29 May 2017

Feeling Fresh and Relaxed*


Life lately for me just seems to be one stressful event after another, so I've been treating myself to little pamper sessions to help me feel a little more fresher and relaxed. My pamper sessions tend to start with a cleanse of the face and plucking of the eyebrows followed by a face mask, before heading to the bathroom for a relaxing bath typically involving some bubbles, candles and some calming music. Feeling all calm and relaxed I then head off to bed to get those important hours of beauty sleep on my comfy orthopaedic mattress. The only thing my bed is actually missing is the ability to move it up and down like these adjustable beds for the elderly, this would be beyond comfortable! If you're like me and suffer from any pain when lying in bed the video below may be of some use, who knew sleeping cuddling a pillow could help with posture?!


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*Collaboration with Adjustamatic

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23 May 2017

Life Lately...


I feel as though it's been a hell of a long time since i've sat down and updated you all on the happenings of my life. Lately its been a little bit hectic to say the least, with both bad and good news.

My grandad sadly passed away last week after a long stay in hospital. I've never actually experienced a loss before, it's a strange feeling. Almost as though it isn't real. I am definitely still feeling in shock almost a week later, and I don't think it will quite settle in until his funeral next week. It's safe to say it came as a bit of a shock to us all, but he's at peace now which is what counts the most. 

On a good note we finally got around to booking our wedding! It's only taken us 4 years to actually get around to doing it but its official! We will be getting hitched on Saturday 10th August 2019, which is our 10 year anniversary of being together (making it that little bit more special). I'm literally beyond excited to get started on planning.

S
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16 May 2017

Possible DIY Disasters!*

DIY has become a major part of my life since owning my own house. Once the damp issue had been sorted we were straight onto the painting, and even had the entire interior of the house finished within 6 weeks (that's dedication right there!). I mean it was a no brainer, we wanted it finished as soon as possible so we got stuck in! I personally am a huge lover of DIY projects and would gladly take on most problems within the house (with the objection of anything electrical as I tend to leave that to the experts); but I am one of the 5% of women mentioned in the infographic below who would actually take on a plumbing job and I like to think i'm a dab hand at it too!


SlaterGordon.co.uk recently got in touch with me with an infographic which is actually pretty relevant to both my home and work life at the moment, it shows some of the risks of DIY projects around the home which could actually help prevent exposing yourselves to any risks. Thankfully I have worked with asbestos in the past and know what to look for, but this is definitely something to look out for if you guys are living in an older house and have decided to try out some DIY projects!

Stay safe people!

S
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*Collaboration with SlaterGordon
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11 May 2017

My Perfect Payday Experience!*


I don't know about you guys, but my absolute favourite thing to do on payday is head into my local city centre for date night with Andy and go on a shopping spree. I have to admit it hasn't happened for quite some time as having a house is a bit of a burden on the budget so whenever I do have some spare cash I head straight into Liverpool ONE

Date nights for us typically consist of a trip to Nando's or Pizza Hut (so adventurous!) a walk down to the Albert Dock, and going to see a film in the Odeon - next on our list of films to go and see is Dunkirk, it looks incredible! As for my shopping trips I tend to go on those with my mum, basically because Andy simply can't handle them (or the fact that I like to pay a visit to pretty much every store at least once). Beauty definitely tends to be my first port of call when it comes to shopping so obviously a trip to Superdrug, Debenhams, Urban Decay and The Body Shop is essential, followed by look around New Look, Miss Selfridge and Topshop for some new additions to my wardrobe. 
Now, I don't know whether you have noticed this if you follow me on social media, but I'm a teeny tiny bit obsessed with homeware, so any sniff of anything homeware related and i'm straight in that store pricing up the goodies; and if you too are a little obsessed then The White Company is an absolute must on your list of places to visit in Liverpool ONE, yes they are a little pricey but their products are insanely beautiful. Go on, treat yourself!

