Planning a UK Staycation? Here’s How To Do It

Flights might be back up and running, but a summer staycation has never been so popular for 2020. At the end of June, there was apparently one holiday booked every 11 seconds in the UK. It seems to be the ‘new normal’, but that’s really not a bad thing – there’s some incredible offerings on our doorstep. It’s the perfect opportunity to ‘break the routine’ and stay elsewhere or rediscover your local area – a staycation which would involve very low mileage. Here’s how you can do it.

Read More »

How to Make a Scrapbook Look Pretty with Minimal Effort

I’m that person who keeps every ticket, every photo and leaflet I possibly could have been given during the holiday. I love memories, but it’s been two years since I went interailing and the photos I printed, the tickets I kept have been stored in a blue plastic wallet – oops? It was time to finally have a place to show them off. However, with my lack of art skills, I sought the effortless ways to do so.

Scrap-booking is a really nice form of self-care. It can bring out your creative side, a bit of time to ‘switch-off’ and it’s quite easy to get lost in the memories, or find things that you had forgotten about. But it can need a bit of dedicated time – before you know it, you’ll be surrounded by photos/stickers/glue/pens etc.

Read More »

The 5 Podcasts for Escapism

I’ll be honest, with COVID-19 news, it does feel a little weird to be writing and publishing a blog post. With self-isolation being advised, it does bring another element of uncertainty and anxiety to the mix. But that’s the last I’m going to talk about it today. Instead, I’m offering a list of my favourite podcasts which (hopefully) will add an element of escapism to our lives at the moment.

Read More »

Finding Balance within the Busyness?

We’re a few weeks into 2020 now, so the ‘goals’ have been set and we’re putting them into practice? Thinking positive at the end of 2019, I set some self-care goals which you can read about here and as I’m tracking the days that I complete them, it’s so good so far. But once that first week of January is over and things start to feel a bit more normal after the break, the slow pace of life over Christmas is naturally going to get busier. So the goals to look after yourself may be set, but how can they be turned into habits to make sure there is some kind of balance in our everyday lives?

I’m already a few days into the second semester of final year and recognised that as most of my modules have set deadlines within days of each other (yay), the next few months definitely won’t be quiet (I mean I kinda knew this but still, I’ve had the full realisation now). But rather than just applying this to a student lifestyle, I’m more questioning about how we can find balance in every aspect of our lives.

Can I have another holiday yet?

I don’t have the answers for finding balance in your everyday life, mainly because it’s different for us all and to be honest, I’m treading water at the moment! I’ve written about time and productivity on this blog which contribute to feeling ‘balanced’ as such, and although I can offer tips for these aspects because it’s how I try to do them, to me balance is a whole different ballgame. But I do think it’s important to somehow work out what balance means for you. To be able to take a step back from everything and put aside the mental to-do list of ‘important’ things.

When I think about my own balance in life, I find that I spend time worrying about what I haven’t done and put pressure on myself so does a true balance of aspects within our lives exist? In first year of uni, we were told that the ‘sleep, study, social’ triangle existed but realistically we would be able to only do two of those aspects well. A simplistic model I guess, but in first year, I’d like to think that I did the social and sleep aspect pretty well. Second year was definitely more study and social. But ideally, I want to balance all three – study is taking priority, but I want fun and sleep combined with that!

So I guess in some way, it’s all about understanding that we are all human, we have emotions so it’s completely normal and okay to feel overwhelmed. Be compassionate with yourself, take a step back and surround yourself with the things you love.

In a way this blog post is an open letter to myself, but one to you too – give yourself some credit, I’m sure you’re doing better than you think!

Setting Self-Care Goals for 2020

Creating goals for the new year might seem a little cliche, but I’m here for it. Has anyone mentioned that we are starting a new decade?

Time feels like it is going a million miles an hour at the moment and being in my final year at university, the obvious goals for 2020 will be completing my degree and hopefully securing a job for after graduation. Quite a lot of pressure seems to be riding on this year, right?

I do really like the idea of ‘starting afresh’, opening up the chapter to the new year and setting goals is one of the ways to get my thoughts in order. Thinking about the year ahead has made me realise that I need to make time for myself, so the goals for me this year will be more simplistic but hopefully easier to keep on top of.

Yoga once a week. I started 2019 going to weekly yoga classes but had about 2/3 months where I didn’t do any. That time made me realise how much I’d missed it, so getting back into yoga classes at university has been so good (and kept me sane!). The plan is to set aside time every week to do yoga, whether that’s a class, a YouTube video or a combination of my favourite moves.

