Wednesday 28 August 2019

The Self-Love Tag

Until stumbling across a post by ‘That Kayla Girl’ self-love tags were something I had (amazingly) not come across, although Kayla indicated they were actually quite common, originating with ‘Just Lucy’s Life’ back in May 2017. After reading an enjoying the post – including a prompt from Kayla encouraging others to do the same – I thought it would be a nice idea to do my own!

As with Kayla, I won’t be tagging five individuals to do their own Self-love tag, instead, I would encourage each of you to take part in the tag. Make sure to pop your posts below so I can read yours too!

What is something that is getting you down at the moment?
Time. I feel like I have none of it at the moment, and my work life balance feels non-existent. I feel like I’m either at work, or prepping for work (lunches, washing, housework and so on). I feel as though my ‘me time’ is getting increasingly more limited and my weekends are flying by at the moment and its exhausting.
What is something that makes you happy?
I know it might sound strange, but I love just being in my house!

My first flat was horrible, with no heating in the bathroom, which meant the toilet would freeze in the winter. My second was alright, but right next to a garage, so constantly noisy. Next my brother and I brought a house to get ourselves on the property ladder, but it was in one of the roughest parts of Norwich – hence how we could buy it in the first place. Police were there half the time and it was utter chaos the rest of the time. I was kept up at night with people fighting, or breaking into neighbouring houses or garages, and we had someone stabbed right outside our gate and had to deal with them, while attempting to talk down junkie that did it until the police got there.
It’s safe to say I’ve lived in a string of terrible homes, but now we live in a lovely area, in a nice house, backing onto a quiet woodland. It’s a place I feel safe, happy and peaceful.
Name 3 guilty pleasures
I mean… anyone who knows me well knows that chocolate is on that list… I have a major sweet tooth, for chocolate, sweets, you name it. The guilty side is probably that I hide it so Mike can’t steal it – FYI old tampon boxes are the best places to hide snacks from men!

Next is one that I haven’t had the time to indulge in for a while, and that’s colouring. Seriously, I find adult colouring books are so therapeutic and relaxing, especially with a glass of wine.
  Finally is probably my make up addiction. I have more than enough, but that doesn’t stop me treating myself to new eye shadow pallets!
What is something about yourself you want to improve on?
Given my answer to the first question, perhaps time management? Whilst my days are feeling full, I’m sure if I really looked at it properly I could streamline what I’m doing and free up more time for myself.

If not it would probably be my fitness. I’m getting better and better in the gym, so I just need to stick with the motivation.
When was the last time you belly laughed?
On my last girls night out, when my friend Chloe started singing to the taxi driver. She wasn’t dunk, that’s just how she is, which made it even funnier.
What is your biggest insecurity / fear?
As much as I’m great at putting on a mask of bravado, I’m actually really conscious about what others think of me. I was bullied rather relentlessly through my school years, and its meant I can be over-defensive or sensitive at times. I used to have a nasty habit of verbally lashing out if ever someone was coming across as hostile, as a way to warn them to back off, I’m glad this is something I’ve since managed to pretty much drop, but I can still be very guarded with people I don’t know.  
Name a song that always cheers you up when you’re down
This changes on the regular, but at the moment it's actually the catchy song from Lego Movie 2... because I'm a massive child inside!
Name 3 things you like about yourself!
I knew I’d hate this question, but this is the whole point of a self-love post!

I guess the first thing is that I try my best to always be my friendliest self, especially when it comes to new people. I hate the idea that someone would feel unwelcome in any way. The other day one of my friends described me as one of the most selfless people she’d ever met and that really meant the world to me.
Second is probably my ability to be perfectly content in my own company, and keep myself entertained. Of course I love socialising with people too, I’m a very social person, but I don’t feel like I have to be around other people all of the time.
The last one is one I never thought I’d say, and that’s my figure. I’m very much an hourglass, with hips, boobs and a tiny waist. Something that people don’t realise though is I used to absolutely hate it. I perceived curves as fat, and constantly wishing I was skinny. Its taken a long time for me to get here, but now I love the fact that I have natural, feminine curves.

