The One: Perfume


I’ve always felt quite drawn to scents. I feel as though scents can often be quite personal and conjure certain emotions or bring up memories from just a whiff. Personally, I think thats quite beautiful and there’s a nostalgia within that always keeps me reaching for perfume bottles. Tresór by Lancôme always reminds me of my mom when I was little. Every time I smell it i’m brought back to the memory of laying on her bed before school, watching her sit at her dressing table, applying her face for the day. I always thought it was so grown up: her sitting perfecting her make up, putting her hair in the right place with some spray, getting her jewellery on and then that final touch with a spritz of perfume. Tresor reminds me of that.

I could list multiple scents and the memories or people they remind me of – but I won’t ramble. I remember someone once noting that they loved a scent by Dior however, it didn’t suit their skin. I heard this when I was about twelve and thought it rather bizarre. How can a scent not suit your skin? It’s not a shade of make up. A few Christmas’ later I suddenly realised what they meant. I was gifted Lola by Marc Jacobs. I already had, and loved, Marc Jacobs Daisy and Daisy Au so Fresh (which I still reach for now) but had mentioned I wanted to try one of his other fragrances. Lola was the one I tried and although I absolutely loved the scent, it just didn’t fit me. It wasn’t the heavenly scent I had smelt on my friend or even on the slip of card at the perfume counter. In all honesty, it was quite nauseating. 

Now, many years later, I feel as though I have really got to grips with what scents compliment me as well as what I personally like to wear. I like light floral scents with a musky and woodsy undertones. I love oud and patchouli, but at the same time love orchid and vanilla too. Regardless of this, nothing could of prepared me for the scent I now come to wear everyday -and that is no lie. Even if I’m spending the day in my pyjamas, sick in bed, I still spritz this perfume. 

Yes, as that header said – Sun, by Lush. I remember when I first smelt this scent. I was in Lush with one of my best friends, Hannah, trialling every lush scent in front of us when a shop assistant came over and offered her help. She pointed out her favourite scent, Sun, and explained it was a citrusy scent. I immediately turned up my nose. I strongly dislike citrus things however, Hannah gave it a go, and ended up buying a bottle. Later that evening, as we were devouring our Five guys burgers I caught a whiff of this heavenly scent -practically climbing over the table, I discovered it was Hannah’s new perfume. The citrus one that I had turned my nose up at. I turned out to love the scent, it was amazing and a couple months later Hannah grabbed me a small bottle of it for the following Christmas which I ended up carrying everywhere with me in my bag. Within a few months I’d used it all, and got another. Again, a few months later that bottle was gone. This pattern happened again and again until my birthday rolled around in the following October: when my friends got me a big bottle and in my mind I had made the ultimate commitment to this perfume as the everyday one. It was the one

I have also purchased the solid form of this perfume. In a compact little tub, it’s ideal to throw in my bag and touch up during the day. I also recently learnt that you can warm some with your finger tips and run it through the ends of your hair for that extra touch. I really love the ideal of that, especially when you consider the fact that every time you move that scent will stir and be heavenly again. 

Sun is, as I have already mentioned, strongly citrus. Made with Brazilian Orange oil and Sandalwood oil it is of course, incredibly strong in terms of citrus however, quickly mutes into a subtle scent that lifts the spirits. It very much is what I’d call a ‘happy scent’ – the type of scent you smell and have a little smile on your face as you feel giddy from the infusion. It truly is a beautiful scent and although I really want to try more Lush fragrances, I truly am content with this one. My one perfume go-to. 

Do you have one perfume that is your solid go-to? If so, what is it? 
Cheerio for now! 

The Great Escape

**I’m sharing this purely to reminisce happier memories. If you’re struggling with or finding isolation hard than I wouldn’t recommend reading or looking at the pictures on this post; due to the fact that I do lust a little over our experience camping in Wales and the great outdoors in general. I apologise if this isn’t the content that you want to be consuming at the moment however, I just have been meaning to share my photos for awhile and this is the first chance that I have had. Enjoy!

Last summer, my boyfriend decided that it was time for us to take the next big step – investing in our first property… a tent. Maybe that’s a bit anti-climactic for you reading this but for us it was terribly exciting. The only problem was trying to then find a slot of time available in both our calendars to be able to get away and use it.