Reflect and Journal as much as possible. I’m not setting a ‘measurable’ on this one but hopefully it’ll become a habit. This year I started using a bullet journal (you can read about my September bullet journal here) and it was set out in a way to manage blog posts/university/mental health. I want to do more of this in 2020 as I find the process of setting out my journal creative and by reflecting over time, this should help get my thoughts in order. I’ve also started working my way through Fearne Cotton’s Happy and Calm books which I’m finding really good so far!

Read 20 Books. 20 books for 2020 right? I’m a pretty quick reader when I want to be and give me a good fiction book, I’ll plough through it as quickly as possible when I’m hooked. I read 10 books over July and August but as soon as I settled back into University, my reading definitely took a back seat. Setting a yearly target (as inspired by TheAnnaEdit) will work through the ebbs and flows of my motivation for reading. I’ll keep track of this on my instagram if that is something you’re interested in!

Healthy Eating. A few years ago, I decided that I need to scrap the ‘new years diet’. Typically, I became frustrated that I couldn’t stay on track. Over the years, I’ve learnt more about intuitive eating (Tally Rye has really good info on this!) and being a vegetarian has made me feel better. I’ve got used to the recipes I make regularly now so 2020 will be the year of exploring more recipes that will be healthy and delicious!

That’s all from me for 2019! Hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas break and are feeling ready for the New Year. What are your goals/resolutions for 2020? Let me know how you get on!

Im x

My Style Plan for 2020

From 2009 to 2019, I have technically become an actual ‘adult’. So back in 2009, it’s safe to say my 11 year old style was very different. We’ve moved on from the big chunky necklaces, the boot-cut jeans and the peter-pan collars, I hope? As we enter 2020, I’ve had a think about the staples I want to have in my wardrobe. I’ve seen plenty of capsule wardrobe videos on YouTube and although have attempted to create one of my own, I’m going to focus on this much more next year. By doing so, I’m hoping to have some classic ‘go-to’ outfits and of course, have less of an impact upon the bank balance!

Read More »

New Beginnings & Setting Goals

I don’t know about you, but I love the feeling of starting ‘new’. I love the start of January, feeling ready for the new year to start, but after 21 years in education now, September will always have ‘back to school’ vibes! This tends to mean I normally buy myself all the stationary possible to be ready for the academic year, but this year it has a slightly different meaning.

A year ago, I had my first epileptic seizure. It was a huge shock, as I was just settling into a new job, it was completely out of the blue & all of a sudden my life turned upside down. I knew pretty much nothing about seizures & epilepsy beforehand & as one in 20 people will have an epileptic seizure at some point in their life, I would definitely recommend checking out the Epilepsy Society’s website to learn more, I wish I knew more before hand.

The loss of independence was one of the hardest things, not being able to drive where I live was complicated. It’s been a year of ‘carrying on’ & I’ve had some incredible support to do so, but I’m ready to close the chapter & open the next.

So, my final year at University will be the next chapter & I’m *kinda* ready for it. I’m very nervous about having to write a dissertation & after a year living at home in the countryside, living in the city excites me but scares me at the same time. It’s feeling a lil bit like a roller-coaster. But as the new chapter opens, it’s time to set some goals.

1. Exercise 3 times a week

Yes, I’ve brought a uni gym membership. There’s no excuses now & that’s good, I want to use it for my own well being, rather than focusing on the ‘weight loss’. Final year is going to be tough & getting endorphins from exercise will hopefully help relieve the stress.

2. Use a typical ‘working’ day for uni work

After spending a year in full-time work, this should be fine. Previous years at uni have had less of a routine, but I know doing so this year will keep me on track.

3. Stick to a blog post schedule

This blog isn’t going anywhere! It’s my creative outlet & I love that, I want to keep writing content that not only I enjoy, but hopefully you do too! Keeping with the routine for uni work, I’ll fit the blog in alongside, whether that’s making the most of a gap between lectures, evenings or weekends, I know that writing helps my well being too.

4. Strive to be the best version of myself

After everything that has happened this year, I’ve had a few ‘wobbles’ & doubts about myself. By focusing on myself & what I want to do, hopefully my mindset will be positive & that’ll reflect in my relationships with people.

What have your goals been this year? Let me know how you have got on with them!

Im x

Connect with me on social media:

Insta

Twitter

Pinterest

The Ultimate Veggie Pie Recipe

When I decided to become a vegetarian, I found myself loving all the new recipes I could try & all the Linda McCartney treats available. But I found myself lacking a ‘go-to’ option for a roast dinner. Pretty much a Sunday staple during winters in the UK, especially Christmas Day.

