Mimosa Beauty opening event 

Last Thursday I attended the opening event for Mimosa Beauty Salon in Chelmsford. It was the rainiest spring day and I arrived closely resembling a soggy footed hobbit. The pro to this however was that this salon has opened 2 minutes from my flat so I didn’t have to go out of my way and I could speed walk home to a hot bath afterwards.

I was greeted with a glass of prosecco and instantly my mind drifted from my cold damp tootsies to the salon in front of me. The reception area is a decent size but on this day it was filled with people, all coming to show their support.

I was given a tour by a lovely lady called Lauren who is one of the beauty therapists there. My initial thoughts were how nice the place was decorated, very neutral light colours and the treatment rooms are a great size! So often you go to a salon and it can be a little claustrophobic with the amount of stuff in the room but these have a big airy feel while somehow also being cosy and homely – I don’t know how they did that but if you go you will know what I mean!

The building is three stories and comprised of 5 treatment rooms if my memory is correct, one of which is not currently occupied. I couldn’t imagine having to run up and down the stairs all day although it would probably be a blessing in disguise for me haha but its perfect for keeping the clients away from the hustle and bustle of the reception area – no phones ringing, no people chatting, just that lovely relaxing music. The rooms are also soundproofed to make doubly sure you are fully relaxed. There is definitely more of a spa vibe going on just minus the Jacuzzi.

From what I gathered at the event Jennie, the owner and founder of the company was originally a one woman band and has now been able to expand her award winning salon to a larger place with additional staff. Jenny also prides herself and the salon on being eco-friendly. I’ve mentioned before how I feel about small independent business’ and community so it really is lovely to see a business with such great ethics thrive in my hometown.

One of the first things I noticed when I walked into Mimosa Beauty was the bookshelves, I’m a sucker for a perfectly arranged shelf and these were pretty #goals. Portraying not only the awards won by the salon and some products on offer but also some positive quotes and actual books! I have been told that it is part of their mission to be eco-friendly which has driven them to provide sustainable books rather than magazines which go out of date and need to be thrown away/repurchased. This sounds absolutely perfect to me, especially as someone who tends to steer clear of magazines anyway. I mean what would you rather flick through when waiting for your appointment – articles telling you that you need to lose weight and dress different or Good Night stories for Rebel Girls? I know which one I would pick! I have also been so tempted to buy this book myself so will definitely be having a little nose when I book a treatment in!

I never used to spend much time or money on pampering myself but as I get older the need for self care becomes more and more important to me. Whilst I tend to get a lot of stuff done at home to save money I have been branching out more recently (as you will have seen from my trip to the strand to get my hair done.) Also with the salon being so close it really would be rude not to go!

One of the great things for me (aside from Mimosa Beauty being round the corner) is that they have 3 late night openings in a week. I’ve been told that they can even serve you up a night time tea – I’m just wondering if it’s socially acceptable to turn up in my pyjama’s!? If I run really fast nobody will even see me right?

I’m looking forward to trying the salon out at some point and will be sure to update you guys when I do! Also before I go, I really need to mention the goody bag I was given (that I was also not expecting!) It was one of the most lovely gift bags I have received, it just felt really personal. I will insert a picture here but I have to mention a couple of things. Firstly the thank you card which was hidden in an envelope titled “Hello Beautiful” I mean guys!!! Flattery gets you everywhere! This was coupled with a positive quote, a mini air purifying plant, a little bag of lavender and some night time tea. Self care heaven!

There’s been a bit of a theme in my blog recently, pushing the “please be kind to everyone” message and “you don’t know what people are dealing with and how you can effect them” whilst these posts may have been based on more negative issues this is the total flip side. Whether someone “needs” it or not, being called beautiful randomly or being given a positive quote that speaks to you can really brighten your day. We shouldn’t just spread the love to those in need, sometimes those random acts of kindness are the best ones. Also can we just take a second to appreciate that the quote I got given was “be kind whenever possible, it’s always possible”.

If you would like to check the salon out their website is: http://www.mimosabeauty.co.uk/ which includes all of their contact details and social media links.

Peace and Love xoxo

13 Reasons Why || mental health 

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Omg so many emotions! And yes I know I’m totally late to the game here but there’s a reason for that… I was boycotting. I had read some articles saying that the programme was filmed in bad taste, that the producers had sought advice from suicide charities and then gone against that advice, that it was potentially damaging to someone’s life if they were feeling vulnerable and none of this sat right with me. But everyone and their family dog had watched it and was discussing it and how could I truly form an opinion on something I hadn’t seen? So out of pure curiosity for “research purposes” I delved in head first.

Yep, I binged watched the series in about 3 days (not consecutively, although close). When I first started watching the programme I wasn’t keen but as it went on I was more and more gripped. So let’s get on with what your all here for, the opinion.

