Saturday, 13 February 2016

VALENTINE'S DAY IDEAS: Taken vs. Single

Aah Valentine's Day. Loved by some and hated by many; it divides opinions every year. However, no matter how hard you try, you can't avoid it. Supermarkets and high street shops are filled with pink and red and hearts and glitter to remind everyone that the official day of love is just around the corner, sending coupled-up people into a stressed frenzy and reminding single people that they are alone (sorry). 

I'll be spending my Valentine's weekend in Sheffield with Tim which should be nice and relaxed, but of course like many others I know what it's like to be single during the dreaded mid-February celebration. So I wanted to write a post that both single people and those in relationships can relate to this Valentine's Day by coming up with some things to do whether you're in a relationship or not!

1. CINEMA
Taken: take your other half to see the latest romantic film in the cinema and share a huge box of popcorn/chocolate as you snuggle in the dark. Bonus points if you go to see a scary film and the need for extra snuggling suddenly becomes a necessity. Look out for student deals (if you are one of course) and budget cinemas (such as Premiere Cinema in Cardiff) to save some dolla on ticket prices.
Single: Grab a load of single friends and treat yourselves to a day/night out to the cinema. Why not go all out, get dressed up and go for cocktails after as well! P.S don't feel you HAVE to share your popcorn either.

2. NETFLIX
Taken: Instead of braving the February elements, why not just stay in and watch a film/series that neither of you have seen before? Grab some snacks and get cosy. Add in some "chill" and you've got yourself some steamy Valentine's fun!
Single: Okay so you might not get the whole "chill" portion of Netflix and chill but you can choose WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT to watch and no annoying partner falling asleep and snoring halfway through a film (fun fact: I AM that annoying partner). 

3. FOOD
Taken: Go out for a nice meal with your other half - maybe try out a new restaurant or go back to the first restaurant you went to as a couple to make it extra special. Be sure to take advantage of apps like Vouchercloud or use a Tastecard (mine came free with my NatWest Student account)! Whacking an app discount code out isn't the most romantic thing to do when on a date but us students/budget-concious individuals gotta look out for these things, right?!
Single: Instead of eating alone in a restaurant (just FYI - nothing wrong with that!) why not treat yourself to a fancier meal at home? Change it up a bit - shop at M&S Food or buy a slightly more expensive food brand. It's still much cheaper than going out for a meal and it's much more rewarding to cook it yourself too!

4. EXPLORE
Taken: Spend the day exploring your local area - not just the usual routes you take, go places together you've never thought to explore before. Take a few snacks with you (strawberries, sandwiches, etc) and find a new picnic spot just for the two of you.
Single: Do some exploring but go solo - you can be truly mindful of your surroundings, and take in the beauty of everything around you. Mindfulness is used clinically to help treat certain psychiatric disorders and it can be so beneficial for your mental health. Take this opportunity to just be in the present moment.

5. PAMPER
Taken: Look out for couple's spa day packages for an extra special day out together. If you're looking for cheaper packages, Groupon tends to have some good deals. Or if that's out of your budget as it may be for quite a few people, just make your own spa day at home! Buy some oils and take it in turns to give each other a massage, wear face masks together, and generally just relax.
Single: Treat yourself to your own personal pamper day - either spend a little bit to get your nails done professionally or have a DIY pamper sesh with nail polish, a face mask and a glass of wine of course.

Pretty simple ideas really, but it just goes to show that anyone can have fun on Valentine's Day (or any Sunday for that matter)! What are your plans (if any) for V'tines Day?!
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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

BLOG BIRTHDAY! Plus My First Ever Giveaway!

As if I've been blogging for a whole year! It's gone crazy quick but in a way it also feels like I've been blogging for yeeeeears. I thought to celebrate, as well as a mini giveaway (details below!) I'd answer a few questions about my year of blogging.

1. Best blogging moment(s)?

Okay I couldn't choose just one because there's been far too many! My best blogging moments have definitely been attending events and meeting wonderful bloggers in the process. My first event was a boat party with Ladbrokes on the Thames which was just incredible. I haven't been to any event that I haven't enjoyed so far, and I'm in awe of the efforts that brands and bloggers put into organising such amazing events. It would take me forever to name all the fantastic people I've met along the way, but below are just a few photo memories! Read my beginner's guide to blogging events here.



2. Favourite blog post written so far?

I have a couple of favourites here: from a serious point of view, I've loved writing about mental health, especially since working on an eating disorders ward for a year as part of my Psychology degree and sharing things I learnt along the way. You can find a few of them here: Distress Tolerance, Compassion & Eating Disorders
On a less serious note, as much as I love writing beauty reviews, I really enjoyed writing my post about working in retail, and loved the positive feedback I received of people agreeing with what I'd said! You can read that post here.


3. Favourite photos taken for a blog post so far?

The first photos I was really proud of were taken not too long ago, when I reviewed products from Sass. I felt I got the props and lighting just right and it's the first time I've properly loved my background. 





4. Worst thing about blogging?

There's not many if I'm being honest! I'm still working out how to effectively balance blogging/uni life so it can be quite stressful at times. It also sucks moving from London to Cardiff in terms of blogging as so much happens there and I could be given a day's notice to attend an event in central London. However, I've attended a couple of great events in Cardiff since moving back and met some lovely Welsh bloggers too!


5. Best thing about blogging?

It has to be meeting people and making some really great friends. I never knew how big and inviting the blogging community would be when I first started and I can't wait to meet more people this year too! The opportunities I've had in the last year have been amazing, and I'm looking forward to anything that comes my way in the future as well.


**!!GIVEAWAY TIME!!**


My first ever giveaway!! It's not a huge one, but hey it's free so why not enter?! You could win the contents of this "mystery" beauty box including products from some of my favourite brands! The competition is run through Rafflecopter (see below) and the winner will be notified in 2 weeks time on 19th February!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for all your support over the past year!

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