What is an achievement that has made you proud of yourself this year?
Probably getting my bike licence. This will sound a little weird, but I never even learned how to ride a push bike when I was a little kid, because I got yelled at if I fell off, and just got more and more stressed with it. I was probably about 14 when our neighbour finally taught me, so whilst I can now ride a bike I’ve never felt massively comfortable on them. Now add an engine, and cars, and think about how nerve wracking that was before I turned up for lessons!
Tell us your happiest memory
My happiest memory is not a specific memory as such, more a period of time. Shortly after getting engaged (which is probably my other happiest memory), Mike and I went traveling around America for just over 2 months together. I quit a job I wasn’t happy in to do it, and having all that time just Mike and I, doing what we wanted when we wanted was really something special. What a way to celebrate getting engaged huh?!

That sums up the list of questions Lucy put together, and I hope you enjoyed reading my answers! As I said, this is such a lovely idea, and I’d love it others could help keep it going, so if you do put your own tag together please do pop the link in the comments below so I can have a read!


Thursday 22 August 2019

Generation Skincare │ Vitamin C Facial Serum*

As I’ve started to get older skincare is something I’ve started to take more of an active interest in. It makes me cringe to think that back when I was a teen I’d scrub my makeup off using a flannel or wet wipe, and that was the entirety of my routine if I even did it at all… seriously, what was I thinking!? Those dark days are over now, and I have a vast collection of lotions and potions to (hopefully) keep my skin healthy and in good condition. So when Generation Skincare approached me to try their all natural serum, I of course couldn’t resist.

The serum includes vitamin E, Aloe and green tea extract along with natural vitamin C, so it really does give you a high concentrated dose of what your skin needs. Made up of an all-natural mix of ingredients to brighten, hydrate and repair damaged skin. Suitable for any skin type, the formula will help improve complexion, and aid in the healing of acne scars. This last point was especially of interest to me, whilst I don’t have any acne scars, I do have scars on my forehead from back when I had chicken pox, and I’ve always been really conscious of them. I got it really badly, but the worst area was my face and in my mouth, making it particularly unpleasant, and its left scars behind that used to make me really upset. Especially as I was just entering my teenage years, and was just starting to become more aware and conscious about how I looked.

Affectionately named ‘beauty in a bottle’ this serum smells absolutely amazing. It’s a gorgeous scent that smells strongly of fresh oranges, and whilst its quite strong when you sniff the open bottle, it’s quite subtle and not overpowering when applied to the face. Although you do still get to enjoy the occasional waft every now and then, which I like.

When I trialled the serum for the first time I found that I didn’t need much at all, a few drops on my fingertips was more than adequate for my whole face and neck. From that very first use my skin felt softer, and somehow smoother as well which I hadn’t expected at all. It’s proclaimed that you can use the serum as a primer, which normally I wouldn’t test, as I’d much rather use something that is designed to work with the foundation I’m using, but having run out at the end of last month (oops) I ended up having no option. My makeup didn’t really shift throughout the day at all, although I don’t feel the finish was as nice. That’s somewhat to be expected however, as the whole purpose of primer is to create a smooth base and hide pores and imperfections before you lay down your foundation.

I imagined this serum to feel and work much like a facial oil. Whilst its certainly similar in terms of application it absorbs completely into the skin and doesn’t leave behind any kind of residue or sheen like you will sometimes find with an oil. This makes it very suitable for use in the mornings, where I would typically avoid oils so as to better achieve a matte look.

The serum is both alcohol free and vegan friendly, which made it all the more attractive to me. Given my best friend is vegan, I like that she can grab and use any of my products when we are getting ready for a night out without having to worry or meticulously check it’s ok, so this was a pretty big plus for me. The only thing I didn’t really like was the pipet used to dispense the product. Mine seems very sensitive when it comes to dispensing the product, so unless I’m really careful I end up with far more than I need as it’s not easy to only release a few drops.

With continued use in the evenings, I have started to notice a difference in my skin. It’s even helped my pop marks a little, which if I’ honest I hadn’t expected. My skin looks and feels healthy, with a little more glow about it since I’ve started using this product. I’ve also found using in place of a moisturiser stops my skin from getting oily as quickly.

All in all, I’m really pleased with it, and I would certainly recommend giving it a try.

* I was given this item for free, with no obligation to share. Please read my disclaimer for more information.  


Thursday 15 August 2019

Me │ An A-Z

I love a good ‘getting to know you’ post. I love writing them as much as I do reading them. I feel they are oh-so important when it comes to getting to know the person behind the blog posts. You feel a certain kind of connection with the writer when you learn a little more about them.