My Top Tips for a Shopping Trip!
Don't go shopping when you're hungry! I find if I'm hungry I can't shop properly because i'm just constantly thinking of how hungry I am. Don't ruin your shopping experience, stay fully fueled as my mum would say.
-  Shop at strange times! I actually despise shopping when there are crowds of people everywhere, so a way to avoid this is by heading into town super early i.e when the shops have literally just opened their doors. Its heaven.
Always try on the clothes! Yeah it can be a bit of a pain trying on clothes, but its so worth it. What if the tops too big, or the trousers don't look right? Why waste bus fare heading back into town to exchange/refund when you can just find out how the clothes look before you buy them!

S
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Collaboration with Liverpool ONE*
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8 May 2017

Infuse My. Colour Ruby Wash Review


I'm one of those people who is forever dying their hair different colours simply through boredom. One of my pet hates is seeing my hair fading, so when I came across the Infuse My. Colour Ruby Wash shampoo in Boots I had to try it.

Infuse My Colour is available in 5 different colours - ruby, copper, cobalt, gold and platinum each of which is suited to a variety of different hair colours. The vegan friendly shampoo is a bit on the pricey side at £13.95 for just 250ml, but is it actually worth it?!

Steps for using the product
- Apply generously to wet hair
- Shampoo and ensure an even distribution throughout
- Rinse (and repeat if necessary)

As you can see its pretty straight forward to use, if you've got longer hair i'd suggest repeating it quite a few times for it to take properly. I tend to use about an eighth of the bottle during each wash to keep my hair looking funky fresh (yeah I just actually said that haha...). I've found the more I use it the more it 'takes' to my hair, after the first wash the ends of my hair (where it fades most) were somewhat of a peachy colour but now they're pretty much the same colour red as the rest of my hair. Overall i'd definitely recommend trying this out if you've got coloured hair - it smells amazing, refreshes your hair between salon visits and its vegan friendly. What more could you want (well apart from it being a bit bigger)?!

S
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30 April 2017

Sprucing up our house*


When you've got your own house sometimes the list of things to do feels like its just constantly expanding, well it does for us at least anyway! We're currently saving up to have the house completely rewired (yikes), but have decided to have the odd job done around the house to make us feel as though we're actually getting somewhere with it all. Latest on our list is getting the exterior of the house painted, at the moment its cream with a rather large patch of rust from a bracket the old owner had had put up, and to be frank its been annoying me since we moved in. With a little bit of pestering from my end, Andy has finally agreed to get it done (yay!). The only issue was I had absolutely no idea where to find a handyman to do the job.
Thankfully I was contacted by Bidvine a couple of weeks back which seems like the absolute perfect solution. Bidvine is a website in which you can hire various services based on your location from handymen to photographers, its so unbelievably helpful! For us the search was for a handyman to paint the exterior of the house so that's exactly what we have started looking for. 

How to use Bidvine
1) Enter your postcode 
2) What parts of your property will the handyman be working on? i.e doors, windows, walls, floors (you get the jist)
3) Where is the project located? i.e. - which area of the house
4) What type of property do you have? i.e a house, multi unit building, commerical space
5) Where are you in your hiring process? i.e initial research or ready to hire
6) When do you need the Handyman? i.e are you flexible or do you need them asap
7) Anything else the Handyman needs to know? 
8) Wait for the quotes - you will receive up to 5 quotes from services matching what you have asked for
9) Pick the service you want!

Its such an easy service to use and seriously good if you're strapped for time like us lately! If you'd like to find a local handyman to spruce up your place then i'd definitely pay bidvine a visit. We will be using them for pretty much everything from now on!

S
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*Post kindly sponsored by Bidvine
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19 April 2017

15 Things that make me happy


Blogging for me has definitely taken the back burner over the past couple of months due to the amount of work the house needs at the moment; which i'm quite sad about if i'm honest as I do love having a little area of the internet to post my thoughts and feelings on various bits and bobs! So I thought i'd pop back in to the blogging world to spread a little bit of positivity in what seems to be a bit of a negative time, with my '15 things that make me happy' post. 

