Thursday, 10 August 2017

A Summer Treat - Cocktail & Popcorn Pairing!

This Summer I found out that SkinnyPop lauched a popcorn and cocktail pairing guide, obviously I was interested straight away - just from hearing the word cocktail yet alone popcorn too! I was really intrigued as to how the flavours would go, so thought it would be fun to share with you my thoughts! I had a dreamy picnic post in my mind, but the weather isn't playing nice today so I've had to take a different route!

I'm a huge sucker for picking at food whilst sociably drinking, especially if it's savory snacks! Crisps are my downfall! But popcorn is a more healthier snack, one bag of Skinny Pop contains around 75-100 cals! Does that mean I'm aloud 2 bags? Check it out here!
Hopefully this post will give you some inspo to bring some exciting new flavours to your parties this Summer!

I was only able to get my hands of the Original flavour, and the Naturally Sweet flavour. But others include, sea salt & black pepper, white cheddar (this one sounds right up my street) and pepper jack.

These are the pairings suggested, but it might be fun to mix and try yourselves:
Moscow Mule & The original popcorn
Blueberry Mojito & Sea Salt and black pepper
Blackberry Smah & Cheddar
White Peach Sangria & Naturally Sweet
Coconut Margarita & Pepper Jack
Now aside from the Coconut Margarita (I'm not a huge lover of this cocktail) they all sounds ah-maze-ing! But I went for trying out the Moscow Mule combo, and the White Peach Sangria combo!

Moscow Mule
1/2 oz of freshly squeezed lime
2 oz of vodka

5oz of ginger beer

The cocktail itself tasted so so good and went really well with the original sea salt popcorn. The aim of this cocktail is for the vodka to act as a neutral base for subtle flavours to build on, and from tasting it, it certainly does The only downside is that because it's quite salty, it makes you want to drink more - I suppose this isn't a downside if cocktails are in the equation...

White Peach Sangria
1 bottle of white wine
1 bottle of sparkling peach juice
10-15 cherries (I swapped mine for strawberries)

I don't think you could go wrong with this pairing as your literally matching sweet with sweet. The cocktail has a similar feel to a peach bellini (which is one of my favourites) so I was keen to try out this one. I'm more of a white wine fan anyway so thought this one tasted much nicer. It also went really well with the added strawberries. Pairing this with the sweet popcorn was definitely a good shout! I don't know about you, but I'm the type of person that once I've got that sweet tooth, all I'll be craving for the rest of the night is something sweet!

I hope you enjoyed this post! What pairings would you like to try?
Take care, love Lauren xx

This post was not sponsored and all views are my own.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Exploring London!

For my birthday Craig booked us a couple of nights in London. It'd been about a year since I'd been to London so I was so excited to go again! And even better that we were going to see The Lion King! I'm sure by the end of this post you'll see I'm a huge lover of musicals!

We stopped at the Premier Inn in Blackfriars and genuinely couldn't fault the stay! The hotel was clean, staff were friendly and the location was great. We were opposite the Blackfriar tube station and a 20 minute walk to Covent Garden (which can seem longer when you stop in every pub along the way...) We arrived mid-afternoon, got all dolled up and headed towards the Strand so we were nearby the theater. We had 2-1 cocktails in Be At One (you can't beat a good ole' 2-4-1) and had dinner at The Wellington. I was at that tidily stage where you fancy a home cooked meal, so opted for sausage and mash whilst Craig had a pie! Check online for deals if you go here because we managed to bag a 25% off voucher!

The Lion King was AMAZING! The set, costumes, the voices, literally everything was so sp good. I couldn't help but hold in the odd 'naaaaaa, singonyaaaaa'. I would highly recommend this show if you're wanting to take children.

The next day we wandered into Covent Garden and had a mooch round the shops, making our way to Leicester Square. You don't realise how close places are until you start walking!
I'd joked to Craig that we should look at prices for another show to see that night, obvs' thinking he would say no, but he was genuinely like yeah, okay?! So he went and booked us Dreamgirls!?
We had a late lunch at La Chandelle. Which although having read the reviews after being there, I thought the food was actually pretty nice!

