Life | 30 before 30 - Did I Do It?!

Hello!

On the eve of my 25th birthday, I decided to set myself a little challenge. I wasn't in a very good place in my life and felt like I was in a "dead-end" job and had nothing to look forward to ect ect. The list was of goals was supposed to jump start my attitude towards life and to want to better myself by doing things I never normally thought to do.

And that's where 30 before 30 came along! I decided on 30 things that I would like to do/change in my life before I reached the milestone 30 years old! I added things that I'd always wanted to do, things that were easy and some that even back then felt they would never actually happen.

Now I will admit that a couple of things in my list has changed due to my circumstances. I never tried to make them "easier" or "more likely to happen" so I finished them sooner 

1. Visit America
2. Lose weight and keep it off 
3. Go on at least 3 holidays
4. Visit Ireland
5. Buy a new camera 
6. Go to DisneyLand
7. Get my first tattoo
8. Reach 1000 followers! 
9. Find a career I love 
10. Get my own place
11. Learn a new skill 
12. Visit three UK cities I've never been to before
13. Give blood 
14. Bake and cook more from scratch 
15. Learn how to contour!
16. Create my ideal skincare routine 
17. Find love
18. Plant fruit, veg and flowers in my garden – and keep them alive 
19. Be more spontaneous 
20. Buy a diary and actually use it
21. Learn how to save money and not spend it! 
22. Have a weekend away by the seaside 
23. Go on a road trip
24. Grow my hair to be long and still healthy
25. Go on a spa day 
26. Bit of a long run, but get married!
27. Learn photography 
28. Visit Italy
29. Learn to not compare myself to other
30. Get a promotion

The results are in and I managed to complete 19 out of the 30 things. That's 64%!

Obviously, it's not the 100% I originally wanted but since some of them in my mind were "long runs" and never going to happen, I think I did pretty good.

Obviously my biggest achievement since 2015 was finding Sean and falling in head over heels in love with him. Life is amazing now and I couldn't have asked for a better husband. 

my wedding day

Now here's to 40 before 40!

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Bourjois Shine Edition Lipstick No 23 Grenadine Review!

Hello!

Summer is finally upon us and although it's not exactly as we hoped for, I've made it my mission to look on the positive side of life and find new things to make me happy.

On one of my hunts through my lipstick drawer, I found a Bourjois Shine Edition lipstick that I brought on my last trip down to Cheshire Oaks and the Beauty Outlet store and since it was a nice sunny day outside, I thought I would try and match it with this vibrant new lipstick review!

bourjois shine edition lipstick
bourjois shine edition lipstick
bourjois shine edition lipstick
bourjois shine edition lipstick
bourjois shine edition lipstick
bourjois shine edition

As you can see from the above Grenadine is a gorgeous fushia shade with a glossy and slightly shimmery finish. It's not as long lasting as I'm used to but the colour definitely makes up for it.

Unfortunately you can't get this lipstick in Superdrug/Boots anymore but I did manage to hunt it down on eBay for £6.50 - bargain!
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Life | My Wedding Regrets

Hello!

If you're a follower of me on here or Instagram, then you'll have noticed that I got married last year and just last week was our first wedding anniversary! It was a perfect day from start to finish and we were so lucky that everything went smoothly. BUT over the last year whenever I've looked back at the wedding, there's always been little things in the back of my head thats said "Oh, I wish I did that differently!"

Now when I say regrets, I don't mean to Sean. I love him and that was a good decision (unless Henry Cavill is interested..) but what I do mean are all the little things that we maybe rushed or couldn't afford etc. 

1. Videographer

natalie and sean wedding.

One of the best pieces of advice I was given before the wedding was "to just enjoy it – the day goes by so quickly so just try and take it all in" and I always brushed it off but looking back, there are so many moments that I missed or just forgot because I was so busy and stressed. Looking through the pictures from our photographer was a great way to refresh my mind but I do always regret not forking out the extra cash to hire a videographer as well. There was definitely a few moments like our vows, the best man’s speech and our first dance that would have been amazing to capture. 

If you’re planning your wedding and deciding whether to hire a videographer or not, do it!

2. "Wore in" my wedding shoes

natalie and sean wedding

I brought my wedding shoes months in advance and when I initially brought them they felt so comfy and because of that, I didn't feel the need to wear them in. Big mistake! I managed to walk down the aisle and back and then the flat shoes when straight on. It was a much comfier day but I was a little miffed that I'd spent all that money on nice shoes to just wear them for half an hour max!

