Book Review: The Loch of the Dead

The Loch of the Dead, Oscar de Muriel

**I just wanted to add a little note here. This is one of the many posts I have had in my draft section since before my hiatus but with the fifth Frey and McGray book, The Darker Arts, being released today, I figured now is the perfect time to get this baby out. Enjoy.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

If you are a long time follower, then you will have already seen my reviews of the previous three books in the series of cases for Frey & McGray, by Oscar de Muriel. If you haven’t read them or even heard of these book, I’d encourage you to head on over here, and give the reviews a read to get the gist of these characters and the genre these books fall into. Now onto the book itself…The Loch of Dead starts with a death threat against an unknowing heir, which leads the inspectors to the remote Loch Maree. Isle Maree, one of the islands perched in the middle of the loch, is known for its ancient burial ground although that is not the only thing the Inspectors should be aware of. The highland area is cut off from the rest of the world, and the few souls who do reside there are strange – causing many questions that need answering. On arrival, and with little time to find a stable footing, the heir’s guardian is brutally murdered which makes everyone a suspect; especially that of the Koloman’s, a mysterious family whom the young heir and detectives must stay with.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I have to admit it was incredibly difficult to type the above section without giving away major spoilers and divulging some of the many plot twists. I must also say that, out of the collection of Frey & McGray books, this one included -this has without a doubt been my favourite. The previous elements of the grim Victorian era of the 1800s mixed with the surreal crimes and the hint of humour this duo creates, alongside the folklore element of this book makes for a terrific read. The plot lines are so cleverly interwoven with one another that even though they are there, with so many clues as to who the culprits are, you can never truly pin it on anyone.

As previously mentioned, there are three books in the series preceding this. I think this book could standalone however, I don’t think the reader would experience every part of the book at it’s best. Especially that of Frey & McGray’s relationship, which has evolved leaps and bounds, or that of McGray’s never-ending guest to cure his sister so I would recommend reading the three previous books before this one.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

All-in-all this was an amazing read and I throughly enjoyed every second of it. I would highly recommend it to anyone and if me rambling about it doesn’t make you pick it up, maybe the 100% and five-star reviews on Amazon will.

Have you read this new addition to the series yet?

Cheerio for now!

Photo Diary | Bodiam Castle

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 preset
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Places like Bodiam Castle, the sites that hold remnants of the past, always seem to capture my heart. The places you go and explore, and can’t help but feel immersed in history. It’s all around you and you feel a sense of pride that it’s been protected for all these years.

While wandering around these sites, I think everyone often thinks about what the place would have looked like entirely intact however part of me also wonders about what it will look like in a few hundred years time. Will it still be protected? Will humanity respect these sites in the same way we do today? Or will the history that we know now have vanished and been replaced with other places and sites? It’s a thought-provoking process but nevertheless makes these sites a little more special.

Cheerio for now! 

Instagram | Twitter | YouTube |Bloglovin’Tumblr | Pinterest

The Silent Companions

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset
Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

You know those little recommended reads based on books you’ve bought on Amazon? Sometimes they really are amazing. This was one of them. This was an impulse buy and to be honest it was money well spent. 

 Elsie, newly married and newly widowed, finds herself sent to her husbands estate, The Bridge, to see out her pregnancy. She finds the servants of the estate indignant and the locals suspicious and unwelcoming. Elsie’s only company to see her through the dismal days ahead of her at the estate is Sarah, her late-husbands cousin. Within her first few days in residence, she discovers a locked room with beyond it holds a two-hundred year old diary and a wooden figure (a Silent Companion), resembling Elsie. What follows is a string of unnerving and terrifying events, including peculiar events and horrific deaths which is so vividly written it will give you chills. 

I can’t recommend this novel enough, especially for those who love plots revolving around the Gothic genre. It plays around with the supernatural and black magic, which set against the nineteenth century adds a darker and more sinister effect to it. 

*Spoilers Appear Beyond This Point – Proceed With Caution* 
Processed with VSCO with a4 preset
Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

This gothic read was a quick read, not only because of its’ plot but also its’ writing and setting. Framed by a narration from an asylum, it drew you in to the story and made you crave the knowledge of events and what happened to Elsie. Another element I really loved was the sections throughout the book rewinding back two-hundred years to the first ancestors of Bainbridges’ at The Bridge. This essentially represents the information and events within the two-hundred year old journal which illuminates what is happening with the Silent Companions in such a vivid way. It honestly sends chills through you, and adds to the pace of the novel and events. 

