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Lifestyle

The rapid increase of luxury bloggers and Youtubers – good or bad?

Something that I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while is the rapid increase of luxury bloggers and Youtubers. There are so many videos and blog posts published every day showcasing glamorous lifestyles, designer handbag collections, expensive clothing hauls and luxurious holidays to far flung destinations. The number of such videos and blog posts appears to be increasing at a rapid pace.

What are the implications?

I’ve heard so many people on Twitter saying that increasing numbers of bloggers and Youtubers are now unrelatable.

Many may have started out showing their Primark and ASOS hauls whilst sat on the floor of their small flat. Now we watch as they un-box their fifth Chanel handbag, Manolo Blahnik shoes and Balmain blazer to add to their designer walk-in wardrobe. There are, of course, others who have blogged and videoed the latter right from the get-go.

There are many viewers who disagree with the ‘unrelatable’ argument. They want to see what luxury goodies other people are buying and see large designer collections of handbags, shoes and clothing. Their view is that everyone should blog about what they want to blog about.

I’ve witnessed a great deal of clashing over the differing viewpoints, particularly very recently.

Personally, I can see both sides of the story, and I’ll tell you why.

I’m a big fan of luxury, as you can tell from my blog name. I thoroughly enjoy seeing inside mansions, looking at how they’ve been decorated and designed. Browsing Pinterest for amazing interiors and blissful gardens is one of my favourite pastimes. I also greatly enjoy staying in 5 star hotels with excellent service and beautiful decor. A camping girl, I most certainly am not.

Whilst I have a love of luxury, I am very careful what I purchase. I’m a saver, not a spender, and so I rarely buy things on impulse. I like to buy things that are good value for money. Finding a great bargain always puts a smile on my face. Similarly, I enjoy investing in good quality items that will last for a long time and/or be used a great deal.

I probably won’t be one of those people who has a huge designer wardrobe and various Hermes handbags. Never say never, of course, but for me, buying a lower amount of items I adore really appeals to me. I just can’t buy something to wear only once or a very small handful of times. It feels wasteful to me and to have shelves full of designer handbags hardly being used feels like a shame. But, that is just how I feel, and of course if others feel differently to me, then that’s perfectly okay. Life would be so boring if we were all the same, after all!

I find watching and reading about luxury to be inspirational. It’s something I greatly enjoy. However, I have recently found that there are so many very similar videos with large expensive hauls that sometimes it does get a little boring. When you see someone unboxing designer handbag after designer handbag, I can see how people can get a little fed up with it.

I think the real thing that worries me with all of this, is the implication it can have when there are so many of these videos around. I worry that young people, in particular, may watch all of these videos and think that it’s normal to be able to buy such expensive items all of the time.

There can be a pressure when all of your favourite Youtubers are buying Hermes and Gucci and Chanel every single week that what you are doing with your life just isn’t good enough. It can begin to feel like everyone owns both a Birkin and a Kelly. What a failure to not be able to afford even one of them!

There is the threat of inspiration turning into frustration. Annoyance that the influencers we once followed for trusted recommendations, reviews and suggestions now only showcase items that are out of our reach.

I believe that prioritising is key. Are luxury bloggers and Youtubers possibly influencing people to prioritise spending money on designer clothing and accessories before investing in other things?

For quite some time, having my own home was something I really aspired to. It was really important when I started working that I saved money towards my future. As I headed towards my twenties, the independence and investment of owning my own house really appealed to me. Because of this, I was careful with my money. I was aware of the high cost of having a home and the large deposit required, mainly due to my parents informing me.

I’ve heard Youtubers say to viewers before now that if they want to treat themselves to something designer and they can afford it, then they should make the purchase. I can see why they say this, as we should enjoy the present. However, a part of me is wishing they would add more than ‘if you can afford it’.

To me, being able to afford a luxury item means already having a large emergency fund saved up, plus prioritising certain other things. Everybody will have different priorities, but many will find that having a reliable car and saving for a deposit for a home would be well placed at the top of the list.

My parents suggested at the right time that I might want to save for a deposit for a house. They emphasised that I would need more saved than I would have imagined. As is very often the case, they were right. If I hadn’t listened to them and had been watching luxury hauls every day, I may well have had a wardrobe full of designer goods but no house of my own.

I love luxury and I enjoy following luxury bloggers and Youtubers. I particularly like watching videos that contain a mixture of luxury and more relatable content. I just hope that young viewers get the kind of advice that I was lucky to receive and prioritise well.

Because I felt like this post could go on for an eternity, I decided to be brave and create my first Youtube video around the subject! I would love to hear what you think. (By the way, the jacket* that I’m wearing in the video is now in the sale!)

 

I would love to hear what your views are on luxury bloggers and Youtubers. Do you enjoy following them or do you find them too unrelatable?

 

*Affiliate link – provides me with a very small commission to support the costs of running this blog. The price of the product is in no way altered by this.