After reading an older post over on Lady Writes, q quick fire A-Z sounded like a fun post to put together. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it, and perhaps even learn a little more about me as a person, so here we go...

Allergies. Anyone within about 4 miles of me at the moments will know that my hay fever is absolutely insane at the moment. I’m not exaggerating, I’m currently taking 3 different antihistamines (don’t tell my GP) and carrying a nasal spray around everywhere and I’m still sneezing every five minutes.

Boots. Not the shoe, my fur-baby Boots. As much as he can be a pain, shedding all over the house

Centre. The first position I was the starting player for in American football. I spent ages practicing my snap (a type of throw) because I was desperate to get into the A team.. and I did!

Dry, as in my sense of humour. I can be very dry, and very sarcastic.

Engaged. Although not for too much longer now! Our wedding date is set for June 2020, and I’m sure the time will be gone before I know it!

Family. I don’t mean my biological family here (although I of course love them too) but my little group of besties. It’s true when they say friends are the family you choose

Gaming. I love gaming, I racked up almost 2,000 hours on Ark on my steam account, then roped Mike and my friends into playing on our own private server and felt like queen of the island knowing everything there was to know about playing – until my brother discovered Google that is.

Harley. I have a new found love for motorbikes, especially Harley Davidsons, sadly they don’t make anything in a 125cc so my first bike is a Honda instead.

Insurance is the industry I (somehow) work in.

Judo. Is the first contact sport I took up. I’m half a belt away from black, and I even became a qualified coach and referee.  
Kind. I always try to be kind towards other people. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life, and sometimes what feels like a really small gesture can be huge to someone else.

Leather is probably the material I love to wear the most, other than a slightly different L word…

Mike is the obvious one here, my Squishem, my love, and my future husband.
Nutter. I can be pretty random at times, with little outbursts. I do silly things just because and a lot of my friends call me a nutter. 

Outspoken. Sometimes I can be a little outspoken, and come across as very blunt with people.

Proud. One of my biggest downfalls is that I can be too proud sometimes, and don’t like not being good at things. In the past I would find it extremely difficult to ask for help, but I’m getting better..

Queen is how Mike refers to me sometimes. Although usually he calls me Bubble, which is his little nickname for me, I call him Squishem.

Red. I’m a natural brunette, but I’ve always been known as the red head. Of late I fancied a change, so my hair is actually a dark purple at the moment, but I’m really missing the red so will be going back to it soon.

Strawberry and cream baileys. If you haven’t tried it, you should, its like drinking milkshake and one of my biggest loves at the moment.

Tennessee is among my favourite places I’ve ever been, hence we’ll be getting married there next year!

Uneasy. Anxious is probably a better word, but A was already taken. Thanks to underlying anxiety I get uneasy and panicked about the stupidest things. The worst one is when I was sent to work in London for the day, and I had a full on panic that I’d accidently get the train to Liverpool rather than Liverpool street. It escalated in my head that I’d be stuck in Liverpool forever..

Valentines day is my least favourite ‘event’ in the year. It’s just so… fake. If you love someone you should show your affection and appreciation for them all year round, not just on one day because you feel obligated to. My favourite event in the year is Halloween, which is also my engagement anniversary.

Writing is among my favourite pastimes, hence the blog!

X-ray. Being fairly accident prone I’ve had many of these.

Yoga is probably the newest active hobby I’ve taken up. I have a lot of pain in my joints, especially my back and shoulder, and I’ve found it actually really helps.

Zzzzz. I love sleep. I would quite happily lay in bed all day snoozing, but then feel guilty for wasting the day so I only allow myself t do it one day a week.

I’m actually pretty proud that I managed to fill in every letter! When I first started it I had fears that I’d only manage a handful of them and the list would be littered with blank spaces, although I’ll admit some were certainly tricky!

If you have your own getting to know you posts I’d love to read them, so please do pop them in the comments below!

Monday 12 August 2019

Moi-meme Monthly │ Deep Blue Sea │ August 2019

For many August is the month for holidays, enjoying the sun, and adventures to the beach. The Summer holidays fall in August, and I’ve got fond memories from my childhood of traveling to Wales to spend a week on a secluded section of the coast with family. My siblings and I would spend our days building sand castles, clambering over jagged rocks, and seeing what we could find in the liitle pools left behind by the tide.

