5 ways to treat yourself when trying to save

This month I have been a bit more spendy than usual, but sometimes in life it’s necessary (although, not that necessary) to have those ‘f*ck it’ slash ‘yolo’ moments.

But like so many people my age, setting long term goals along with trying to get life in order and simply turning my hand at adulating, certain things more-rightly take precedent over buying the latest pair of heels, cult beauty buys and even the occasional date night – no matter how ‘cheap’ it is.

And while I use my blog as an outlet to share places I love visit in and around London, eateries, clubs and pubs I’ve discovered as well the occasional new makeup find, the reality is, I just can’t spend a frivolously as I used to, especially if I’d like to own my house in the near future.

However, every now and then a little treat can’t hurt, and here’s how I like to give myself a lil’ pick me up…

10-2

  1. Call me a Starbucks w*nker but I love me some coffee on the go. Chai Latte, Vanilla Latte, Flat White… don’t get me started – anything but Cafe Nero 😷 and I’m good. I don’t know what it is about a hot coffee in a paper cup to go, but it makes me feel sassy. And if it can pick me up at only £3 a pop – why the hell not. £3 here and there can add up though, so drink aware lol!
  2. Candles are a beautiful thing, and I haven’t bought one in ages, but I am a sucker for a lovely smelling Yankee Candle. Plus, Now that it’s winter and I’ve been reading loads of favourite posts which include a homely scented candles, I’ve reverted back to my faves; Baby Powder and Snowflake  Cookie. The Yankee Candle Jars are quite pricey at £18 but they do last forever. Think of it as a short term investment 😉
  3. Curled up with a chunky magazine in one hand and a warm cup of tea in the other is how I would love to spend any evening of the week, especially, now that it’s getting colder. I have to admit, I’m not one to often buy a magazine, but I do have my faves like Porter and Glamour. They are great inexpensive treats that I often only buy when there’s a freebie, meaning I get two treats for the price of one!
  4. Treating myself at times can be as simple as buying a chocolate🍫😋. Although, it’s very counter productive when I’m trying to lose weight. Nonetheless, I’m sure I’m not the only one who switches up there favourite chocolate snack. At the moment I’m feeling Lindt. What tickles your fancy?
  5. Getting nails done really should be considered as standard self-care 😂. I often go for shellac (£20) which lasts me about a month. It’s affordable and gives me that feel good factor without breaking the bank. Am I the only one who feels like they have their sh*t together when they come out of the salon 💅

Treating yourself doesn’t always have to break the bank, it could be as simple as buying a bouquet of flowers, or a new app, if that’s up your street.

How do you treat yourself? 

Box Park Croydon + MEATLiquor

Who’s got those midweek blues?

I know I do. I had an amazing weekend and I’m looking forward to this one coming. Not that I did anything spectacular, but it was super chilled – I actually had a well overdue lie in on Saturday – and even ventured out to my hometown, Croydon.

Whenever I mention Croydon to people, they’re never really sure what it has to offer, except the very drab, Whitgift centre *yawn*

Very recently though, it is undergoing a facelift and last week opened its very Box Park.

ml6

Now this is a BIG thing, almost revolutionary for drab ole Croydon. If you didn’t know, the only other place in London to have a Box Park is Shoreditch.

ml11

I really didn’t know what to expect and I may be a little biased, but it is 100x better than the original Box Park. There’s way more eateries, cool coffee places, my favourite donut place called DUMDUM’s and a huge seating area for everyone to come and eat drink and chat together – overall it just seems like a great chill spot… and it’s right on my doorstep.

During my visit with my dad and sister, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We wanted to explore somewhere new and came across MEATliquor and as it was brimming with people, it was an immediate yes.

ml

ml1

With a 30 minute waiting time to be seated, we headed to the bar and ordered some cocktails.

ml3

I didn’t know much about the restaurant but I must admit, their cocktails were really good, for just a burger joint. They had a good variety to choose from, but what I didn’t like is that they were all named with a dark twist  – how does Fallen Angelita sound to you 😖 lol #notfeelingit

And after looking around it all made sense. To me the restaurant decor was meant to resemble something between purgatory and a butchers. There were skulls and bones painted on the walls, red spotlights and those plastic hanging flaps to replace doors (have no idea what they’re called). So, if you’re not into this kinda thing, it’s defo not for you (and I don’t blame ya).

ml4

30 minutes seemed to whizz by because before we knew it we were seated and our food was in front of us. Served on a big yet organised platter it was time to chow down!

ml7

 

 

As you can see we actually went in with the food and while it wasn’t the most succulent burger, we chose a mixture of what they had to offer.