 
Have you ever read The Silent Companions? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now!

Instagram | Twitter | YouTube |Bloglovin’Tumblr | Pinterest

 

Tropic | Haircare Discovery

The day has finally come – Tropic have released hair care! I cannot tell you how long I have waited for this day. As much as I love Kind Natured haircare, I have been so eager to see what Tropic produces in terms of hair care. I made a pretty large order from Tropic a few weeks ago and in there I got the Hair Care Discovery & Scalp Massager kit.Processed with VSCO with a4 presetNow first I must start with the kit itself before going into the individual products. You can buy the products individually in full size or Tropic produce kits where they give you travel size versions of the products. I personally love these kits because you get to test trial the products without wasting money – more bang for your buck! You might wonder whether you get enough product to truly test it in a fair way. For me, it has been the perfect amount and as you can see from the photographs, I still have plenty of product left and I have been using it for *three to four weeks now* (…I wash my hair 2-3 times a week).

On to the kit itself. You receive a little Tropic drawstring bag which contains a mini Hair feast (50ml) , a mini Hair Smooth (10ml), a mini Clarifying Hair Wash (50ml), a Mini Nourishing Hair Cleanser (50ml), and a Scalp Massager. This kit comes to £20 or alternatively, you can purchase the kit without the Scalp Massager for £15. I think the pricing of these kits is amazing when considering the quality of Tropic products as well as their ethics. Anyway, enough chit-chat – lets get on to the products themselves.Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Photo 15-06-2018, 13 27 48 (1)Nourishing Hair Cleanser (50ml/250ml)

The cleanser is essentially your shampoo step, however it is not abrasive to your scalp which as someone who has a super dry scalp, this element of the product is so perfect for me. With mainstream shampoos I find that by the time 12-15 hours has passed my scalp becomes super dry, itchy and starts to flake. With, not only this cleanser but all the Tropic haircare, I find I no longer suffer from this issue which is amazing to not have that worry or be self conscious.

Like many of Tropics products the hair cleanser is 100% naturally derived. With Macadamia oil it restores dry hair, while also claiming to hold ingredients which protect hair from the damaging effects of hair colouring. To use: apply to wet hair, working it into the roots and scalp – and then letting it smooth through the rest of the hair. The scalp massager can be used too, helping the cleanser be more effective in removing dirt as well as being pretty relaxing. Rinse off thoroughly, and then follow with the Hair Feast Conditioning treatment if extra hydration is needed. I personally really love this product and think that Tropic has done a great job perfecting it.

Clarifying Hair Wash (50ml/250ml)

Now this is a bit like the cleanser but more so targeted for a deep clean. You know when you’ve been studying for days and although you have showered to freshen up, your hair still remains in that top knot, partially matted with dirt? Well this product was made for those times. It is a ph-balanced hair wash, which gently cleanses the scalp and hair without drying it out.

Made from only biodegradable ingredients and 100% naturally derived, it contains Aloe Vera juice to hydrate your hair while Coconut cleansers provide a deep cleanse to buildup. Bonus points for its super light consistency and I’m convinced it smells like Jelly Babies! To use: simply apply a small amount to wet hair, massage into scalp to form a lather and then rinse away. You can follow up with a conditioner or the Hair Feast to condition.Processed with VSCO with a4 presetHair Feast Deep Conditioning Treatment (50ml/250ml)

You know that film your hair gets when you have used way too much conditioner and you just can’t manage to wash it out? Thats what my first time using this product was like, and then I realised that I had followed all the steps, I had dried my hair and that film-like feel was gone. What was left? Perfectly silky smooth hair. Words cannot describe how amazing my hair felt, and still feels, after using the conditioner.