These fond memories are where my mind was instantly transported to when I first opened the aptly named Deep Blue Sea box. As I rumaged through what Moi-meme had put together for us this month, it just got even better…

Elizabeth Scarlet Coin Purse

I’ve actually come across Elizabeth Scarlet before, and recived a beautiful clutch in my July 2018 box. The fact that I still love and use it is testement to what great quality these bags are, so I was excited to see this brand pop up again.

Everyone either received a dark navy purse with cute little pineapples, or in my case I got the same colouring but adorned with pretty little shells and fish. The purse is lovely and soft, being just big enough to store my change, cards and even my phone. I've found it to be the perfect size to take to the gym with me as it fits all my essentials. Whilst still being small enough that it’ll fit into the stunning rattan bags we received in the quarterly boxes last month.

Secret Mud Therepy Foot Cream
‘Secret’ are a brand that use natural rich mud, salts and dead sea minerals to formulate their products. Harnessing the natural properties within these ingredients to for a long lasting and effective hydrating effect. This beautiful mud is parabin free and suitable to all skin types, and perfect to give yourself a little pamper.

When I first went to try this product, I invigined a mud bath, hat would be slightly messy, and where I would need to wash the product off. Instead however, you massage into your feet and the formular absolrbs like a cream. Mess mess, no fuss, just wonderfully soft feet.

Mermazing White Chocolate Bar
Aside from the fact that the sweet treat for the month couldn’t be more perfect a fit to the box theme, its beautiful to look at! Manufactured by Creighton’s chocolate, but packaging just screams mermaid vibes.

The stunning presentation doesn’t stop there, when I opened up the bar, I found the white chocolate to be decorated with a blueberry swirl and eddible glitter! Did I mention its mashmallow flavoured too?? Along side being pretty to look at, the bar was absolutly delishous too, and a truly unique flavour that I’ve not come across anywhere else – and trust me, I come across a lot of chocolate. The bar is suitable for vegetarians, and as I discovered when I sought it out online is limited eddition, so I’ll be stocking up on a few!

Moi-meme really went over and above with this box, and I really can’t priase it enough. Whilst usually true to their chosen theme, this is probably one of the most consistant and well put together boxes I’ve seen from them. Everything flowed together perfectly, with not a single doubt about why a product had been included.

There wasn’t a single item in this box I didn’t like, and I’d even go so far as to name it one of my favorites. If you’d like to get your hands on this Mermazing box its not too late, and if you enter the code ‘EMSWORLD’ at checkout you’ll even get some money off your first order.
Are you a Moi-meme subscriber? What did you think of the Deep Blue Sea box?

Thursday 8 August 2019

Insider Tips │ 10 ways to get cheaper car Insurance

Lets face it, no one enjoys doing their car insurance. If it the law didn’t say we had to, I’m fairly certain most of us simply wouldn’t bother. Not only is it a pain in the arse to do, especially if you don’t understand insurance, but it’s one of those expensive things we don’t really want to pay for. Having worked in insurance for just over 10 years and currently working as an Insurance Broker, I’ve had a few friends turn to me over the years to try and get their premiums as low as possible, and normally I manage to help them get some money off and save them a few pennies.

After reading a list of blog ideas and prompts from Jordane over at Life of a Glasgow Girl, I realised that I have all this information, all these little tips that could be helpful, but haven’t shared them! With CII qualifications plus over a decade of service, I can confidently say I’ve learned a thing or two that might actually be helpful, so here’s some of my top tips to help reduce the financial burden on your car insurance.

Move it
Like King Julian of Madagascar says, “MOVE IT”. Every year you get through with no claims makes you more and more appealing to an insurance company – because you have a proven track record of not costing them money. Due to the nature of their targets insurers tend to give a better rate to try and win a client, than they might to keep a client, so act accordingly.

If you find a cheaper deal, don’t hesitate in telling your insurer what it is. They may offer to match it, or even beat it, and if they don’t you have that cheaper option already there. One year I cancelled my policy with an insurance company only to take up a new policy as ‘new business’ with the very same company.

Shop around
Every year my insurance comes up for renewal I get searching online for alternatives. As I mentioned before, a policy that is new to an insurance company will usually be cheaper than a renewal with the same company if you are already a customer. Websites known in the trade as ‘aggregator’ or ‘comparison sites’ in normal people speak are great for a quick check to see if you are being quoted over the odds or not.