Lifestyle

Luxe Letter May 2017

To you, my beautiful reader, my luxe letter for May 2017. As I often say, I cannot believe that another month has flown by so quickly. It feels like yesterday that I was writing my April luxe letter. This week is going so fast too, possibly because of the bank holiday on Monday, which always serves to confuse me as to what day it is.

May hasn’t been my favourite month. I haven’t been having the best of times the last few weeks to be perfectly honest. I have been a little quieter on here and social media recently, but I hope to pick up momentum again, and to soldier on.

As always through the harder times, there have still been some fabulous moments. It’s these moments that carry us through and remind us of how we must cherish every day. I think the extremely sad events that took place in Manchester also serve as a reminder that life is so precious and we have so many things to be grateful for.

We started off the month in the best way possible by enjoying delicious homemade cake at the Trentham Estate. Dan had the most immense slice of chocolate cake and I still can’t believe he managed to finish it!

Enjoying delicious farm shop sausage rolls and sweet strawberries at our makeshift picnic next to a lake the following weekend, plus barbecues in the hot weather, May has certainly treated us well when it comes to food.

I’ve really enjoyed spending much more time in the garden recently too. We are so lucky to have a lovely back garden, perfect for enjoying the recent bout of hot weather and sunshine that has appeared throughout May. To potter around the garden and lounge around reading a good book, while the dog and cats roll around in the grass and sunbathe makes me feel so content.

I quite enjoy gardening and find it to be rather therapeutic. During a month where I’ve not been feeling my best, it’s been helpful to be out pruning the shrubs and pulling up weeds from the borders, which seem to appear on an all too frequent basis.

Going for a stroll somewhere peaceful and green also helps me to de-stress and relax. Walking in the park and surrounding areas near to my parents’ home is such a joy and something I hope to do more of this summer.

June is always a month full of celebrations for us. We have our 4 year wedding anniversary coming up very soon, which simply amazes me. I can’t believe 4 years have past since we tied the knot! My husband’s birthday follows a few days later, which usually entails a nice day out somewhere or a holiday. Not forgetting Father’s Day of course.

It’s with a little trepidation and also excitement that we move into June. I’m hopeful that things may be a little easier, but we will see. I’m looking forward to the celebrations we have coming up, of course. After saying I will do it for so long now, I have finally recorded and edited my first Youtube video, which I hope to upload soon. It’s very daunting to try something new, but pretty exciting at the same time!

Let me know how May was for you, and if you have any plans for the coming month. Also, if you have any Youtube tips, please feel free to share!

 

Much love,

 

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle

A walk in the park and why it feels like home

I feel so lucky that my parents live in a beautiful area. They live close to the countryside and right next to a golf course, park and woodland. Having so much green space right on their doorstop is such a joy. It’s the perfect place to take the dog for a scenic walk, particularly as there are so many different paths to take him along.

Last Sunday, we headed to my parents’ house and brought the dog with us. It was perfect weather – not ridiculously hot, but warm with the sunshine making a regular appearance. What better day to head out for a slow walk?

We walked along stone-covered paths and stopped to say hello to the horse in the paddock.

We took our time, relishing the chance to not have to rush around. Slowing down and relaxing is something I promised myself I would do much more often. I think I’m getting much better at it.

Walking back along the neighbouring houses, we stopped to chat to my best friend’s Dad, out in his garden. It’s very handy that her parents have ended up living just a couple of houses away from mine.

The thing is, it’s not just how beautiful an area is, it can be so many other things that add up to how a place makes us feel. Walking along the nearby paths relaxes me. It’s peaceful to be surrounded by so much green space and nature. It’s the friendly faces that say hello and stop to chat. It’s the memories too. Laughing so hard when my cousin rode along the road on his skateboard and didn’t realise there were speed bumps until it was too late. The fun times spent looking after our family friends’ grandson in their back garden, playing games and sports. Walking past the church where we got married. So many amazing times all in the same neighbourhood.

I think it’s all of the above that makes this place feel so much like home to me. Someday, I hope to be able to call the area my home again too. I wrote in my January Luxe Letter about my hopes to move home early in 2017 being dashed. But, this area is still home in a way. My parents and family friends all living here make me feel so attached to it. I count my blessings that I was able to grow up in such a beautiful place. It really serves to remind me of how lucky I am.

Do you have other places that feel like home too? Any favourite spots for a peaceful afternoon?

 

 

Lifestyle

Spontaneous little trips are the best

As someone who has to always be organised and plan things in advance, being spontaneous can be tricky. However, I find that being spontaneous can be so much fun.

Last Saturday, we couldn’t decide what to do. Do you ever have those mornings where you’re so indecisive and can’t think of anywhere you want to go?

We finally settled on visiting a farm shop, which has a lovely cafe for lunch. Leaving it a little past what I presumed would be peak time, I hoped it would have quietened down when we arrived.

Oh wrong I was! There was a queue of people waiting to be seated and a huge queue of customers waiting to order. The place was packed and it looked like it would be a long time until we received any food.

