Living With Your Boyfriend: The Good, The Bad & The Gross

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Dan and I have been 'officially' living together for a couple of months now. I didn't think being in a place of our own would change our relationship, but it has. Not a negative impact, but there are certain elements that are different.

So in celebration of the fact that we're stuck with each other for the foreseeable future (or at least until December when our tenancy is due for renewal), here is a (not exhaustive) list of the realities of living with your boyfriend. The good, the bad, and the gross.

1. Only having to do half of the cooking and the cleaning (which is great for me seeing as my mashed potato is rubbish and his is amazing).

2. Always having him there. On the other hand, he's. Always. There.

3. Mornings where you're brought a cup of tea in bed are just the best.

4. Being a real, grown-up couple and having our other couple friends over for dinner. So fancy.

5. Being able to slam the bedroom door shut when he's being a total shit is pretty satisfying.

6. Telling me that I can decorate however I want, then wrinkling his nose when I bring home tealight holders that he doesn't like.

7. Genuinely fearing for my life when I use the bathroom immediately after him.

He's alright, though. I won't trade him in just yet.

Love,
Sian xo

Winter Skincare Tips*

Sunday, 10 February 2019

I don't know about you, but I hate how much the Winter months play havoc with my skin. I'm prone to dry skin as it is, but the harsh winds and freezing temperatures at this time of year just seems to make it a hundred times worse, and it's hard bloody work trying to keep my skin hydrated and refreshed.

Saying that though, my skin is currently looking pretty good despite the harsh conditions, and seeing as there's no sign of Spring yet, I thought I'd share some tips for anyone who is struggling at this time of year!

1. Find a good moisturiser
Sounds obvious, but it's probably amazing how many people miss out this step! Finding the right moisturiser for your skin is essential, and I always find that switching up your moisturiser for the seasons is really important. I tend to use a thicker, more robust moisturiser during the Winter because I know my skin is much more prone to dryness during this time of year, and then switch back to something more lightweight during the summer months. I was kindly gifted the Intensive Moisture Balance from Dermalogica recently, and I absolutely swear by it at this time of year!

2. Double-cleanse
Double-cleansing is probably the single most important skincare lesson I have heard in the last six months. Since putting in a bit of extra time to double-cleanse, my skin has improved dramatically, after all, no good putting loads of lotions and potions on if you're not cleansing properly first!

3. Invest in a facial oil
Nope, didn't make much sense to me either at first. I steered clear of facial oils for such a long time because adding oil to skin that was already dry just seemed like adding to my problems. But I couldn't have been more wrong. Facial oils actually give the skin a little boost of extra nourishment and lock in the moisture, no added oiliness! I swear by the Dr. Botanicals Moroccan Rose Superfood Oil - it has quite a hefty price tag but so worth it!

4. Face masks twice a week
Not only have using face masks on a regular basis made a huge difference to my skin, I've been able to use them as an excuse to have 15 minutes of me-time a couple of times a week. There's nothing like being able to pop on a mask and taking yourself off with a book. There are so many good masks out there that keep skin healthy and sort out any dryness caused by the winter conditions, but my personal favourites are the Garnier Tissue Sheet Masks (which are perfect for a no-mess, no-hassle solution) and L'Oreal Clay Masks. My advice though would be to do your research and find the products that will work the best with your skin.

What are your favourite Winter skincare products?

Love,
Sian xo

*This post contains gifted items, but all opinions are my own!

Eloise's First Sleepover & Why I'm REALLY Not Ready To Be A Mum!

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Look at that angelic little face...

The first time my little niece came to my new house was her first sleepover. She dropped her bags, ran a lap around the place and then came running up to me shouting 'Bop Bop, this is amaaaaazing!' What a little sweetheart.

Moving into somewhere that wasn't shared housing for the first time since she was a year old has meant that babysitting duties soon kicked in. Not that I was complaining though, I love spending quality time with my Little Star, and it was the first time I'd had her overnight solo.

I'll tell you what, being responsible for a tiny human, even just overnight is a bit of an eye-opener. And, even though I already knew it, I realised I am in no way ready to be a parent yet.

Don't get me wrong, she was good as gold. She went to bed when we asked her to, she went straight to sleep and slept all the way through the night. There were no strops, no temper tantrums and I came out of the whole experience with my sanity still in tact. Winner, right?

But oh my goodness, was it chaotic.

Eloise might have slept the through the night, but Aunty Bop Bop certainly didn't. After being told she sometimes gets up once or twice in the night, I couldn't sleep because I was so worried she'd wake up and I wouldn't hear her. I was then running through every possible scenario in my head. What if she gets up, forgets where she is and walks into the bedroom door? Or falls down the stairs? What if she finds her way to the bathroom for a wee but falls down the toilet? (All unlikely, but stressful nonetheless!) Is this just a parent's life, constantly worrying about the child injuring themselves?!