1. My piggies - Rex and Spud
2. Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream
3. A Clean House
4. Loosing weight (probably not going to happen if I continue eating that chocolate fudge brownie ice cream!)
5. Scented candles
6. Finishing tasks on my to-do list
7. Sunshine 
8. Going on adventure days
9. Online shopping
10. Feeling inspired to blog again
11. Freshly dyed hair
12. Gardening (who would have thought it?!)
13. Lazy days watching TV
14. Lying on sunbed on the beach with my feet in the sea
15. Liverpool - the atmosphere on match days, the friendliness of the people and the sights are just amazing!

What are some things that make you guys happy?

S
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23 February 2017

Penclic Mouse - R3 Wireless*


I was recently sent the Penclic R3 mouse to review by the wonderful people at Media PR. The Penclic is a mouse that is designed to provide you with a healthier working position and prevents any unnecessary rotation in the wrist and elbow which can lead to pesky repetitive strain injuries. Setup for the Penclic is relatively straight forward (coming from someone who isn't the most tech-savvy), it requires a rechargeable AAA battery (which is included within the pack), and a nano-USB receiver to be plugged and connected with the mouse in then you're good to go!

The mouse itself seems to have a pretty impressive list of reasons for purchasing it including the fact that it can be used by both left and right handed people, it's lightweight, it's pen-like shape moves together with the base giving precise movements (great if you're a photoshop user like myself) and it works on pretty much any work surface making it ideal for working on the go. I mean what more could you possibly want from a mouse?! I've been using it directly in front of my keyboard so that my arm isn't stretched across my desk. and I've even used it in bed on my quilt with my laptop and had no issues with it disappearing etc. I'll be honest, it did take me a couple of hours to get used to actually using it at first but I think I may have been converted from a regular mouse user.

 Overall I think this mouse is pretty damn special and a must have if you're constantly working on your computer. Yes it's a tad on the pricey side at £59.99, but believe me it's so worth it!

S
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16 February 2017

Know Cosmetics No Dark Shadows Complexion Enhancer*




I was recently kindly sent out the Know Cosmetics No Dark Shadows Complexion Enhancer for review which retails for £15, and can be found in Superdrug and Oliver Bonas stores. So if you've been reading my blog for a whilst you will know that I am pretty much on a mission to find the perfect concealer to cover up my xanthelasma (cholesterol deposits underneath my eyes), so a complexion enhancer or multipurpose undereye concealer (as stated on the Know Cosmetic website) sounds like the perfect product to test out. My first impressions of the product were somewhat positive, I am quite a big fan of liquid concealers in general and loved the packaging of this product, however the twist and brush on style of application isn't really a favourite of mine. The concealer itself has quite a thin consistency, but seemed to spread quite well for the amount used. It seemed to cover up my dark circles moderately well, however my xanthelasma marks were still highly visible which I was a bit disappointed with if i'm honest. Overall I don't think I would personally rush out to purchase this product anytime soon, its overpriced and simply isn't what I'm looking for from a concealer; but if you need some dark circles covering up then who knows it may be up your street! 


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I was kindly sent this product for an honest review*
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12 February 2017

Slimming World: Week 4

Its been a rocky couple of weeks since my first Slimming World post, i'm not going to lie I've been pretty bad the weeks since my last slimming world related post and have gone pretty much completely off plan. I've overindulged in one too many cakes, and definitely need to get back hard at it. Its the story of my life really, cakes and chocolate have always been my downfall so I should either just continue to eat them and remain the unhealthy weight that I am (according to my doctor, it's not just a I hate myself vibe), or actually kick my own ass and do something about it. I'm attempting the latter. 
As I write this post, it's weigh in day. I've gained a pound taking my loss back down to 6lbs, so yeah i'm feeling pretty crappy if i'm honest. I had lost half a stone until I started stuffing my face due to being on my period (no excuse really, but I needed one so I used it!). I'm aiming to get back on plan tomorrow, a fresh start so we'll see what happens. I've started meal planning again for the first time since I started back on plan so i'm hoping that'll give me the kick I need. 

S
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8 February 2017

A Lush Bath Bomb Haul



Sometimes you just need to treat yourself to some Lush products to make you feel all happy inside, so that's exactly what I did recently to brighten up my day. I bought six bath bombs but couldn't resist and used one of them prior to writing this post, oops! 