Don’t limit yourself to just these sites though, as some of the insurance companies on there lead back to the same parent company. There’s a puppet master at the top playing with two or three prices to encourage you back and forth between their companies. You’ll also see a lot of companies who act as the face of the product, but are ultimately not the actual insurance company. For example, Tesco are underwritten by Ageas, so it’s always worth seeing if you can get a quote out of the ultimate underwriter.  

Everyone I’ve spoken to puts 10-12,000 miles as there estimated mileage for the year, for no reason than because it’s the average that most people cover. Stop! If you are covering more, you are under declaring to your insurance company, which could land you in trouble. On the other side of the coin however, why would you want to pay based on 10,000 miles, if you only do 8,000? Or 5,000? If you don’t use your car that much, drop the miles to a more realistic number. Remember, you can always let your insurance company know if things change and you think you’ll end up going over what you predicted – it is a prediction after all.

A friend of mine routinely put 10k when each year they’d actually never exceeded 7k. That one little change dropped a couple of hundred pounds of their premium!
If you’ve got a little more time on your hands, or really need to count those pennies have a look at the different ways to describe what you do. A guy in my office told me that there are 6-7 different categories on comparison websites to describe what we do. All are correct, but there are all priced slightly differently. Admittedly, there is very little difference between them, but if you’ve got the time, it could be worth testing to see which is better.

If you have a claim, your excess is the amount you have to pay towards your own damage. If your car is undamaged, and you’ve just damaged someone else’s, you won’t pay one, and your insurance company will deal with the costs relating to putting the other vehicle right. The higher your excess, the less your insurance company will have to pay towards damage to your vehicle, and so they’ll be willing to charge you less on your premium.

Proceed with caution when it comes to bumping the excess up. Sure, a £1,000 excess might mean cheaper insurance than if you chose £250, but it means you might have to find an extra £750 if something happens to your car. Avoid an excess you can’t afford to pay.

In the old days dropping to a lower level of cover used to be a cheaper alternative to fully comprehensive cover. Sadly the insurance companies are onto us, and that usually doesn’t work anymore. In fact, it may even put the price up. If you aren’t fussed about having cover for damage to your own car, have a play with the different options and see what’s cheaper. Just because you have fully comp doesn’t mean you have to claim for damage to your own car, but its good to have the option.

I’m sure we all remember putting parents or older family members on our insurance to try and bring the price down. Personally I would always check with, and without the extra drivers to see what the difference was, and then whittle it down accordingly as too many drivers can also put the price up. Do not be tempted to lie about who’s car it is.

I’ve come across a few parents who buy a car in their own name, insure it, and have their kid as a named driver. Then the car is used solely by their child as ‘their’ car. This is known as fronting, which is illegal and falls within the bracket of insurance fraud. Not only could it make life difficult in getting a policy in the future, but it also stops the young person from building up their own no claims experience. If an insurance company can prove fraud, they can refuse to pay any claim under the policy, and in some circumstances refuse to return the premium you’ve already paid.

Sure, It’s expensive up front to insure a new or a young driver, but it will pay off a lot quicker if you are honest about who’s car it is.

Back when I used to work in Motor Claims dashcams were worth their weight in gold. Sadly people are not always honest, and as a claims handler we’d frequently hit the scenario where each driver is blaming the other with a different version of what happened. You know at least one of them isn’t being truthful, but how can you possibly know which one? Footage of what happened is honest, unbiased and aids the insurer in deciding who is at fault for an incident.

As they are so helpful in the event of a claim, having a dashcam could mean you get a discount on your insurance. Be warned however, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. On occasion, and insurance company will view a camera as another thing they might have to pay for, so make sure you find out what their stance your insurance company has on them.

If you’ve been unlucky enough to have been involved in an incident, you may be worried about what it might do to the price of your policy. Sadly it’s likely to go up if you were at fault, but you can help negate the damage to your bank account a little. Calling your current insurance company for a claim update can help push that claim along to settlement. When a claim is open the insurance company might have a guess as to how much they are likely to pay, but they’ll be wary that the estimate could end up higher.