Firstly I wanted to point out that the programme is actually rated 18 and yes it is readily accessible on Netflix but technically it shouldn’t be watched by anyone younger than that. Despite this it does feel like it’s aimed at a younger audience, maybe it’s just because it’s set in high school and consists of mainly teenagers but I couldn’t help but feel that was the real target audience.

13 reasons why portrayed some harrowing but actually really important messages! I just did a post on acne anxiety and tried to show that the littlest comments really can effect someone which is a theme that runs through the programme. Bullying is no game, whether your intending to bully or not, whether you think it will be a big deal or not, you will never truly know how your words and actions will effect someone else. Hannah shows that it doesn’t have to be one big event that ruins your life, it can be a build up of “the little things” and I put this in quote marks because what seems little to you may be huge to someone else. This opened my eyes even further to how I interact with other people, be that friends and family, strangers or even people I don’t particularly get on with. I would never want anything I’ve said or done to put someone in such a bad space and this is why we really need to be kind to one and other.

On the flip side I totally get what the other reviews were saying in that mental health isn’t really addressed but I can also kind of see why. The scenes are from the view of the teens involved and it’s highly likely that this is not something they would address. The final episode where Hannah seek help actually puts forward a big message that mental health is not always taken seriously.

Even though you are shouting at you’re screen for someone to notice Hannah’s pain and suffering, in day to day life, if you were there and only seeing certain parts of the story, would you notice? Like Hannah says, the scary thing is these feelings can look like nothing to the outside! There is no heightened emotions spilling out, she felt numb. So how is it possible to notice this? I’ve had previous conversations with people who lost friends to suicide and none of them had any idea there was something wrong.

I also think that while the programme itself didn’t really bring up mental health it definitely started a conversation about it and that’s amazing! It has bought a lot of taboo subjects into the mainstream in an easily accessible powerful way and the fact that people have opinions on it is important to how we move forward as a society. We need debate to make change!

Again while this isn’t aimed at kids I hope that it will be watched by their parents. We need to instil kindness and good values into the next generation so that this kind of thing stops. School can be awful, kids can be mean, and at a stage in your life where everything feels like the end of the world and your hormones and emotions are all over the place this is so dangerous! We need to be more aware of how these kids are feeling, there needs to be support and trust.

The scene where Hannah is trying to get help is so frustrating but I bet this happens more than we would care to think about. It is so easy to dismiss a teenagers feelings as overly dramatic because in reality what teenager doesn’t over think and over exaggerate everything (I still do this now!) It’s a difficult position to be in when having to make that decision on whether they truly need help or just having a bad day. Chances are, the ones who truly need help wont be saying anything, so what do we do? I don’t know how to change things but I know things need to change. We need to put an emphasis on mental health not just at school but throughout life. Life can be stressful at any stage and it can be so hard on your body in a range of forms arising from a range of triggers. Stress of being bullied, from your studies, from your family life, from your job. I honestly feel like it isn’t taken that seriously but as someone who suffers badly when stressed let me tell you, it is serious!

Personally I think counselling is an amazing tool, just to have someone listen, take you seriously, not judge and make you feel like you’re less alone is so powerful. I would like to see onsite counsellors in schools and work places so this is readily available and encouraged. Counselling should not be taboo and I think that anyone can benefit from just hashing their thoughts out with a totally subjective person.  To get access to this kind of help at the moment a doctor has to deem you “suitable” and you will be put on a long waiting list. Either that or you will have to fork out for it privately. Why not just make it a part of life?

I think the only way to move forward is to bring “taboo” subjects even further into mainstream. We all know these things go on so there is no excuse to brush them under the carpet anymore. In 2017 people should not be feeling ashamed or embarrassed for who they are, how they feel or what has happened to them. We need less victim blaming and dancing around the subject and more action. There needs to be better steps in place.

There will be so many opinions around the programme and the subjects it touches on and this post is just one of those. Watching this programme made me feel so many emotions but above all it made me want to be a better person and to help make a change.

I’d love to hear your opinions on 13 Reasons Why!

Peace and Love xoxo

Acne anxiety 

The bank holiday at the end of April was a tough one for me, I was so down, I had no motivation and everything just felt rubbish. This was partly out of boredom as I had no money to do anything but was also thanks in a large part to the state of my skin. Having suffered with acne since the age of about 12 I am well and truly done with it! I’m starting to lose my patience and it’s getting to me more and more. Nobody wants adult acne. As a kid I always dreamt of the day where I would grow up and out of the condition but this just hasn’t happened yet.

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Even if I’d had money that weekend I highly doubt I would have left the flat. I had an overwhelming desire to hide away. I didn’t want anyone to see the reality of my bare face and putting make up on would have been painful and itchy. I hadn’t had a break out like this in such a long time and for things to be getting worse after having given up my favourite thing in the world (cheese), I just couldn’t cope.