Although, I am chronically ill and very much reliant on those around me, I still try to do what I can. As any Spoonie knows, pushing our bodies is about the worst thing we can do however, we do sometimes fall prey to it and it inevitably comes back to bite us in the ass. I feel like that had been me for much of last year. Just about the time when I felt like I was getting my head above water, I thought I could do something and then bam -back to hibernation I had to go. And I won’t go into the details of my living arrangements here but after going through the motions of a nomadic lifestyle, along with the emotions that come with that I was beyond ready to get away.

Me and the Bearded Boyfriend toyed around with a lot of different areas to take the new tent to but we quickly decided to head back to Brecon Beacons, Wales. Somewhere that is both familiar to us and somewhere we both love. So, late August we played Tetris: Car Edition and set off for Grawen Farm.

Grawen is a quaint little farm (not sure if it’s still working) that is in a great location, being just down the road from Merthyr Tydfil and Brecon but also in the shadow of Pen Y Fan, which makes it the perfect place to pitch a tent. The farm has showers and toilets open all hours, a plethora of helpful info for visits (including those ever-important takeout numbers) as well as the friendly folks who run it. It is quite honestly the perfect place to recharge.

It’s the best thing about camping, the remoteness of it, the rawness of living, the lack of any m!ndfucks

Bearded Boyfriend, 09.07.17

One of the things that I love about camping is how grounding it is. In the fast-paced world that we live in, it is so easy to get caught up with and influenced by insignificant things. When I go camping, or not even camping but to the Brecon Beacons in general, my phone stops working, human contact becomes few and far between and through this I’m reminded of what truly matters. It reminds me of the small, inconsequential things that add to the quality of my life regardless of how silly they sound. Like going to bed in a warm and safe place. The first sip of tea in the morning and the pleasure of reading a book without being disturbed by notification sounds or the worries that I could be spending my time doing something else. Being re-introduced to the art of conversation, along with bickering and then cracking up laughing at each-other. The pleasures of driving around aimlessly until we come across a pub to eat at. Randomly pulling over to explore something we’ve only just noticed or to simply pause and take in the view. It’s pure bliss.

Camping will always hold a certain magic for me and, while I can’t wait to explore new places, I know the Brecon Beacons will have a place close to our hearts.

Cheerio for now!

The Darker Arts

The Darker Arts, Oscar de Muriel

You only need to look at my book posts on here to know that I love Oscar de Muriel’s books. His Frey & McGray series is without a doubt my favourite series of all time (yes, I would even say above A Series of Unfortunate Events). So when I saw back in June that the fifth book in the series was to be released in August, I clicked that preorder button like my life depended on it and then did a happy dance whilst marking it on my calendar (blacking out a day or two to devour it for when it arrived).

*Now, before I go on -I must put a brief disclaimer here. While I don’t discuss major spoilers, or give a play-by-play account of what happens in this instalment to the series, I do detail a quick run-through of the overall premise of the book. Now if you are like my boyfriend and liked to go into a book or film completely blind to what will happen, then I would personally skip over the next paragraph so you don’t ruin anything for yourself.

The book picks up in Edinburgh, 1889 after the fatal events of the last book, The Loch of the Dead. The ‘closed-room seance murder’ is as dark and spooky as murder mysteries come, especially when the only survivor claims to have seen the hand of the devil appear. Those involved, and murdered that night, all have one thing in common Grannie Alice: the matriarch of the family, who held an important secret that her family members are desperate to find out. Attempting to communicate with her, those involved find themselves killed in the most terrifying way: something so terrifying that even Madame Katerina, the gypsy fortune teller, is petrified beyond belief. With Katerina as the only survivor she is of-course the culprit or at least, in everyones eyes but Inspector Nine-Nails McGray. With his fierce protection over her he pulls in his colleague Inspector Frey to help prove her innocence. With so many conflicting factors to the case, it seems that in an age of superstition Madame Katerina’s fate is sealed.

