It's been a while since I've shared some of my favourites. I have shared some beauty favourites not too long ago as well as some great TV, book and music picks. Today, I wanted to share some more miscellaneous staples that I've been using and loving day-to-day. 

Iced Coffee

It may be nearing the end of summer and, honestly, I'm ready to embrace the cosy cold weather, but that hasn't stopped me loving iced coffee or I guess my more 'bootleg', a homemade concoction that I like to call an iced coffee. I mean, hey, it still tastes like a Starbucks to me! If I'm reading, I make one. Blogging, yes I'll have one. Cleaning? Another one, please! I think I've become extremely basic for loving this and I guess my Starbucks glass does not help the cause but for how good it tastes, I'm not mad about it. 

If you're interested in making your own at-home iced coffee, be sure to check my COFFEE Insta story highlight for a lil' tutorial - no fancy espresso machine is needed! 

M&S Cotton Straight Jeans

I really owe this love to Becc4 after she shared this fab pick over on Instagram. I never thought I'd be someone who went in for light white or cream jeans as well as something in this super straight style, but here I am! I loved the fact that they were responsibly sourced cotton, not bank-breaking at £19.50 and also came in short, regular and long fits - of course, 5ft 4 (ok, 5ft 3) me got the short fit. 

For a style like this, you can find similar in Urban Outfitters and Topshop for £40+ so why not go for cheaper, more sustainable and just fabulous looking jeans? I never thought M&S would be a place I'd find my favourite jeans but I'm so glad I found these. While I don't think they will, if M&S did decide to expand their colour range to include a light pink pair, I'll be waiting at the shop doors ready to pay!

Normal People by Sally Rooney

This year in reading hasn't been the best for me - so many books that leave me feeling unsatisfied, so when I read this book, my faith in reading was restored instantly! I was so tempted to do a full review of this book like I used to but that's just encouraging me to ramble on about this book in a likely incohesive manner so, let me try and summarise. I had already read Mr Salary (a short story by Sally Rooney) so I knew her writing style was one I could get behind and enjoy. Not just the writing style but the story was one I was fully engrossed in; it follows two teenagers from opposite backgrounds that become connected in high school and onto college. This isn't the young adult book I may have made it sound, but a story you think has been done 1000x before in such a different way.

You know how a book can feel warm and fuzzy but something happens to leave you crying at the end? This is the complete opposite - it gives a dull heartwrenching feeling throughout the whole book. You're rooting for the characters while simultaneously having your heart broken slowly. I devoured this book and I think you will too. I am already excited to read her other book Conversations with Friends very soon.

Sony Headphones

When my last pair of earphones broke, it was time to say goodbye to the love of Happy Plugs and I  switch it up with some headphones. I bought my dad the same headphones for Christmas a few years ago and he loves them, so I thought I'd pick the same up for myself. They're nothing groundbreaking - no Bluetooth, volume control, noise cancellation - but for me, they do the job. They are actually the perfect headphones for my commute and I love that they fold down really compact to make them the perfect size to fit in my bag. 

Brent by Jeremy Zucker & Chelsea Cutler

"What have you been using your new headphones to listen to, Sarah?" I hear you ask. Well, not long ago I discovered Jeremy Zucker who I have already shared my love of in a previous post. When this new EP with Chelsea Cutler appeared on my Spotify I had to give it a listen. They have such a melancholic sound with these slow songs that are easy to listen to. I've found it the perfect soundtrack while I'm reading as well as in the evening when I'm settling down. If you're looking for some new tracks to add to your chill, easy-listen playlist, I'd check this out. 

So there are a few more lifestyle favourites I've been loving lately. I find myself reaching for these every day and so I had to share them! 

What have you been loving lately? I'd love to hear any and all recommendations! 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah  x 
Working from home tips to improve productivity
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It's been a while since I worked from home, but whenever I do there are a few things I bear in mind. Here, I share some more general tips for you freelancers, students and bloggers who struggle to keep productive when working at home.

1. Get dressed & ready

I for sure have had those days working from home when I've opted to stay in my pjs because who wants to get out of those comfy clothes?! However, I hate to be a pyjama party pooper but I always found I feel sluggish during the day if I do this - my motivation to work just isn't as it would be if I got myself up and dressed. When I realised that having a morning routine like that of going out of the house for work made me more productive, I found my productivity, especially in the morning, increased. 

2. Create work-life boundaries

This is one of the main things I touched on in my post about creating a productive workspace - having boundaries from where you work and where you don't is one of my keys to keeping productive. Create an office space - a desk is probably best but if you don't have that then create an area that is just for working. Whether it's a seat at your kitchen counter or a specific spot on your sofa that you dedicate to working. This just makes you feel like when you're in that spot, you're working. 

Working from home comes with its perks; being in close proximity to the fridge, being able to do laundry in between emails. But, I also think it's useful to try and treat it like you are actually in an office. I tried to work the hours 9-5 to help split up my time and not tempt me from working from my bed too often or working later into the evening when I should be switching off. 

By having these boundaries, I found not only could I switch off more easily in the evening but I was productive during my working hours as I knew that I could only work during these hours and so needed to get as much done as possible. 

3. Know when you're most productive

This is a slight contradiction on my last point of having hours similar to office hours but, if you have more control over the time you have to work when you're at home, then knowing when you are most productive can really help schedule around this. 

I find I'm most productive first thing in the morning, so I try and it's now that I  tackle my bigger tasks. Then, mid-morning I tend to hit a lull. Here, I decide to do the more mindless tasks that don't require too much concentration. I also try and plan my lunchtime around my productive times. If I know I tend to flag around 12:30, I'll try and have my lunch then before starting again later when I know I'm more productive again in the afternoon. 