At one point Jon asked me to go to Tesco and the request filled me with dread, I was so self conscious but in the end I got over myself and agreed. I can go to the shop, it’s really not that difficult, this is your body own it! However once I actually got to Tesco my brain went into overdrive, I swear everyone was staring at me. I text jon, trying to stop myself from having a mental breakdown in the middle of the bread aisle and he said not to be silly and that nobody was looking at me. I didn’t really believe him but I knew I had to finish the shopping. I even helped a guy find some dairy free chocolate and started to feel a bit better considering he didn’t recoil at my face.

Then I got to the till and it all went to shit from there. The woman cashier took one look at me and exclaimed: “OMG you poor thing! What’s happened to your face”.  Aaand there it is! I knew it! I knew people were looking at me, I knew I was disgusting. I just wanted to run out of the shop! It took all my strength to keep my cool and carry on getting my shopping. I informed her that nothing had “happened”, this was just my face. She then proceeded to ask if I’d had a reaction to something to which I replied no it’s been this way since I was 12 and fell silent. She did not take this as a hint that I was about to break down and carried on telling me about a gross lump she had on her back which reacted to something she put on it and how it had spread. She told me how embarrassing it was so she knows how I felt. The woman clearly didn’t have the first idea how I felt! If she truly knew, there is no way she would have said any of these things to me! As soon as I walked out of the shop I burst into tears! I practically ran to the car and just broke down.

The sad thing is, this is not the first time something like this had happened. Another time I was in new look and the woman behind the counter said “I used to have really bad skin too and I used this, you should try it” – nothing had prompted this conversation, I hadn’t mentioned my skin, I was merely paying for my new clothes. I was also wearing make up at the time so the comments hit me harder. I have this ridiculous theory that my make up can transform me into the person on my Instagram, that filtered babe without a flaw. Clearly I was wrong and now had to pull myself back together before reaching the office, more self conscious that ever that everyone I work with is secretly grossed out by my face.

It has become apparent that people just don’t understand what they’re saying, they aren’t trying to be mean or nasty, in fact they think they’re being helpful or sympathetic. But if I had a birth mark on my face or a big scar, would you comment on that? It’s also never happened if I’m with someone else which is interesting.

The quote “everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind always” could not ring more true here. They don’t know the struggle it can take me to even leave the house and how much they had set me back.

The reason I’m sharing this story is 2 fold, this is not a woe is my post.

Firstly, if you’re the kind of person who makes these comments to people thinking you’re being helpful, please only do so if they have asked for it, you cannot know the damage you’re doing. I never forget the occasions where strangers have made remarks to me (the stories above are by no means an exhaustive list) and it makes me feel more and more anxious about leaving the house on bad skin days, there are times it’s been so bad I’ve wanted to call in sick to work cause I can’t bare the thought of people seeing me!

Getting into an acne anxiety slump really ruins everything, I spent that entire bank holiday weekend in bed and got absolutely nothing done. I’m an emotional eater so I consumed a stupid amount of sugar which only served to make it worse and to add the icing on the cake my skin is effected by stress so the more stressed I get about it the worse it gets, which stresses me out! What a babe right!?

The second reason I’m sharing this is for those who are going through the same thing, to know that you aren’t alone in these thoughts or these experiences! I’ve been dealing with this for years and it’s still tough! I’m getting better at it but there are still days which cripple me in self doubt. I’m now using my @notsoperfectlifebylaura instagram to document my skin issues in the hope that it might help others. I’ve had so many amazing comments from people saying how “brave” I am for sharing these pictures but please know that this is not always the case. I worry so much that I will get a nasty comment and it’ll tip me over into a depressed like state but if they can help just one person it’ll be worth it! But so far the support has been overwhelming, the fact that people have taken time out of their day to show they’re concern or share their own story is just beautiful. You will never know what it means to me.

I’m going through stages where my skin is getting better and then falls back. It’s so amazing what a difference it makes on my life and my mood when my skin is good. This will seem ridiculous to people who aren’t going through the same thing and it even seems silly to me but that’s the thing, our brains often contradict themselves and play nasty mental tricks on us – We just have to stay strong!

There are a couple of new things I’m trying and I’m really pinning all my hopes into this working! I’ve been so slack with my diet and regime over the last week or so as I haven’t been feeling myself but I hope I can get back on track now. I previously did a post about my skin care routine and the products I use but I’m attempting to strip that right back and put as little on my face as possible! It’s all a learning curve and I will put as much information as I can on here.

Please let me know if there’s anything you would like to ask, I promise I won’t be offended ’cause I’m ready for it! It’s the shock of random people in the streets calling me out on my flaws that knocks me for six.

