My 2021 Goals

Happy New Year (I know it’s a bit late, but better late than never!)

So I think it’s a common thing to begin a new year planning goals for the year ahead, I find setting goals helps to feel a sense of achievement once they’ve been completed. and well after 2020 any sense of achievement is appreciated.

So my goals for this year are:

  • Read 20 books
  • Focus on my uni and do well on my assignments
  • Get clear skin
  • Develop healthier habits
  • Save money

All pretty basic goals but they’re something!

What are some of your 2021 goals?

A lockdown Christmas

So this Christmas did not go how I initially wanted it to go or had planned, but with the global pandemic and all, it’s been the best it could be. Unless you have been living under a rock for well over a year now, Covid-19 has taken over the world and has changed a lot of our lives. We’ve gone through quite a lot and have experienced things we would never of expected to. From a national lockdown to 2020 ending in Tiers (pardon the joke, I had too), from toilet roll going almost extinct and day time drinking became a normal thing; there’s no more “It’s 5pm somewhere” now “why the f*** not?!”. Countless hours on zoom and TikTok our generation has surely changed. I’ve almost forgot what it feels like to be surrounded by a crowd of people at a gig or in a bar/club, which is sad. And with Covid Christmas markets were cancelled, including Winter Wonderland.

Harrods lights

Around Christmas me and my boyfriend normally spend our weekends going through our winter ‘check-list’ and with Winter Wonderland being closed that had to be scratched off. We still managed to do a few things though:

  • Christmas at Kew Gardens
  • Christmas lights throughout London
  • Covent Garden
  • Leicester Square
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Piccadily Circus
  • Carnaby Street
  • Harrods

Christmas at Kew Gardens

We had booked this in July/August as soon as it got released as tickets always sell out quite quickly, obviously with covid and the ever changing regulations we weren’t 100% sure if it would go ahead, but luckily we got to go just in time! We went on the Friday before the Saturday when London went into Tier 4 which meant Botanical Gardens (e.g. Kew Gardens) would close.

Some things were the same as the year before (just as nice & magical!) but there were some new features too! It was probably the best i’ve seen (Was my third time), it took us an hour and a half to walk around the trail, we only stopped a couple times to get some hot chocolate and mulled wine.

Carnaby street

This is the fourth year me and graham have gone to Carnaby street at Christmas and if I’m totally honest, it was my least favourite display compared to the previous years’ ones. This years theme was ‘Choose Love’ and was a very basic display of pink/purple signs with positive affirmations on them.

Covent Garden/Leicester Square/Trafalgar Square/Piccadily Circus

These had the same displays they normally have but nevertheless was still nice to walk around and see them all again.

Thank you for reading this post! I hope you have all had a good Christmas or the best you could of had considering the pandemic.

Stay safe 🙂 x

‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ by Liane Moriarty – Book Review

One luxury retreat in the middle of nowhere. Ten days in which no one can leave. Nine strangers seeking perfection. And each discovering the perfect lie…

The front cover of this book really gave me love island vibes, but it definitely not like love island at all. Each chapter is from a different character’s perspective. When I first started reading the book I got quite confused cos the chapters didn’t link to each other but that was only because you was getting to know the context and background of each character. Once you get more into the book it all links together and then flows from chapter to chapter even with the character changes.

As you’re told from the title the story is about nine strangers: Ben, Jessica, Francis, Tony, Carmel, Lars, Zoe, Heather and Napoleon. There are also 3 other main characters called: Masha, Deliah and Yao. The story is focused on the nine ‘strangers’ who sign up for a wellness retreat to improve a certain aspect of their lifestyle.

With each chapter you begin to learn more about each character, seeing their individual personalities bloom and blossom as the story progresses. Each character/group of characters are facing different issues such as; marriage problems, a family bereavement, career being stuck in a rut and a divorcee wanting to lose weight. But being at this retreat unites them all.

The book is gripping and you get hooked on all the drama that unfolds, I didn’t think I would enjoy it at first but was pleasantly surprised a few chapters later I wasn’t able to put the book down!

I would safely rate it a 5/5, as the ending was even brilliant which I don’t often say about books I’ve read.

So if you’re into books, definitely give this a go! You won’t be disappointed.

My Netflix to watch list

I don’t know about you but during lockdown i watched Netflix more than usual, although I have always loved watching Netflix, more free time meant more watch time. Which in turn, meant I could watch more series/movies.

I personally love reading about what series and films other people watch so I thought I’d do my own. (I do think ive done a post similar to this before, but oh well).

