New Year’s Resolutions

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There’s something so ‘clean slate-y’ about a New Year isn’t there?  Like everything that’s happened in the last 365 days will be automatically overridden by the next.

It feels like an opportunity; a fresh start.  I always tell people that I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions and yet I make them every year.  As with most of the country, they’re usually to do with being better with money, losing weight or travelling more.

I travelled a lot last year, so one out of three aint bad.

This year, I’m going to focus on taking better care of myself.  It’s a deliberately broad statement because there are quite a few things I think I’d like to focus on.

2017 was a pretty difficult year, so this year I want to make sure I’m giving myself time.   Time to focus on my needs, as and when they arise.  (I’m aware of how self-indulgent that sounds by the way, soz).

I’m going to make sure I’m eating well and regularly exercising as it makes such a difference to how I feel – and I plan on feeling like Beyonce/like I’m going to take over the world for as much of 2018 as possible.

I’m going to pick up some of the hobbies that I used to love but have gotten too busy to do much of at some point along the line.  Things like reading books as if words are about to run out, hiking and trying out different restaurants near me (we’ve developed a bad habit of just going to a couple because we know we like them.  Note to self, I am 29 not 69).

I’d also like to write a book and become the next JK Rowling, but that’s a given, so I’ll settle for blogging more for now .

Based on the first 10 days – resolutions are going well and 2018 is shaping up to be a gooden. Bring on the next 355.

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House Hunting

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It’s been approximately one million years since I’ve blogged.

Last year was a terrible year on a personal level and life just got in the way BUT I’m finally feeling ready to write again and am excited to get back into it.

So, as a return post I thought I’d talk about something that’s very relevant to me at the moment.

Mr.Saucers and I are in the process of buying our first home.  It’s very exciting, but also mildly terrifying and very confusing.  We’re nearing the end of the process (I hope) but here are some things that we’ve discovered on our journey thus far…

  1. Anyone who’s ever bought a house will give you advice. Sometimes it’s useful, occasionally it’s comforting, but mainly it makes you question everything about every house you see and about your life in general.
  2. Photos you see online can be very misleading. They’re stretched, blown up and casually ignore things like crumbling plaster and missing doors.
  3. You will have your heart broken. Probably on more than one occasion. That house that’s perfect for you and within your budget and in the right location? It’s seeing someone else.
  4. Everything you thought you wanted in a house will probably change. Or you’ll compromise a lot more than you thought you would.
  5. House viewings can be very awkward. Brush up on your small talk.
  6. Pinterest will become your new best friend.
  7. If you find a house, Google will become your worst enemy…BUT THE WOMAN FROM THAT MUMSNET THREAD FROM 2009 SAID NOT TO DO THAT!!!
  8. Some people will ask “So when are you moving?” from the day you put the offer in. Like WTF people, calm down.
  9. House surveys are really useful, and really scary.
  10. No first time buyer really knows what they’re doing – just keep winging it.

Keep your fingers crossed for us…we’re excited to start this new chapter!

A surprise Saturday Haul

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For want of something to do on a grey and drizzly saturday, I went to the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds for a browse.

This might not sound like a bold move but trust me, it was.  On normal weekends this place is rammed but when it rains, it’s madness – full of bored people like me with nothing better to do that wander.

I had originally intended to buy these bad boys (which I’m still obsessed with) but couldn’t see them in store, so my pining for them will just have to continue – we’re like star crossed lovers of the foot world.

Instead, I ended up snatching up some sale bargains, and also buying a couple of things that I’m hoping will give me a new lease of life, which now that i’ve said it makes me sound like an old chest of drawers, but still – here’s what I bought…

Accessorize Necklace

I snapped up this cute circle necklace in the accessorize sale for just over 2 quid.  What a bargain,  I think it was about a tenner originally.  Now this isn’t ‘stop the press’ fabulous but I love, love, love my jewelry so any addition is exciting.  I have quite a lot of statement necklaces and earrings which are amazing but quite hard to wear day to day, so I’ve been on the lookout for some little bits which can spruce up a daytime outfit without being over the top and this chap does the trick.  Accessorize are generally decent quality too and don’t snap or tangle after one wear, so hopefully we have a long and happy future together.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue

My No7 BB cream is running out and I’ve been after trying something new.  Hannah Gale was raving about this on her blog, which i love, so i thought why not give it a go.  Its official title is Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, which is a mouthful, but it’s exactly what I was after, The lady at the counter was great and applied some for me so I could see how it felt and looked.  She even built it up for me to show me how it can go from minimal coverage, which I like for everyday, to fuller coverage for nights out.  It goes on really nicely and is apparently very hydrating to skin (duh), so I’m exited to play with it some more.