For this pie, you can use whatever veg you like, whatever veg you’ve got left in the fridge – it’s completely up to you!

I’m all for simple & easy cooking so here I present the ‘ultimate veggie pie’ recipe…

Veggie Pie Recipe (makes 4 portions typically)

Core Ingredients: 1 Onion (red or white), Tin of Tomatoes, Sprinkle of garlic powder (or add a clove of garlic), 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of oregano & 1 Pack of Shortcrust pastry (I used Just Rol)

The Veg I used this time: 1 courgette, pepper & leek, 1/2 aubergine & 1/2 tub of mushrooms.

Start by chopping up all of your chosen veg into medium sized chunks, before starting to fry the onion on a medium heat for around five mins. Add the chopped veg to the pan & stir for around another five minutes.

Then, pour the tin of tomatoes into the pan, mixing with the veg. Add the seasoning (sprinkle of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of oregano & paprika). Leave the mixture on a low heat for around 15 minutes, whilst prepping the pastry.


If you’re like me & want for a quick recipe, then using shortcrust pastry from the packet is easiest. But if you want to make your own pastry, then I take my hat off to you!!

Using a sprinkle of flour on the surface (if it’s a student kitchen, hopefully you’ve got some clear surface left?) & on the rolling pin, splitting the pastry into two squares & rolling to fit the dish you are using. Line the bottom of your dish with one of the pastry squares, making sure there is enough to hang over the edges & scoop the mixture into the dish.

All you’ve got left to do is cover the top of the pie with the second pastry square. Pierce the top of the pie just in-case your mixture decides it wants to try & escape in the oven. Briefly brush egg or milk (vegan option) over the pastry for a golden crisp pastry.

Cook for 30 minutes at 200 degrees & ta-da, you’re sorted for a veggie roast dinner!

Do you have a favourite ‘go-to’ veggie recipe?

Im x

Easy Skincare in 5 Minutes

Feel like you’ve got no time to sort out your skin before work/uni? I’ve got you sorted…Welcome to the wonders of skincare, but in a quick & easy way.

I always used to say that I ‘didn’t have time’, but in reality, I wasn’t giving myself time for it. At the same time, I was frustrated by having dry skin – it didn’t feel as though any moisturiser worked & the skincare routines online always seemed a few too many steps for me & the time I had. So with a bit of trial & error, I’ve streamlined the skincare products that I *try* to use on a daily basis.

  1. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (am & pm) – This product is a go-to for me, whether I’m starting the day or taking make-up off. Everyone always seems to mention this as their go-to cleanser & I can see why; it’s fairly affordable as a cleanser, using 1-2 pumps a day means it tends to last quite a while & it is the simplest way for your skin to feel smooth & fresh after! The best way to use is moisturising the product into your skin before using a muslim cloth (typically the bottle comes with 1/2 muslim cloths) to rinse it off is literally the easiest thing ever.
  2. Liz Earle Exfoliator (2-3 times a week) – The first time I tried this my skin honestly felt x10 smoother, for someone with fairly dry skin this has been a game changer really. I apply 2-3 times a week for the best results, but in the same way as the cleanser, rinsing off the exfoliator with a muslim cloth doesn’t add that much time to your routine either.
  3. Pixi Rose Tonic (am) – this is perfect for my skin, smoothing out any redness & refreshing the skin overall. I’d heard so much about the Glow tonic & Rose tonic & once tried, I was completely sold. I tend to apply with a reusable cotton pad after cleansing before moisturiser.

Moisturising – this is something that I definitely do not miss & with having dry skin, I’ve tried numerous products over the years. Now, I’ve found a moisturising combo that is currently working really well for my skin.

  1. The Body Shop – ‘Oils of Life’ Facial Oil (am & pm) – bit of a long title there & I only nipped into The Body Shop for some soap & next thing you know I’m spending £30 on a facial oil. But it is fabulous & well worth the money. Using the pipette to get a small amount (makes me feel like I’m back in Chemistry lessons to be honest) & as soon as it’s applied, it soaks into your skin with a smooth silky finish (not to mention it smells incredible).
  2. Olay Complete 3in1 Day Fluid (am & pm) – following the facial oil, I use this lightweight moisturiser, especially as it contains SPF 15. It’s not greasy at all, meaning that along with the facial oil, it’s not too heavy on your skin which is what I’ve found with moisturisers before.