On my mind- April 2020

Despite one of my new years resolutions being to write more, lets face it, 2020 hasn’t exactly turned out to be what any of us imagined it would. I have been dodging my laptop in fear of producing content that seems unimportant at such an unprecedented time, when many are going through some of the hardest times of their lives. So I thought the best way to get back into the swing of blogging again is to have an open therapy session with my laptop and of course you lot!

Coronavirus Chat

I am not even going to go in to how hard it is not seeing family, visiting our favourite places and staying home, because it isn’t hard. Hard is loosing people you love to something like this and we have a duty to do as we are bloody told to protect those we love. In a word, the whole situation is horrific, as an emotional person my heart actually hurts for every person who has been affected or lost a loved one. I remember when the death toll first hit 200 cases a day having a total blub, the thought of that many people missing a loved one was just heart-breaking, yet here we are, loosing so many more and although as sad as ever, I feel as if I am growing some kind of thick skin, almost a numbness to the daily figures. I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing? I have always been someone who over thinks every situation, struggles with a lack of control and sudden change. I truly feel that out of this god awful situation I am learning to let go, realise that sometimes there are some things that I have no control over and to live in the moment more- as cliché at that sounds.

Money

Ahhhh the world of Instagram, influencers showing their mass online loungewear purchases, posts about online shopping to pass the lockdown time and a steady stream of affiliate links to high end skincare. I am not throwing shade on anyone, after all social media is some peoples only income and people need income more than ever right now. I have recently reached the big 10k followers and with this comes the opportunity to make some pocket money doing something I genuinely enjoy, I do however know that remaining conscious of the current climate will always be my top priority. Fact of the matter is that we are a single earner household and my husband has been furloughed due to the pandemic. There are ALWAYS going to be people worse off, I feel blessed that he has been furloughed and not made redundant, I feel equally blessed that we don’t have the worry of being self employed at this time. We are the lucky ones in this situation, but the cold hard facts still stand, that even with the government support of £2500 (before deductions) a month, it is significantly less than his usual monthly income and we are a family of five who have spent a year forking out every penny of our disposable income on a renovation. In short we are going to struggle over the next few months. We have had to take a Mortgage holiday and we have given ourselves a tight budget of £90 a week for food and spends, with these actions alone we are fortunate that our remaining bills will be paid and food will be on the table, but it goes without saying, there will be NO mass loungewear orders here.

Home Educating The Children

What a learning curve this has been. This is actually the thing I am finding is affecting my mental health most. Isabella is 10 going on 16 and often, my requests for her to get on with school work is met with rolling eyes and hunched shoulders. Sophia needs carrying through every single piece of work with an adult and up until my husband was furloughed, I was tackling this and my 3 year old wild child alone, while he worked from home. I am doing my best, I can promise that, but I can’t help but let feelings of doubt creep in that my best isn’t enough. I don’t think home learning is something we will ever fall in to a nice little routine of. As with every one of these unprecedented situations we are finding ourselves in, I am trying to concentrate on the things that I am grateful for and I am grateful that the children are at home, safe, well and spending quality time with us as a family….. oh and Gin…. big shout out to Gin.

I feel so much better for having a brain dump post and I truly hope that when I touch base again next month, the world is being kinder to everyone. I know there are people who will read this that are in a far worse situation than us and to you I send a huge virtual hug. If anyone ever wants a chat, you know where I am.

Chynna xxx

February Favourites

Hello Lovely Readers! As part of my 2020 plans, to share more about me and the things I love with you all, I am excited to share with you a line up of things I am loving at the moment. This will range from my beloved Interior’s through to things I tend to blog less about like clothes, make up and family days out. I hope you enjoy!