Also if you’re interested in following my skin journey please come and say hi on my insta @notsoperfectlifebylaura – my aim over there is to be as raw and real as possible!

Remember, as hard as it may be to believe sometimes – you are beautiful! You are enough! Your skin does not define you!

Peace and love xoxo

Bar Cart of Dreams

I’m sure you’ve seen this bar cart trend EVERYWHERE at the moment, Zoella has a particularly beautiful one, so with absolute interiors envy I decided that our flat would not be complete without a cart of our own!

Commence frantic internet search mode and total dismay at how bloody expensive they are. Seriously who has like £200 to spend on the bar cart alone without even getting anything to put on it – not me!

My best friend became my savior in this search and urged me to try Gumtree. Within a day I had found the perfect cart and got said friend to pick it up from Croydon for me.

This beauty cost me all of £20! I KNOW RIGHT! I’ve been asked so many times if it’s from Oliver Bonas and I cannot lie to you, I feel pretty damn smug about it.

I forgot to take a picture of the original cause I was so excited to get my hands on it as soon as it was dropped off but the “tray” parts were originally wood. A couple of years ago I had bought some marble contact paper to use for blog photos which was absolutely perfect for covering the wood which really wasn’t doing it for me.

Now to decorate!! 🙂

Obviously there’s alcohol on there and tbh these are just bottles of what we have at the time there’s no real science behind it or aesthetic motive.

Then onto my absolute faves! The pineapples and the bottle opener. I am literally in love with these!!! At the moment we have a large gold pineapple and a smaller copper pineapple but I think we need the smaller silver pineapple to make it a set right? OR another copper one? Let me know what you think but there has to be 3 cause them the rules. The pineapples are from an online store called Iwantoneofthose, the smaller one was a house warming gift and I bought the bigger one myself. I have drank out of both of these and have never felt so cool. I’ve been told they can also be used as cocktail shakers but I am yet to give this a go.

 

The bottle opener was such an extravagant purchase, especially with shipping BUT GUYS….. LOOK AT IT! It’s a rose quartz, gold foil bottle opener, I mean do you need anything more in life? Every bottle you open will be filled with positive, loving energy and that my friends… well that is priceless (have I justified it yet?!). This little ray of sunshine was from Anthrapology and I really recommend buying in store rather than online so it doesn’t seem too costly. (Although it looks like its now sold out in the UK, the link I’ve used is to the US site.)

Soooo how cute are these little cactus glassses!!!! These were a house warming present from my best friend and they could not be more perfect for the bar cart. She went on my pinterest to get inspo for my presents – WHAT A BABE!!!! but yeah, these are from Oliver Bonas and they make me happy.

I feel like you need a plant on your bar cart! A little greenery to be like hey I’m cool and arty (not someone trying to disguise a drinking problem with pretty stuff.) Because I don’t yet trust myself with real plants this is a fake sprig from New Look. I got 2 but it didn’t look right so one is in our bedroom.

Okay, next shelf. We have a mini fridge in the spare room stocked with cans of drink and this just shows the selection of what we have so you can decide before you go grab yourself a cold one. There are also some spare glasses under there, most of which are Jon’s whiskey glasses but there’s also 2 Kilner jug glasses which I love!

And last but not least, the wine shelf. You may recognise this copper wine rack from my Homesense post and I’m so psyched that it fits perfectly on here. Funnily enough, wine doesn’t seem to spend much time on there till it’s whisked into the fridge and into our mouths – oops!

So there it is, my pride and joy! One of my absolute favorite things in the whole flat (apart from Jon and Lola of course buy I mean, it comes close!) There’s still a couple more things I want to add on including another pineapple but mainly this: cocktail jigger/spoon set from Oliver Bonas – all the heart eye emoji’s here!

Let me know if you have something similar at home, I’d love to see it! 🙂

Peace and love xoxo

Wedding Dress Shopping.

I know most of you guys are just like me… nosy as hell! So now the wedding is over (and our year anniversary is scarily creeping closer every week) I thought I’d share with you the wedding dresses that didn’t quite make the cut!

Little disclaimer here first, I do not have the energy to edit these pictures also my mum took a lot of these and her photography skills leave much to be desired (soz mum) so you’re getting this raw and real.

I also did a post about this previously but it was really difficult to write without giving anything away. You can see that here and I’ve gone into more detail on where the dresses are from etc.

On my first wedding dress trip I found THE ONE! Nothing could ever compare to this and I felt AMAZING wearing it. Unfortunately the price was well out of my league so I had to leave that one in my memories. Looking back now I am so glad I didn’t go for this dress because we had a summer wedding and I would have died of heat stroke but if we ever decide to renew our vows and have a winter one, this dress needs to be involved!