Let’s start off with the series I would recommend:

  • The Umbrella Academy (Season 1 & 2) – if you haven’t heard about it (I highly doubt it as it is super popular) then you definitely need to give it a watch; it might take a few episodes to get into it though.
  • Good Girls – I don’t think this is overly popular but it is really good and quite funny, it’s better than you’d first expect.
  • The Vampire Diaries (all 8 seasons!)- I have loved this series since it first came out on ITV2, I remember I used to watch it when I was younger with my parents, since growing up ive rewatched it twice, once more recently as I kept on seeing it on TikTok so I decided to rewatch all EIGHT season, totally worth it. I would highly recommend this but obviously if vampires aren’t your thing then maybe not… however there are lots of eye candy *cough cough* Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley…the list goes on, so maybe just watch it for them.
  • The Originals (5 seasons) – I’m currently watching this now and am loving it! if you like the vampire diaries you’ll love this!
  • Dynasty – it’s a remake of an old series, I haven’t seen the older version but this one is brilliant. It’s funny, witty, romantic and dramatic.
  • Gossip Girl (xoxo) – this is a classic and i’m actually planning on rewatching it even though I know who the gossip girl is, its just so good.
  • The Witcher – didn’t think I’d enjoy this but I was hooked, would definitely recommend.
  • The Bodyguard – another series I didn’t expect to enjoy but it took me by surprise, also doesn’t hurt that Richard Madden is in it.
  • Emily in Paris – this is very popular at the moment and I have seen mixed reviews but personally I loved it.
  • The Haunting of Hill House/Bly manor – if you like horrors then I would 100% recommend these series; although the second one is not as scary or as creepy as the first its still really good and gripping.
  • The Kissing Booth 1&2 – cheesy feel good movie
  • The Holidate – again, a cheesy feel good movie

As you can see recently I have watched a lot of series and I can’t remember the other films I watched but there was definitely more. I also watched some series that I wouldn’t watch again or recommend to others which are:

  • Big mouth
  • Ratched

and there are some series that I haven’t watched yet but am planning to which are:

  • Lucifer
  • Cursed

What are you watching at the moment and is there anything you’d recommend?

My skincare saviours during lockdown

Cleansers

Lockdown gave me the perfect opportunity to play around with my skincare and find what works for me and what I need to cut out.

I used to use too many different products which I think did more bad than good; I used to compulse buy so many skincare products just because they sounded good and would spend more money than what was necessary. By no means am I an expert or a specialist and of course all our skins differ to each others. My skin type is oily to combination and is acne prone.

I’m currently changing my products to the ordinary and the body shop as they’re working the best for my skin.

Here are the products I use in my AM skincare routine:

  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser
  • Simple soothing facial toner
  • The Body Shop tea tree oil (if I have spots)
  • The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
  • The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA
  • La Roche-Posay 50+ SPF

And here are the products I use in my PM skincare routine:

  • The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
  • Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot cloth cleanser (for a double cleanse) – I use this twice a week
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser (for a double cleanse when not using the liz Earle cleanser)
  • Simple soothing facial toner
  • The Ordinary Retinol
  • The Body Shop Drops of light eye cream
  • Revolution Green Tea and Collagen serum with crystal roller
  • Clinique super defence night moisturiser
  • The Body Shop Vitamin E overnight serum-in-oil (I use this once/twice a week)

I do like the change some of the serums around once they finish but these are the ones I’m loving at the moment!

Q: What is your skincare must have?

Love, Jess x

‘The Horse Dancer’ by Jojo Moyes Review

It’s been a while since I’ve written a book review and to be honest it’s taken me a while to finish this book, for many reasons. Overall, I have enjoyed the book but at times I got bored and a little distracted which made me lose interest.

The Horse Dancer

The story is based on two stories at first that gradually become one, one being about a 14 year old girl living in London with her grandad who loves horses and spends all her free time training and riding her horse Boo. The other story is focused on Natasha a soon to be divorced lawyer who’s life gets turned upside down.

What I liked most about this book was the storyline, it had an interesting plot which some interesting turns of events. It’s hard to describe the genre of book as it has a mixture of different themes throughout the book such as:

  • Romance
  • family
  • sadness/grief
  • animals

It doesn’t focus solely on one theme so is quite interesting. I also liked the fact it was about horses as I like horses and gained quite a bit of knowledge on them from reading the book such as a form of horse performance called dressage. I also enjoyed the fact it was quite an emotionally gripping story and as I got more and more into it the less I wanted to put it down, however it did take me longer than usual to get hooked onto the story line

However, the change of view of each paragraph did become a bit confusing and the change of tense also added to that as the paragraphs didn’t quite flow together smoothly; which I find easier to read. Some chapters also felt unnecessary and not essential for the story line which made parts a little boring.

Overall, I would rate the book a 3.5 out of 5, and probably won’t re-read it.

Q: What book are you reading at the moment?

Love,

Jess

How to stay productive in Lockdown

With everything that’s going on with the whole country being on lockdown, its easy to get swept up and feel a bit lost. During lockdown I have personally tried to be as productive as I can and although it can be hard as there is a lot going on and a lot to worry about, accomplishing a few tasks can make you feel a lot better.

Even though it is good to be productive, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. if you don’t accomplish something every day that’s okay and if you do that’s okay too.