4. Don't be overly ambitious

This was something I always failed to do. Even though I didn't even finish my to-do list that day, I would somehow think that tomorrow I'd be able to double that - not going to happen! Instead, having a priority list of maybe 3-5 big tasks that need to get done every day (depending on how big they were) and a few extras that if I get round to them, then great! 

I find this helps not only stop me from becoming demotivated when I don't achieve all my daily goals but also stop me from working into the evening to try and get the rest of my to-dos done. 


5. Have a killer playlist

Some people choose to work in silence but, even now when I work in an office, having background music just helps me to get into the rhythm of working. I find it especially helpful to keep me productive when tackling the smaller jobs like replying to emails, filling in spreadsheets etc. 

If you're looking for some good work recommendations to help motivate you while not being too distracting, check out my new COFFEE playlist on Spotify. 

6. Try to leave the house each day

I think this is super important to be able to take a real break away from the stress of sitting and working all day. Maybe take some time to meet your friends for a coffee take a walk or just nip to the shop. 

I found when I worked from home, spending days on end inside when I had a lot of work actually left me feeling unhappy with myself as well as in my work. So, I can definitely vouch for the positives on your happiness and productivity for taking some time to get out of the house to switch off from your work for a little while. 

Is there anything I missed? Leave how you stay motivated to work in the comments! 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x


self care essentials - book, music, nice drink
I recently shared my sunday routine where I wrote about how I make the most of my Sunday. I loved reading the comments on that post; it was so nice to read how everyone chooses to spend the last day of the week. One thing people said was how productive my Sundays are, when a lot of people tend to take the day to relax and 'do nothing'. I wanted to share that, like many of you, I too have days where I will sit and 'do nothing'. Maybe read a book, watch Netflix, probably not leave the house or really get ready but that's OK because I don't think that's being unproductive- I'm still doing something I need to do and that's looking after myself; giving myself some chill time and some needed self-care. 

Focussing on you should be a priority

Many people don't prioritise self-care. We tend to forget to give ourselves a much-needed break from work, life stress and just sit and do something for ourselves. It's hard to comprehend that sitting and doing something for yourself is as productive as writing a blog post, going to work, doing the jobs around the house. But, just like being productive in these aspects, self-care is beneficial in ways you may not realise. 

You may feel guilty or even selfish for taking time for you but don't. We all need that time! I get it though; I always feel like I should be ticking off those to-dos, meeting with friends but I know that's not what I need and I should be prioritising what I do need. And, what I need is self-care!  

Neglect can lead to burnout

Simple- if you don't take time for yourself, it's going to bite you on the bum in the future. Whether it's constantly overworking and not taking time to process other parts of your life, it's easy to become overwhelmed, which can affect not just your mental health but actual health as well. 

During uni, I was always pushing myself to work. I'd think the more I focussed the quicker the work would be done and the quicker I could relax. However, the workload seemed neverending at points and I just kept trying to push through but, in the end, I was tired, sad and still as stressed as before.  It was when I would take a night off to do something with friends, ring my parents or just sit and watch a film, that I felt a lot happier and less burnt out when I returned to work.

I'm actually going to share a post all about student self-care, so look out for that soon!

Clearing your head can actually help
We've all been there. It's a busy week, we're on autopilot. Trying to get through those long stressful days and just pushing through. But, not giving ourselves some time to switch off can actually stop us from performing well at work and even feeling happy with our social lives. It's so much more beneficial to stop and take a break from it all. Whether you cook a nice meal, watch a film you've been wanting to watch, going for a walk or anything else to just ease your mind and focus on something completely separate from what causes you stress. 

When I'm taking time for myself, it's here when the pressure has eased that inspiration hits most. By clearing my head I can solve that problem I've been trying so hard to work out, I can think of a better way to do something at work, I think of a new blog post idea. From taking some time I always find it to actually help me be more productive. Whether it's from meditation or mindlessly watching some crap TV, or watching some youtube vlogs (my personal favourite), it is beneficial and is productive in the long run. 

While you might not feel it as being very productive, it will probably help you to be even more productive in the future. As you take some time to switch off auto and be in the moment, you can finally be more aware of everything that is going on around you. 

A self-care schedule does not exist

People may disagree with me on this one so I'd like to hear your opinions! When I share my productive posts, one thing I always say is how important a schedule is but for self-care, I don't think this is so applicable. While it's good to block out a night a week purely for yourself, I find it better to just listen to yourself. You know yourself best and so you will know when you should take some time to stop and look after yourself first. I find trying to do one small act of self-care a day the most beneficial for me but everyone is different! 

As you're starting to include more self-care into your routine, it's always hard to find the time so that's when scheduling some time in is good. But, later down the line, the best way is to just listen to yourself. 


Self-care is such a subjective thing as to how much time one needs for self-care and how they choose to do this, but it can positively impact everyone's mental health and wellbeing and I know how much better and productive I feel after taking some time to switch off. 

Do you agree? Do you feel you take enough time for self-care at the moment? 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x
2019 diary to help be productive
I feel every day has its purpose. While Mondays are for getting started and Saturdays are for having some fun, I'd say Sundays are the time I try and get my life in order and get myself prepped for the Monday. Whether you're working full time, a student, a freelancer, if you have Sundays off, it gives you the perfect opportunity to make the following week go smoothly. This post is acting a little follow to my "Ways to Love Mondays" post as I mentioned there how important the Sunday is. 