Oscar de Muriel’s ensemble of characters is by far superior to any cast of characters I have ever encountered before. They are so diversely interwoven with one another that you have to remember all the other factors that link them to the murder: which makes plot twists and motives absolutely gripping. I have to say, the last ten chapters are just beautifully written and entirely addictive. Once you reach a certain turning point there is simply no putting the book down.

While the fourth book, The Loch of the Dead, is still my favourite I must say I applaud Oscar de Muriel on what a tremendous job he did with this addition to the series. I did not know what to expect from this book. Having enjoyed the fourth so much I really was apprehensive to dive into this next one. As much as I was excited for it, I also held it an arms length in my mind and had a mental ‘proceed with caution’ sign on it. The middle section did lag a little at a certain point but now having read it in its entirety, I must say that the lag was necessary to give the reader a breather before it picks up and reaches its apex of the story.

Ultimately, this is a wonderful addition to the series of Frey & McGray mysteries and although it isn’t my favourite, I would say it’s one of them. I would highly recommend this series to anyone, they are an absolutely fantastic series of books which I personally think should be a part of everyones home library.

Cheerio for now!

Iris Apfel, accidental icon

Iris Apfel, accidental icon: Musings of a Geriatric Starlet

The name Iris Apfel is not one that the everyday Joe would know. Hell, my boyfriend didn’t know who she was. But if you have an interest in fashion, wisdom, or are just up to date on the pop culture scene you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about. The bold little lady wearing every colour imaginable, usually sporting at least five chunky bangles on each wrist and always sporting her signature thick, round spectacles and swoosh of red lippy.

She’s everything you want to be when you’re in your 90s.

Young in spirit, she embodies everything wonderful about the fashion industry but at the same time doesn’t conform to any fashion trends or rules. She plays with fashion and accessories wonderfully: putting together the most creative and unexpected ensembles, which is so refreshing when we are used to seeing the black and grey drab outfits or the perfectly co-ordinating ones.

I never want to be an old fuddy-duddy; I hold the self-proclaimed record for being the World’s Oldest Living Teenager and I intend to keep it that way

Iris Apfel

A true icon full of vibrant panache, Iris Apfel shares anecdote, maxims, and passages on all topics from technology, style, interior design, textiles, and all things in-between. Her pearls of wisdom fill each sentence alongside pages of vivid colours and eye-catching prints. Iris embodies everything I wish I will be when I’m older, and not even older but now. Entirely awe-inspiring, I hope to breath fresh-air into my wardrobe with prints and colours in the future; and over all try to be fearless and go with what I like rather than what ‘goes’ together.

Full of practical advice and inspiring stories, this book is a must for anyone: especially women. I think there is a lot of ‘take homes’ for women, especially from Iris’ experience in the workplace and just growing up in general. The insight I have personally gained from this book is something I wish I had come across in my teens -which I honestly think would be the perfect time to read it for anyone. With so much good sense within its’ pages, it is one of those books I wish I could give a copy of to everyone I know. I can’t recommend it enough!

Cheerio for now!

things I’ve found solace in | isolation edition

I started self-isolating mid March due to pre-existing health conditions and while I am used to spending a lot of time at home because of my health, I think there’s something very different about not being able to leave your home because of an epidemic than just simply from chronic health conditions. Because of just how much time I spend at home already, I have a variety of go-to’s which always work however, this obviously isn’t the usual circumstances. Since being in isolation I have found some new features that I’ve come to rely on through this time and wanted to outline a few of the specifics below incase they can help you.

First of all, how can I not mention Emma Hills isolation vlogs. When it comes to hauls and content such as that on YouTube I’m not interested, but certain peoples vlogs I eat up so quick! Emma Hill is one of these people. I love her vlogs as it is but there is something so raw and interesting about vlogs at the moment, when we’re all in the same boat and struggling to pass the time away. In this sort of situation people true colours come out and I think there’s something really refreshing about connecting that way. Not with sponsorships or plugging social media handles but just connecting with one another in a way that encourages and helps people through these days… the 5B’s help a hell of a lot too!

Another person who’s youtube content I have really been loving right now is Kate La Vie. Her weekly vlog vids are always welcome with open arms in my subscription box; and miraculously, she’s someone I can handle hauls with. Her home is an endless source of inspiration and she just radiates such a positivity about her, even on those days when you can tell she’s maybe having not so great a time, she still seems to have an upbeat energy to her. I also love the content on her blog too.