The conditioner holds a lot of natural protein which works to strengthen hair as well as both jojoba oils and tamanu to hydrate the hair. This product is also incredibly versatile being able to be used either as an everyday product or a leave-on mask, either for a 10-minute period or overnight. To use: Simply apply as required to hair (I personally never apply to the roots but rather lengths and especially the ends), leave for around 5 minutes and then rinse out.Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Processed with VSCO with a4 presetHair Smooth (10ml)

Hair Smooth is essentially a styling oil, taming hair whilst also hydrating and nourishing it. I must say that I was initially on the fence with this product – so many hair oils have made my hair appear greasy and really built up a lot of dirt. This oil was very different and completely went against all my expectations.

The Hair Smooth formulation is incredibly lightweight with some hefty ingredients. Vitamin E oil is one of the major ingredients the product boasts, with its nourishing properties which both hydrate and repair hair. Now this product is also very versatile with a multitude of uses to its name. To use:

  • As a hair treatment: apply a few pumps to dry or damp hair, let it sit for 20 minutes and then wash as usual.
  • As a pre-cleanse: apply and work a liberal amount through hair before washing as usual to remove excess styling products.
  • As a pre-blowdry treatment: apply a very little amount to towel-dried hair and then continue styling as usual.
  • For the finishing touch: apply to the ends of hair to smooth and tame fly-aways, allow it to absorb and then your good to go!

Processed with VSCO with a4 presetThe Scalp Massager

The giveaway is in the name – it is simply a scalp massager. It can be used on both wet or dry hair, to stimulate circulation as well as aid relaxation. To use: on wet hair it can be used with the Nourishing Hair Cleanser or the Clarifying Hair Wash, and then simply rinsed off. Once using the massager, rinse off any product and leave it sitting on its tips to air dry. In all honesty I haven’t used it too much, I could probably count on one hand how many times I have. There’s nothing wrong with this product, I think it is quite innovative however, I do not seem to have the co-ordination in my hand and wrist to use it effectively so it becomes more so a challenge than a relaxing experience (#chronicillness).

Overall I think Tropic has really raised the bar with these products. Not only are they effective and serve their purpose but they’re also super luxurious. I would recommend everyone give them a go, especially this kit that I tried as you can try them all without breaking the bank or committing to the full-size versions.

Have you tried these Tropic products? What did you think of them?

Cheerio for now! 

Instagram | Twitter | YouTube |Bloglovin’Tumblr | Pinterest

 

Updates | We Have Moved

Around two months ago I changed my blog name, domain, and all my social media handles. Why? Well, there is a lot of reasons so I thought it best to sit down and address it all right here: in the new home.

 

Moving to WordPress

As much as I have loved using Blogspot over the past few years, I really felt restricted in many ways on that platform. I wanted to experiment with layout and coding, and that was something I felt as though I couldn’t really delve into on blogspot. I made the transition to WordPress and to be honest, haven’t looked back or had any doubts since. I am really looking forward to what’s in store for this space in the future and I feel like I finally have the freedom to do all the things I want to.

The ‘Look’

As I have changed blogging platform, of course I have changed the theme of the site. As I mentioned above, I really wanted a bit more freedom with what I can do with this space and I feel like I have that with WordPress. I hope that you all like the layout and it’s easy to manoeuvre. I looked at a lot of themes with different alignments, image layouts, etc. Ultimately, I wanted something simple and minimal that wouldn’t be too busy or noisy to the eye. I feel as though this layout will be functional and has the longevity to last for years to come.

Coding 

Since moving to WordPress, I have been dabbling with coding which has been a little iffy from time to time but I think I’m finally getting my head around it and hopefully it’ll show in the upcoming posts. I’m enjoying the versatility that comes with coding and hopefully I’ll just improve at this with time.

What happened to whatsinadeck?

Last but not least, and most noticeable, is the change of name. whatsinadeck has served me well over the years but I definitely started to experience some growing pains with it last year. The name whatsinadeck came about due to severe health conditions and trying to find the good within the bad. It was very much a ‘highlight reel’ of my life and I didn’t feel as though I could share some of the nitty-gritty details there.

I also found myself wanting something more personal and what’s more personal then something everyone in my personal life calls me? -Jam. With this blog name being my personal name, that I have had for twenty-two years already, I know I will never outgrow or tire from it. And of course, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you will know I have also changed my name over there too -uniformity people!

I think that is everything I wanted to cover in this post however, if there are any questions just comment below or email me, over here. Posting should resume in the next couple of weeks. I am currently drawing up a posting schedule so I will update you guys when that is finalised.