Lockdown challenges us all in different ways but here are some things that could keep you busy (if you want to that is)

  • go on an outdoor walk, even if its just for 20 minutes, getting out is so good for your physical and mental health
  •  read more books
  • learn a new language, the duolingo app is really good
  • home workouts
  • practice different makeup looks
  • watch some Netflix series/movies
  • clean/sort out your room
  • play animal crossing (I am hooked! well have been since wild world, but new horizons has taken it to a whole new level)

I have found having a routine really helps and it helps for the day to go quicker, in order to set a routine I use an app called ‘Actions’ which is like a to-do list (but you can also make a physical to do list or use notes on your phone). Using this app, I give myself daily tasks which helps me to stay active/focused and helps the day go quicker too. It’s not compulsory to complete all tasks and if I don’t they roll over to the next day, so there isn’t much pressure.

With everything being how it is at the moment keeping a routine allows me to keep some structure in my life.

An example of my daily routine would be the following:

wake up – affirmations – have a coffee and play animal crossing – do some home workouts – have breakfast – shower – go for a walk – have lunch – study – play animal crossing – have dinner – watch Netflix – read my book & journal – bed.

My daily routine varies from day to day and I will squeeze a face mask in now and again but I have found since following it, I feel a lot better within myself and accomplished.

Using my daily affirmations really help me to keep a positive outlook each day, the ones I find the most helpful ones are the everyday happiness, everyday confidence, everyday mindfulness and my affirmators cards.

What’ve you gotten up to during lockdown?

Stay safe, Jess x

Crystal rollers; worth the hype?

Hey guys,

its been about a year since I last wrote a blog post, and to be honest a lot has changed since then; I’ve started a new job and focused heavily on my open uni degree so found it hard to balance blogging alongside it. However, I have missed not writing blogs so I’m giving it another shot.

As you can probably tell from the title of this post, this will be about crystal rollers, more specifically the Revolution crystal rollers alongside the serums.

The serums are called:

  • Rose and camomile: calming and soothing serum
  • Green tea and collagen: hydrating and plumping serum

They are both vegan and cruelty free.

The packaging itself is very aesthetically pleasing and the serums themselves are glittery (but don’t leave your face glittery, woop!). They are great value for money as a little goes a long way and the serums seem to be lasting forever.

I use the jade crystal roller with the green tea and collagen serum and the rose quartz roller with the rose and camomile serum.

I personally love them and have noticed a real difference in my skin since using them. I use the green tea and collagen one as part of my morning routine and use the rose and camomile serum during my nighttime routine.

I would highly recommend trying these if you’re skin is sensitive and dry as the rollers really help to soothe and calm inflamed skin and also the serum is absorbed into the skin causing it to feel more moisturised.

Have you tried crystal rollers? if so, leave in the comments your thoughts on them.

Until next time,

Jess x

URBAN DECAY’S NAKED RELOADED PALETTE – WORTH THE HYPE?

I haven’t posted a makeup review on my blog for so long so this post was definitely overdue.

Anyone who follows me on Instagram or knows me in real life knows that I love Urban Decay’s Naked palettes and when they release a new one, I simply cannot resist getting it.

 

When the Naked reloaded palette was released, I was super excited as I love the original naked palette and was gutted to see it was discontinued (however now I can guess it was all part of a master plan).

Some of the shades in this palette are quite similar to the original naked palette but there are new tones thrown in there too such as the pink shades, which I love.

The palette itself is longer than the other naked palettes which mean more shades (yay!) however it no longer contains a brush which was a bit sad as I did think the brushes that came with the palettes were good.

 

The pigmentation of this palette is really good and you can definitely tell that Urban Decay has upped their game when it comes to their eyeshadow formula.

You can create loads of different types of looks with this palette from subtle to smoky which is perfect for all round use.

Even though it has strong similarities to the original palette I still find myself using both which is good.

What Urban Decay Naked palette is your favourite?

Love always,

Jess x

THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR – by Shari Lapena

This book was sitting on my book shelf for just over a year before I decided to read it. I initially bought it because I had seen such good reviews on it on social media and in magazines, however when choosing my next book, I always put off reading it, as it wasn’t the normal type or genre of book I would normally go for. After finishing ‘Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine’ I thoughthey why not switch things up a little bit and read something different. I’m SO glad that I did because I loved this book!

I would say that it fits under a crime/thriller category, and prior to this I had been watching various documentaries on Netflix under the same genre (e.g. Ted Bundy’s tapes and Dirty John) I am also currently watching the Madeline McCann documentary so thought that if I enjoyed a crime/thriller series I might like a book of that genre too!

So, before I get started on my review let me tell you a rough outline of the story. It’s based on a couple who leave their baby alone whilst attending a dinner party next door, they check on their baby regularly however, when they get home…the baby’s gone! The story tells you the twist and turns in the investigation.

I read this at the same time as watching the Madeline McCann documentary so the similarities were uncanny and scary!

The blurb

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half-hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realised. She’s gone.

You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there…

My rating

5/5.

My review

The book was amazing! I was instantly hooked after the first chapter, it just kept making me want to read on and read on to find out what’ll happen next. Books like this are my favourite, as I never want to put them down. I also found this book to be so unpredictable and the twists in the story plot were insane! I definitely recommend this book.

Have you read this book? If yes, did you enjoy it?

Love always,

Jess