Once a claim is done, dusted, paid and closed, they’ll feel far more comfortable with it. This tends to work better for commercial policies, rather than those for normal people like you and me, but there’s no harm in getting claims closed if they no longer need to be open.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but asking for money off actually gets you money off! Your odds are about 50/50 but if you indicate you think the price is high, and you’re going to look somewhere else you might get a few quid knocked off straight off the bat. Your odds of this working get better if you are considered to be a ‘good risk’, so if you’ve had a lot of claims, you are unlikely to get very far.

Ultimately, the perfect client for an insurance company is one that doesn’t cost them money in claims from crashing all the time. As I say to all of my clients, the most important thing to remember when taking out insurance is to be honest, even if it means you don’t get money off. You’d be surprised how much an insurance company can find out, so telling them fibs will almost always get found out and could invalidate the policy you’ve paid good money for.

This is the first time I’ve written anything involving my profession, but if you found it helpful, or would like any other insurance related tips make sure to let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Moi-meme Monthly │ Summer Nights │ July 2019

With the set-up of my beautiful new blog, I totally neglected to put together posts for the July Moi-meme box, or the lovely quarterly box that arrived last month as well. With a box due later in August, this does mean you’ll be owed not one, not two, but three posts all about the contents of the various boxes, and my thoughts on them.

As it’s the first of the two boxes I received in July, it only seems fair that I talk about what I got in the July Monthly box first.

Moi-meme Original Candle
If you are anything like me, you’re probably a stickler for candles. I just love how much they can completely transform the look, feel and atmosphere of a room. To me, a room with lit candles always has so much more of a romantic and relaxed feel to it than one without, and so they are something I can never have too many of.

I can be a little funny when it comes to scents, in that I’m quite picky. Not that I think that’s abnormal at all, naturally you want to like the scent of the candle you are lighting as its going to fill the room.

A little while back Moi-meme put a lovely citrus scented candle in one of the boxes, so I was thrilled to see they’d done another, which was bigger than the last. This one is aptly named for the time of year: Summer Punch. I found myself putting off burning this candle, simply because it smelled so good and I didn’t want to use it.
For a little while it sat on my vanity and I found myself picking it up to sniff it whenever I went past it because I loved the smell so much. When I finally did decide to light it, it just got even better. It filled the whole room with its gorgeous scent without being sickly or overpowering. The candle provided a slow and even burn, indicating it’ll last well, which is great news for me as I light it frequently!

SugarSin - Sparkling Rosé Gummies
The previous monthly boxes have had chocolate as the sweet treat – which I am not complaining about in the slightest! However, month was a little different and instead of chocolate we had these delicious gummies. Rosé flavoured no less!

Having a massive sweet tooth and being a lover of food, naturally I was just happy to have something I can put in my mouth… not like that! But seriously, these gummies are all natural, gluten and dairy free, so if ever there was a ‘healthy’ sweet for you to turn to, this is certainly it, and they are absolutely delicious and oh so moreish!

Phase Zero Gloss
This is a brand I’ve come across before thanks to Moi-meme as they’ve previously sent a pretty pink blusher that I adore so much I use daily. Whilst it made me very pleased to see another Phase Zero item to try, I admit that I wasn’t ecstatic about it being a gloss.

I get that gloss is the go to for summer, but I’ve personally never liked them. For a start I prefer a matte finish, but also any gloss I’ve used in the past just ends up being sticky, and I get so iterated with my hair getting stuck in it I end up cleaning it off. It would be unfair for me not to at least try it though, and actually when I did I was pleasantly surprised.

The colour is subtle, which is typical for a gloss, but it was pretty shade, and complementary to my natural skin tone. The gloss wasn’t tacky or sticky like so many I’ve used in the past but I would say the wear time is about what you would expect for a product of this type. You’ll need regular top ups throughout the day, which personally isn’t something I can usually be bothered with.

It did do something I hadn’t expected though, and that was add a little punch of moisture back into my lips. Given its subtle appearance and lack of sticky texture this would make it nice for those no make up days, where it doesn’t matter if the colour has worn away or not. So I guess in summary, whilst lip gloss may not be my thing, this is by far the best one I’ve tried in a long time.
All in all I was really pleased with the July box. I’m not sure if its deliberate or not, but all of the monthly boxes so far have been of a pink theme, which has made them really enjoyable to do photos for! The June box had been a little bit of a slump for me, but they really brought it back with the July box, and I can’t wait to see what we get this month!