Sunday is the perfect day to find time for yourself. While I try to make sure I'm doing on Saturday, Sunday is my down day- my prep day, my self-care day. And, while I'd love to just spend it in bed and relax, I can still have a chilled Sunday while keeping productive. Here I share a little Sunday routine that allows me to get the most out of the day while still enjoying it. 


THE MORNING 

A lie-in
OK, so I already said no lounging around but there is nothing wrong with a few extra hours in bed. While so many people are for the early mornings to make the most out of the day, I get it, but me making the most out of my Sunday is staying in bed. I've probably not enjoyed sleeping and really appreciated my chance to sleep so Sunday is the best time to treat myself to 20 minutes or an hour(or two) extra in bed. If I want to sleep longer, my body obviously needs it- a late start isn't necessarily a bad one. 

Enjoy your breakfast 
I love a Sunday roast as much as the next person; it's such a hearty meal that I've probably craved after a week of rushed meals after work. But, for me, I've actually found myself loving a bigger and more of a treat breakfast on a Sunday. I've probably been shoving the same breakfast in my mouth before flying out the door the whole week so, making time to try something new or an old breakfast favourite is the best thing to do on a Sunday morning. Homemade pancakes, waffles, poached egg on toast as all some of my favourites. Something like this makes the best start to my Sunday and will keep me full for a while so I can get on with everything else I want to.



Clean
No one wants to do it. But, you'll thank yourself later. It doesn't have to take hours but just getting the house in order and clean really makes me feel better and can help me settle down in the afternoon. I've probably neglected a lot of my space throughout the week so fluffing the cushions, vacuuming the floors and a quick polish can work wonders. I always love this time to listen to some music; whether it's a new playlist or some old-time favourites, it makes a change to my usual commuter playlist. If you want to see what I'm listening too, check out my Spotify. 

THE AFTERNOON

The Big To-Dos
Cleaning done, coffee brewed, I now find somewhere to sit comfortably (usually the sofa) and go through my diary. Are there any events in the next week? Any jobs I haven't got round to yet that I can finish today? Anything I have missed completing during the week, I try to prioritise them to start on Monday. One thing I try not to do is stress myself on Sunday. While it may show me I have a lot of to-dos, Sunday is to help me get it in order so I can manage it better tomorrow. 

Schedules & Plans
It's time to check when I'm free. If there's anything I need to do during the week, I can slot it in when I'm free. Not just putting in social plans but when to blog, when I want to be in the office by during the week. Even if a rough plan, it can help create some sort of routine through the week so I am nowt forgetting anything important or worried I can't fit everything in (which is never the case usually- I'm not much of a social butterfly!). 

Meal Prep & Planning
Checking what I have in the fridge and my cupboards, what needs using up and what I need to buy can help me effectively plan my meals so that I am not wasting any food leftover or buying too much. Sunday is usually the day I actually go and do my shopping (if I didn't on Monday). This is so I can start prepping any large meals. I tend to cook something on the Sunday in bulk that I'll have again on Monday and another night later that week or that I will freeze. It just helps if I get too tired or just can't be bothered later in the week so I'm not struggling to find something to eat. 

I also find cooking quite therapeutic so, to me, meal planning and prepping is not a chore but almost self-care.  Do you enjoy cooking or are you an avoid-at-all-costs kind of person? 

THE EVENING

People call it 'self-care Sunday' for a reason; it makes sense to end the week relaxed and prepared for the following one. Everyone's way of winding down differs. For me, taking some time to catch up on TV, read a book and even blogging can help me focus my attention away from work, life- anything that might have me a little stressed. 

A Goodnight's Sleep
I'm planning a whole post on my PM routine to show how I have created a routine that allows me to switch off and sleep well. Sunday is the perfect time to get your body clock adjusted and create a healthy sleep pattern. I make sure I don't stay up too late so I resent the Monday morning commute but still making sure that I have some time to myself to wind down slowly. 


So there's a look at my typical Sunday routine to help make the most of this chilled day and getting ready for the week to come. 

What does your typical Sunday look like? I'd love to hear about what you get up to!
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x
If you read my previous post "THINGS ARE HAPPENING" where I rambled a little about finishing university, you will have read that I have moved to London after living in York for three years while at university. Throughout my three years in York, I feel I have definitely become well acquainted with the area. With this, I thought it's time I shared with you my favourite spots in York that, if you're visiting are definitely worth a gander. These picks are also suitable if you're already a local but maybe want to know about a few of my recommendations of things to do in the area.

The Shambles Food Market 

If you're already planning a trip to York, you will no doubt be heading down The Shambles at some point. Known as the place that inspired Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books, The Shambles is a hit with the tourists. However, apart from just visiting the cobbled streets filled with shops, I recommend taking some time to explore the small but great market, specifically the small food court. When I first came to York, this was just a couple of stalls but it has since expanded to have stalls of different cuisines to please all. My friend and I are massive fans of the Thai stand that do a great sweet chilli chicken and pad thai.


If you are a local and working in the centre, this is a great alternative to your regular meal deal at lunchtime. They offer some great filling options for reasonable prices while you are also supporting some local restaurants and businesses.


The York Art Gallery 

This is a place I wish I went to sooner than I did as well as more often to fully appreciate the different exhibitions the gallery had on. From the handful of times I visited, the staff were extremely friendly and were up for a chat about the art and different exhibitions. In the past, they've had a Quentin Blake exhibition, which was great for the kids, as well as Aesthetic Magazine exhibition which I really enjoyed and allowed me to discover some new artists that I now love and follow their work.