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I can’t actually look at this dress for too long without wanting to cry with longing so let’s move on QUICKLY!

This next dress is the style I thought I wanted and while I do think this is lovely my mum was like, it hides the body you’ve worked so hard for, and I agreed! I think this is the style of dress that people expected me to get. Princess vibes galore!

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This is a bit of a jazzy number and more of a vintage look but again did nothing for my body. I liked the idea of sleeves and this one would probably have been LESS hot but still too much!

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I like this one but the blingy part just wasn’t for me, I’d also want that to be more on my waist rather than under my boobs.

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Not really a fan of this one, it didn’t feel weddingy enough if that makes sense, like you could probably wear this to a fancy ball.

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I think we can all agree that I resemble the girl that covers the toilet roll in this haha! I would like to point out though that they tell you to try one of every style just so you know for sure what you like.

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Another pretty one but those sleeves just weren’t doing it for me.

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I don’t think I liked this one at the time but looking back I think it’s quite nice. I loved the wrapped material, so flattering!

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So that was just appointment number one! The next dress I tried on was at the wedding show at Olympia.

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I absolutely loved this and almost put a deposit down – thank god I didn’t because this style really isn’t for me now, it’s way less flattering than I thought. BUT on the back of this I decided to go to their store in London to try on some more dresses.

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They didn’t have the dress I’d tried on originally but they had this which is actually a strapless dress with a bolero over the top and all I could think when I put it on was… I look fat! So I came to my senses and got that style out of my head!

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I liked this one alot and I felt like it matched my laid back shabby chic country vibe really well but mum said it was too plain. She also HATED any open backs so she basically tried to put me off any of those haha.

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Something a little different here but I am not a fan of the satin/silk dresses so this was a no for me.

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This was actually another strapless dress with a bolero over the top to give it sleeves. Loved the shape!

So with this appointment over and still no dress it was time to book one more which saw me finding the dress I wore for the big day itself! I actually went back to the first place I looked because they were having a sale.

My actual dress was the first one I tried and I knew that was it, but I’ll start with the other 2 first.

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This is similar to the one I tried on in the first appointment and I picked this up purely cause I couldn’t get over the I WANT SLEEVES thing. I did like this but like I said before, not weddingy enough for me.

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I didn’t actually want to try this one on but the woman in the shop was like I really need to see this dress on someone and I think you would look great in it! I did not love it but her and my mum and the other lady they dragged in to have a look all did. Although I have to say,  looking back on it now I don’t actually think it was that bad.

AND NOW FOR MY DRESS! My baby! This is the first time we got together, before the alterations, before anything.

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It was absolutely perfect and not only did I love it but it fit all my mum’s criteria too 😉 I didn’t want to take it off! I moved some money around, paid up front and that was it, she was mine 🙂

Trying on wedding dresses was SO MUCH FUN! And that pure joy you feel when you find THE ONE is so amazing.

I hope you enjoyed this post and sorry again for the crappy pictures/gormless expression from me in a lot of them – why do I look so awkward!?.

What dress would you have gone for?

Peace and Love xoxo

My Perfect Bath

Having gone 3 years without a bath (we only had a shower in the old flat) I was so excited to get in some relaxing tub times. I thought I would have baths on those days where you just need to soak the stress away but would mainly still be a shower gal.

This could not be further from what’s happened. We’ve lived here for 3 months now and I have only had one shower in that time! My love affair with a nice long bath has grown and grown and I look forward to it so much. For this reason I decided that I needed to share my perfect bath sitch with you all.

So first I run the bath (obviously). Being a stereotypical girl I like that water hot! I mean not so hot that it gives you heart palpitations and leaves you all lobster chic but as close to that as possible. I then add in some Epsom Salts from Westlab which is supposed to help with bloat and achey muscles (I mean I’m not sure if it works or not but I put them in anyway.)

 

Next up, the bath bomb! I don’t use one in every bath because I don’t have the money for this luxury, or enough space in the bathroom to store that many. My all time favorite has to be the butterball/bear. So simple but so effective – it’s not fancy, it doesn’t make your bath change colour but OMG SO SMOOTH! You literally don’t have to moisturise after so for a lazy bum like me this is just bliss! I literally get out the bath and I’m like JON STROKE ME! HOW SMOOTH AM I! It baffles me every time. The one I’ve used here is the “avobath” which also has that moisturising effect but I don’t think it’s as intense as the butterball.

I absolutely love make up but with skin like mine it can get a bit itchy and irritable by the end of the day so getting that off is heaven! I tend to use an oil cleanser to really break through the make up and get it all off. I then like to treat myself to a little face mask. Here I’ve used the Lush “Mask of Magnaminty”. LOVE the smell and it leaves my skin feeling fresh!