The five bath bombs featured in this post are:
 the Blackberry Bomb (£3.35) which as you can probably tell is blackberry scented is the one I had originally bought two of because they're simply the best thing since sliced bread; 
the Sex Bomb (£3.50) is a product that I only recently got introduced to as I got one for Christmas, if you're a fan of parma violets then you'll love this little gem; 
the Lava Lamp Bomb (£4.25) is filled with citricy scented goodness comprising of mandarins, tangerines and orange flower with a purple orbs of cocoa butter. I've had this product a couple of times now and it's pretty damn amazing at making your skin  soft and beautifully scented; 
the Frozen Bomb (£4.25) is made with neroli oil, rose oil and grafefruit oil making it another one of my favourite scents from the Lush collection. I definitely feel like Elsa with the blue glittery water whenever I use this!; 
the Ylang Song Bombshell (£4.25) is a product that I have never tried before, I was tempted to purchase it after reading the product information on the Lush website, it sounds like the perfect bomb to use during a pamper session with it's calming ylang ylang and floral scents. I can't wait to give it a try! 

What are your favourite Lush bath bombs?

S
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5 February 2017

Finishing Touches: The Living Room




Designing the interior of my home has been an amazing experience. I've always been interested in interior design from a young age so actually being able to put that into practice has definitely been an experience to remember. The process is still very much ongoing, but I can finally say that this part of the living room is finished. The fireplace is my favourite part of the room, the white marble effect just instantly stands out as you walk into the room so I wanted it to stand out even more so by colouring the feature wall behind it teal, and leaving all other walls in the room white. 
We picked up the floating shelves from IKEA a couple of months ago, and i'll be honest I struggled to find ornaments I actually liked to go on them until a couple of weeks ago. The teal candle, photo frames, cactus' and fake plant are all also from IKEA, the bronze cable car I picked up whilst on holiday in San Francisco. and the bronze rabbit ornaments (£8) are from the George home range. The fireplace is home to the beautiful chrome and glass lantern which I actually picked up before we moved in from Matalan (£10) because I simply got too impatient and had to buy it (story of my life really!). The final finishing touch was the mirror with the grey wood frame from Amazon which fits in perfectly with the two grey wooden tripod lamps which are also placed in the living room just out of sight. Overall i'd say i'm pretty darn happy with how it's all looking at the moment, there is still lots to do in the rest of the house but i'm sure I will be back posting again with more updates once they're finished. 

S
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1 February 2017

How I care for my coloured hair



I have dyed my hair since I was about 13 years old, and didn't really think about the damage that plus heat from straighteners would cause back then, I mean who does at that age?! Back when I was 17 my hair was pillarbox red, I dyed it every weekend for a couple of months because I simply couldn't stand getting roots (which is inevitable really), my hair started to feel like cotton wool and was that soft that it just started falling out, leaving me with baldy patches all over my scalp. After that enough was enough, I started investing in some better hair products and decided to stop dying my hair as much. 
Fast forward 7 years (wtf, how has it been 7 years already!), I have healthy purple hair, granted it does need a trim after seeing that photo but still healthy nevertheless. My hair care has vastly improved. For each wash I am now using Tigi Recharge shampoo and Tigi Colour Goddess conditioner (both of which smell amazing by the way), Tresemme's Heat Defence styling spray and Salon Chic Shine Serum all of which I picked up from B&M/Home Bargains which were relatively cheap at less than £30 for all four products. I try to stick to washing my hair twice a week to make the colour last as long as possible, so in between washes I tend to use the Batiste Floral dry shampoo which does a great job at keeping my hair looking and smelling fresh. The products I have been using for the past few months definitely seem to have a positive impact on the condition of my hair, it looks and feels a lot healthier than ever before, so I would definitely invest in a good shampoo and conditioner, a serum to make your hair shine and a heat defence spray for use whenever you are applying heat (not just after washing!). 
I hope this post inspires you guys to invest in some hair care products because they really do help to protect those beautiful locks of yours! 