See you soon! 

Instagram | Twitter | YouTube |Bloglovin’Tumblr | Pinterest

My Mental Health Since Losing my Dog


Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend never owned a dog

Photo 21-12-2015, 07 56 18
I have never written a post, or really ever gone into depth with anyone, about my mental health so I should probably give you some background information. I grew up in a lone parent household, an only-child with one cousin who lives on the other side of the world. I was always around adults, and as a result also exposed to the harsh realities of life: I definitely wasn’t an only-child who was wrapped in cotton wool. Because it was only my mom and I, we were always together, so wherever she went, I went too. I suppose that is the main reason I was always around adults, because I went wherever my mom went. When I got to eleven years old, we got our black Labrador, Myles. It was a dream of mine, to have a black lab, ever since I was a little girl and my mom finally agreed we could get one. There’s actually a super old post here stating how we got Myles, here.
Photo 06-02-2015, 20 56 10Photo 30-08-2014, 13 11 46Last year we had to have Myles put down, I mentioned the details a bit more in my Autumn post. It was heartbreaking, to say the least. I’d never felt heartache like I did that day, in that vets room. Feeling his body still, his fur cool down, and his eyes slowly drift shut was the most helpless I have ever felt. It felt like a piece of me had died with him that day and after that it was harder to function.I’m sure some people would find it hard grasping these intense emotions that I went through from losing my dog -because to some people it’s just a dog. That’s not the case for me. Myles was so much more than a dog, or even a part of the family. He was my saviour –quite literally. When I became ill I had to give up everything, and I mean everything. With that, I lost a sense of purpose. My identity and who I was, had vanished, and life didn’t have any meaning. I became severely depressed, I left notes for my family, and my mom feared leaving the house because she didn’t know what she would be coming home to. Yes, it got that bad. But there was one thing through it all that kept me going -Myles. He gave me a purpose.Photo 29-04-2018, 22 20 38Photo 29-08-2017, 13 00 21
When it came time to have him put down, I’d say I was somewhat prepared. It wasn’t a surprise and we knew it was time to go through with it but that didn’t make it less harder. I walked in that vets office with my best friend and came out without him and half of me missing. The first week was hard but I suppressed the grief to get through an important uni assignment. Around eight to ten weeks later, I had my next big assignment and that was when I crumbled. I was burnt out but I was also emotionally drained. I couldn’t complete my assignment and so I had to forget about that and everything else, and just take a moment for me.

Christmas and all the preparations leading up to it, kept me going, They kept my spirits high and upcoming plans gave me something to focus on. I was studying the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at the time, subject matters that I really enjoyed: which definitely helped my mental state. This enjoyment filled some of the hollowness within me. Another thing which helped around this point was taking our other dogs out. I had been trying to make the most of the daylight hours a bit more, and help my mom get them some decent exercise, so seeing our other dogs, Vinnie and Alfie, get out really helped. I think it wasn’t just seeing them run around and simply getting fresh air that helped, but also the fact that even in such a low mental state, I could still be of use to my mom.
Photo 21-12-2015, 07 56 41
Christmas came and went, and I had enjoyed myself far more than I had anticipated. Then came Dooms day: Myles’ birthday on New Years Eve. Every year we would cook a meaty Pukka Pie, let it cool down, pop a candle in the top and then sing him Happy Birthday. I was supposed to be going out on New Years Eve with my best friends and boyfriend however, I came down with a sickness bug the day before and my boyfriend came down with the beginnings of a major cold/ear infection so that was bye-bye to our plans. Instead we ate Chinese food and watched the fireworks on telly. Even though it didn’t work out as planned, it still kept me occupied and kept my mind off Myles.