The next morning, we had to be up and out of the door to get the little one to her Nativity play on time. She was Mary, so obviously integral to the plot of the production and not being late was essential. 

Ha. Ha ha ha.

Bath time was interesting. The first part was fun. We splashed, we sang songs, I eventually got round to washing her. I then realised the time and told her it was time to get out. Now, Eloise is only three, but she can already negotiate. 'No Bop Bop, two more minutes. I'm being a mermaid!' All whilst proceeding to slide up and down the bath on her tummy, being a mermaid. Five minutes later, and I'm still trying to negotiate getting her out of the bath while she continues, 'pllleeeeeeaaaaaassssseeee, two more minutes, pppplllllllleeeeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeeeeee?' I don't get how her mum and dad ever say no to those big blue eyes and that cheeky grin, to be honest.

I made the fatal mistake of putting Paw Patrol on for her to eat her breakfast in front of, thinking it would give me chance to get sorted. Rookie error. A spoonful of Weetabix went in per half an episode, I reckon. And trying to explain to a three year old the reasons why you need them to eat faster... Well, you work out how that one went down.

Meanwhile, I'm running around getting her costume for the play together, having a three second long shower, shouting at Dan, putting on as much concealer on my under-eye bags as possible, and trying to throw a coffee down my throat... How do parents do this every day?!

We did eventually get out of the door. And she got to her Nativity on time. And I grinned like an idiot as she clung onto baby Jesus as if her life depended on it. But I got an insight into the chaos of having children, and I am not ready. Nope. Nada.

I like taking a good couple of hours to get ready in a morning, doing my hair and carefully applying a full face of make up. I like taking my time with my morning cup of tea. I like getting a full night's sleep.

I love spending time with Eloise though, so I suppose I'll babysit again.

Love,
Sian xo


25 Truths at 25

Sunday, 27 January 2019

I turn 25 in a few short days. Twenty-five. A quarter of a century, as my little sister likes to keep telling me. It sounds so grown-up, doesn't it?

Whether or not I feel like a grown-up tends to vary day by day. I do know though, that I've learned an awful lot in the last year since my 24th birthday post. So here, at 25 Truths, most of them from the last year.

1. It's perfectly fine if you've barely ticked anything off the list of goals you set yourself at your 24th birthday.

2. Going out and getting trollied every weekend has definitely lost its appeal. And I am fine with being the old lady who's in her PJs by 8pm on a Friday night.

3. There's no feeling quite like the realisation that you might have finally found your career.

4. It's completely fine if you have no urge to sell everything, put your entire life in a backpack and travel the world. It isn't for everyone.

5. It's always the ones you least expect who step up and are there for you when you need them most.

6. You owe nothing to those who treat you badly. Blood relation or not.

7. What doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

8. You'll never please everyone, so you may as well do what makes you happy.

9. All of a sudden, the age of 30 seems terribly close and it's terrifying.

10. Everyone has an opinion on when the 'right time' for you to have children is. Or whether or not you should bother getting married, and when. Tune that shit out.

11. If you're not careful, quality time with your other half becomes non-existent. You'll always have to put in effort.

12. It's easy to feel like a failure, or a pang of jealousy when you see people on social media securing their dream jobs, becoming homeowners or getting engaged. Don't. You're doing fine. It isn't a race.

13. 1999 was 20 years ago. I'll let that sink in.

14. I'll probably never start consistently eating healthily and exercising, no matter how much I tell myself I will.

15. I'll never be able to walk gracefully in heels.

16. I tell my family I love them every time I see them, and I think it's so important to do so.

17. It's okay to want to help people you love. It's also okay to let them go if they don't want your help. You are not responsible for someone else's happiness.

18. Don't waste energy being angry and bitter. Life's too short.

19. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you're too old for Disney.

20. Don't feel bad for wearing a lot of make up. Don't feel bad for wearing none at all. Do you.

21. People will always have an opinion on your relationship, but remember that the only ones in it are you.

22. Always find time to do the things you love. Don't let adulting get in the way.

23. Positive mental attitude really does make a difference. But it is okay to wallow from time to time if you need to.

24. Stop comparing yourself to everyone on Instagram. It's just a highlights reel.

25. Take joy in the little things. Even if it's just the excitement of using a new bath bomb, or getting your nails done, or putting fresh bed sheets on.

Love,
Sian xo


5 Ways I'm Banishing the Winter Blues

Sunday, 20 January 2019

I don't know about you, but the January blues have been very real for me this year. After a lovely, relaxed Christmas period, a bit of time of work and quality time with my favourite people, the 2nd of January came, I went back to work and came down to Earth with a bit of a bump.