3. Hair and Makeup Trial

natalie and sean wedding

I did a hair trial months before the wedding and it went really well and we managed to get it done in record time so we thought that we'd be fine on the day. Fast forward to the wedding morning and it was super humid and my already stubborn hair did not want to stay in it's updo! After a lot of hair spray and grips, we did manage to get there but with 4 other bridesmaids to get ready with hair and make-up didn't exactly help the situation. If I could go back, I could definitely organise that morning a lot better.

4. Not to spend so much money on candy!

natalie and sean wedding

After a last night scrolling through Pinterest session, I was adamant that I wanted a candy bar at our wedding. I had even found a cheap "dollar store" DIY way of doing it but £100 later from a Makro visit, the cheap idea went straight out the window! We were kitted out with all kinds of gummies, candies and lollipops but there was so much left over that the whole family was still eating them months after the wedding.

5. The colour scheme

natalie wedding

The one thing I always had a problem making a decision on was our colour scheme. I very initially wanted burgundy with slight blush tones but after finding it impossible to find nice bridesmaid dresses, I ended up going with a more mulberry tone. Because this was a very late change, I'd already ordered some decorations and flower arrangements so there were a few things that didn't really match which even now, really annoys me.

6. Not worried so much!

natalie and sean wedding

Overall, the whole day went amazingly and I couldn’t have asked for anymore. I spent a lot of time on the run up to the wedding stressing about little things like “will it rain?”, “will everyone turn up?” “will I fall on my face on my face walking down the aisle?” and honestly it was all for nothing because no it didn’t, yes they did and no I didn’t. 

If you’re getting married this year or next (dependant on current events!), just enjoy it! Don’t worry about the weather or if everything will go right, the whole point of the day is to marry the love of your life and everything else doesn’t matter.

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Life | Glasses Direct Home Trial

Hello!

I've been wearing glasses since I was in high school and as much as you'd think I'd be used to what I can only describe as a palava of finding a new pair, I'm not. The eye test part is easy, you sit in a chair and say some letters but after is when the hard part comes. I actually hate the process of trying on all the different frames and it's only made worse when the sales assistant follows you around commenting on the frames you pick and which "suit you". As an introvert who is also very picky, this experience haunts me and often makes me feel pressured to pick any frame just so I can leave the shop!

To take the pressure off giving a decision there and then, the lovely people over at Glasses Direct have a handy "home trial" for all us shy/indecisive people. After browsing through all their frames, you simply enter your details and within a few days you get a lovely surprise posted through your door.

You have the whole week to pose in front of your mirror and take huge amount of selfies before needing to send back. And the best thing about the home trial is that if you're still not happy or want to try more frames, you can! 

If you're in the market for a new set of specs then I whole heartedly recommend Glasses Direct!
 
glasses direct review
glasses direct review
glasses direct review
glasses direct reviewglasses direct review
glasses direct reviewglasses direct review

Top left: Logan | Top Right: Albion
Bottom Left: Albany | Bottom Right: Lucas

P.S. I chose frame 1!
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Make-up | Seventeen Stay Pout Lipstick in Make An Entrance

Hello!

Even with all the drama going on recently with Coronavirus, I am determined to not let it get me down and to continue staying positive! One thing I did the weekend to try and put this into action was to spring clean my make-up collection. As well as throwing out a lot of old/empty products, I did manage to find a few hidden gems which I'm sure I will write about in the near future.

Before the discontinuation of one of my favourite brands (boo you Boots!), I managed to stock up on some Seventeen goodies before they disappeared for good. One of my purchases was their Stay Pout lipstick in the shade Make An Entrance and I thought I would give it a try.

Due to how bright Make An Entrance is, I feel like I'm a bit limited to when I can actually wear it. I'm usually a nude/light pink kinda girl and normally leave bolder/darker colours for more "special" occasions but out it came and I actually enjoyed the change. The shade is very much bright red but with an undertone of orange which surprisingly went well with my complexion. It had a nice smooth formula that lasted a good couple of hours before needing a top up.

Sadly like I said above, you can't pick up the 17 brand anymore which is a shame and kind of makes this review a little redundant but it felt like a shame to not show off this gorgeous shade. A similar shade can be found by E.L.F's Orange Dream!

seventeen stay pout lipstick review
seventeen stay pout lipstick review
seventeen stay pout lipstick review
seventeen stay pout lipstick review
seventeen stay pout lipstick review

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Netflix | What have I been watching?

Hello!

There's been a couple of times last year where I've thought "God Netflix is rubbish - there's nothing to watch anymore!" and I think of cancelling my subscription but then out of nowhere, a brand new show releases and I get sucked back in again.

the witcher

Now I'm not going to lie - the only reason I thought of making this post is because I wanted to talk about The Witcher. I am obsessed.