I always love seeing Orion Carloto’s instagram content. Her sartorial aesthetic is so satisfyingly pleasing that it makes my heart flutter a little bit (is that sad to say?). Her Youtube content is great too, although few and far between. But what has really helped lately is her book Flux. Flux is a short book of poetry in a variety of approaches including hand-written notes and diary entries too. It’s so alluringly deep that you can’t help but keep turning the page. It also is a great starting point if you’re only just getting into poetry.

I think poetry in general is something that I have found myself feeling quite drawn to right now. I have been spending my evenings curling up with a book of poetry to try and divert my mind for the current state of the world. I find it so soothing to unwind with it and a tea before I go to bed, and if truth be told I don’t think I would be able to have an evening without it now. While I love reading in general, poetry has a lightness to it. The experience depends entirely on the reader. You can either analyse each stanza, reading between the lines for hidden meanings, or you can simply enjoy the musicality of the words chosen by the writer. My evening reading usually falls into the latter, deciding to enjoy the words, imagery and emotion that it gives me; which I find so helpful when trying to unwind.

And of course, in the state of affairs the world is facing right now, I found Alice Catherine’s post incredibly grounding for my anxious thoughts. I have always found solace in her posts, naturally gravitating to her words and advice but I found this post in particular extremely helpful.

I think that’s enough to mention for today, but no doubt a ton of other things will come to my mind later on so stay tuned for another post of this kind coming your way. Stay safe.

Cheerio for now!

things I have found solace in lately

Hey there. Now I know that everyones social media feeds have been overflowing with content based around what’s going on in the world right now, and that’s fine, but like most others I thought now would be a good time to drop this post into your lap. I always keep a post in my drafts that I can quickly copy and paste anything that I am finding particular inspiring or uplifting; and right now seems to be the perfect time for that. (Keep in mind some of these things are Pre-Covid 19.

this video: now anyone knows that I’m a sucker for some book magic so this video, as simple as it seems, was great to have on in the background as I did bits and bobs last autumn.

Music by Django Reinhardt: On our trip to Wales last August, we discovered Reinhardt’s music in a community cafe theatre in Merthyr Tydfil. Swaying to the sweet tunes a kind worker told us who it was (in an inaudible accent, no’fense) and a quick Shazam later we were downloading his music to listen to as we drove through the mountains. I have been listening to his music ever since, and was even gifted a vinyl of his for Christmas which I often have playing now.

this video, this video from the Vogue Paris YouTube channel: I love these Une Fille, Un Style videos. I don’t know whether it’s where I have been focused on my own living space that has plucked my interest in them or whether it is merely human nature to be nosey that I love them. I think a space can say a lot about the person who inhabits it, and I find it fascinating to see trinkets and what not that people feel attached to or compelled to keep with them throughout their lives.

I also really loved the fact that The Fashion Citizen returned to their little corner of youtube for a few Vlogmas videos, albeit only for a few vids. I absolutely love these girls -I say, quickly glancing up at my copy of their Local Wolves cover on my shelf. I find them so refreshingly human but also inspiring. They never put on airs and graces for the camera which I think is so hard to come by these days on youtube. I also think, having seen them grow through the years via their YouTube channel to now career women is really amazing and so inspiring for us viewers.

this post by Beth over at Toasty. I have been following her blog for years and always had an interest in what she has to say, whether it be on cruelty free beauty products or her views on minimalism however, when it came to her talking about Beauty Banks and donating toiletries she truly felt like a soul sister of mine. Having always felt compelled to help the less fortunate, I have always wanted to go one step further than physically taking my unwanted items to a food/clothes bank or giving someone a hot drink on a cold day. Her post really gave me that extra bit of info to really go forward on this path.

this post by free people. I also really loved this post by them too: Now I absolutely love Free People posts however, overtime they started to move away from the earthy and DIY beauty tips that I loved towards more branding and promotion of some of their items. Now that is great and I don’t dispute it, but these two posts definitely took my back to that more earthy and maybe even soulful time of the BLDG 25 blog.