Interiors

Hulu Soy Wax ~

This month I was kindly sent some candles and wax melts from Hulu Soy Wax to try and I am really impressed so wanted to share them with you all. Hulu pride themselves on being a natural, healthy and more sustainable way to fragrance your home. Every product is handmade using the best quality, 100% soy wax. For the sweet scented lovers, the Rhubarb and vanilla gives a beautifully sweet scent, without being sickly and artificial smelling. The burn on the candles is great, really even and long lasting, a single candle easily fills a room with beautiful scent. I received the Amber Noir scented wax melts, I absolutely love the re-sealable packaging, I found this so handy when it came to storing the melts and again love that all packaging is recyclable and environmentally friendly. The Amber Noir is a stunning fragrance, with a luxurious depth and notes of dark balsamic fruits and sensual exotic forests. The melts are long lasting and the cute heart shape reflects that all of the Hulu products are made with love. Lastly I sampled the Pink Grapefruit and Basil candle, the smell is a deliciously fresh and vibrant scent, I found this candle was very fast to fill the room with scent and I love an uplifting scent like this. From sleek design to a great range of gorgeous scents, Hulu soy wax have made it to my February Favourites list. Check out Hulu website to view the huge range available and keep your eye on their social media here.

George At ASDA Homeware~

If you follow my Instagram you will know that I have a serious obsession with Art Deco interiors, especially fan/shell print. I have recently ordered a couple of bits from Asda Home for our master bedroom and I love them, I ordered a runner and some new bedding and not only were these a total bargain at around £15 each but they are so on trend. My lust list for Asda home is still getting longer and I have asked for some deco fan print mugs for my birthday. Keep it coming ASDA!

Fashion

Print Dresses~

I will keep this section short for now as I am in NO way any kind of fashion expert. I am however and always have loved fashion and have a bit of a clothes obsession. We are trying to get on top of our finances this year after almost completing phase one of the house so I have been on a bit of a spending ban, but I went shopping in town the other day and could not resist this bargain dress from Zara, reduced from £30 down to £10. Anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact that I love a bit of leopard print and I love a floaty midi dress. I love buying pieces that I can dress up or down and that I can wear through the seasons. I dressed this up for an event the other day with tights and boots but am looking forward to wearing it in the spring with trainers for a more casual look.

Beauty

Pixi Glow Tonic~

Really bloody late to this party aren’t I? On the same little shopping trip as the bargain dress, I stumbled into the dregs of the Boots post Christmas sale and found a little Pixi miniature set that included glow tonic. I have wanted to try this for a long time but as someone with temperamental skin, I am always cautious to add new things into my skincare routine especially when they are quite expensive products. I am about a week into trying this out and WOW, I can see where the hype has come from. My skin feels plumper and softer since using it and after my miniature has finished I will be buying the larger bottle and continuing to keep this in my routine. I am surprised how far the product goes, I am only about a quarter of the way through the miniature after a week so although a larger bottle is a bit more pricy at £18, I think it will be value for money.

Primark Double Wear Dupe~

I am an Estee Lauder Double Wear girl through and through, I have tried just about every foundation on the market but I always come back to Double Wear. I have heard lots of good things about the Primark dupe so was eager to try it for myself. I have been using it for around two weeks now and for the money I am really impressed. Is it exactly the same as Double Wear?….. No. The selection of shades in comparison to DW was minimal, I was fortunate to find a pretty good match in the Nude to my usual 2W2 Rattan shade, although I would say the Primark is slightly lacking in yellow pigment, it still works well for me. Consistency wise the Primark is slightly thicker than Double Wear but gives great and perfecting coverage… maybe even more so that DW upon initial application. My only qualm is that it does not stay flawless all day like DW does, by around 4pm I look slightly cakey and need to have a bit of a blot, but all in all I am impressed. Despite it not quite having the same longevity as my favourite foundation I am going to continue to use the Primark dupe during the week and save the Double Wear for special occasions, it offers a huge cost saving at just £5 per bottle I could buy 6 bottles for the price of my usual foundation, so yes for cost saving purposes this is a good dupe and that is why it has made my February favourites…… but please do not expect miracles.

I hope you have enjoyed my first ever favourites list and look forward to sharing more next month.