On the same wavelength my favorite body wash is original source mint and tea tree – It’s not for everyone, some cant handle the tingle, but I’m a big fan. Again it just leaves me feeling so fresh compared to others.

Most of the time I will watch something while relaxing in the tub. I’ve got a little bath pillow and I just lay there and forget about reality. I will watch YouTube videos or short programs so I don’t end up like a prune and will watch these on either my phone, kindle or laptop depending on whats charged at the time.

Now are you ready for my super glam viewing platform – yep I rest whatever I’m watching on the cats litter box! Don’t judge! This particular time was set up for my phone but it can vary depending on what I’m using. #thatglamlife!

If I’m having an evening bath I like to light the lavender candle and turn the lights off to really wind down. I’m also partial to a peppermint tea night cap and what better time to have this than while relaxing in the bath!? (If this bath is on a Friday evening the peppermint tea is often swapped out for a glass on vino!)

So there we have it, my perfect bath! I think I’m going to have to go run one now cause this post has definitely got me in the mood for a relaxing little dip. Do you guys do any of this or are you not the bath type? I hated baths for so long but I could not live without them now!

Peace and Love xoxo

Goldsmiths – The Jewellery

You may recall my recent(ish) visit to the new Goldismiths store in Chelmsford’s Bond Street complex and if you haven’t you can read about that here.

For those of you who have been eagerly waiting to see what I got, I am happy to announce that the wait is finally over and it’s time to reveal what pieces made the cut! I had ordered 4 items off of the website to chose from and up first are the 2 that fell at the final hurdle:

Gucci Necklace

Now I did like this but it just felt a bit chunky. I liked the pendant but the chain just wasn’t selling it to me and I found that with a lot of the Gucci products I looked at.

Olivia Burton Bee Necklace

I still really like this even if it did feel a little ghetto haha but how cute! I mean who doesn’t love a bumble bee?! The thing is though, I rarely wear gold so it didn’t seem like the right choice.

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(I didn’t get a very good picture of this one so used the website one.)

Now onto what made it home with me. Both of these items are Michael Kors cause I went totally basic on the whole experience. Inner Laura has always wanted a Michael Kors bag so this jewellery is filling that hole!

The Necklace

I loved the pendant on this necklace, I was looking for something disc like but this just felt a bit different and more interesting. One thing I didn’t realise was this metal seems to be a little less shiny and more of a dull effect but I don’t think this is an issue. I wear this necklace ALOT! It’s the perfect length for most of my work clothes and if you look closely at my instagram it features quite a bit haha

The Bracelet

This item really caught my eye… it’s a BIT Cartier with the screws, at least that’s what it reminded me of, except it’s not even close to that price! But what drew me to it was the disc pendant (again! I don’t know what my disc obsession is but that’s what I’m liking it seems.) Now I wore this for my birthday lunch and the pendant disappeared but Goldsmiths kindly replaced it. I am yet to wear the new one cause I’m a bit nervous but I think I will be wearing it to something chill haha It’s perfect for brunch with the girls or something a little more fancy like a wedding.

After purchasing these 2 items I had some money left on my voucher so I got my mum these cute earrings for mothers day which she loved !

SO would you have gone for the same items as me or is your style totally different?

Obviously I was kindly gifted a voucher in return for my blog posts but the experience I had is totally legit and I got to pick the items out myself. I mean you won’t catch me in Goldsmiths every weekend cause this girl is currently living in her overdraft but for a special occasion I would definitely look to go back there. I highly suggest booking an appointment, getting a glass of wine and discussing what you’re looking for with an expert if not just for the experience.

Peace and Love xoxo

*Please see disclaimer

> I also couldn’t find a link to the necklace on the Goldsmiths website or Michael Kors so it must have gone out of stock or been discontinued but I found it on a different site so I have added that link in.

Going dairy free

No you haven’t stepped into some kind of alternate universe and yes you are on the right blog. Nor is this title click bait to get you questioning my sanity …. I, Laura Grant (still weird to say) am going dairy free!

Today (18/4/17) marks day 15 of going dairy free and I honestly thought my world would have imploded by now but alas I’m still here, surviving without cheese. Who’d have thought it eh!

Now I don’t want to get ahead of myself because you may recall I gave up cheese for 1 month before my wedding but this time is different, this time the aim is forever and it’s all dairy products. If I think about the long game it scares me a little… never being able to order a Domino’s alone fills me with sheer terror. But in all seriousness I couldn’t have picked a better time to go dairy free. Our shops have shelves stocked with so many options, restaurants and food stores are getting on board, we are evolving. This is great for me because it means that I don’t actually miss out on anything.