The mixtures of flavours and foods was a great twist on popular greasy American food with a soul food flavourful spin.

ml10

I went for a bacon cheese burger, hippie chips (sautéed onions and melted cheesy sauce on chips) and Onion rings. We also had another side of chips with blue cheese 😷, deep fried mac and cheese (the treadmill is calling me lol).

ml8

ml9

ml10

To be honest the food did hit the spot, but I wouldn’t say its the best there is to offer.

It was genuinely a nice day out with the family, but I personally wouldn’t go back to MEATliquor as it’s just not my scene. I will, however, be going back to Box Park this Friday!

Have you tried MEATliquor? What’s your verdict?

Girls Night Out: The Night Jar

Can you tell I’m loving life right now?

I recently started a new job, and the girls in my office decided to welcome me into the team by taking me out on the town – lets call it an initiation – on a Thursday night too, bearing in mind I’m normally in bed by 9 latest, I felt like such a rebel!

They decided on a place called Night Jar on Old Street, which I had heard of before from my boyfriend, but never really thought to explore as it wasn’t somewhere I felt I’d enjoy, as its a jazz bar, but I went with an open mind.

Now, if you like to explore London like me and often venture down to Old Street and Shoreditch sides of London, then you’ve probably passed a little door situated in between an off license and a cafe – otherwise known as the portal to Night Jar.

The door is so inconspicuous, I’ve never noticed it before and to be honest I doubt anyone would.

night-jar1

However, once I passed through the threshold it was like being transported back into the 1920’s.

As soon as we entered, the smell of the city air was gone, and the warmth from the world below as well as the sweet cocktails welcomed us.

night-jar2

After getting down the steepest set of stairs and into the basement, we were shown to our seats, by a lovely waitress who reminded me of Kat Von D -she had the most awesome tatts. Planted in the cosiest of corners on old cushioned wooden chairs we were given a cute humorous menu with beautifully and enticing themed drinks ordered according to; pre-prohibition, prohibition, post-war and Night Jar signatures… so plenty of choice!

night-jar-8

I literally had no idea what to pick. I hate strong drinks and often opt for more fruity options. In the end I chose an interesting concoction of:Havana Club 7 Year, Falernum, Fresh Pineapple Cocnut Blossom Nectar, Grilled Rice Powder, Roasted Feijoa, Fresh Lime, Banana Bread Beer, Peanut Butter Ice (yes peanut butter ice!) – otherwise known as LEI LANI VOLCANO.

night-jar-4

What I loved was our waitress was very thorough and informative, after each of our drinks were chosen she made sure it would be something we enjoyed and even went as far to describe how we’d experience the taste, just incase we wanted to change our mind.

We had a direct view of the bar, so it was great seeing the bar staff, making each drink to perfection – even for the other tables – it was so interesting to see how much thought and precision goes into each drink, it truly is an art.

Once our amazing drinks arrived we all got to sipping. They just looked so lush, pictures really don’t do them justice!

night-jar-3

I am such a lightweight that I couldn’t even finish my cocktail, but it tasted amazing and had an interesting nutty after taste which was so unique.

From this moment it was the beginning of the end form me as I was ready to go home lol, but the girls wouldn’t allow it, after all, Thursday is the new Friday right?! So we decided on a sharing cocktail (they said it’s for 4 people, but the portions are very generous so they could have done for about 12!)

night-jar-5

As we all had slightly different tastes, a drink called the Green Dragon, seemed a perfect fit. Served in a giant wooden pineapple, with ginger liqueur, dragon fruit, strawberry wine and much more, we got to drinking again.

night-jar7

From what I can remember, it had a very oriental taste and was quite fruity, so it was right up my street. With the live band setting up we stayed and enjoyed a few jazzy tunes, got to know one another (my cheeks have never hurt so much from smiling before), but for me that was it for the drinks – I was thinking how the hell am I going to get up for work tomorrow:/

Feeling merry and slightly glazed over, I left a very happy customer.

For me a good night out consists of good conversation, great company and brilliant, food & drinks and they were all surpassed.

I can confidently say that The Night Jar will definitely be seeing me again.

Drinks are quite pricey (£40 table deposit & we each paid £30 fro our drinks), but as it was a one off treat, it’s a nice retreat for quite evening with close company, carefully mixed drinks that are not watered down, no drunks and cool interactive music – what more could you want?

Have you heard of The Night Jar? Will you booking a table soon?