What have you found solace in lately?

Cheerio for now!

The Room: December & January

The work on my bedroom is finally done!

Well, my room was officially finished on the 20th December, which made Christmas entirely stressful trying to move in beforehand. Anyway, I decided it might be a good idea to document the progress on here -not just visually but also how it came together, piece by piece. So, with that said, this is what we got done in December and January.

Obviously the first port of call is a bed. With the space being quite long and narrow (at least compared to my old room) I decided the best way to fit a double bed was to do so lengthways with the room. My room is on the ground floor to aid my mobility and give me a bit more of a family life. Because of the layout of our home, I had to have a larger window to double as a fire exit -which I totally love, however I haven’t been able to enjoy due to the lack of blind. Because my room was completed so close to Christmas, and due to it’s unusual measurements, it was impossible to get a blind up before Christmas. Many places take around 3-6 weeks to make custom blind and that’s before fitting it. Due to this, and other contributing factors including nosey neighbours, my mother and I wrapped my window in Christmas paper.

Once we had these two things sorted, we then worked on the next biggest piece of furniture: my desk. I went for the Malm desk with the pull-out panel purely because of how big it is and how much room it has underneath it. The pull-out panel is ideal for extra room but also great to not have it out permanently too.

The next things we did were move my chest of draws, which I had to significantly downsize on, and then bring a clothes rail in. This was about all we could do in the short timespan we had leading up to Christmas but it was enough for the time being.

I also found that I had massively underestimated how many belongings I had so as I moved into the room I found had to offload a lot of my belongings and reassess some of my furniture choices. These images depict how my room progressed in late December and throughout January -the main difference between the two months being the wrapping paper cloaking the window changed from Christmas themed to normal wrapping paper.

Cheerio for now!

things that have inspired me lately

I always seem to have a post full of links to videos or articles in my drafted section, which quickly grows over time. Quite a few links in this post are from last year. There are things that I have found over time and a few newer links I have added more recently. All of them have inspired me though and so, I wanted to share them with you. Who knows you might find them inspiring also.

Now I can’t remember how I first came across this blogpost but I can say that ever since I first read it I’ve had it bookmarked on my laptop and gone back to it multiple times to reread and take in its’ insight. Cait writes in such a beautifully honest way about blogging and what it has become over the years, as well as going into some of the details of why she is retiring her personal blogging. It is so refreshing to read someone talking about how they feel about something which has become so evident within the blogging community. While I love sitting with a cuppa and going through my Bloglovin’ feed, I do find myself being more mindful of which blogs I spend my time reading.

I have found myself taking part in an ongoing purge of blogs and YouTube channels I follow, as they are simply too consuming. Even with the remaining sites that I follow I find myself cherry picking which posts I read and which I just simply click ‘mark as read’. I tend to steer clear of hauls and any type of promotion of ‘trend’ pieces, or newly released brands; purely because I find myself persuaded into buying things I do not want or need.

I also don’t feel compelled to share every aspect of my life anymore or take my camera everywhere I go incase I want to turn any trips into content for here. I wouldn’t say I’m retiring this space but like Cait, I don’t want to feel obliged to keep up a facade of posting continuously, pay attention to the number of readers, grow an online brand and presence, etc. I just simply want to live and share things along the way that I feel passionate about. Even if you don’t have a blog or even follow blogs, I still think anyone would find Cait’s post interesting.

This amazingly relatable post by Emma Hill. Growing up I was never the maternal type. Don’t get me wrong, kids are great but I don’t get that broody feeling that others do every time they walk through the baby section of stores or smell that ‘newborn‘ scent. I grew up telling my grandmother that I’m never having children and when I became chronically ill that phrase quickly changed to I can’t have children. When I said those words it weren’t just in the medical sense of my lifestyle but also the fact that, whenever I dreamt of being well or healthy one day, I weren’t settling down or having a family; I was out there, travelling, working, living the life I had missed out on. I have always felt an internal guilt for feeling this way however, when I came across this post by Emma Hill a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could give a sigh of relief that someone was somewhat on the same page as me about this topic. Her post isn’t just relatable for me in terms of her feelings about children but I also find her storytelling about a flight from hell because of children so comedic and yes, yet again soooo relatable. All these years I have had an inner monologue, slagging the little demons off and feeling like the worst woman ever and now I come to realise there’s others just like me out there!