January and February were a bit more tricky, especially January. There was a period of time lasting about three or four weeks where it was really hard and I kind of withdrew from a lot going on around me. I needed to wallow. I was studying like crazy, budgeting like an accountant, trying to stay on top of my health, I kept mysteriously throwing up, and really just wanted to curl up constantly because I didn’t have my best friend by my side to keep me going. One day I mistakenly called one of our other dogs Myles which caused an avalanche of tears for the rest of the day. Emptiness overwhelmed me once again and I was gone. What didn’t help around this time, was that I was also experiencing some awful mood swings from my contraceptive pill which didn’t help my mood or anyone around me. Seriously, I became a monster in January -ask my boyfriend!
Photo 17-05-2016, 12 25 31Photo 27-05-2017, 11 27 13
March was a brighter note for me. My boyfriends birthday kept me going and I also started to realise how ‘bonded’ I was with our other dogs around this point. Alfie, our red lab, loves coming in my room as soon as I’m awake. He curls up on a blanket on my bed, while I have my morning tea and start working – while Vinnie, our brown labradoodle, curls up in the sliver of space beside my bed and conks out for the day. Although, they’ll never fill the hole that Myles left, I started to realise that the bond I have with them is also filled with love but in an entirely different way to Myles. I also read the book Make Your Bed (read review here) which had a profound effect on me and really changed my perspective on so many areas of my life. It made me really accept the bad things I was going through and definitely helped confront some passed demons head on.

When I say demons, these weren’t ‘end of the world problems‘ but they somehow felt so much bigger and harder to deal with, at the time, because I didn’t have my best friend by my side anymore. There is something so incredibly soothing about having a furry friend around you through tough days – it’s pet therapy. 

As we come to the close of April, the sixth month without my best friend, I feel as though I can finally exhale a huge breath and say ‘I’m doing Ok’. I know that each day will vary and there will be things or memories which hit me hard without him but I also know that ultimately, I have everything I need to survive within me: as well as some amazing people around me to help if I reach for it. 

Cheerio for now!

Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed: Small things that can change your life… and maybe the world, William H. McRaven 


Have you ever read a book and had to just sit and take a moment for its powerful words to sink in? Have you ever thought to yourself that you’ll just read another chapter? And another? And before you know it, it’s gone 1am and you only have two chapters left to complete it. You realise it will end soon and you suddenly feel sad -that’s what this book did to me. Part of me wanted to soak up every ounce of his inspiring words and part of me didn’t want it to ever end.

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset
In this book, McRaven shares 10 lessons he learned during the 37 years of his life as a Navy SEAL. These lessons, as he shows, aren’t just applicable to a life in military but to life in general. They really are simple yet life-changing. His words have an authenticity to them which I have never experienced in anyones writing before. It provides timeless advice, that is so simple however it’s told with such encouragement and optimism that you can’t help but feel moved and motivated. Each chapter states its lesson, goes onto to give you a bit of background about how he came about this lesson, an example of this lesson being practised and then finishes off with a strong summary: that quite honestly sets your soul on fire. -I know, I sound corny, but it really does happen like that. You feel pumped and like you could kickass! A quick snippet…

Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up-if you do these things, then you can change your life for the better… and maybe the world! 


Now, to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I ordered this. I’d came across it in Liv’s, from what olivia did, youtube video about the books she wanted to crack open this year. This was one of them and I just felt drawn to it. With a little summary from her and a few days later an Amazon package in hand, I was set to go!
Processed with VSCO with a4 preset
My personal favourite is Chapter 5: failure can make you stronger (don’t be afraid of the circus). This chapter had me overwhelmed with emotion (and let me tell you, I can be a real cold b*tch -so thats saying something people!). This chapter told us how McRaven and his swim partner kept falling short on their swims in their SEAL training, and when you were letting the rest of your team down you were slung in the circus -essentially extra training in the evening, but the most badass, and hardcore training sessions ever! McRaven states that most people end up quitting from the circus because the next day your not only exhausted from your normal training but the extra circus sessions too. It becomes an endless cycle of exhaustion and the weak fall off from this routine. However, he and his swim partner were determined not to give up and they didn’t. Instead they pushed through the pain and the exhaustion and something better happened. They became better, stronger, and faster than the rest of the team. So much better than they’re team mates that they would finish first in their swimming training with the second pair not even in sight! (I probably didn’t do that story justice, and McRaven would probably throw me into the circus for how poorly I described that -but I just love that chapter!).

Overall, I loved this book. The chapters are short and easy to read and because of that, I know i’ll be flipping back through certain chapters when I’m in need a boost. I would recommend this to anyone, regardless of where they are in their lives. I truly believe theres something everyone can take from this incredible book of wisdom.