An Evening at The Sky Garden

Living in London, I can honestly say I’m never at a loss for things to do, which is why I recently found myself at the Sky Garden!

I’ve heard so much about London’s highest public garden so knew I needed to experience it for myself.

Sitting in the middle of Landan city on Fenchurch street, I automatically assumed it would cost a fortune to enjoy the experience – but it’s actually free…you’re welcome🤗 😏

To get tickets, you do have to book at least 3 weeks in advance (yes 3 bloody weeks 😱), however, the experience is worth the wait. (side note: the tickets give you a maximum of 45 minutes up in the Sky Pod, but there’s no time restrictions once you’re up there)

The sky Garden offers great views of the London skyline, the perfect reason to snap a few hundred pics, an amazing bar and superbly rated restaurant that always seems to be booked up – so try and book it if you have the chance.

sky-garden6

The boyf and I decided to visit the Sky Garden at night, and booked our free tickets for 7:30pm. Our plan was to take pictures of the sun setting but it was a complete #FAIL the sunset at around 6:30pm.

When we first arrived we had to get all the boring stuff out the way, we queued, had our bags checked and searched and then we were allowed in the lift.

The lift took us all the way up to level 36, which really has nothing on the Burj Khalia, but once we got out, we were greeted by an incredible view.

We didn’t know what to do, so we headed straight to the bar. The Sky Pod Bar had a great vibe. At the time we visited the venue was dimly lit but situated in the middle was a beacon of beverages and plants on a bar that couldn’t be missed.

We put in our order – I ordered the Elegant Fizz a fruity concoction of elderflower, pear, lemon and prosecco (£12.50)- because I’m a lady and Earl ordered his usual – Old Mout Passion Fruit and Apple Cider (£5.75).

sky-garden7

The craftsmanship that goes into mixing each drink is simply amazing, I didn’t even get a picture because I was literally hypnotised just looking at the barman in awe.

After sipping on our drinks we decided to explore the ‘garden’ as it was getting very dark, very quickly – que lack of pictures lol.

sky-garden4

sky-garden5

sky

To be honest, the garden aspect of the Sky Garden, was disappointing. From the pictures I saw online, it looked like an enclosed yet open greenhouse, however, it wasn’t like that. It seemed like there were just a few pot plants scattered around lol.

That’s maybe a little bit of an exaggeration, but there wasn’t much of any plants.
🌿🍃 🍂 🍁🌺 🌹 🌷 🌼 🌸

As we continued to walk around the garden, we were faced with different beautiful views of the city, and it was truly breath-taking, quite romantic too!

As we made near full circle, we decided to go outside and get a few snaps. It was really the most awkward thing as everyone inside just watches you take selfies while they sip on champagne, but we did manage to get a few good pics, but whenever we go out we never get a good full length picture, so we ended up asking a girl to take a picture hoping for a good one lol -she didn’t do too badly.

sky-garden

sky-garden1

sky-garden2

After endless pictures we decided to call it a night.

The Sky Garden wasn’t all that I thought it would be, in terms of the actual garden and forestry, but it was definitely an experience to remember. The different views of London made it an unforgettable experience.

sky-garden3

So, if you’re looking for a date night destination or even a place to drink with your pals this is a great venue to consider, especially as it’s free entry and the drinks are relatively affordable. Hopefully I’ll be visiting again soon!

Have you been to the Sky Garden? Recommend any other great venues?

 

 

 

Life Update & How I De-Stress

Hiya,

It’s been a while, but I’ve got exciting news to share – I’ve got a new job! 🎉💷 

It’s been a long time coming and I’m super excited to start the next chapter in my career, but since finding out, and telling my current employer that I’m leaving the company, plus sorting out my whole big hand-over, it has been nothing short of stressful.

It’s weird how such exciting news can quickly turn into a daunting process 😑 😒

Thoughts like; How the hell am I going to tell my manager? Am I meant to look upset or be more apologetic that I’m moving on to different and better pastures? Should I give up a great opportunity? – kept popping into my head, and I found myself quickly stressed with not a clue of what to do. There really should be a handbook for dummies on the subject.

I’ll be starting my new adventure towards the end of the month, but before I can really enjoy and bask in my excitement I’ve got a mammoth job of creating a ton of content before I leave, and to be totally honest it’s all just too much to deal with.