S
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28 January 2017

Cohorted Beauty Box: January 2017









Another month, another Cohorted Beauty box! This months will sadly be my last for quite a while, simply because I just can't afford the £35 a month at the moment, but they will hopefully be back sometime later this year. The box was a special one this month with a value of over £100, featuring not one but two Clarins products and introducing some other pretty amazing products.
 I received the Clarins Joli rouge longwear shine lipstick in the shade 'Pink Camellia' which is priced at £20, and the Clarins lip liner pencil in the shade 'Fig' priced at £17, both of which I absolutely love and will definitely be using which is always a bonus with a beauty box. The first of the 'brand discovery' products was the Doucce maxlash volumizer mascara priced at £18, which is a great product but I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase it over my typical £7.99 Maybelline mascara. I also received two products from the brand Living Proof which were a 60ml Living Proof hair restore mask priced at £12 and the 99ml Living Proof flex shaping hairspray priced at £15, I haven't tried either of these products out as of yet, but i'm hoping for great things with those prices! The final product within the box was two 20ml tubes of the Mudmasky facial detox purifying recovery mask, typically priced at £40; again I haven't yet tried this as I haven't had a pamper night recently but I will definitely be trying it out on my next one!

Overall January's box gets a big thumbs up from me. I love the products that i've tried so far, and actually want to try out the others (for a change!). It's a shame I won't be receiving February's box but I will definitely be keeping track of the boxes over the next few months to see what I've missed out on! 

What product interests you the most from this months box?

S
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12 January 2017

New additions to my Kat Von D makeup collection


Kat Von D makeup is fast becoming my favourite brand, the quality of the products is just insane. I posted about the everlasting liquid lipsticks a couple of weeks back now (here) and obviously because of my slight addiction I asked for a couple more for Christmas. I asked for Vampira which is a beautiful deep red shade, and another exorcism because that purple is friggin awesome. I'd also heard some amazing things about the lock it foundation (£27) and lock it creme concealer (£20), so of course I asked for those too. After doing some research online I decided the best shades to go for would be Light 46 (foundation) and L9 neutral (concealer) due to my pale complexion (it was a great choice, as it matches perfectly!). Basically for me the brand just can't disappoint, the products are worth every penny and I will be more than likely spending more of my pennies on it when I get a chance!

S
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8 January 2017

Slimming World: Week 1


Towards the end of last year I was pretty much eating myself into a sad state day after day, and felt enough was enough. I had put back on the two stone I lost the previous year, and was feeling so low that my self esteem was pretty much none existent. 2017 is the year that is all going to change. I signed up for Slimming World online on January 1st, meaning today was my weigh in day after one week on plan. I'm not going to lie I have been on and off the scales through the week, because frankly i'm just a little impatient however when I did my 'official' weigh in this morning I had lost 5lbs, which I am pretty damn proud of. As a major chocoholic I decided to try and cut it out this week and try going cold turkey, I had the odd options hot chocolate here and there to help with the cravings but other than that I didn't touch a piece of it *pats self on back*. 

The Diet Plan

Breakfast
 As i'm working Monday to Friday I pretty much stick to the same breakfasts throughout the week which are either:
1) Quaker Oats Porridge with skimmed milk;
2) 2 Weetabix with skimmed milk;
3) Overnight oats with strawberries and grapes.

Lunch 
Again my lunches tend to be the same, to be honest I'm quite a fussy eater so i'm defintely still in the process of finding slimming world friendly lunches to have. This weeks lunches consisted of: 

1) Pasta with ham, red peppers, red onions and tomatoes mixed with a teaspoon of light salad cream. 
2) A sandwich thin with ham, red onion, tomatoes and a dairylea cheese slice
3) Scrambled egg, spaghetti hoops and bacon

Dinner
 I definitely feel as though dinner's are the one meal of the day where I can throw myself into learning how to cook (yep, i'm still a newbie to the whole cooking thing!) so slimming world is actually encouraging me to learn to cook too. I made four meals from scratch this week which were:

1) Slimming World chips with a slimming world burger on a sandwich thin, and salad;
2) Meatballs made with pasata, garlic and chilli with dried pasta; 
3) Chicken breasts with broccoli and cauliflower;
4) Steak with slimming world chips and peas. 