I feel like I'm going to say the same as Lion King, but Dreamgirls was again incredible! Amber Riley, that woman's voice was insane. At the end of 'I'm Telling You' she got a full standing ovation and the show hadn't even finished?! It was a fantastic show!
I'd booked the ice bar for 2pm on the last day, but beforehand we headed to the Science Museum in South Kensington. It was alright, but I probably wouldn't visit again unless I had children...we walked from here to Harrods where Craig and I played the game of trying to find the most expensive thing in the shop....numbers were that high I can't even remember what it was.
The ice bar was pretty good. I'm hoping to do a full review on this so won't go into too much detail. But it's basically what it says on the tin. A bar, made of ice! Pretty cool ey'!
So all in all I had a fab few days and have Craig to thank for that! So if you're reading, which I highly doubt you are, then thank you, you wonderful human being!
Next stop Paris!

Have you ever been to London? What are you favourite things to do there?
Thanks for reading! Take care, love Lauren xx


Saturday, 29 July 2017

A Year On From Graduating

It's been a year this month since I graduated from Uni. Oh how time does fly. I so wish I could rewind back to the 14th July 2016!

The day I graduated, was quite frankly, the best day of my life.
Not only was it my graduation, it was also my 21st birthday. 
The morning started with a very early start, opening a few presents. drinking bucks fizz and eating bacon sandwiches. We then drove to Derby, where I picked up the fancy black graduation gown and hat and proudly walked across the stage to graduate. After having hundreds of photos by the auditorium, we went for lunch at the Slug and Lettuce, then partied on till the early hours of the morning. I have honestly never felt so much love in one day and I'll be forever thankful to my friends and family for such a wonderful day.
You can read the full post here.

Fast forward a year on, what has happened career wise?
When I left uni I didn't really have a plan, did I want to do a masters? Did I want to do my teaching? Did I want to travel? I hadn't a clue! So as most graduates do, I thought, ah I won't rush it, I'll make the most of my last long summer holidays and then begin applying for jobs. Although I did do the odd jobs here and there, and worked for a temping agency. Whilst at one of the agencies I was offered a full time job. It involved working in an office, 9-5, dealing with queries about material deliveries that I hadn't the foggiest on! Que my panic. I ended up declining the job in hope that I found something more enjoyable. I'm quite an active learning so wanted to find something a bit more creative. After about 4 weeks I began to apply for various jobs. I settled with applying in schools to be a TA so I could get a feel for whether I liked working in a school before doing my teaching.

In September I was lucky enough to be offered a job at a special needs school. 10 months on and I'm happy to say I have loved every minute of it. It's been one of the most rewarding, challenging, exciting experiences.
Whilst here I have been given a super exciting opportunity! I'm hoping to begin my teacher training through schools direct, starting in August. This basically means, the majority of the year will still be spent at the school I'm at now, attending uni once a week and then I will hopefully graduate with a teaching qualification!

So what's happened outside of my career?
  • I've visited some amazing places over the year; New York, Barcelona (yes I know these two were end of June, but they still count), Brighton, Majorca, Dublin and a couple glamping breaks.
  • A huge event that has happened since graduating, was Mum and Micks wedding! It was such a lovely day and I'm so thankful to have been apart of it! 
  • Craig and I house-sitted at my Nan and Grandads for a month whilst they jetted off to Thailand, pretty cool grandparents huh? This was a pretty big moment as it was the first time we were going to be 'pretend' living together! I thought it went quite well, Craig may comment otherwise....
  • I started up my YouTube channel again - check it out here
  • I've begun saving for a house (scaaaaary adult things!)
  • I turned 22 - Que Taylor Swift
Would I do anything differently? 
No, I don't think so. Yes it would be nice to travel a bit more or save a little more to move out quicker, but what's the rush? There's so many more years to come in which I can do that. I've had such a fab, full-of-experiences year and I wouldn't change that for the world!

I've most likely left out some of the year, but it's quite hard to try and sit and remember all at once!
If you take anything away for this post then please let it be this. Don't panic if you're still unsure of what's going to happen as soon as you graduate. I'm a firm believer that it'll all work out in the end. So just make the most of your long summer and be proud of what you've done.