So, if you’re like me and are transitioning into new waters, here’s my tips on how to deal with stress at work…

Plenty of breaks. This point has been said a bazillion times, but it’s totally true, and while I’ve got even more work to do, I’ve found myself stepping away from my desk a little bit more, to take a stroll, make a coffee, and just talk to people. As I stare at computer screen for most of the day, it helps me to take a break from the harsh computer light and take my mind off of my ever growing work load.

Drink lots of Water. Water refreshes and hydrates and to be totally honest with you a nice cold glass of water is calming. It keeps me alert and when I’m rushed off my feet. It’s crazy what a simple glass of water can do. 

Make Music Work. When I arrive at work the first thing I do is put on 1xtra in my browser and plug in my head phones. It helps me disconnect, focus and helps me relax as I’m listening to music I love. Plus, it means I’m not distracted by stupid office politics and it means people don’t disturb you unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Side note: Do you have any albums you’re loving atm? Solange’s new album ‘A Seat At The Table’ and Wretch 32 ‘Growing Over Life’ have been on replay!

A Lovely Bubble Bath. I try and not to take any work home with me – mentally & physically. I also really try not to dwell on things that have really bothered me throughout the day, so once I’ve got home, I like to take some time to myself, grab a cup of tea, chill in a warm bubbly bath using with a Lush bath bomb and turn on an episode of Narcos – the perfect relaxing evening!

 

Enjoy Exercise. I’m sure many of my loyal readers know that I go to the gym, but throughout the month of September I took on a massive challenge of running 26.2 miles for The British Heart Foundation, which meant running at least 2 miles every night. Although it was tough, I’ve tried to continue running a couple times a week as it gives me something to look forward to and actually helps me to de-stress, which I guess is due to my body releasing endorphins. After each session I  actually feel happy and proud of my accomplishments which is a plus!

Reading & Instagram Scrolling. This is a weird de-stressing mechanism I use, but escaping to another place through a book or looking at amazing imagery really helps me chill out and relax. I guess being a serial Instagram scroller has its perks 😂

Do you have any tips on how to handle stress levels? Have you ever had to deal with an awkward resignation? Let me know…

Sephora Haul + Morphe 350 Palette

It’s been ages since I’ve done a makeup haul, but it’s with good reason, this one’s pretty special!

I had the opportunity to go to Sephora (eek!) while I was away in Dubai, and boy was I like a little girl in a candy store!

Although, I hauled these items a while ago, I’ve had them in my collection, used them, and have fallen deeply in love with all of them. So take a peep at what I got…

So, when I first entered the world renowned Sephoraaaa, I literally grabbed a basket and started putting everything that I’ve seen my fave YouTubers use, but as soon as I hit the counter to pay and I saw 850 dirhams, and knew some of my ‘must-have items’ needed to be back on the shelf.

It was a very tough choice, but this is what I came out with…

sephora2

After much deliberation, I ended up with these products 😍.

The Makeup Eraser. I had never heard of the makeup eraser before, but I was sucked in lol. Sometimes I am terrible at taking off makeup at the end of a long day, so this sounded like an amazing product. The makeup eraser is a really clever creation, it has two sides, one that’s rough (exfoliator) and one that’s smooth. Once drenched in water and rubbed on to the face it immediately takes off all the makeup, and it’s instantly shown on the back of the cloth. It can be used and washed up to 1000 times, and I’ve loved using it when I’m feeling a tad lazy. So products, no mess and simple to use! Can makeup removal get any easier?

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick. There was a short-lived trend with metallic lipstick and I really loved that it could take a makeup look from desk to dinner. The new Vice collection by Urban Decay has so many metallic options that I’m surprised I only left with one, but I ended up choosing Cruel – it has a beautiful combination of rose and gold tones along with a delicate sparkle, which can be built upon.

sephora-3

sephora6

Huda Beauty Lip Contour. Ever since getting into beauty through instagram, Huda beauty has been a major influence, plus she’s so beautiful! When her matte liquid lipsticks and lip contours released on Cult Beauty I had all the colours in my basket, but didn’t commit just incase they didm’t suit me 🙈. But when I tried them in Sephora they were all amazing, I’m actually upset I didn’t get the lipstick – my sister did though 😜. I picked the colour Famous – ‘cos that’s what we’re all tryna be right?  The colour is a beautiful wine colour with deep pink and brown undertones, it’s very pigmented and the coverage is immense. The texture of the pencil applies smoothly leaving the lips feeling moisturised, which is rare for a matte pencil. Here’s what it looks like…

sephora5

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. Yet again, I’ve been lusting after this eyeliner since… forever! Since losing my Benefit They’re Real Liner, I really wanted to try this cult product. I remember watching Kat Von D on TV and her makeup always looked bang on point, especially her winged liner. And no wonder, this eyeliner is so precise and jet black, plus the formula lasts all day. The pen itself is super thin, but what I love is that you can move the brush in different ways to create a thin and thick lines fluidly and with ease – something that’s so hard to achieve with other eyeliners.