Okay let’s back track a little, why am I going dairy free? My main reason behind it is for my skin. I’ve read so many articles and watched a million videos all with people saying dairy and acne go hand in hand. Reports of people with beautiful skin after years battling with acne and frankly I want in! I’ve suffered with acne of varying degrees ever since I was about 12 and I am sick of it! I’m so exhausted of feeling rubbish about my skin.

For years people have told me to cut out dairy but I was addicted. This may sound extreme but I honestly think it’s true! Cheese is SO addictive, it’s bloody delicious but it’s not serving me so it’s gone!

They say it takes 21 days to break a habit but I feel pretty secure in my abilities at the moment, in fact I’m actually really enjoying it. I’m the type of person that always needs a project, something to research, to put all my energy into and at the moment this is it. I’m experimenting in the kitchen and it’s got me excited! I love food so to put my energy into better food choices is a great plus.

Another factor that’s got me cutting out dairy is the Kinseology appointment I went for and I will go into more detail on this soon. The lady I saw came to the conclusion that I was intolerant to cows milk, as well as white products like white pasta and bread and advised that I go dairy/gluten free but gave me some exceptions. I can have small amounts of goat/sheep/buffalo products and small amounts of wholegrain.

From researching what I can and cannot eat I have found myself on many occasions in a YouTube deep dive, mainly on the vegan channels. Searching dairy free gives a lot of content but vegan brings up so much more which will obviously be dairy free too. The interesting thing I’ve found from doing this is the change in my thought process towards food and my growing interest in dabbling with veganism. Like I said before, It’s becoming so much easier to be vegan/dairy free/gluten free. Restaurants and shops are recognizing that these are real things that need to be catered for and you aren’t left munching on a boring salad.

I plan to do a post soon on the dairy free/vegan alternatives I’ve found / things I’ve been making but I would love to hear your suggestions. The vegan community is so amazing at sharing useful links and tips and the more I think about eating animal products the more it doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t know why it’s taken so long! Now I’m not saying I am currently and I may never become totally vegan but it’s something I am exploring at the moment. No pressure!

A lot of people have been asking how I feel and has it made a difference but I personally think it’s too early to tell at the moment. I’ve just come out the other side of laryngitis and still suffering an annoying cough, I’ve also just had a pretty crap break out so I’ve got a long way to go yet.

I’m looking forward to finding and possibly creating more content around this and really would love your input 🙂 the best thing I’ve found so far is the hashtag #accidentalyvegan if you haven’t already I recommend you check that out – you will be surprised what’s on it.

Peace and Love xoxo

The Strand – Chelmsford 

In keeping with the whole self care thing I’ve got going on at the moment I decided to go get my hurr did! Usually I leave it approximately 6 months between dye jobs but I wasn’t feeling my hair, it had gone brassier than usual and was so dry… it needed some love.

For the past 5 or so years I have favoured having my hair done at home, partly for ease but let’s get real, it was mainly to save some pennies. In that time I had forgotten just how amazing going to a salon could make you feel!
True I did get some discounts so the price didn’t sting me quite as much but the whole experience just beats getting your hair done at home. Of course we don’t always have this Luxury but once and a while I think we deserve a trip to the salon!

When you’re at home you can see the mess you need to clear up, you’re thinking about the dinner that needs to be cooked, you may even be doing odd jobs while waiting for your hair to develop. BUT if you head to the salon you leave your woes behind, you get to take some real me time and everyone knows hairdressers are basically therapists with hair skills so there’s that too.

 On Thursday last week I had booked a half day from work. I left the office around 12.30 and headed into the bright British sunshine (yep it was one of those rare days where it’s 20degrees in march and you’re wondering whether your legs are in a state worthy of ripping your tights off – mine were not). I had booked this time off to get pampered, I mean who am I? Who books a half day to go to the hairdressers? Well you should cause it was bloomin delightful! Way less stressful than going on a busy weekend too.

I headed to the strand in Chelmsford for my treatments. The girls in there are SO lovely, from start to finish I really felt looked after. I’d gone in a few days earlier for a patch test and consultation and left feeling really positive. On this particular day I was looked after by Danielle, I was taken upstairs to the colour studio where my bleach was applied. I had a great chat with Danielle and she made me feel really comfortable, I think this is so important cause not only are you trusting these people with your hair, if your like me and have tones of it you will also be spending a fair few hours with them so it’s critical you get along. Luckily this was not an issue as Danielle was a complete babe. Whilst my bleach was developing I was given a glass of wine, some mini cheddars and a few mags to read (all included in the price). This certainly doesn’t happen when you get your hair done at home but would be a great touch, note to mobile stylists/beauty therapists…. bring wine and snacks! 😉 I should also note here that my scalp is a bit hit and miss with bleach, it can be unbearably itchy and it’s previously scabbed but I didn’t have any problems with this bleach – if you don’t get your hair bleached you just won’t understand the pure delight at finding one that doesn’t make you want to rip your head off!

