Galentines Day!

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I’d like to take this time to take a quick poll.. who knew the show this title referenced before you read the post? It totally doesn’t count if you already saw this weeks video!! I feel like Parks and Rec is the most underrated show in the UK but over in the US it’s huge and thanks to Netflix (US version.. what? if they didn’t want us to access it they should make it more difficult 😏) I was introduced to it a couple of years ago and it’s now one of my top 5. I think Dave has it now if you’re interested but I digress, the main character, Leslie Knope, holds an annual friendship celebration on 13th Feb dubbed ‘Galentines Day’ and this year my friend Laura and I decided to hold our own with the help of Morrisons food/drink treats which you can watch a little of in this video.

The general concept is that you put emphasis on appreciating your friends one day a year in the same way you would your other half. I like the idea, it’s a bit cheesy but then so is Valentines Day, no? Relationships with friends are just as important as those with your family.. they’re the ones you choose after all.. and the ones that have to listen to you complain about the others.. they put up with a lot for a little, why shouldn’t they get a day of celebration?

Morrisons have a huge array of sweet treats, gifts and flowers for the weekend ahead but the star has to be the meal deal. A starter, main, dessert and bottle of wine or non-alcoholic equalivalent for £15. Since I had my eldest at 19 and my parents anniversary happens to be 14th Feb I have never actually been out for a swanky meal to celebrate Valentines so I’m well versed in the meal deal arena and what Laura and I shared for our girls day in was spot on. The Beef Bourjuinion was amazing, we had the Dauphinois potatos too which I’d highly recommend.. but do them in the oven, they need that crispy top!

We polished off our bottle of wine watching our favourite show, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a child free afternoon than eating and drinking with one of my best friends, can you?

#SAYITWITHLOVE

*sponsored by Morrisons

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FREEDOM Pro Artist Pad

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I’ve had these palettes for a little while but really hadn’t made use them of until putting together these swatches. I’m a big fan of budget eyeshadow palettes but regardless of cost a huge collection tends to turn me off. I think it overfaces me, too much choice. I even swap my favourite MAC shadows in and out of a quad for regular use rather than reaching for the larger selections I’ve put together, so these monsters from Freedom were never going to get a look in, were they?

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Once I played around with them however I realised I was silly leaving them untouched, as is to be expected the quality is great and there’s just about every conceivable neutral combination to be had.. but I think that’s part of the problem. I can’t shake that niggle that it’s just too much of too little. I wonder if we’ll ever tire of the naked trend, I feel like it’s been done to death at this point and these larger palettes are great examples of that. You’d think at least one of them would have some colour. I know there are rusty shades and the odd steely grey but REALLY.. it’s not much is it? If you are truly an artist looking to create a vast aray of neutral eyes on a multitude of skintones these will probably be great for you and I’m certain that’s what they’re designed for but the average joe just doesn’t need this many shades of nude. Not when you tot up the countless others they definitely already have.

Gun to my head I’d say the Black Arts is my favourite as I prefer the selection, although it lacks the ‘do-it-all’  element of the Studio To Go it’s just got something about it for me.. it’s also £5 cheaper in the sale right now but don’t let that affect your judgement. I would really like to see more matte, more colour and something other than the standard bronzer, blush and highlight shades. I’m sure there’s method to the madness and they’re the most universal colours they could pick but why be the same as everyone else? Why not do something different? I’ve been really impressed by Freedom as a brand and by many of their products but I really do hope there’s something exciting coming soon!

*PR Sample

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The Big Sleep

As has become a habit with me this post has been hovering for months in my drafts. It seemed to be the right time to talk about sleep as I’m STILL recovering from last weeks trip to New York. I’ve never had het lag like it, really can’t get back on UK time so any suggestions in that department would be gratefully received. The second reason it felt fitting was my recent laziness here on my blog. I’ve put a lot of (wo)man hours in to videos this year so far and have really let this site gather dust while I decided whether I even wanted to continue with it. For a long time I could see an end to YouTube for me and assumed I’d blog forever but as I’ve spoken about recently I just couldn’t quite muster the motivation for it. Total madness for me as I used to post DAILY.. maybe it will come back to me, maybe it wont.. but I’m not giving up altogether because I know there are still times I reach for writing over record. I’m going to push myself this month (or what’s left of it.. already!!) and see if I can’t break through the wall.. we’ll see.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEnough self-indulgent rambling.. more about sleep. A little ironic that I’m writing this at 1.36am perhaps but until we went away I had my sleep pattern DOWN! I’ve never been the BEST sleeper but in recent years I’ve been really awful. I could lay awake for hours while my husband slept next to me, I know having the TV on doesn’t help, nor does checking my phone every time it bzz’zz but I’ve tried taking away those distractions, I’ve tried no tech time for an hour or so before bed, I’ve tried reading, all that jazz.. it just wasn’t helping. I was learning to live with less sleep and once it becomes a habit that’s pretty scary. Perpetually tired but unable to sleep is NOT FUN! I’m quite certain I’d be an excellent vampire as I get all of my energy after 9pm and given the chance can sleep past noon but with 2 children that’s rarely an option. Another issue I have (I know, I know, just shoot me, it’s kinder) is aches and pains.. I feel sure that at 30 (there’s a post coming on that recent milestone) I shouldn’t feel as old as I do but man, oh man.. I have the knees of a 90 year old! My joints ache to the point of keeping me awake and no amount of ibuprofen could calm them.

I know it’s all been misery thus far but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! I haven’t been rid of every ailment just yet – my knees are killing me as I type, I blame the constant exercise of New York to the constant nothingness of the couch for that one – but the big change we made that seriously improved my (and my husbands) quality of sleep was our bed. The mattress was sent to me last year (this isn’t sponsored and it’s WAY later in the game so they aren’t even expecting me to talk about it) by a company called eve. They told me how much it cost and that it came vacuum packed.. I was skeptical. I expected it be one big gimmick but hey? Our mattress was OLD and I figured it couldn’t hurt. Couldn’t hurt was the understatement of the year. I still suffer with neck/shoulder pain but that’s caused by the hunched position I’m sitting in RIGHT NOW- must really sit up straight – but I have never had lower back pain since sleeping on this mattress and my husband – who sees a chiro’ on the regular – speaks very highly of his lack of discomfort also. It’s firmer than I’d have bought for myself but I think it’s what I actually need rather than what I want. I can’t tell you the tech behind it but they told me it had lots of bells and whistles which you can read about here. They’re expensive but when you consider how long you keep a mattress for.. cost per wear is pretty low, folks. The way it unravels once out of the box is quite theatrical so I can see why they push that as a gimmick but all that aside it’s an excellent and very high (weirdly high) mattress which I’d definitely recommend.

Another major change I’ve made since we moved is making our bedroom feel more like a sanctuary. There are days when I would happily spend all of my time in there whether working or sleeping, clothed or unclothed.. it’s just so nice. An inviting space will make you more likely to go to bed early and a comfortable bed (and pillows.. love my feather pillows) make sinking in to it something you look forward to all day. Having a routine definitely helps me, switching to de-caf tea had a far larger impact than I expected and plugging my phone in away from the bed so I’m not tempted to scroll when I don’t fall asleep immediately also doesn’t hurt but the bed. The bed is pretty epic.

If you aren’t in the market for a whole new mattress right now I’d also highly recommend toppers, I’ve had memory foam and down and I think I prefer down for the luxurious hotel-feel but each to their own. Think of how you want your bed to feel when you’re feeling totally rubbish.. in my mind that’s how I want my bed to feel every single night.. that’s the dream!

..now I might actually try and grab 40 winks before the kids wake up

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