It's not a big gallery but for a small city, it's a great addition. It's worth keeping up to date with the exhibitions on when visiting and dropping in during your stay. For those living and studying in York, you are able to get discounted, if not free, entry into the gallery along with other museums across the city. It's definitely worth looking into and you can find more out about this here.

The Waterstones Cafe

I know what you're thinking. "This is a weird recommendation. Isn't it just a Costa?". The cafe in the York Waterstones is much nicer than other Waterstones that do just have a Costa. It's a lovely coffee shop on the upper floor of the shop that is the perfect location for a drink and cake with a great view of the main shopping street of York below.

I spent many a day hear during my degree. If was wanting a to get out of the house for a change of scenery or if I had some time to kill before a shift at my part-time job, I always ended up here either with my laptop working or my head in a book. The coffee also isn't badly priced at all so it was great to grab a drink then head to peruse the thousands of books while resisting the urge to buy any more.

I also want to add an honorary mention to Spring Espresso which is a coffee shop I spoke about in "THE BEST PANCAKES IN YORK". This is another great location for a coffee; in my opinion, they do the best, iced mocha I've ever had.

Rowntree Park 

This is the perfect place to spend a summers day in York. With a park and play area for the kids to explore and enjoy, lovely gardens to walk through as well as a walk along the canal to get here by foot, it's the perfect open space to enjoy in the sun.


My friends and I have been there for a picnic in the past as well as a game or two of frisbee when it's been warmer as well as a visit to the reading cafe that's within the park when it's a little chillier or we just want to grab a drink.

The museum gardens are the usual place tourists chose to visit in the centre to soak up a few rays but, if you don't mind a short walk, I highly recommend going here to enjoy your picnic. It tends to be a lot quieter while being a lot bigger and, in my opinion, a little nicer to be just a bit out of the city.

Have you ever been to York? 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 

Here we have some life ramblings of things happening at the moment... 




If you had spoken to me a month ago and asked me the dreaded question of "So, Sarah, what are you doing after university?" I would have to make something up about looking for a job and nervously laugh as the real answer is actually "I have no clue".  I had ideas of plan A, B and C in my head but I had no idea whether these were real plans that were realistic or would work for me. I actually have ended up with an outcome that I never had planned and so I thought I'd share with you how things have changed in the past few months and how they are going to carry on changing in the future. 

Graduating for University
If you didn't know, I've spent the past three years studying Psychology BSc at the University of York. As of last Thursday, I am officially a graduate and I have said goodbye to the university that I adored. On the whole, I really loved spending the last few years here as well as living in such a lovely city. More sadly, it's time to say goodbye to that beloved student discount; I really don't know what I'll do without it! 

After quite a stressful and tough final year, I shocked myself by managing to come out with a first in my degree. I'm so happy that all my hard work paid off! I loved my degree as it was so fascinating and I was always learning something new. While I'm giving my psychological brain a rest, for now, my love for the subject will always be there and I may revisit the subject in the future. 

I am thinking of doing a more in-depth post about my time in university and what third-year specifically taught me as well as some honest thoughts about my university so keep an eye out for that one. 

Getting a Job 
I'll keep this brief but yes, I manage to find a job! An internship to be specific but one I think will open a lot of doors and will be a really fun and interesting position in a really creative company. 

I think I may do a separate post on this later down the line once I'm settled into the role but, honestly, if it wasn't for my blog, I don't think I would have been able to get this internship and the position I did. I'm so excited to start this internship next week! 

Moving to London
I remember saying a few weeks ago "I could never move to London" and two weeks later I was planning on moving down there. As I started looking for jobs, it seems very evident that, while I'd love to stay in York, London was where the experience was and the jobs I wanted. 

While most people do move back home with their parents, after managing to save enough money from my part-time job to put a deposit on a flat, I couldn't see myself adjusting back to living with the family. I thought it seemed perfect to challenge myself a little by moving out completely after uni and moving to London. Along with getting this internship in London, it seemed only right. 

I'll be moving down this Thursday and I can quite frankly admit that I am scared with just the weekend to adjust enough to start my job the following Monday. I don't think I'll be more ready than I am now so fingers crossed it all works out. 


A lot of big changes are happening at once and, for once, I seem to be embracing it (with still a pinch of apprehension). As university ends, my new chapter in London is soon to start and while I'm incredibly nervous to be living in a completely new and unknown environment, I'm also excited to see how it all goes. 

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

I feel like we all like to recommend new music to people; whether it's something completely different to what they are used to or something you think they'd like as it has a familiar sound to their other favourites. Here, I thought I'd share with you five albums that are not only great for the summer but suitable for different music tastes. Hopefully, you'll discover a new album or artist that you haven't given a listen to before. 

Jeremy Zucker // Motions

Jeremy Zucker has a chilled tone that I have loved to have in the background while I clean, work or read. The album Motions includes tracks that make the perfect late night playlist.  While it was released back in 2017, it’s only a recent discovery for me along with his more recent tracks that I’ve also been loving. If you’re looking for an artist to add to your late night, chilled playlist, Motions is the perfect album for that.

Favourite Tracks: Heavy, Idk Love & Stay Quiet

LAUV // I met you when I was 18

Like with Jeremy Zucker, LAUV’s album is perfect to have on in the background and enjoy. This album has a mixture of slower songs that I enjoy the most, as well as some more upbeat tracks like Chasing Fire that are great for the summer and long car journeys.  It’s the album that I can have on while I’m tidying and I’ll soon catch myself bobbing and even singing along to. 