Take care, Love Lauren x


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Birthday Haul 2017

Another year has gone by and I'm now 22! Que Taylor Swift, "22"! I definitely don't think I listened to that half as much as I should have on my birthday. 
So it was my birthday on the 14th July and I turned 22 - is it normal to still not feel like an adult yet...

This year, for the first time in 4 years I worked on my birthday! Don't get me wrong, it was still a lovely day and the kids all sang Happy Birthday at work, but it was nothing compared to last year, being the same day as graduation! (That will always be a day to remember) However I still had a really lovely day. We went out for a meal and drinks in the evening with friends and family and I was completely spoilt!

For todays post, I'm going to share a few things I was kindly given for my birthday. I'm not in any way trying to brag, but I personally love reading these blogs, purely because I'm quite nosy, but it also gives for great gift ideas!

Off Mum and Mick I was brought a variety of shoes, some nude heels, a white pair of sandals and some Nike trainers, it may sound odd, but I've never owned like a proper pair of trainers so I'm so happy to finally own a pair!
They also brought me a Cath Kidson mug and notebook, an electric toothbrush, some clothey bits and a beaut smelling candle! Off friends and other family members I got Tanya Bakes, the Tili Beauty Box, nail varnishes and a few other bits and pieces. 
 And last but no means least Craig is taking me to London for a couple days which I'm super excited about! And to make it even better his family brought us tickets to see The Lion King!

Thank you to my family, friends for your lovely gifts and cards and to everyone else who wished me Happy Birthday! I know this was a bit of a random post, but I like to keep note of the lovely things I was gifted, and like I said, they make for good gift ideas!
Hope you enjoyed the post, take care. Love Lauren xx





Wednesday, 12 July 2017

13 Summer items under £30

As usual I have side tracked away from doing some work at home and instead have had an online browse. So to make it seem productive I'm going to put together a few things that I think will be fab for your Summer wardrobe! There's also some amazing sale pieces around at the mo! 









4. ASOS Bikini top £12
5. ASOS White Dress £27.99
11. Boohoo Beach Bag £10

Hope you enjoyed this post. What are your Summer statements?
 Take care. Love Lauren x

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

3 Soap and Glory Must-Haves

This morning I was applying my make up and didn't realise how many Soap and Glory products I owned and use pretty much every day. Obviously I though 'Ah, this calls for a beauty blog post!' So today's post is going to be a little review of the three products I love using and don't go a make up day without wearing! Let's call this 'My three Soap & Glory holy grails', or not, because that's quite a mouthful! My must-haves!
P.S If you like the look of any of these products, it's 3 for 2 in Boots at the mo!

Thick and Fast Mascara
I've tried a few of Soap & Glory's mascaras but I always go back to this one. It pretty much does what it says and leaves your lashes looking thick, long and full, without getting clumpy. It lasts all day, holding the curl and doesn't smudge or flake under your eye.
I don't know if I should admit to this bit because I know they say you should get rid of a mascara after 6 months (I don't really follow this rule...) but I received this mascara in an eye set at Christmas and it's still in amazing condition like it hasn't dried out at all - so here's to keeping it for probably another 6 months...oops!
Shop it here


Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Pencil
I highly rate all of the soap and glory eyebrow products, but this one in particular is my fav! The pencil comes in three shades, I wear 'Brownie Points' and it's a pretty good match. 
One end is an eyebrow wax in pencil form and the other end is a thin brush for tint. I tend to use the brush side to draw in some finer hairs, and I prefer the natural finish it gives. However the pencil side is great if you want to do create a more stronger brow look. This product is perfect if you want a versatile pencil for both natural and more define brows. The staying power is also fab and doesn't smudge at all!
You can shop it here

Highlighter and Brow Swatch
Glow All Out Luminizing Face Powder
I've never been a blusher wearer as I have quite red toned skin, so I was always skeptical about wearing it, but when I was on the hunt for a new highlighter I came across this. It's a pinky peach highlighter so gives off a really lovely healthy glow. As it is quite pink toned I only use this on the apples and tops of my cheek bone as they're the areas I want to look a little blushed. It works a treat! It's easy to apply and gives a lovely subtle glow in the light without looking too shimmery. Would defo recommend this if you're looking for a new luminizing powder this Summer!
Shop it here

Hope you enjoyed this post on a few of my beauty faves. What are your holy grails? Have you tried anything from the Soap & Glory range?
Take care, Lauren x

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Glamping Break to Devon

I've finally written a blog post, in what feels like forever! I went through a bit of dry spell with blogging, but recently Craig and I took a trip away and I enjoyed it so much I thought it deserved a blog! It was such a lovely time, and the weather was absolutely beautiful - I mean, we ate ice cream on the pier, and swam in the outdoor pool, in April?!

