Monday, 15 May 2017

PEONY SEASON IS HERE

With spring now in full swing (unintentional rhyme there, thank-you) there's nothing I love more than seeing all the pretty plants in bloom. For as long as I can remember, my favourite flower has been the peony, especially pale pink and white varieties. I can't tell you how happy I was when my best friend handed me my bridesmaids bouquet and it was adorned with the most beautiful pink and cream peonies; we have a third-generation peony cutting in our garden that gave us several red blooms this year - hell, I'm currently in the middle of getting a half sleeve tattooed with pretty peonies - I simply love them! They are my forever flower, if you will.

The British peony season is very short. Weather permitting; you can expect to get hold of native varieties from May until late July. There is so much symbolism associated with this gorgeous flower, too. To the Chinese, the peony symbolises wealth, luck, elegance and poise; to the Greeks, healing; to the Japanese, happy marriage and virility (hence its choice in wedding bouquets!) I think there's something quite romantic about peonies. I would choose them over roses any day!

Where I live, I find it really difficult to find good quality in-season peonies. Supermarkets hardly ever stock them and local florists are few and far between, unless, of course, you want to splash out on a bouquet that lasts a week at best. Bloom & Wild are my first port-of-call when it comes to buying my flowers, both for beauty and ease of delivery (straight through your letterbox!). I don't buy them often but I find I don't need to. The last peony bouquet I purchased from them lasted over 4 weeks, which I was extremely happy about!
 Housed perfectly in this lovely handmade Dartington Crystal short Tara vase*, the Fleur bouquet from Bloom & Wild is the ideal fresh centrepiece to any home this spring. It not only contains some gorgeous ready-to-bloom Sarah Bernhardt peonies, but also is accompanied by five pale pink roses as well as lavendar scabiosa, pink september and greenbell foliage. Each of the 25 stems comes individually netted to avoid damage throughout the delivery process. I can’t wait until they bloom fully, they really do brighten up my bedroom.

Do you love peonies as much as I do? Where do you get your bouquets? I’d love to know!

The Fleur bouquet retails at £38, and is available from Bloom & Wild's website
*I was kindly gifted this item for the purpose of a blog post
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Monday, 10 April 2017

SPRING-CLEANING TIPS

My bedroom has always been a place of “organised chaos” in that, I know exactly where things are, even if they are in amongst a mass of clothes on the floor. Even though I would rather come home to a lovely white clean space with a minimalistic feel, sometimes life gets too busy and things quite literally get in the way of your perfect Instagrammable bedroom. I mean, who isn’t guilty of just leaving your clothes in a pile and crawling into bed after a long day? I know I do it! But there comes a point where this organised chaos becomes a messy problem, and that’s when you know you have to set aside a day in your calendar to do some good old spring-cleaning.

Spring-cleaning means you deep clean the hell out of your space. I clean the windows, wash the skirting boards, flip the mattress etc. Just allow yourself the time to do all the chores that need doing every once in a while, you’ll feel better for it! If you’re wondering how to get started with this – let’s face it – seasonal chore, then fear not. I have a few handy tips to give you in order to keep your cleaning and organising on track.

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START SMALL
Set aside an hour if that’s all you can afford and just begin by sorting through old magazines or documents you have lying about gathering dust. I’ve been guilty of collecting Vogue and Cosmopolitan magazines in the past, which is a mistake when 99% of the paper is just advertising. You don’t need that in your life! Similarly, tidy up a smaller area like your desk, dressing table, or even a shelf! I’m very much partial to a little #shelfie, and take pride in making sure even the smallest space looks clean and presentable.

ORGANISE INTO PILES
This may seem like an obvious tip but make sure when sorting through your junk that you get rid of things in the right bags. I have one for general waste, recyclables (mostly boxes from deliveries – blogger life), old clothing that needs chucking out (underwear etc.), items that could find a new home elsewhere, and finally a bag or box for things to go in storage. I find that when spring come around, I can sort through all my autumn/winter clothes and either pop them away in storage for next year or give the less loved items to charity.

BE RUTHLESS
I cannot stress this tip enough. As a self-confessed hoarder myself – especially when it comes to beauty products – I think this one is essential for the effectiveness of your organisation. Turn out all your drawers and really question its use in your life in that moment. If you haven’t used a product in the last six months then bin it. Buh-bye. Adios. It’s unlikely you’ll ever use it so save yourself on some space! When I was cleaning out my makeup drawers I found 12, yes TWELVE, empty NARS Creamy Concealers. I honestly go through them like nobody’s business… Likewise, if you don’t want to just bin perfectly good items, give anything you don’t want to family and friends. I have a load of barely-used nail polishes in various mauve shades that are happily setting up camp at my Grandma’s.

FINISHING TOUCHES
The importance of making a room presentable is what really makes spring-cleaning worth it all. You’ve done all the hard work, now you can have a bit of fun! Pop on some freshly washed bedsheets, plump up pretty cushions, dress the walls with fairy lights (I now have fancy curtain lights on my feature wall). Truly let spring in by buying a lovely colourful bouquet of flowers – tulips are one of my cheaper favourites from the supermarket, and in a few weeks it will be peony season again! And in the lighter evenings, a scented candle never goes amiss.

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I know sometimes it’s really difficult not to hoard here and there, and I’m not saying don’t keep meaningful memories, but don’t allow yourself to take it too far as it will end up building and ultimately cluttering your personal space. If you’re anything like me, you’ll go through phases of hoarding then decluttering, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, as long as you’re consistent with it. Decluttering always eases my terrible anxiety and I often find that having a clean minimal feel gives me much more clarity and peace of mind.

Tidy space, tidy mind, as they say…
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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

TWENTY SEVENTEEN

Hello? Anybody out there? It's been a while, right? 

I last posted October last year - scarcely at that - and it really does feel like forever. I actually decided to take a much longer blogging break than previously planned (although it wasn't really planned, per se) I just felt that with the complete disaster that was 2016, a year that will go down in history as one of the oddest, most frustrating years on record, no doubt; I didn't exactly fancy raving about my favourite liquid lipstick when there were more important issues going on in the real world! Don't get me wrong, I love chatting about beauty and lifestyle, even if this is only going out to myself right now, and I still use products and have new favourites to share. But in this moment I felt it my blogger duty to let you know that I'm back and I'm raring to go again, just as the evenings are getting lighter too - how convenient...

So yes, 2016 was pretty crazy. We can all agree with that. Celebrity death after celebrity death, murdered gorillas, Brexit, Trump becoming president of the United States, Toblerones decreasing in size... Outrageous if you ask me. Do you know what though? We're all still here. We survived 2016, onwards and upwards.

Despite January 2017 handing me a big load of personal physical and mental health problems (hence the much longer break than previously thought) I'm writing this from my cosy marshmallow bed after work on the 8th February and I'm feeling a lot more positive about this year than the last. I would love to know from you guys what you'd like to see on this blog as we hopefully march on. Do you want to know more about me? Would you like posts about mental health? More lifestyle? More beauty reviews? Perhaps some makeup tutorials? All the food posts? I would honestly love to know your opinions! This blog has been a solace to me for years now, growing and changing with me as cheesy as that sounds. Even as I'm writing this I'm loving the feeling of sitting down and tapping my (long and oh-so-fake) nails on the keyboard again, reading a post for publication. 

I've missed this. Let's not leave it this long next time!
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