Favourite Tracks: Never Not, The Story Never Ends, Chasing Fire

BTS // Map of The Soul: Persona

I’ve already mentioned this album in my last “READ, WATCH, LISTEN“. Since that post, I actually saw BTS live and since then, I’ve not stopped listening to this album. It doesn’t matter that it’s by Korean artists and spoken in Korean; the songs are still super catchy and I don’t see myself stopping listening to this anytime soon!


Favourite Tracks: Intro: Persona, Home & Mikrokosmos

Khalid // Free Spirit

Since his last album, I haven’t stopped listening to Khalid. He was in my top 5 most played artists on Spotify last year and a lot of that was down to it being the perfect album to listen to while revising. While I know most people can’t work with music on, it was never too distracting and was just a nice chilled album to have on in the background. His new album Free Spirit I treated in a similar way, but with a few more upbeat tracks, they also made the perfect summer songs to play when with friends or for a good sing-along in the shower!

Favourite Tracks: Intro, Right Back & Bad Luck

Loyle Carner // Not Waving, But Drowning

While you might be thinking my picks so far are chilled, this one tops them all. Loyle Carner was introduced by my housemate (thanks Ben) and, with his most recent album, I haven’t stopped listening to. It reminds me of Frank Ocean’s Album Blonde with a mix of music and filler talking tracks.  It’s the perfect album to enjoy in the evenings while I’m reading or just taking some time for myself. I love how it’s like a story; start from the beginning and listen to the end. Also with a track featuring Sampha, of course, I’m going to love it! It’s definitely one I recommend giving a listen. Loyle Carner just released some tour dates so I am highly considering seeing him live soon. 

Favourite Tracks: Krispy, Ottolenghi, Desoleil (Brilliant Corners)


What are your current favourite albums? Leave me some of your own recommendations!

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 


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With the transition into summer well underway, I thought it was time I shared some of the products I have been reaching for on the warmer, sunnier days to help my skin glow and feel summer-ready. I have been choosing, as always, to opt for a lighter base and focussing a little more on my skin and body care to help me achieve a natural glow. 


 BODY CARE 


As the weather picks up, more skin tends to be on show and so I like to make sure that my skin is well protected and well moisturised to help me feel a little more confident in my skin. 

This has been really great to apply to my legs before shaving, to get rid of any flaky dead skin and start with a fresh smooth base for any shaving products, moisturisers and tan. I've also been applying this to the tops of my arms. I have a very common skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris where the use of harsh exfoliants can only make it worse. However, every so often a little more exfoliation is nice and, with this scrub, it leaves my arms feeling lovely and smooth. 

This is probably one of my current beauty obsessions. Gone are days that I can be bothered to fake tan and have to deal with the patchy consequences when it all goes wrong. After picking this up in HomeSense a month ago, I have been absolutely loving applying this. Unlike other tanning lotions or fake tans, this is a really hydrating tinted lotion that not only smells amazing but leaves my skin feeling so smooth and soft. Application has also been a breeze; by applying in circular motions and making sure I wash my hands thoroughly after, I've had no mishaps in the forms of patches or streaks. Even after a shower or two and no reapplication, I can still see the subtle tan and glow it gives. With small shimmer reflexes, as well as almost a blurring effect, I'm really loving this product right now. 



It's warm and muggy. The last thing you want to be doing is hanging around waiting for your body lotion to dry. This is where this fabulous spray-on lotion comes in handy. There was quite the hype around these a few years back and I still haven't stopped enjoying this product on days I need to moisturise but don't want to wait forever for it to dry. This Spray on lotion from Superdrug is super affordable and has lasted me for ages and so I feel it's a great addition to your summer body care as well as being a great product to take on your travels. 

SKINCARE


For me, skin care in summer is probably the most important. I don't like to have a face full of makeup in the heat and so, if I can get my skin in a place where I am happy to not wear makeup, then that would be amazing. At the moment, I have been opting for products that promote skin glow as well as hydration. 

You may have seen this in my 3 TRANSITIONAL SKINCARE STAPLES and, while we have transitioned into the hotter climates, this is still making its way into my skincare routine. As the summer weather can be muggy and the air is highly polluted, I find this a great non-harsh exfoliator to remove any impurities. Also with vitamin C, it's promoting your skin's healthy glow which, if you haven't caught onto the theme yet, is perfect for the summer. 

In winter, this was great for hydration and now into summer, it's also great for that added glow. After I apply this, I automatically feel my skin is in better condition and that I don't need to wear makeup. It is such a simple oil that I am really enjoying using. Applied morning and night, I really feel the benefits under my make up during the day or in the morning after applying the night before. 


MAKEUP

Like I said, I tend to put down the makeup brush and pick up a good cleanser in the warmer months. However, on days where I need a little something, I love using these two products especially.

I've already shared my love for this on multiple occasions including my MINIMALIST SUMMER MAKEUP post the other month. Since wanting to branch out from using my The Body Shop BB Cream, this has been a great alternative. It helps give my skin a natural glow as well as the colour and enough coverage I want in my base before applying concealer. I definitely recommend this if you are looking for a lightweight base that doesn't require constant attention throughout the day. 


NYX illuminator
This acts as a 2-in-1 blush and highlight for me. With quite chunky gold reflexes, I don't go too heavy handed with this. However, for every day, a little applied to my cheeks and cheekbones adds a little flush of colour as well as adding to that glowing look. It has such a pretty and natural orange/coral colour that I find it really flattering especially for a summery look. This seems to be discontinued but the old favourite Sleek Rose Gold Blush* is a good alternative. 