Chynna x

*This post features products gifted by Hulu however all words, images and opinions are my own.

Valentine’s Gift Guide

*This post contains gifted items however all words, images and opinions are my own.

Love it or hate it Valentine’s day is a great excuse to show someone how much they mean to you. For me, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to make sure we take time from our busy lives as Mum and Dad, to treat each other and force us to spend some quality time together- Something we often let slide down the priority scale. Valentine’s gifts can be a minefield, so I have done the thinking for you and have put together a selection of gifts that are guaranteed to be a hit this Valentine’s.

Home

Dartington Crystal Cushion Large Heather Vase

This stunning hand made vase by the iconic Dartington Crystal is guaranteed to put a smile on her face this Valentine’s day. The Heather coloured glass has been designed with a delicate optic effect and features an indented base that helps to retain or splay out floral displays. This beautifully simplistic and chic vase is one of a huge collection of stunning vases by Dartington. Check out their range and order yours here.

Sassy Shop Wax Melts

Sassy shop Wax offer a huge range of beautifully scented melts to suit everyone, meaning that they will make a fantastic gift for your loved one this Valentine’s day. Their brightly coloured and thoughtfully designed bars are offered in a vast range of scents, from scents to create a relaxing environment to scents made to lift and invigorate, these are a true crowd pleaser. The melts are long burning and release powerful scents around the home. Head to Sassy shop wax website or social media to discover their gorgeous fragrance range.

Handmade Perfect4u Candles

Always a crowd pleaser, candles always make for a great Valentine’s gift. Handmade Perfect4u offer a fabulous range of scented candles and diffusers at affordable prices. I was kindly sent the Cassis and Fig candle to try and I am really impressed with the scent and burn. The Cassis is rich and teams perfectly with the sweet scent of fig for a well balanced and lovely fragrance. Soy wax delivers a clean and toxin free burn that is environmentally friendly. Discover Handmade Perfect4u range here.

ProCook Crystal Champagne Glasses

Valentine’s is the perfect excuse to reach for the bubbles, so do it in style with these ProCook crystal champagne glasses. With their stylish, angled design and long elegant stems, the ProCook crystal champagne glasses are guaranteed to add a touch of modern sophistication to your date night. Made from quality crystal glass these stunning glasses really have the wow factor and make a great gift. These timeless classics will be used again and again, sold in a pack of 4 so that you can share the love, get yours here.

Tesalate Towel for Two

Winter can feel extremely long and dull, so it’s probably not a surprise to hear that February is the most popular month for brits to head on holiday for some winter sun! If you have plans to escape the cold or just want to gift someone the promise of summer, then this towel for two is the perfect gift. Tesalate offer a huge range of sand free, fast drying towels, in the most stylish designs. Photographed is the bohemian towel for two, the quality of these beach towels is amazing and it’s big enough for two, how romantic. Get yours here.

Her

Yardley English Dahlia Eau de Toilette

Forming part of their floral classics range, Yardley classic floral scents are always a fabulous gift for women. Inspired by a diverse variety of flowers and containing an impressive 90% naturally derived ingredients. The delicate fragrance of Dahlia is met with fresh citrus notes, a warming patchouli and musk base making this divine fragrance wearable every day. Yardley offer an extensive range of timeless florals to suit all, check out their full range here.

Dr. PAWPAW Ultimate Red Balm

Another beauty wonder from the makers of Dr Pawpaw Original Balm, this nourishing lip balm is all you need to make your lips kissable this Valentine’s day. This balm has a subtle pinkie red tint that gives your lips and cheeks the perfect pop of colour. This paw paw balm is made in the UK from a variety of natural ingredients including the ingredient fermented Pawpaw, the fruit of the plant Carica Papaya. The Pawpaw has been found to have natural healing qualities and that’s why this nourishing balm is a must have. This make up bag staple is available to buy at Sainsburys.

