d class this as, (its not really a biscuit or brownie), I think this is my new favourite treat! I remember eating this in primary school and completely forgot that it existed until now. Its super easy to make, and you can either eat it alone or add warm custard to it, its completely up to you. It’s definitely worth a try if youre short on time, but really want a chocolatey sweet treat!

Whats your favourite dessert?

Take care,

~ Emma x

July Favourites 2020

Hi guys, so lately I’ve been shopping a lot. Honestly, now work is a little more normal I’ve felt so much more relaxed in regards to my financial situation, so have splurged a little more than normal as I hardly brought anything for 3 months. Therefore, I thought it might be fun to show you guys what I brought! Plus I feel quite nostalgic when it comes to these posts, as its what my blog was very much made up of in the early days back in 2016. Anyway, without further a do, lets get started.

  • Nakd Strawberry Sundae bars. In the past, I have tried some Nakd Bars before, like the cocoa orange one and carrot cake one, but haven’t been overly impressed with them. However, this new one is a game changer! It is lush, honestly it reminds me so much of the creamy part of strawberry cremes from Quality Street. Its heavenly, definitely worth a try if you want a healthier snack.
  • Next, I brought these little black floral shorts, with a white daisy print. When I first picked them up, I assumed they were a cute floral skirt. However, once I got home and tried it on I was even more happy with this purchase. These are probably the comfiest, light weight shorts I own, and go so well with their a black, white or yellow vest top. Mine are a size 10 and cost £9.99. You can find them here. https://www.newlook.com/uk/womens/clothing/shorts/black-floral-print-flippy-shorts/p/651396609
  • Another item from Newlook, is a white floral peplum top. I wasn’t too sure about this purchase when I first tried it on, however it has grown on me. I got it in a size 12 to be on the safe side ( I’m technically a 10, but some materials don’t quite have enough stretch so I have to size up.) and i’m so glad I did. It hides my tummy for when i’m feeling self concious or bloated, but also has the most adorable frills on the sleeves! Again, it is super light weight and comfortable to. You can find it here, for £15.99 https://www.newlook.com/uk/womens/clothing/tops/white-floral-and-spot-peplum-top/p/659968619
  • Finally, I have been loving the Revolution X Skincare, Jake Jamie Strawberry Donut Face mask. Firstly, this smells just like real strawberry donuts, its heavenly! Secondly, it comes in a little glass pot which makes it feel so much more expensive and luxurious. This has easily become my go-to for pamper evenings. I just rub on a small, even amount of this all over my face with my fingers and wait for 15 minutes, before washing it off with a hot cloth. It always leaves my skin feeling so soft and glowy, so makes the perfect pick-me-up after a tough week. You can buy it here for £8. https://www.revolutionbeauty.com/uk/en/skin/face-masks/revolution-skincare-x-jake-jamie-strawberry-donut-face-mask/1183185.html

Thats all guys, what have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments below.

Take care,

~ Emma x

Honest Soph X Revolution Review

Hi guys!

Okay okay, so I admit I may be a little bit late to the party on this one. As you may or may not know, I did a review on the Soph X Revolution highlighter palette a few years ago ( Here’s the link if you haven’t seen it https://littleharto.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/review-on-the-soph-x-makeup-revolution-highlighter-palette/ ) But since then, i’ve spent a lot of time umming and arring over her eye shadow palette. However, I finally caved and brought it, and have given it a fair go so I could write a review for you all! Lets get started.

Firstly, I love the packaging. The pallet comes with a matte creamy casing, and a big mirror on the inside, not only is it handy, but it also looks quite aesthetically pleasing. However, the packaging does tend to look quite grubby fairly quickly. I’m not too bothered by that, but it may be something to think about if it does bother you.

Onto the actual eyeshadow. The pallete contains 14 matte and 10 shimmer shades. They range in lots of different colours, from your every day nudes, to bright colours, to metalic shimmers. There really is something for everyone, which can be ideal if youre just starting out with makeup and aren’t sure what your preferences are yet.

Let’s talk about the mattes. They are incredible! They are so pigmented and blend so easily – they very much remind me of high quality mattes such as the urban decay shadows. Buttery and easy to work with, but can also be build-able if you use a careful, light hand. My Favourite mattes are Rosewood, Iced Coffee, Tiramisu, and Cuppa Tea.

However, i’m kind of sad to say that I don’t really love the shimmers as much. Some of the colours, such as Smokey Bronze and Copper Coin are stunning, but others don’t work for me. I find the pinky shimmer really crumbly, and I struggle to work with lighter shades like Grow Old and Fairy Lights. It’s almost like i’m trying to get the shimmer to come off onto my finger and onto my eyelid, but it just doesn’t want to come out of the pan. Therefore, although there are some stunning shimmers, they’re not too consistent.

Here’s some swatches.

My final thoughts, are that this pallet is still a good quality for £10. I would personally buy this pallet for the mattes alone, and some of the shimmers are stunning with very little fall out. What do you guys think of this pallete? Let me know in the comments below!

Take care,

~ Emma x

Youtubers you should be watching #2

Hi guys. So over the years i’ve watched a lot of youtuber. However, times have changed a little and as i’ve grown, my so has my taste in youtubers. My last ” youtubers you should be watching” post is a few years old now, so I thought i’d give you a more up to date version of what i’ve been enjoying. Lets get started.