So there is a breakdown of some products that I reach for in summer and that I am currently loving in this warmer weather. 

Are there any products you find yourself loving in the summer months? Leave your recommendations!
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

One's relationship with their own confidence tends to be a rocky one; you can go from loving yourself to not even being able to stand the sight of yourself in a short space of time. Since I remember, I have struggled to accept how I look and be happy with what I see in the mirror. But... this is slowly changing. 

Back in 2017, I wrote a post called "Is it right I feel confident?". This was more about society's ideas with body confidence and how it can really stop someone like me from being happy with how they look. People aren't nice to those who aren't considered "pretty" in high school and, while at the time the validation of others seems like all that's needed to cure my unhealthy relationship with my body, I now realise the only validation I need is my own. But I guess, for a 14-year-old, that's hard to understand. 

Back in high school in the peak of the summer terms, I would always still be wearing tights even in the scorching UK sun. PE was my least favourite subject. Not because of the physical element which I actually loved it was the ordeal of getting changed. I never had my bare legs out, would forever cover my arms like they were something to hide, something to be ashamed of. Back then I was unhappy and unconfident with how I looked. I would buy size 16/18 clothes when I was actually a size 12 because I thought I was bigger than I really was. I was never small but how I saw myself was not the reality of it. 

My relationship with my body intertwined with my relationship to food. I hated to be seen eating in front of people; shamed to be judged about what I was eating and so would choose to eat in the toilets at points (disgusting, I know). At the end of high school, things weren't all that fabulous. 

Flashforward to the first year of university. I'd grown in confidence through sixth form in speaking openly with new people but my body confidence was still not all there. However, throughout the three years at university, I think it has what has really driven a change in how I perceive myself. 

I'd say my first big body confidence accomplishment was summer ball in the first year. For the first time in years, I left the house without a jacket or anything to cover my arms. I felt good at with I was wearing and wasn't worried about people looking at me. This one small spark of confidence was the first step in me gaining a whole new lease of self-confidence.




While the next two years I still covered up and was never really happy in what I was wearing or how I looked, the days that I could stop and look in the mirror became more frequent. My relationship with food changed; I was eating healthier, not worried about people judging what I ate and I enjoyed trying new foods and more vegetarian meals. Over the years, my weight has fluctuated; I lost weight in the first year only to put it back on in second and, while it hurt to know, going into the third year I was happier within myself without looking at the number on the scales. I started to exercise more again; not a lot but still more than I was which definitely made me happier.

With summer approaching, I feel like I am in a good place to be confident with not having to cover up on the warmer days. While there will be times that I don't feel confident and will feel how I used to feel, the more days I have felt positive in my body, the better. 

It's been a long journey but I'm so happy to share with you that things are finally looking positive with my body confidence. There was a time where mirrors were the enemy- I couldn't look in one without finding a flaw. Now, I can look at it, happy with my reflection. 

I've still got a way to go before I'm truly confident with my body but I'm definitely on the right path to having a happy and healthy relationship with how I see myself.



Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x




As much as I would like to consider myself knowledgeable in the world of sustainable and ethical beauty and have previously posted about how to be sustainable on a budget, there are definitely some areas I am less knowledgeable of. Today, I called upon my friends at Sustainable Jungle to bring together a short guide to ethical and sustainable beauty, including how to avoid Green Washing.

Who doesn't love a good mascara, a beautiful scent, a nourishing moisturiser or a functional deodorant? The good news is that we as consumers of these products can use the power of what we purchase to really make a positive impact on both the people involved in making them and, of course, the planet. 

How exactly can we make sure that the beauty products we are consuming are truely as ethical and sustainable as possible? How do we avoid falling victim to greenwashing in an area that is especially ripe for smart and tactical marketing?

there are a few things to consider. We think a useful way to think about this is from the very start of the product's life (i.e. the ingredients), all the way along the manufacturing and testing process and, ultimately, its packaging and end of life story. We've come up with the following key attributes we use as a framework when looking for the most ethical and sustainable brands and products on the market.

Ethical Sourcing

Ethical sourcing is a very broad term, we tend to use it in the context of impact on human life in terms of what's going on in a brand's supply chain, if they pay fair prices for material and goods, and whether their suppliers are committed to a positive environment and social impact while providing safe working conditions for all that work.

Vegan & Palm Oil Free

Separately, we look for products with ingredients that don't have a negative implication for our planet. We tend to focus on animal rights and biodiversity loss: products that are vegan (i.e. contain no animal products whatsoever- even if you are not vegan, you just simply don't need crushed insects in your lipstick, which a real thing) and palm oil free because while it's a complicated issue, the reality is that palm oil is devastating forests and jungles that are critical to biodiversity.

Ingredient Quality

Similarly, we look for products with ingredients that are high quality and non-toxic- ideally, these will be organically farmed, all natural ingredients containing no GMOs, manufactured herbicides, artificial fertilizers, artificial or synthetic colours, preservatives or chemicals. This one is super difficult to find a key problem area for greenwashing, especially in the case of cosmetics.

Cruelty-free

This is probably the attribute you are most familiar and thankfully, the cruelty-free movement has done an excellent job of forcing a number of brands to stop the cruel practice of testing cosmetics and personal care products on beagles, bunnies and other animals- a practice that we will no doubt look back on in 50 years' time as utterly barbaric.