Last year or so, my other half suggested playing The Witcher 3 on Playstation 4 and I remember being like "nah, I'm good". Fast forward to December 20th though when we binge watched the first couple of episodes of the Netflix show and I completely 180'd and now cannot get enough of it. I have watched the series over 3 times, finished the game with DLCS and now playing again and have now also started reading the books. 

The story follows Geralt of Rivia, a contracted monster hunter in the grim place called The Continent and we follow him along some of the short stories which are featured in Andrzej Sapkowski's The Last Wish book. The series has a very medievil fantasy feel and there's definitely enough monsters and sword fighting to match. It's a great story and it's very much a show you can "get lost in".

Henry Cavill is also very lush. Yum.

peaky blinders

I was a bit late coming to the Peaky Blinders party and it wasn't because the show didn't interest me or anything, but because as I actually live near Birmingham and it's a little cringy to see it being represented on TV. It's completely normal to go up town and hear the Brummie accent but as soon as I heard it on TV, it just feels a bit too real for me!

Either way I have gotten into the show and within a week we'd got all the way through to season 4. Not only is the story really interesting but the history is really cool to see!

after life

I am a massive fan of Ricky Gervais and always loved his work; from The Office to his stand-up. He also introduced us to my hero Karl Pilkington so for that alone makes Ricky a god in my eyes. One of his recent works is After Life and it follows the story of Tony who has recently lost his wife to cancer and how he struggles to come to terms without her. It's a very dark but funny and heartwarming story which anyone can enjoy!

stranger things 3

This is another oldie but since all the spoilers and teaser trailers have come out for season 4, I thought it would fitting to mention. 

I have been a massive fan of Stranger Things since it's original release back in 2016 and every season they seem to top the last. I was super excited to hear about season 3 and of course it didn't let me down. And as much as I cried like a baby at the last episode, I am definitely excited to get back into it.
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Travel | Tritchayne Farm Cottages

Hello!

At the end of 2018, my beautiful mother-in-law turned 50 and to celebrate, we all booked a relaxing week away to Tritchayne Farm Cottages in the small town of Colyton, Exeter. The idea came around when my MIL found a gorgeous group of cottages and thought it would be a perfect place to go to chill and enjoy the special birthday.

Needless to say after checking out the pictures and reviews, we were eager to pack our bags and hit the road!
 
Tritchayne Cottages
Tritchayne Cottages
Tritchayne Cottages
Tritchayne CottagesTritchayne CottagesTritchayne Cottages

The site is made up of 5 different sized cottages and we had the pleasure of residing in the Old Dairy. It was a comfortably sized 2 bedroom, all ground level house and as it was only Sean, me and our new pup, it fit us perfectly. The other options in Tritchayne was the cosy Hayloft for 2 people, the slightly larger 1 bedroom Bull Pen, the other 2 bedrooms Calf Pen and the heart of the home, Old Barn.

Although all properties are gorgeously decorated and definitely have that home-y feeling, the pièce de résistance for me is the Glass House which is fitted out with a full length table, a bar and even an upright piano! Just outside is a huge deck area that overlooks a pond with water feature. Unfortunately we went at the end of the year so the weather was quite chilly but I can imagine all the amazing times you can have there in the Summer with a nice BBQ going!

Tritchayne CottagesTritchayne CottagesTritchayne CottagesTritchayne Cottages

The only downside to the cottages is that you do have to drive down some very narrow country lanes and although I have been driving for over 10 years, even I had a mini panic attack. Other than that, the location is pretty amazing. It's not that far a drive from local shops and supermarkets and even closer to the coast but it's also far away enough that it's quiet and definitely no noise from traffic.

Like I said above, this holiday took place at the end of 2018 and even now to this day we cannot stop talking about it. We had an amazing week away and always talk about going back. We made a lot of amazing memories here and 

If you have a special occasion coming up or you'd just want to escape for a few days with your other half, then I would definitely recommend Tritchayne Cottages. It caters to all group sizes and it's well worth the cost.

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Life | Happy New Year!

Hello!

Happy New Year all!

It is halfway through January but it still counts! :)

Last time I was on here, I promised I'd be back and that I'd be blogging more frequently. Well, that didn't happen. Life as usual got in the way and I found that after finishing work, walking the dog and doing general housework and cooking, I didn't have time or energy to blog.

As my New Years resolution though I am going to make an extra special effort to try and squeeze time in my life to get back into blogging. I miss it! I'm not going to promise a schedule or that it will be regular but I will do it!

Watch this space!

my new desk

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