For Christmas Mum brought Craig a glamping break for 2, with the gift you get to choose out of about 34 locations. Last year we left it a little too late and ended up on not the best of sites, it tipped it down and there was literally nothing around to do. However this year we were lucky enough to book into one of the camping sites that looked really good!

I also vlogged this trip here.

We stayed at Whitehill Country Park in Paignton, Devon. I honestly don't think I could fault it, the staff, facilities and location was fab! On the site there is a country shop, outdoor pool, hot tub, a bar, cafe, clubhouse and a few amusement activities. The country park is catered for camping, caravans, glamping pods and lodges (which look fab! Especially the ones with hot tubs!)

If you don't know what glamping is,  it's like glamours camping, basically the fun of camping - but without the tent! The pods are carpeted and equipped with a floor mat, lamp, heater, and bedding. Although, I would also advice taking a blow up bed!

As Devon is a bit of a drive away, we set off pretty early, but couldn't get into the pod until 3pm. So decided to stop at Paignton zoo beforehand. I love a good zoo, and this one had soooo many animals - most of which were there as they were endangered. It's always good to know the animals are being well looked after. I'm pretty sure Paignton zoo is one of the UK's top zoos! We didn't realise at the time, but the zoo ended up being like a 5 minute drive from where we were stopping!

The first night we stayed on the site, had some food (the pizzas are amazing) and drinks in the bar then played Bingo, table tennis and went on the arcades, granted I had had a few too many drinks!!
The next day was again beautiful weather so we drove into Paignton town for a mooch! If we had actually read the map or spoke to someone at reception we would have found out that there's a bus stop at the entrance to the park. The bus stops at Paignton! So if any of you ever go here, I'd recommend the bus - who wants to drive on a break away! (obviously us....haha!)

We had some lunch and played mini golf. I flipping won a free game!? Can you believe it?! You know at the end of mini golf there's usually the last hole, that if you get a hole in one, you win a free game. Well it was the only hole in one I got, and I won a free game!
We also went in some arcades and became pretty addicted to both Bingo and the ticket machines. But I mean, you can't really go on a British seaside holiday and not spend all your 2ps winning little key rings you know will go straight in the car boot sale pile when you get home! For the record, about £10 down, we got 330 tickets, winning us two key rings, some hairbobbles, sweets and a pin badge - worth it!

That evening we fancied trying somewhere different to eat from the site, so we went to Noah's Ark - I felt so awkward ringing for taxi's like, 'can we get a taxi from Noahs ark please?'! It was about a 40 minute walk, which was fine on the way there, but probably wouldn't have been the best idea to walk the country roads back in the pitch black - so taxi it was! Nice food though! Back at the clubhouse we listened to some live acoustic music and I can't for the life of me remember his name, but he was so good!

On our final day we stopped off in Torquay before heading home. Now apparently Torquay is supposed to be this huge holiday destination in Britain that they even had palm trees (didn't quite have the same effect as Spain..) But I'm not sure whether the colder weather had an impact on it, but I didn't really find it to be that amazing...however, we did find some amusements (again) and played mini bowling - I'm sure it has a proper name for it...
We then headed home - I always hate the end of a break away going back to reality...but this ending was made much easier knowing we still had the final episode of Broadchurch to go back and watch, no spoilers but omg, I was not expecting that!

I had a fab few days away and if you're ever looking for a cheap getaway then I would highly recommend glamping. It's so fun and easy!
I hope you enjoyed this post and as I said I also vlogged the trip if you want to get the fun filled, detailed, (slightly tipsy) version of the trip! 

What are your thoughts on glamping?
Take care, love Lauren xx