Thoughtful Packaging

Increasingly we are looking for brands and products that cater to zero waste lifestyles and have a very clear end of life story- i.e. there is a way to responsibly reuse (through send-back programs) or compost the packaging. This is not always available to everyone everywhere so, at the very least, packaging should be recyclable.

Forward Thinking Business Practices and Charitable Giving

Finally, we love to find brands that have thought beyond just the product themselves, for example, may be powered by renewable energy, have an entirely plastic-free delivery process or have a community garden for their employees. Many ethical and sustainable brands out there also prioritise giving back to their communities through charitable giving programs.


While this framework is not entirely perfect, we find it a useful way to minimise our risk of doing damage and to support brands and small businesses out there that are doing the right thing and creating products that align with our own values.


If you want to learn more about this topic in detail, Joy and Lyall of Sustainable Jungle have gone into more detail in this article that is worth the read. Their site is also a great place to learn more about sustainable products and brands. You may also see a post by me crop up on their website in the near future.

We hope you find use in it too and we'd love to hear your ideas, thoughts, comments or questions on this thinking!

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 



*AD: This post contains affiliate links but all opinions, as always, remain my own*



Here's the rundown of the make-up and the outfit I wore for the sold-out Wembley "Speak Yourself" concert as well as my bag essentials. 

It was just last Saturday that I was at the BTS "Speak Yourself" concert at Wembley Stadium. This happened to be a very hot and humid day in London and so spending hours outside called for some makeup that could withstand both the heat and the time. I also wanted a simple outfit that was perfect for the weather and wasn't too much fuss. Honestly, there's not many new products included in this post but just some old favourites that always do the job. Today, I thought I'd share with you how I got ready and what I packed for the concert. 

THE MAKEUP

For my base, I opted for The Body Shop Vitamin E day cream and the Barry M Primer. Together, these made a hydrated and smooth base to apply my Kat Von D Lock It Foundation. This foundation is on its last legs but it's always been the best option for days that I need my makeup to last longer and want a little more coverage. I applied my Revolution Concealer and my eyebrow powder as usual as well as bronzing with my favourite Natural Collection Bronzer. For extra highlight, I stole my sister's Estate Highlighter which I am definitely going to be buying myself; it had such a good sheen and glow and is only $10. 

As much as I had planned to rock some bright pink eye shadow, I did not trust it to withstand the weather so, I instead applied some of my bronzer and highlighter on my lid to just add a little colour. 
I then finished my make up by setting it in place with my One Heck Of A Blot Powder, applied my Barry M Waterproof Mascara (which was a very good choice) and then simply layered on some lip balm to protect my lips from the sun. 

As I said, I wanted my make up to be simple yet lasting and I think this did the trick.

THE OUTFIT

My choice of outfit changed quite a lot as the weather was so unpredictable. However, as it turned out to be such a warm day, I settled for a Plain White Cotton Tee from New Look and an old favourite of my Pink Primark shift Dress. I paired this with my staple black converse as I knew they wouldn't let me down and would be comfortable to wear for the whole day. 

For accessories, I wore my usual Whale tail necklace that I never take off and my current favourite Oliver Bonas Heart Contour Earrings. And, I'd like to give a thank you to my friend Hila for kindly gifting me the BT21 Koya Headband; a BTS concert look will never be complete without them! 

THE BAG ESSENTIALS

Glasses
It may not look the best with your outfit but, if you're anything like me, they are essential to make sure you see everything. You'll regret missing anything later if you had to squint throughout the show. 

Tickets
Don't roll your eyes at how simple this is. It happens to the best of us, so make sure you have them with you to prevent you from having to panic and run home to pick them up. 

Waterbottle
I can only speak for how it works at Wembley Stadium but I was so glad to find that you could take your own bottle in and refill it at certain first aid points around the stadium. Especially in the heat, I was so glad I had this as well as glad I didn't have to pay for an overpriced bottle of water. 

Phone
By this, I mean a phone that specifically has a lot of free storage for all the photos you may wish to take. Honestly, this time around, I didn't really take many photos and I don't really regret it. I actually really enjoyed myself not watching it through my phone screen. Of course, if you want to take some photos and videos to look back on later and wish you were still there, then make sure you've got the storage ready!

Portable Charger
Having a phone with battery life as bad as mine, I would have been lost without this. It's good to make sure you keep your phone topped up with charge so you can take all your photos, contact anyone you need to and get home easily, especially if your travel involved any trains and public transport. 

THE CONCERT

While I've said before that BTS is not my usual type of music I listen to, over the past couple of years they've become one of my most played artists so I was excited to finally see them live. The tickets were probably the most expensive one I ever have bought (and will ever buy) but I think it was worth every penny. It wasn't just a concert but a show that had you smiling and laughing the whole way through. I thought I'd share a few photos I took from the day but if you want to see some more as well as some videos, check out my latest Instagram post and June Highlights on my feed. 



So there's everything I wore and took to my most recent concert. I'd love to know what you think. Are there any concert essentials I missed off? 

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 



It's been a little while but I am happy to report that my dissertation is submitted and my exams are finished. This leaves me with more time to focus on other things and one of those being blogging. As my first post back, I thought it was time to share with you again some entertainment I've been soaking up and enjoying both before my exams and, guilty, during them. 

READ

"MR SALARY" BY SALLY ROONEY

Sally Rooney is a current popular writer and is one everyone's TBR at the moment. With little time to read myself, I thought I would start with this short story published in a recent Penguin collection. It has definitely encouraged to read some of her other books in the future as it gave me a real sense of what kind of writing I should expect from her. It can be hard to convey a character's feelings and backstory in a believable way in such a small amount of pages but, there it seems no difficulty as I was fully invested in the character and really enjoyed the insight into the woman's life. If you too have heard of Sally Rooney and are unsure about whether it's your kind of thing, I recommend giving this a quick read and I am sure it will help make up your mind and, very likely, encourage you to read more of hers. 

"CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?" BY SOPHIE KINSELLA

Not every book you read has to be the work of a genius or a tedious read with lots of hidden meanings and layers. Sometimes, a bit of fluff is what we all need. This book came at the perfect time, acting as comic relief during revision which had me creasing at the characters. I have previously read a teen novel by Sophie Kinsella but this was my first Adult/New Adult novel by her. It's about a girl who, while on a flight, shares her deepest secrets with the man sat next to her. After the journey, she gets off hope that her life with carrying on as normal only to find this man was the CEO of the company she works for. This book really did have me laughing out loud and hitting my head out of second-hand embarrassment. If you're looking for an easy pool-side read this summer or something just a little lighter, this one is worth the read. 

WATCH 

OUR PLANET

Yes, I'm late to report my love for this one but as the hype begins to die down, I thought it would do no harm into bringing back everyone's attention and hopefully persuade those that are still yet to watch, to go and watch it. In this series, David Attenborough narrates on the extensive terrains across the world and sharing, as always the beauty of the world. for each episode has a different focus, but with the same overarching message- climate change is real and we can start to make a change now. What I particularly loved about this series what that, while climate change is devastating and reality, they shed some hope on how we can change today and really save the future of our planet. I urge you, no, beg you to watch this and hopefully you'll be as inspired as many to help make a difference even if it's so small. 

LISTEN

MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA

My music test is ever-changing. While for years I loved the indie-alternative music that so many my age loved, I've accepted now that my music taste really is a bit of everything and genre eans very little to me. The Korean group BTS have really influenced my love of different genres. This group is a real global success and yet there is still a surprising amount of people who still don't know who they are or have a real appreciation for what they do. I know they're not for everyone but the lyrics and the thought that goes into every part of this band is something you should at least give a go. They may sing another language but that doesn't ake your listening experiences and the message it holds any less than a song in your language. If anything, I feel it makes the listening experience and the conversation surrounding it even more interesting. "Map of The Soul: Persona" is their latest and probably one of my favorites and already one of my most played albums of the year. 

I am so excited that I will also be witnessing the spectacle that is their live tour at the end of this month which I will be sure to share over on my Instagram as well as maybe here on my blog, to really emphasize how bloody brilliant BTS are. 



Of course, there were other TV shows I was watching out of procrastination and music I listened to help me focus but these were some of my favorites of the last month.

 Have you any opinions on the things I've mentioned? I'd also love to hear your own recommendations!
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 


*This post contains affiliate links but all opinions remain my own*

Recently, I’ve been opting to wear no makeup. While my skin has had some rough patches, I think letting my skin breath a little has really helped make it feel a little healthier. As the summer weather begins to come around, the last thing I want it heavy makeup on my face. I’ve started to reintroduce makeup into my daily routine and I’ve found products that create a lightweight base while giving me a little coverage. I like how simple the make up I have opted for is as well; it means it’s been less of a chore to do and also really quick and easy. 

The Ordinary SPF 30 

I mentioned this very recently in my "Transitional Skincare Staples" but I thought it was worth another mention here as it has really come part of my make up routine. After applying moisturiser, this is my next step. I really want to make sure I’m looking after my skin this summer so this is the perfect way to accomplish this. 

Bareminerals Tinted Hydrating Cream

If you’ve seen any of my previous beauty posts, you will probably know my love for the Body Shop BB Cream- it provides, really, no coverage but adds a little colour and evens out my complexion. My shade has been out of stock a while and I have been eyeing up this Bareminerals BB Cream for a while. I’ve really been enjoying using this. Like the Body Shop BB Cream, it adds so colour to my face but also a little more coverage than the one I previously used. It really feels like I have nothing on my face and, that, I really like. It’s got such a natural glow to it that I also really love and think it provides a great base, especially in the warmer weather. 

Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer

Like everyone seems to agree, this is a great concealer and, for me, this is my main source of coverage. I apply under my eyes, forehead chin and also under my cheekbones where I have a little scarring. It works perfectly with the Bareminerals Cream to create a great base. 

Makeup Obsession Eyebrow Duo

This is probably the biggest chore of doing my make up and, I’m sure, you can probably agree with me saying that. This duo really helps me to fill in my eyebrows quickly and without real trouble. For a mere £2, this powder duo is a real bargain and has worked great for me. Sadly, it seems that this no longer exists on the shelves but Revolution do some similar and great alternatives. 

Natural Collection Bronzer

This bronzer has lasted me well. I mentioned this previously in "My Everyday Makeup" and with it still making an appearance here now shows it has stood the test of time. It’s quite fitting to the brand name as it really does give me a natural bronzer to help warm up my pale complexion. 

Soap & Glory Powder

This is an old favorite of mine and, honestly, I’m just trying to use it up. In cruelty-free discussions, Soap & Glory’s stance on animal testing has been seen in the past to be a little unclear and so I try and avoid it. However, I have had this powder in my collection for a while now and I thought now is a great time to use it up as it really is great at setting my make up especially when the base has such a dewy finish. 

So there are few products I use on my face at the moment and will probably how it will be across the rest of this summer. I think a lightweight base is so much better for over the summer and I feel I’ve created a routine that will work well. 

What makeup products do you find yourself reaching for over summer? 
Hope you’re doing great,
Sarah x 

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