Winter blues are so common at this time of year, once the festive period is over and all of the excitement of Christmas has dissolved. The dark nights just seem that little bit darker (probably because of having to take down all the fairy lights), it's (probably) no longer acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast and spring seems like a million years away.

At this time of year, it's so important to have ways to cheer yourself up when the winter blues hit. So for anyone struggling, here are the little things I'm doing to keep myself smiling when I'm feeling a little bit glum. (Disclaimer: I am not in any way referring to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in this post. This is not something I have ever experienced or have any knowledge on, and I am aware that this mental health issue is something else entirely.)

1. Put the fairy lights back up!
Some people like putting their living room back together after Christmas and putting the decorations firmly back in their box. I personally get a little bit sad, but I've found that putting fairy lights up around the house just makes it look that little bit more cosy and more inviting when the nights are dark. Plus they look so pretty!

2. Get stuck into a good book
I've set myself a challenge to read 50 books this year. Maybe I am being a little ambitious what with everything else I need to squeeze into my day! But recently I've been loving getting all snuggly under a blanket in an evening and getting lost in a book. There's nothing like escaping to someone else's world when you're not feeling yourself!

3. Go for a walk!
One I've only really tried recently, but I've found that there's nothing quite like a long wintery walk to blow away the January cobwebs. After such a lazy December filled with sausage rolls and chocolate, it feels amazing to be getting some fresh air in my lungs and getting moving again. Once you get to a bit of a pace, you don't even feel the cold anymore!

4. A hot bath
It sounds obvious, and it's probably one of the first things someone mentions when discussing self-care or cheer up tactics, but for me, it really works. When I'm feeling low, stressed or tense, shutting myself away for an hour to have a bath just gives me a little bit of breathing space and does so much for my mindset. I always come out feeling so much more relaxed and positive.

5. Being around people who make you laugh
When you're feeling blue, it's difficult to lift your thoughts yourself. But being around people who make you smile is one of the best tactics around!

What do you do to banish the winter blues?

Love,
Sian xo

How Dermalogica Has Revolutionised My Skincare*

Sunday, 13 January 2019

It's been no secret that, even as a beauty blogger, I've really struggled with my skincare routine. Whether that's been finding a routine that I can stick to, finding products that don't make my sensitive skin flare up, or getting into a routine and then all of a sudden the products I'm using just stop working.

But then, Dermalogica came into my life.

I was approached a few months ago to join the Dermalogica Skinfluencer programme. I'd never tried any of their products before, and by this point I was so fed up of my skin, I figured it was definitely worth a go.

I started with using just one or two products from the new Clear Start range, including the Fizzing Mask which is amazing at clearing breakouts in just a few minutes (although it sounds like Rice Crispies popping on your face, very strange at first!) but the more products I've incorporated into my routine, the more I've fallen in love with the brand.

I've spoken about two of my holy-grail products, the Precleanse oil and the Daily Microfoliant, on the blog previously, I can't get enough of them. I've also been loving the Special Cleansing Gel, which has been a recent discovery, the lather it creates is just heavenly and leaves my skin feeling ridiculously soft.

I've found that on the whole, Dermalogica products are of a really high quality, and gave me almost instant results. I've struggled with dry, acne-prone skin for such a long time but I've seen a huge difference since using Dermalogica, and I've finally fallen into a routine that I can stick to!

Have you ever tried Dermalogica?

Love,
Sian xo

*these products were gifted to me, but all opinions are my own.


Driving Lessons You Learn AFTER Passing Your Test

Sunday, 6 January 2019

One of my biggest achievements of 2018 was passing my driving test. In all honesty, after two failed tests, I didn't think it was ever going to happen for me! I've now been a fully-fledged, pink-license driver for nearly eight months now, and I can tell you I haven't stopped learning even since trading in my L-plates. So, what driving lessons have I learned since passing my test?

1. Your scariest drive ever will be the first one you do by yourself.
My first ever solo drive was 3 miles between where I picked my car up from and home. And I had to sing to myself REALLY loudly the whole way to keep my nerves under control!

2. You'll stall the car just as much in the first few months of driving as you did when you were a learner.
Doesn't get any less embarrassing, though.

3. You'll forget the Highway Code approximately six minutes after passing your test.
And don't even get me started on street signs. No idea.

4. It's all fun and games being able to drive until you're the designated driver and can't drink.
Although the urge to ditch the car and get a taxi so that I can have wine still tempts me every time.

5. No matter how much you deny it, you'll definitely pick up bad driving habits. 
And cringe every time you think of what your driving instructor would say if they saw you.

6. You'll swear SO much more behind the wheel.
Well, it's not your fault that no one else can drive properly!

7. You'll lose all ability to parallel park once you pass your test.
And you'll actively avoid any situation where you may have to try.

8. There's no better feeling than getting in your car, putting your music on and singing at the top of your lungs.

Love,
Sian xo