Once my bleach was ready it was back downstairs to the sinks. Getting your hair washed by a hairdresser has to be up there with one of the best things in the world right? 1. You don’t have to wash your hair now and 2. That head massage though! Also totally beats having your hair washed over the bath! I believe I also had a treatment put on here but I’m not 100% sure (either way my hair felt bloody fantastic at the end) then for the toner, this was all done at the sink, washed off and to the chair we went.

Originally I had decided to have quite a big chop, I’d had the tiniest of trims in July last year and prior to that god knows when it was cut last so I felt like my hair needed it. But I couldn’t do it! Firstly I don’t think I could pull off the shorter hair my toned 15 year old frame could and secondly long blonde summary flower crown hair is a bit of me! I’ll deal with the sweat fest and the festival braids just won’t be as good with short hair… have I convinced you enough?! I sure convinced myself 🙂 


I absolutely loved the cut, my hair looks so much fresher without having too much off! I also really liked the colour but had a feeling the roots where a bit off, I put it down to the lighting in the salon and headed home with a big ole smile on my face!

Although the next day i still felt like my roots weren’t quite right, I mean it wasn’t totally obvious to someone who wasn’t me but I could see it so I messaged the salon for advice. They booked me straight back in for the next Tuesday and the lovely jade put an extra helping of toner on my roots. Basically the toner wasn’t left on quite long enough but now it’s great! I mean there are still parts of my hair that are slightly different colours but I reckon this will only get rectified by a full re-bleach which could jeopardise the quality of my hair. I’m also really impressed with how the whole thing was handled by The Strand AND I got to have 2 trips to the salon and an extra hair wash so it’s not all bad… in fact it saved me a job!

Now I have lovely fresh new hair and a really hard decision to make when it comes to getting it done next time, can I splash out on the better experience?! Lets hope so!

Peace and love xoxo

*** Please see disclaimer

Feeling focussed 

I don’t know what on earth has happened to me or how long it will last but I seem to have been injected with some crazy motivation!

This morning I got up WHEN MY ALARM WENT OFF, this is absolutely unheard of. My usual morning routine consists of me getting up half hour before I need to leave, flapping about like a stressed out pigeon and basically running to the station leaving my shins in tatters.

Today was different. Today I glided out of bed, got dressed, washed my face and brushed my teeth then sat and did a 10 minute guided meditation using the headspace app – WHO AM I?!

I feel like this may have stemmed from my weekend in Manchester, where I visited my pal Millie (and went to see Craig David – yes my internal 8 year old was bloody loving life!) Mills are her bf are SO organised with their food prepping and shopping lists and overnight oat breakfasts as well as living hectic lives of work volunteering and exercise. Seeing them go about and discuss this routine sparked something inside of my like YES! I can do this, in fact I have done this in the past and life is just way more smooth and lovely.

I got home on Monday evening had a bath (to wash off 4 hours of travelling) and headed straight to Tesco for a big ole food shop. I had already decided, after discussions with my acupuncturist, that I wanted to cut down on cheese and dairy in general, so I catered my food shop around finding alternatives and planning meals in my head.

Due to a hospital appointment I worked from home on Tuesday which couldn’t have been more perfect. Not only did this help my mental state allowing me to avoid yet more travel after enduring the trip from Manchester to home (which was unpleasant due to delays and me feeling sick the entire way) but it also gave me time to food prep (I basically roasted everything so it wasn’t difficult).

This morning I woke up and I had already decided what I was going to wear, 1 stress down. My breakfast and lunch was prepared for the day. I did my guided meditation which gave me time to just chill and check in with myself and then I could get ready at a reasonable pace. I also managed to fit in my new fave water concoction (superberry powder, ground ginger and fresh lemon shaken, not stirred), put the washing up away AND curl my hair.

Being organised and productive with my morning really makes me feel like I can go out and nail the day! Checking in with myself through meditation also allows me to fully wake up and be alert. It also helps when the sun is shining giving you that instant positivity.

The last couple of days I have also tried to be technology free just before bed. I picked up a copy of Women’s Health with my shopping on Monday and have been reading that in the evening (although I’ve finished it now.) As well as this I’m trying not to scroll through social media as soon as I wake up and instead wait till I’m on the train to work.

I mean it’s been one day so I’m totally getting ahead of myself here but I love this feeling! Please let me keep this motivation universe! I promise I’ll do good things in return. I’m hoping that if I can keep getting up on time and possibly even slightly earlier (I know I’m pushing it here) that I may even be able to fit in a morning yoga sesh!

Pray for my motivation guys and let me know if you have any tips on keeping this up 🙂

Peace and Love xoxo