Pretty You London Sleepwear

Effortlessly sexy and plush, this Animal Spot Cami and shorts set makes the perfect Valentine’s gift. This cami short pyjama set really feels special, finished with a chiffon layer trim and subtle Pretty You London branding, it drapes perfectly over the body for a sophisticated yet sexy look. The elasticated waistband and loose fitting shape make this the perfect pyjama set for your loved one. Check out Pretty You London’s stunning range here.

Him

Bulldog Skincare

A firm favourite among men, Bulldog is skincare for men, made easy. From the classics to more advanced skin care, there is something guaranteed to please everyone. The Original Bamboo Razor has everything he needs for a great shave, if he is bearded, the fast absorbing and nourishing beard oil will make the perfect treat. Team with Bulldog’s classics such as shower gel and moisturiser and you will be on to a winner this Valentine’s. Shop the full range here.

Trendhim Anchor Clasp Bracelet

Not sure what to buy the man who has it all? Look no further than Trendhim for all of your stylish male gifting needs. From Bracelets and watches to bow ties, Trendhim has it all. This gorgeous black and gold clasp stacked bracelet features an on trend nautical steel closure that hooks on to the luxury leather straps. Explore Trendhim’s extensive and stylish range of bracelets here.

Dear Barber Style & Go Collection

When it comes to hair many men are set in their ways, Dear Barber are set to change that. The unique styling and grooming range allow men to experience luxury grooming at home, every day. With it’s stylish yet traditional vibe, the Dear Barber style and go boxes are sure to be a huge hit with your man this Valentine’s. Absolutely everything from the Dear Barber range is made in the UK, for a true and authentic traditional feel. The products ooze luxury and grandeur but at a surprisingly affordable price. Check out the range here.

Food and Drink

Mermaid Pink Gin

Generally speaking, you can’t for far wrong with a boozy gift, especially Gin! The gorgeous and striking bottle (plastic free may I add) in it’s pink design means that it looks perfect as a valentine’s gift. Inspired by it’s Isle of Wight setting, Mermaid pink gin is made from ethically sourced and totally natural ingredients. The gin itself is aromatic and refreshing with it’s infusion of fresh island strawberries, zesty lemon and a subtle hint of savoury rock samphire. I love the taste of this gin, it is far less sickly sweet than other pink gins that I have tried and a much cleaner flavour, you can tell there are no artificial sweeteners in it and every taste left me impressed. You can pick yours up at Marks and Spencer’s this Valentine’s or click here to find out more.

Myprotein Protein Truffles and Spread

Although Valentine’s makes most people reach for the flowers and chocolate, many of us (me included) are still keeping up our good intentions for the new year and trying to loose those pesky Christmas pounds! Myprotein have come up with the perfect solution so that you can indulge in chocolatey treats this Valentine’s, without the guilt. Packing a massive 2.6g of protein per truffle, these melt in your mouth sensations are the perfect Valentines treat for your health concious loved one. The truffles are velvety smooth and pack a real chocolate kick, they are almost brownie like in their richness. The chocolate spread is equally delicious, it has a silky texture and will be perfect as a guilt free solution for dipping fruit this Valentine’s. Don’t miss out on tasaty treats this Valentine’s, Get yours here.

Guylain Chocolates

Known and loved by many, this Valentine’s classic by Guylian is certain to make a great Valentine’s gift. Guylian creates all of it’s great tasting chocolates with only the finest Belgian chocolate. These Praline Hearts in their eye-catching red box, are marbled and filled with delicious roasted hazelnut praline. An elegant and timeless classic, get yours here.

Perky Blenders Coffee

Variety is the spice of life as they say and Perky Blenders have it in abundance. Their team is passionate about providing an extremely high quality product with excellent service. As well as providing an incredible selection of top quality coffee Perky Blenders also offer coffee subscriptions through their website, the perfect gift for a coffee lover this Valentine’s. Roasted daily, to make sure their coffee is at it’s freshest, convinient letterbox friendly and biodegradable packaging and a great variety of delicious blends, every coffee lovers dream! Get yours here.