sephora8

sephora9

Sephora Waterproof Eye Pencil. I think the blue eyeliner trend is wayyy gone, but I couldn’t help myself getting a royal blue (29 – My Boyfriend’s Jeans) The colour is flawless and super pigmented. The crayon itself applies really well and has a luxurious velvety feel which is surprising as it’s only Sephora brand! I would definitely recommend Sephora branded products as they seem to be high quality. Have you tried any?

sephora4

As I got a little spendy in Sephora, I told myself that I’d calm down with makeup buys, but a few weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk at work, scrolling through Instagram, minding my own business when I came across Beauty Bays post.

They had just restocked the Morphe 350 palette. I literally gasped out loud, and hopped onto the beauty bay website to purchase. Ever since seeing a beauty look done with this palette on xoxoshanta_ Instagram (check her out, her makeup is dope) I knew I needed to have it in my life, but it was sold out everywhere. I signed up to waiting lists on every beauty website and regularly checked, so when beauty bay had them back in stock, I needed to get my hands on it – and to be completely honest getting 35 different eyeshadows for £19 is an absolute bargain!

sephora11
Isn’t she beautiful? Also wearing shades from this palette on my lids.

My first Morphe purchase couldn’t be any perfect lol. It’s just so beaut – the colour that enticed me to get it is the orange eyeshadow, as it’s my fave colour and I hadn’t seen anything similar anywhere else, but playing around with the different colours I’ve fallen in love with it even more. Here are a few of my faves swatched…

sephora10

Have you hauled from Sephora before, what did you get? Also, have you been lucky enough to get your hands on the Morphe 350 palette, what are your thoughts?

See you on my next post x

 

How to Travel the World and Work Full Time

If you follow me on any other social media platforms you’ll know that I’ve been suffering with some serious wanderlust. Like why can’t my full time job not be blogging, travelling and blogging about my travels?

I just know that I’m not meant to work (don’t we all lol) which is why I thought it’s about time I do a post on how to travel when you work full time, because somehow, I manage to.

I consider myself pretty lucky to have been able to travel to two beautiful destinations (Thailand & Dubai)  already this year and hopefully (god-willing) I’ll have another trip sorted before Christmas, but, I have to say, I haven’t spent my work holiday allowance wisely this year, and I know I’m not alone.

What I do know is that wanting to travel while holding down a full time job is definitely possible, although very inconvenient.

So, although I haven’t followed these rules as strictly as I’d have liked to this year due to my personal life, here’s a few tips for those of you who want to make the most out of your holiday and travel the world, one destination at a time, while also keeping a full time job…

Use Bank Holidays & Weekends to your advantage. This has to be the golden rule. If you haven’t tried this trick, where have you been?! To get more days off for less, it’s smart to plan your travels around major UK holidays, Bank Holidays and weekends. For example a great month to try this is May as we get two bank holidays plus weekends!

Prioritise, Prioritise, Prioritise. Once you’ve booked your holiday, it’s easy to get carried with how many days you need after to ‘recover’ from jet lag. I am so guilty of this, but it’s really so unnecessary, especially if you’ve only taken a trip Barcelona where there’s only like 1 hour time difference. To save days it may be worth taking a half day. This really comes in handy when your days start to run low. Plus, it means of you have a weekend getaway planned with an evening flight, you can leave a little earlier on a Friday, just bring your suitcase to the office! If you’re lucky enough to have an amazing manager, they may even let you off officially taking a half day which means you can save it for another time!

Work overtime. If you’re unfortunate enough to work full time with very limited holiday, maybe having a word with your manager or HR officer will allow you to get a few extra days holiday, by working overtime. It’s a great way to accumulate extra days and you’ll be getting paid that little bit extra which can only mean one think = more holidays!

Be Kind to your colleagues. This doesn’t happen in every company, but it’s common that department members who are not allowed to go on holiday at the same time as each other.  If you’re lucky enough to have a cool relationship with your fellow colleague who wants to take the same time off as you do, it wouldn’t harm asking if they could maybe rearrange their time off, it’s all about negotiation. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

So, these are a few tips that have helped me travel when I desire, do you have any tips/tricks?