Warehouse Dress

OHMYGOD finding this dress put me in the best mood.  Sad and materialistic? Me? Too fucking right.  We have approximately 1000 weddings this year (the actual number is 4, possibly 5) and while I love a wedding, I inevitably panic buy something to wear beforehand which is either more expensive than I’d like or not quite what I’m after.  Enter this bad boy – it’s floral and fun whilst managing to be elegant at the same time – comes to an inch or two above the knee (I don’t like going mad short at weddings) and covers the tops of my arms.  I think with some strappy heeled sandals and HOPEFULLY a post holiday tan, this will do nicely for at least a couple of the weddings. And the best part? It had gone down to 20 quid in the sale. Day, made.

Mark Hill Curling Wand

I’ve been wanting to buy a curling wand for a while.  Unless I blow dry my hair into curls which takes ages and usually goes a bit frizzy, no other method of curling my hair ever, ever stays.  Like I’ll get it looking nice with my GHDs and then 10 mins later it’s flat, which is annoying as my hair is naturally fairly curly.  The irony.  I’m well aware this is probably because I do it wrong or don’t use the right products but meh. Anyway, i’ve seen a few tutorials which have used curling wands and they seem great for creating big, bouncy and full of glam looks, as well as beachy waves – my personal fave.  This Mark Hill wand was on offer in Boots to 25 pounds, so I thought why not.  I’m excited to play with it and see how it goes, and if it goes well may share the results on here.  If it goes badly, don’t hold your breath.

All in all, a very successful Saturday I’d say…weekends are the best.

Home-made granola

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For reasons which I can’t quite fathom, I have really been craving granola recently.

Most shop bought Granola is full of sugar. And I mean like, way bad for you. Which I was surprised at because I had always thought Granola was healthy? Lies, it’s all lies.

After browsing Pinterest and finding some inspiration for healthier versions, I decided to have a bash at making my own as it’s healthier and was a nice thing to do on a grey Sunday afternoon.

 

I used:

Oats (nothing fancy, I think these are Asda basics)

Nuts – any will work but I went for almonds and walnuts

Dried Apricots – I only used a handful, not the whole bag

Raisins – Again, only used a handful

Cinnamon – about a tablespoon

Honey – about a tablespoon

I chopped the nuts into smaller pieces and mixed these in a bowl with the oats, honey and cinnamon.

Once everything had a good coating, I transferred to a baking tray and put into the oven at about 170 for about 20 mins.  It smelt WAY better than I anticipated while it was cooking. Even Mr.Saucers, who can usually ignore any smell that isn’t pizza, thought it smelt good.

Once the nuts and oats had a bit of a toasting, I scattered over the dried fruit, poured into a container and gave it a good shake up to mix it all through.

Now, even though it’s healthiER, I know that nuts contain a lot of fat, and dried fruit is known for being sugary, so it’s by no means perfect. However, I’d say this made around 15 portions, so taking into account how much of each I actually used, per portion I’d say this home-made version is healthier than a lot of shop-bought options.

I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised with the results -a lovely nutty and toasted flavour which ticks all the boxes a granola addict (apparently) like me was after.   I’ve been eating about half a cup of this for breakfast with Greek yoghurt and blueberries or banana.

YUM.

 

2016 Favourites

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I’m going to start this by saying that I am by no means a beauty blogger.

I can’t contour or strobe.  I have never really used fake tan and I get beyond confused about hair oils and other such lotions and potions.

That being said, I like to experiment with different things (in the vain hope of one day understanding any of the above/looking like Kendall Jenner) and I know what I like.  These are a few of the things that I’ve been liking recently…

Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Cleansing Oil

I bought this towards the end of last year because my skin was feeling really meh.  Not good, not bad, just really lackluster, and often I didn’t feel like it was ever totally clean.  I don’t pile on the makeup but most days  I use a product of some description on my face and my skin was starting to feel clogged up, so thought I’d try a new cleanser/start using a cleanser (don’t shoot me).