Cheerio for now! 
Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Tumblr | Pinterest 

Lush | Dark Angels

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Are you sitting down? Because I’m about to say something that some folks may find shocking. I’ve never understood the fuss when it comes to Lush products. Hear me out -I grew up with a mother who would get a headache when we passed by the Lush store at our local shopping centre. She’d spot it a mile off and rush us past it as quickly as possible. Growing up, many of my friends had the same reaction. In fact, I can think of only one friend of mine who can actually tolerate the scent enough to step inside. So because of that, I’ve never really explored the realm of the Lush store -until lately.

 

It was a few weeks ago, I spotted the store and suddenly wanted to go inside. Inside I purchased two products, one a bubble bar and the other this cleanser, Dark Angels. The labelling says this product is a Face and body cleanser but believe me when I say that it is so much more than that. You know when you stumble across a product, use it and have to stop and marvel at the wonders it works -well that has been a constant routine of mine since I have been using this product. 

 

Dark Angels is not just a cleanser, its both an exfoliator and cleanser all in one. It has Charcoal and Black sugar to exfoliate, but also has Rhassoul Mud to cleanse and Avocado oil to soften and moisturise -so as you can see there’s a nice balance to the ingredients of this product. Not only does it remove dirt and cleanse the skin, but I’ve noticed it also leaves my skin with a glow that I have never experienced from any other product. The mask itself is black and makes you look rather terrifying if you don’t warn the people you live with that you’re using it, however, it does apply and remove really easy so that’s a nice little bonus. 

 

It’s pretty much up to you how much or how little you apply, and it’s the easiest to make. You simply take your chosen amount out the tub, add a little water, mix around in your hand and apply to your face or body. Once you’ve graced your skin with its amazing qualities, then rinse off with water and follow with any steps you require. I usually sweep a pad around my face with some toner sprayed onto it, just to remove any little excess bits of the cleanser that I didn’t manage to rinse off. I follow that up with my moisturiser or some coconut oil. 
I have noticed a huge difference in my skin since using this product and although it can be a bit more of a messier product (if you’re not careful), I really notice the effect it has on my skin and can’t imagine using any other product other than this now. 

Have you ever tried Dark Angels? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now!

 

Five Manifestations for 2018

Yes, ladies and gents we’ve reached the year of ’18. I know everyone says this, and I hate it when they do, but where does the time go. And is it just me, or is it bizarre how so much can change in a year?
Processed with VSCO with a4 presetProcessed with VSCO with a4 preset 
Save Money
Bit of an adult one but I really want to become more efficient at saving my pennies. I have realised over time that I can be quite a frivolous spender (especially when it comes to ASOS) and then when it comes to other things I don’t have the money, for instance I’ll spend £30 on a top that I like but when it comes to something I need I can’t get it because I already splurged. There are things I have wanted to invest in for years but have never had the money because its been wasted on trends or fads so I’ve made this manifestation in the hope to trying save money and find a good balance with my spending habits. 
 

This also comes into play with another thing I need to manifest within 2018 and that is to get a credit card. I feel like this will come later in the year, once I’ve truly got into a nice habit of putting away my money. The idea of a credit card being in my hands is quite scary so I’d feel so much better if I had some savings, no matter how small as almost a little security blanket. Also I’m hoping the routine of saving money will make me less of a frivolous spending in the long-run so I won’t have the urge to reach for that dangerous little card.

Let Go (Do You Boo) 
I can’t believe I just typed those words but hear me out. There have been many things in the past that I have put on the back burner because I simply was to worried about what people thought of me. It’s the same with clothes, a lot of the time I shy away from certain styles because again I’m worried what people will think. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter what people think of an outfit or what I’m doing. In 2018 I want to practise just letting go of the worried voice inside my head and simply have fun, doing what I love.
Processed with VSCO with a4 presetProcessed with VSCO with a4 presetProcessed with VSCO with a4 preset
Enjoy the Beach hut, as much as possible 
The past two summers I have felt as though I haven’t enjoyed the beach hut as much as I did for my first year there. The second Summer we had it, the bottom floor of our house flooded and so life was just very hectic and everything felt turned upside down. Last Summer, we went down there a few times but still nowhere near as much as that first year. I’d like to try enjoy it as much as possible this year. It’s so lovely just heading there, grabbing food on the way to bbq and just sitting by the sea. It is my favourite. 
 