If you’re a total mumsy/child-loving person then I wouldn’t read this post, Emma Hill even writes a short disclaimer at the top warning folk about the posts contents. However, if you’re like me and ever had this inner guilt and turmoil over these ‘unnatural’ thoughts than I would highly recommend giving the post a read. I have read it so many times and feel more better after each read.

The idea of living a zero waste lifestyle has always been appealing for me, however the one area of life that my mind constantly flies to when thinking about zero waste is the bathroom. I have been following the site A Considered Life for quite some time now and have found some really helpful information from the content. This post in particular has really helped open my eyes as to how many options there are out there, and it has definitely inspired me to keep pursuing a zero waste, or more-so ‘less waste‘ lifestyle. I would definitely recommend taking a look at A Considered Life if you are interested in a zero waste lifestyle, minimalistic/simple lifestyle tips, sustainable fashion or even cruelty free beauty. The sustainable fashion directory is regular go-to of mine.

I absolutely loved this video by Lwany. I have been following her youtube channel, How To Five Two, for quite some time and I’m constantly inspired by her visual style but actually seeing and hearing her thoughts and feelings about everyday life is so inspiring. Her thoughts about her profession and the type of career she finds herself in are so similar and relatable to my own that this video just warms my heart every time I watch it. I’d give her channel and instagram a peek if your into style or the aesthetically pleasing (aligning of course, with self-authenticity).

As a chronically ill person going to the gym and doing hardcore workouts just doesn’t work for my body, however I do like to do some form of movement so I don’t entirely stiffen up. Because I’m not well enough to do the types of workouts that everyone else is capable of it’s easy to get downhearted or just simply beat myself up. This video by Arden came to me at exactly the right point in time. She says a lot of home truths in this video that I really needed to hear. The overall premise of the video is finding what works for you as opposed to just going to the gym and doing cardio because that’s what everyone else does; or more so, what society says we should be doing.

This video really put a lot into perspective for me, and helped me wrap my head around certain things to do with my own body and health; as well as coming to the conclusion of what is healthy and attainable for me going forward. If your having hard-time with working out, or not even a hard time but just wanting to find that extra inspiration to work out -give Arden’s video a watch and you might also find some of her insight enlightening too.

Cheerio for now!

The comfort in discomfort

The weather has always had an effect on me -not in a bad way, but rather a thought-provoking way. As I listen to the Summer rain cascading down my window, I can’t help but let my mind wander from this to that. I never started this space with anything in particular in mind to share. This is not a space devoted to beauty or travel (although those things do appear from time to time), but rather just the written word in general. And so, I find myself typing away: jotting down my idle musings. Perhaps these words shall never be read, which is quite alright. 

For the past three years now, I have been in an area -more so a full on arena- of discomfort. When I say discomfort, I mean physical unrest; and I mean this within the realm of my physical habitat.

Now I know, I have mentioned my living situation more than once on here -but it’s really difficult to not talk about something when it effects you in such an evident way.

With my bedroom being on the ground floor, and not being insulated at all, I have found myself in a cycle of floods and damage from rainwater which have felt never-ending at times. Just as I would find a new way to cope with this dishevelled way of living another curveball would be hit my way and another pair of Birkenstocks would be ruined from the dirt and grit that the flow of rainwater brought into my make-shift bedroom.

I don’t want to sound like this is a p!ssed off rant because quite honestly it isn’t. It’s merely a sigh of relief as I throw my hands in the air and let go of all expectations for what’s to come. I think the more expectations you have the more let down you become in the long run; and my mental health just doesn’t need that.

Instead, I’m starting to fall into the new routine of finding comforts in my discomfort. I have started to find comfort in the small pleasures and little things which give me that smile and spark of joy in my heart. Things like a new book, a heavenly scented candle and even an early night (yup, I’m getting old).

I don’t know when this period of unrest will end but i’m okay with the idea of ‘not being okay’; and for now, I think that’s good enough.

Stay tuned