 I did also try some of the slimming world range from Iceland. I have to say i'm not really much of a fan. I tried out the chip shop curry, the singapore noodles and the chicken tikka masala each of which got a thumbs down from me. However, I have tried the slimming world syn free meatballs in the past and absolutely loved them, so I will definitely be picking those up again in the future.

Syns
Slimming World suggests having 5-15 syns a day, which I'm proud to say I kept within - I pretty much limited my syns this week to just options white hot chocolates (2 syns), light salad cream (0.5 syns for a tablespoon) and the odd extra dairylea light triangle (1.5 syns) to try and get into the mind frame of not stuffing my face with galaxy every two seconds, which does seem to have worked so for week two I will be introducing a bit of chocolate back into my diet.


Overall I have felt pretty happy with my food intake this week, anytime I did feel hungry I just ate an apple or a banana, or even some ham. To be honest slimming world doesn't even feel like that much a of diet with the amount of food you can actually eat, so if you struggle with dieting or just want a healthier lifestyle i'd definitely recommend giving it a go!



S
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5 January 2017

The Blogger Box Swap


Wayyy back in November time, myself and Siobhan decided to do another little blogger box swap since it was so fun the first time round We set ourselves a £30 limit for the box, and off we went to purchase all of the goodies to go inside. Within my box I received a whole range of beautiful items (some of which I totally didn't photograph - yep, i'm a bad blogger). The items which I received that aren't on the photo were a beautiful mint green purse from Oliver Bonas, a small leatherette clutch bag, an eye mask (of the sleeping variety) and a MUA lipstick in shade 11.
I also received a Zoella Fizz Bar (which is my absolute favourite bath scent ever), two candle holders, two Barry M eyeshadows in shades 2 and 3, four IKEA candles, Naobay calming face toner, Teoxane skin refiner, Spectroscope A5 postcards, a gold pen and a weekly blog planner from Paperchase (literally just what I needed!). So, I think you guys will agree with me when I say thats a pretty great range of goodies! Box swaps are definitely one of my favourite things to do, and Siobhan is one of the loveliest bloggers out there so definitely go and check out her blog here

Tatar for now!
S
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2 January 2017

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Happy New Year guys and gals! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year. For my first post of the year i've decided to look back on 2016 and pick out four things that i'm proud I achieved, and set myself four goals to aim to achieve for this coming year. 

2016
We bought a house. 
Yep, our very own house. I am unbelievably proud of us for saving up for the deposit, let alone getting approved for a mortgage.

We got pets
Our two little crazy guinea pigs Rex and Spud. I've always wanted a pet, and 2016 was the year I finally got one two.

I got my anxiety diagnosed and started treatment
Anxiety is something I've suffered with for years but have never attempted to deal with until 2016. Thankfully my doctor has helped me to overcome it on a daily basis.

I had my very first smear test
This may not sound like a big achievement to some people, but after reading all of the horror stories people put online about them, I was so proud of myself for pushing myself to go for this. Honestly if you're scared to go, you shouldn't worry about it - I am the worlds biggest wuss and I found it didn't hurt a bit. 


2017
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
I have just restarted slimming world after months of bad eating (I suppose that's what happens when you don't really know how to cook!), so with the help of SW and exercise i'm hoping to loose those extra pounds. 

Don't worry, be happy.
I found that I constantly put too much pressure on myself to get things done as soon as possible, i'm hoping to take a more relaxed approach to things this year.

Get some jobs done on the house. 
The house needs a rewire, new kitchen and the exterior needs painting. Of course the first two jobs will cost quite a bit but we're hoping to get saving to complete at least one of those jobs during 2017. 

Make some blogging friends. 
I definitely feel as though i'm a bit of a loner in the blogging community at the moment, which does have something to do with my anxiety, this is why i'm hoping to make a couple of friends out there this year.

Hope you all have a great 2017!

S
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