If I’m honest I got this because it was on offer and I knew Sanctuary was a decent brand – you can probably tell by the amount I’ve used that I am a big fan.  It’s easy to use -apply to a dry face, massage in and rinse off – and has become a solid part of my pre-bed ritual.  Unless I’m drunk, when my pre-bed ritual involves eating chicken nuggets and moving eye make up around my face with a face wipe. After using it my face feels clean as a whistle and after a couple of months of use i genuinely feel like my skin is cleaner and in better condition.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Eye Pallet

*Rolls wonderfully made-up eyes at self*

I know, I know, this is a product that everyone has been raving about for months if not years.  I was very excited to find this under the tree at Christmas (excellent work Santa) and have become a bit hooked.

I’ll be honest, I never bought myself this because i thought it was silly money for eyeshadow (It’s around 35 pounds) and I didn’t know if it would be worth it.  Turns out, it 1,000,000% is.  Because I’ve never really used nice eyeshadow I didn’t realise the difference between this and some of the sparkly shit I piled on my eyes as a teen, but they’re just not in the same league.

The pigmentation is amazing, a little goes a long way and it works for everyday makeup and going out-out makeup.  As you can probably tell, Copper, Snake Bite and Half Baked are my faves…

No.7 Protect and Perfect Moisturisers

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No.7 Protect and Perfect Moisturisers

I’ve used No.7 moisturiser before and really liked it; it just works well for my skin.  After running out I tried lots of others – less in a quest for the perfect moisturiser and more relating to what was on offer at the time, but have come back to these bad boys.

They’re creamy, but not too creamy and so light.  These came as part of a set I got for Christmas but as moisturisers go I’d say these are pretty mid range price wise so will definitely be re-purchasing. Shout out to Boots also for always giving money off No.7 vouchers at the till – champion.

Esteé Lauder Double Wear Foundation

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Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

I LOVE THIS.

I got this in the last few months of last year with the Boots points I’d racked up during the year (working opposite a Boots is the best and the worst thing ever).  It costs around 29 pounds and for me, it’s worth every penny.

I don’t wear foundation on a day to day basis, I prefer a BB cream or a tinted moisturiser, something light that gives just a little coverage.  However if I go out in the evening or have an important meeting at work and want my makeup to last, I use this.  It’s thick and a little goes a long way, and has amazing coverage – honestly it doesn’t budge all day.  Some other foundations can look a little cakey on my skin but this just glides on and the colour (Fresco) is perfect for my skin tone so I avoid neck-face clash. Winner all round.

Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb

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Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb Perfume

This is one of my favourite perfumes, along with Chanel Chance.  I’ve never actually owned this before, so am very excited that it now has a permanent residence in my handbag/life.

It’s floral, fresh and a bit sexy and makes me feel very ‘put-together’ which is lol because usually I’m the opposite of that.

What are some of your faves…any product recommendations for someone desperately trying to get a hold on the whole ‘being a girl’ thing?

Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen

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After falling off the blogosphere for approximately one million years, I thought I’d start afresh – New Year, New Me and all that shit (Can you even still use that this late into January? Oh well, I’m gonna).

What better way to make a comeback than by sharing some posts about my recent trip to Copenhagen with Mr. Saucers.

I’ll let you in on a secret…this was my first proper European city break. This is bizarre since I travelled to the other side of the world but sometimes I think it’s easy to forget about the places close to you.  We chose Copenhagen quite at random (mainly because the flights were cheap) but it’s a place I’ve always wanted to go.  Aside from being a beautiful, cosmopolitan city with lots to do, my mum lived there for about 18 months in the seventies so I’ve always wanted to visit and get a bit of an idea about what her life might have been like there all those years ago.

It certainly didn’t disappoint…I mean, just look at it:

My shoddy photography obviously doesn’t do it justice.

We spent hours and hours wandering around – visiting castles, botanical gardens and climbing spires.  We also took a river cruise which was amazing – we went with these guys, highly recommend them if you’re thinking of going.

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River tour selfie in Copenhagen

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The Old Stock Exchange, Copenhagen

We also managed to squeeze in a trip to the aquarium, more good food than you could shake a stick at (although I don’t know why you would) and a visit to the Round Tower, an old observatory which doesn’t have steps inside so you climb a smooth, spiraled path until you reach the top and get some amazing views of the city.  Apparently it was designed this way so that the king could get to the top without getting off his horse.  Lazy it might be, but I think that King and I would have got on like a house on fire.

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Round Tower, Copenhagen

Unfortunately the Tivoli Gardens were closed for winter, which i was gutted about as i really wanted to go – but oh well, just means we’ll have to go back.

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Christianborg Palace tower, Copenhagen

As you can probably guess from my attire it was cooooooold – around 2 degrees but the wind was strong so it felt more like -5.  Definitely, definitely wrap up warm if you go in winter.  There was something about the cold that made it all the more magical though, and the locals – who were some of the friendliest people I’ve met – were undeterred by it and carried on biking and walking like it was a mild summer day (whilst layered up of course).