Sophie & Dave.  These youtuber’s are a young couple, who have been vlogging their everyday lives for  couple of years now. Not only do I like their channel because I like to be a bit nosy and see what others do with their day ( but don’t we all?), but they’re both really down to earth and light hearted. If you’ve had a rubbish day, their vlogs are sure to cheer you up!

Melanie Murphy. Melanie is someone who appeared in my last post just over 4 years ago. I guess that really shows how long i’ve been watching her channel! I still love her videos, I truly feel her channel and content has grown and matured with me over the years. She focuses her videos around food, lifestyle, beauty and just pure honesty. No fancy gimmics or clickbate, shes just here to be her most authentic, honest self in the hopes it leaves a positive impact. I can say for an absolute fact that its definitely done that for me. She’s inspired me and changed my mindset for the better, regarding food, relationships and body image and mental health during some of my most difficult years. She’s truly been a rock throughout difficult times over the years, which sounds so silly to say but its true. This is the one and only youtuber who I feel truly connected to, despite the fact weve never actually met in person and only interact on twitter sometimes. I hope I can meet her one day and tell her all of this, but until then i’ll just be leaving this here…

Allie Gilnes. This is a beauty youtuber, who does lots of stunning, glamorous makeup tutorials with a range of products. She creates a lot of glamourous looks, however they can be quite wearable and appropriate for day time, as well as easy to follow! For this reason, she’s definitely worth a watch if youre new and only just starting out with makeup.

Natacha Ocean. If youre looking to get fit, then this is the youtuber for you! Natacha really does not mess around, she films lots of HIIT workouts that are sure to get your heart pumping and legs aching within seconds. However, although her workouts are super tough they can get easier with practice and will leave you with incredible results. The best part is, she knows all the science and works with experts when she researches how workouts and moves can impact us, so she really does know what she’s doing, can back it up, and shows she’s got all of our best interests at heart. A true inspiration for those looking for tougher, effective workouts.

That’s all guys, what youtubers have you been enjoying lately? Let me know in the comments bellow.

Take care,

~ Emma x

An Honest Chat…

HI guys.

Honestly, I feel like I have so many blog post ideas in my drafts at the moment, but I don’t feel like writing any of them. I just want to have a really relaxed, sit down chat with you guys about life and where i’m at. I feel as though although beauty and lifestyle blogs are nice, its also nice to just have a chat and see who the person behind the blog really is. So, get yourself a cup of tea and some snacks, and lets get started.

Phew. Where do I even begin? This past 6 weeks have been intense. Lock down has finally been eased, so that means i’ve gone back to work and am adjusting to normal life again. However, in all honesty, i’m really struggling with getting back into it.

I don’t know whether its just the fact I barely socialised in 2 months, or whether there’s something underlying, but I am struggling to settle back into work and cope with the social aspect of things. Reserved. That’s what i’ve been called. I guess it’s deemed as a bad thing, that’s how its comes out anyway. However I can’t physically help being so quiet. It feels safe and comforting, the less people know the less they have to judge you on. At the same time though i’m already loosing friends because of this, but it’s become so deeply ingrained in me over the years that I don’t know how to turn it around. That’s okay though, i’m sure it’ll come with time. Gotta keep that positive thinking up, right?

Next, I am also going through some changes. Last month, I came off the pill. Oh my goodness I cannot even begin to explain the benefit that this has had on me. I’ve felt quite down and anxious, and very sad ( I won’t use the word depressed though, I don’t think I was quite that bad) and had been for months. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I thought enough was enough, and quit the pill at the beginning of june, and its like the storm clouds in my brain have dissipated. I feel so much more positive, like I can actually cope with things now. My motivation to do well is back. and most days are good days. Yes I may still be a bit reserved at work… but at least i’m not reserved and super sad which is a big improvement for me. Ladies, listen to your gut. If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t.

Another recent change, is i’ve decided to go on a dating app detox. I may write a blog post about this in more detail if people are interested but honestly, dating is exhausting. The whole concept of chatting online for a bit, to maybe have a first date, then a few more dates if you’re lucky to then be back at square one and have nothing to show for it.. it’s a lot. So I’ve decided to put myself first and take a break from them ( I may return to them in a year or so, who knows.) as i’m tired of feeling so down because of them.Although quitting has been hard, I do feel better in myself now I’ve quit. There’s so much more space and energy in me to focus on next things. I’m also processing things more and learning how healthier, organic relationships may look, so hopefully I can make better choices in the future.

Speaking of focusing on things, I’ve started up my driving lessons again! My driving theory test is coming very soon, and i’m pushing to be ready for my practical test not long after that. If covid has taught me anything, it’s taught me how essential having car can be and that i’ll be so much more free when I have one. I just want to be able to explore and be independent, without having to rely on public transport as its not my favourite. Therefore, my goals are to drive by the end of 2020/beginning of 2021.

I feel like this next 6 months – year needs to be a year about me, and my personal growth. No distractions, just lots of goals, manifestations and self care. I’m only just now realising that

That’s all guys. I hope it doesn’t sound silly, but I do feel better for writing all of this down. I’m so grateful to have a blog where I can have these open, honest discussions. It means a lot.

Take care,

~ Emma x