If you fancy trying your own, use code ‘EMSWORLD’ for a discount at checkout. If you already subscribe to Moi-meme what did you think of the July box?

Monday 5 August 2019

Moi-meme Quarterly | The Sunshine Box



Friday 2 August 2019

August Goals 2019

If you’ve read my latest lookback you’ll know that July was a very busy month for me, packed full of a diverse mix of productivity and positivity. After a particularly busy or exciting month I always find the following one to be a little quiet and lacklustre by comparison, so to try and maintain the momentum and productive high that I was riding for all of July, I’ve decided to put together a little list of things I’d like to get done through August.

When you lead a busy life its so easy to have good intentions, but life just gets in the way and sometimes you don’t get round to doing things. I find that getting everything out of my head and down in black and white makes me focus more on what I need to do, and more importantly, I feel a far stronger obligation to get things crossed off my list.



Mike and I are getting married next year, and have managed to get almost everything booked.  There are a couple of bits still outstanding, but the main one at the moment is the photographer. The later its left, the harder it’s going to be to get one booked in, so I really do need to get a move on.



Despite clearing it out  a month or so ago my little beauty room is starting to get in a state again. Something that I didn’t do last time that I really should have done was go through all of my cosmetic and skincare items and throw out anything old. I’ve got body creams stashed away in there that will have expired years ago and they’re clogging up far too much space.


On top of that, my wardrobe needs a purge again as its full to the brim at the moment, and half of the clothes in it I don’t wear or don’t want’ There are bits in there with tags on, so its probably worth donating or trying to get a few quid for them.  


Blog photos

I’ve got several drafts finished for posts, but haven’t got any images to go with them, so really need to set aside some time to replenish my stock of photos.



Whilst there really isn’t anything wrong with them I hate the plants in my garden. On my week off I’d intended to pull them all up so I can plant things I like, but it was simply too hot for any kind of manual work. I’ve got some little seedlings growing away on my kitchen windowsill and they are getting to the point that they’ll need repotting soon. Rather than trying to source bigger pots, it seems far more logical to clear space in the garden and put them there.



I mentioned in my look back that I passed my CBT and got myself a little bike. Sadly the MOT has expired, the tax has run out and I need to insure it… I’ve got a couple of quotes for the insurance, so I need to get it booked and in for MOT and sort the taxon it so I can start actually using it.


Get active

During my week off I didn’t go to the gym once and ate nothing but junk food, and I’m really feeling it in myself. On the scales I haven’t actually gained that much, but off the scales I feel really bloated and horrible at the moment. Returning to work has meant I’ve gone back to my usual diet, and my meal prep is pretty on form at the moment, but I think it’s going take a week or two of good gym attendance to get me feeling myself again.


That’s my little round up of goals for August, there’s nothing majorly special or challenging in there, but keeping it simple means I’m far more likely to get them done.


Do you have any goals or things you’d like to get done in August?

July Look back 2019

Welcome to August everyone! This month has absolutely flown by, and been jam packed with laughter and fond memories. I feel like its been a very proactive month too, and I even learned some new skills along the way.

The most obvious thing to start with is that this blog is new! After a lot of research and reading, I found a platform that’s easy to work with and settled on a layout I liked. Setting this up has really got my creativity flowing and I’ve managed to get loads of ideas lined up ready for the new few weeks, far more than I’d ever expected. I turned to blogging as a creative outlet, and at the moment its giving me everything I wanted out of it and more.

On the last Saturday of June I drove out toward Diss to take my CBT, which is a bike test enabling you to ride a motorbike up to 125cc – although I believe you are limited to smaller if below a certain age? I’d been there the week prior, but having been hit by a bout of sunstroke, as well as a mental block about turning right (don’t ask) I’d had to finish the day early. Refusing to be put off, I booked a return session the following week, which fell into July. I’m glad I did, as having had a few hours the previous week meant I pretty much knew what I was doing. I worked through all my mauves, and then was let loose on the road.

Having never ridden a motorbike, other than the previous week and one other occasion as a teen (where I crashed by the way) it was absolutely terrifying at first. Despite my fear, learning to ride is something I’ve had interest in for a little while now, so my friends had banded together and brought me the CBT as a birthday present, to give me the chance to try it out and see how I got on.