Everyone warned us that Denmark wasn’t cheap – and whilst I have to say that I agree, it wasn’t as bad as I expected.  I’d say it’s similar to London in price, so in comparison to Leeds, where I live, it was a bit of a shock to the system, but you get what you pay for and all the food, drinks and service were top notch.

If you’ve never considered it, definitely add Copenhagen to your list of places to visit – it will knock your socks off I’m sure.

Now, where to go next….any ideas?

 

 

A weekend in Chester

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This post is a little overdue (considering the events took place almost two weeks ago) but over the May bank holiday weekend, I took a trip to Chester with mum.

Mother is a self-confessed history geek.  She has a historical fact for every occasion – like literally you could probably name a random town in the country and she’d be able to tell you something that happened there about 400 years ago.  It’s a niche but impressive skill.

It makes sense then that she’s always wanted to go to Chester, which is arguably one of the oldest and most beautiful towns in the UK, to get her geek on.  So, for Christmas, Mr.Saucers and I booked her a weekend away in Chester, and I got to go along too (some of the history geek gene passed down to me so it was a little present for me as well).

Chester is a truly beautiful town with old buildings, fascinating stories and amazing architecture at every turn.  Sadly, the weather was absolutely wank so we probably didn’t get to see it in its full glory, but if it could impress us that much in the rain then I’m pretty sure that we’d probably just have moved there if it’d been sunny.

We arrived bright and breezy on a Saturday morning all ready to explore.  First stop was the Tourist Information point for maps because obv and a coffee break so we could plan our day a bit (we love planning).


We decided to go on a tour of the walls and had a lovely guide and a very small group – just us and a Canadian couple who were rocking the festival look in fetching plastic ponchos.  At one point mother said she might get one.  My responses suggested otherwise.

Because of the size of the group the lovely guide tailored the tour a little more to whatever we wanted to see so we went all over the place.  I’m not always someone who enjoys a tour, I think sometimes it’s much more fun to just wander at leisure and discover places yourself, but this tour was brilliant.  In a place like Chester where there’s so much to see it’s nice to have someone with a bit of background knowledge taking you places, so you don’t miss anything. At one point he took us to a Roman Amphitheatre which they recently found and has been there for thousands of years which was so cool, so we added that to the list of places to head back to.



   After the tour we grabbed some lunch in a little café that overlooked the busy, winding streets and did some people watching.  The food was great and the waitresses were kinda bitchy so it was like watching Corrie while having lunch.  The afternoon was spent wandering leisurely in and out of shops and just generally soaking up the atmosphere.  For the fashion conscious among you – this is what I wore:


Jumper: GAP (Sale bargain – I never go in GAP so was very chuffed with this)

Jeans: H&M

Jacket: New Look

Bag: Zara

Vans (so grubby now but still SO comfy)

Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Necklace: No idea, I got given it by Mr Saucers’ step-mum and am in love with it. They live in Thailand so I like to think it’s pretty exotic.

Not a fancy outfit but perfect for a weekend of wandering.

The hotel we were checked into (Best Western Westminster Hotel) actually upgraded us to the Queen Hotel over the road, which was absolutely awesome.  Great rooms, great staff and a banging hotel breakfast! If you’re planning a getaway I would definitely recommend Best Western and they usually have some deals on too so get Googling.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ever been upgraded before so this was wildly exciting.  Who know…maybe it’ll happen on a plane next? I defo look like First Class material.

After a really nice dinner at an Italian (forgot the name – bad blogger)we went on a ghost walk.  I bloody love a ghost walk, especially the fact that the guides always get goth-ed up in like long cloaks and stuff.  The lady that did this one even had a plastic spider on her hat – that’s commitment.  With Chester being such an old town there was a lot of ghostly stories.  At one point I got nervous and just thought OMG OMG OMG what if our hotel is on this tour’ but luckily it wasn’t.  Still didn’t stop me freaking out when I went to bed though. I’m 26 years old, I should probably get it together.


We must have walked miles on Saturday, so on Sunday we took the opportunity to potter about and revisit some of the places we’d been the day before in the slightly better weather.  We wrapped up the weekend with a visit to some family who don’t live too far from Chester, then headed back to mine for a chill and a takeaway with Mr.Saucers.

All in all, a pretty perfect weekend. Bank holidays are THE best.