Youtube 
Something I have wanted to do for awhile but never truly taken the plunge. When I say YouTube, I don’t mean become a daily vlogger or aspire to be like Zoella (no offence), I’d just simply like to record moments of my life to look back on one day. James and I have visited some amazing places, and even had some great days out: I think it would be pretty cool to be able to look back and watch them one day. A few years ago my mom had all our home videos transferred to DVD’s and I’m so grateful that she capture so many precious moments from my childhood. It would be quite nice to keep that going and record some moments from mine and James’ life.  
Processed with VSCO with a4 presetProcessed with VSCO with a4 preset
Become More Mindful 
This one is kind of linked to the first point of saving money but I’d like to become much more conscious of what money I’m spending and what I’m spending it on. I’d like to become more frugal when it comes to possessions and what I choose to hold onto -I think this has come from living in a relatively small room with little storage space
 
Something that has also prompted this thought is seeing this post by Haley on Colour Me Classic. Haley set herself the challenge of not buying clothes for 6 months in the hopes of seeing how she could grow without buying clothes on Asos -I resonated so much with the Asos part of her post she shared. Her post about this, and seeing the results from this ‘clothes-shopping ban’, really inspired me. Having looked back on the year and some of the things I’ve thrown away £30-70 on, definitely made me realise how much money that I have wasted throughout the year. As someone who needs to expand and get new furniture in the new year, pay off debts and hopefully save money, Haley’s post definitely came at the right time for me and a spending ban is something I am seriously considering for the new year (-I’ll keep you all posted on this though). 
 
So, these are the things I’d like to manifest within the next year. I’d like to think they are quite attainable so if all goes well, in a years time I’ll be updating you all on how this has gone. 
 
What are things you would like to manifest in the new year? Let me know in the comments below.
Cheerio for now! 
Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Tumblr | Pinterest 

Photography: James Coleman 

Tropic | In The Best Hands

In The Best Hands Collection 
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with a4 preset
From the many posts I have produced about Tropic products, it’s pretty evident that it is my favourite brand -I just love their products! If you don’t know who Tropic are or what their brand is about, head on over here and have a quick read about them before continuing this post. On to the product…
 
I noticed this hand collection some time ago and was eager to get my hands on it, but with moving and life in general it just was put on the back burner and forgotten about until my birthday. I knew I wanted to try it and there was nothing I really wanted or needed for my birthday so I directed a lot of people to my wantfeed page (where this little gem of a collection was residing). My boyfriend gifted me this collection for my birthday …but he didn’t know what it was or who Tropic were. It’s quite amusing to receive a gift from someone and then have them ask what it is once you’ve opened it. 
 
Anyways, Tropic In the Best Hands collection is a bedtime ritual to achieve softer hands overnight. It contains a Hand Smooth Revitalising Polish, Soft Touch Intensive Hand Mask, and Bamboo Gloves. 
 Processed with VSCO with a4 presetProcessed with VSCO with a4 preset
The hand smooth is an exfoliating polish which, I’m not going to lie, is quite gritty at first touch but once you start massaging it against the skin and then start rinsing it off, it melts into the most beautifully silky texture on your hands. 
To use: simply massage onto rough or dry hands, and then rinse with warm water. My personal advice would be not to go too hot with the water but just a luke warm to rinse it off nicely. 
 
This hand mask is super rich in its formulation and incredibly moisturising. I was apprehensive about the word ‘Intensive’ being used in the title and I did wonder whether the product would live up to that title but it did that and more. 
To use: Once you’ve dried your hands from the rinsing of the revitalising polish, apply a generous layer working it into every rough patch on your hands and then whip your bamboo gloves on and leave them overnight to let your hands soak up all the goodness of the mask. (Side note: I have done this process throughout the day, going through the steps and leaving the gloves on while I study). 
 Processed with VSCO with a4 preset
I had been suffering from insanely dry hands during October and November (I think from the temperature change and having to have a heater on in my room) so this hand collection has come in so handy and really been a god send for me. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who suffers from dry or rough hands, or anyone who just loves giving their skin a little TLC. Also, before I forget, the website says this product is limited edition so if you do want to give it a go, I’d suggest getting your hands on it sooner rather than later. 
 
Have you ever tried this product? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now!