The down side of a CBT is that the whole day is both your lesson and your test, so if like me you’ve never ridden before, there’s a lot of pressure to take it all in and pick it up quickly. Many of the instructors are of the opinion that one day is simply not enough to learn everything you need to even if you are competent on a bike, and I have to say I agree with them, especially when you consider those who don’t have a car licence, and therefore no prior experience out on the road. Fortunately for me, I already drive, so found the road ride to be easy and could just enjoy myself without having to worry about positioning or remembering road signs.

I’ve since got hold of my own little bike, which admittedly needs a little bit of love. I’ll fix this one up and use it for the next few months while I get the money together to do the full test, as I don’t intend to stay on a small bike for very long if I can help it.
There’s been a surge of motivation this month to be productive, so I’ve got some new little seedlings on the go for the garden, ready for when its cleared and ready for new plants. My friend gave me some red sunflowers that she’d been growing, so these are now happily sitting outside. Well… one of them is, the other sadly got ripped apart in the storms we had before it even got to flower. I’m in the process of growing lavender, roses and wildflowers to add the garden, and luckily these were all safe inside. I’ve been conscious in my flower selection to not only grow plants that are easy to keep alive, but also plants that are good for bees.

As my birthday falls in July, we went away to Lincoln to celebrate. Our little group of friends drove up to Lincoln together to have a night out in Bierkeller, which is a German themed bar. There’s a live band, copious amounts of beer and drinking games throughout, so it was a really good night and everyone had a great time. Although we were all nursing rather sore heads on the way home the following day!

For my actual birthday we had a few friends over for dinner. This year fell on a Monday so we ordered a massive takeaway and ate out in the garden together. It was lovely just to spend time chilling out in each other’s company.

Following our trip Mike and I then had the week off together, which was exactly what I needed. We aren’t going away on a holiday this year, given that we’ll be getting married abroad next year, but it was nice to spend time together, and not be at work. My friend and I had brought a paddling pool as a bit of an in joke, but it was invaluable for the heat wave we had that week.
It was almost too hot to do anything, but we were perfectly content sitting in the paddling pool, catching some sun and eating any junk food we could get our hands on – seriously, it was a terrible week for food.
Toward the end of my week off some of the girls and I decided to go on a little adventure to find and explore Urban Jungle. We’d spotted it when looking at Google maps, and it looked to be very close to us. Fortunately we were right as it was one of the hottest days that week, a little cut through the woods meant it took no more than 10 minutes to get there.

Being in the middle of the heatwave the weather was glorious. Absolutely perfect to wander around looking at all of the weird and wonderful plants. The place is far, far bigger than we’d first thought. We’d assumed it to be a regular garden centre with a café and the odd few tropical plants but the place was absolutely huge, and the café seating was set in amongst a vast green house of jungle plants, complete with bridges over a koi pond.
After a long walk around looking at everything the Jungle had to offer we grabbed some food and a coffee and just enjoyed the nice weather before finally caving and buying the various plants we’d spotted on our walk round. I got hold of a little hanging display, and picked out three beautiful plants to go in each of the buckets, including a hanging string of hearts which I’ve wanted to find for a little while now. Fortunately everything I picked out is easy to keep, and needs barely any care.

At the end of the month we also travelled to Reading for the christening of our friends little girl. Mike and I being among the chosen Godparents for Kara, felt a huge sense of responsibility being part of the ceremony. I’ll admit, it was a little awkward at times. Being a Christening, the parents and Godparents have to make a lot of promises, which is fine, but some of those are of a very religious nature, so for two people who don’t believe in God, it felt a bit forced and almost like we were being dishonest in some way.

Either way, it was a lovely day, and we’re arranging a date to spend some more time with little Kara so that she can get to know us better as we didn’t get to see much of her on the day.

Immediately after the Christening we travelled from Reading to Colchester to attend Mikes nephews 18th birthday before heading back to Norwich, so we certainly racked up the miles that day. Given that we’d left the house very early that morning we didn’t stay long but it was lovely to drop in and wish Josh a happy birthday and we were glad to have made the detour.
I feel like lots happened in July, so I’m a little apprehensive that August will be a lot calmer by comparison. Not that we’ve run out of things to look forward to, as this month Mike and I will be sorting more bits for the wedding next year!

What did you get up to in July? What are your August plans?
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