Feeling very hungry and not wanting to wait a long time to eat lunch, we were unsure what to do. Located in a rural setting, we were unaware of where we else we could find something nice to eat.

We decided to leave the cafe and figure something out. I had the idea of buying some food from the farm shop and then driving out to a lake just a few minutes away for a makeshift picnic.

So we did just that. Best idea ever.

We chose some goodies, including the biggest sausage rolls that had just come out of the oven. What perfect timing! For afters, I picked up a punnet of strawberries.

The freshest, sweetest strawberries, as it turns out.

The weather was dreary. It was cloudy and rather chilly, so we we parked the car right in front of the lake and ate inside with the lovely view.

We watched the cutest chick wander around in front of us and saw it go running towards a little boy and his mother feeding the ducks.

I was actually really glad that the cafe had been so busy! Eating all of the homemade, fresh food with a beautiful view right in front of us seemed so much more appealing than sitting inside a crazy busy cafe.

Life can get so busy. I find I often end up rushing around trying to get everything done. It was so relaxing to spend a little time somewhere so peaceful. It tied in so well with the relaxed mindset I’ve recently been trying hard to implement.

We enjoyed it so much, we said we will definitely do it again. Next time, I’ll go prepared with comfy shoes so we can walk around the lake too.

Not only did we have a great time, but we also saved money too. We ate the freshest, locally made and fantastic quality food for a fraction of the price of eating in a nice cafe or restaurant.

Isn’t it funny how a sudden change of plans often leads to the best moments?

Lifestyle

Tea and cake at The Bakehouse

I finished work early one day last week and Dan had the day off, so we decided to take a little trip out for the afternoon. We’ve been trying to make more of an effort to spend more quality time together during the week. After much deliberation, as usual, we chose to have a short drive to one of our favourite places.

If you live close to or visit Staffordshire, I really recommend the Trentham Estate. They have pretty gardens to look round, a lake to walk alongside, and even a monkey forest! These aspects require paid entry, but they also have a large garden centre and a shopping village.

The shops and restaurants are housed in timber lodges and there are another 26 units due to open this summer.

Having previously enjoyed the food at The Bakehouse Cafe Bar when I visited at lunchtime with my Mum, we thought it would be a good idea to try their cake.

We chose to sit on the stools at the front of the cafe, so we could watch the world go by.

After perusing the menu, Dan chose chocolate cake. He received possibly the biggest slice of chocolate cake I’ve ever seen.

When it was brought to our table, we both commented on how huge it was. The gentleman who brought it over said it’s probably the biggest cake he’s ever made. Having hoped that everything here would be homemade, this comment proved my hopes to be true.

Just look at that for a slice of cake!

Whilst my carrot cake doesn’t look quite as impressive, it was absolutely delicious. I definitely made the right choice.

My portion wasn’t quite so large but it was still huge! There was no way I could eat the whole thing, but somehow Dan managed to finish his.

I chose to wash my food down with a glass of apple juice. However, I received a glass of fresh orange juice instead! I received an apology for the mistake, but the fresh orange was actually very enjoyable. Coming from someone who usually really dislikes orange juice, this is saying something. Dan decided to have a cup of tea.

The Bakehouse also serve a cream tea, consisting of a scone with butter, jam and clotted cream and a teapot of tea. This was a close contender and might be the choice I make next time.

I definitely think we need to make tea and cake a much more regular occurrence! Sometimes it’s the small things in life, like a delicious piece of homemade cake while watching the world go by, that can make a day so enjoyable.

Lifestyle

Luxe letter April 2017

To you, my beautiful reader, my luxe letter for April 2017. I hope you’ve had a fabulous month?

Personally, April has been a bit of a mixed bag. Shall we start with the good points?

Easter was, of course, a highlight. Not only did Dan bring back a Crunchie egg from work (one of my favourites!), but my Mum also got us an egg each. I have to say, I was slightly disappointed when I opened it up to find the egg wasn’t made out of chocolate, but plastic! However, my disappointment was short-lived when I saw the amount of chocolate included inside. As I’m writing this, I still have some left to eat – that’s how much there was! There was Galaxy chocolate galore.

For me, Easter is also about spending quality time with family. Like they do every Easter, my Mum and Dad invited us round for dinner. They cooked us roast beef complete with Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes. Dessert was fresh fruit salad with the creamiest vanilla ice cream from a local farm shop. With the log burner fired up and delicious food on the table, it was a fabulous way to spend Easter Sunday.

Walking the dog with my Mum while Dan and my Dad put their feet up and enjoyed some beers was the best end to a lovely day.

Unfortunately, sad news arrived at the end of the month. First, we found out that a close friend of my Grandma’s has passed away. My Grandma leaving us was so upsetting and to find out that her neighbour is no longer here was very sad. It feels like another link to her has gone.

A couple of days later, we found out that a family friend who has been battling cancer lost his fight. Whilst we all knew that it was coming, we had no idea it would be so sudden. It came as such a shock.

It’s hearing sad news like this that completely reinforces how grateful I am for my good health. It’s a reminder that every day is a blessing and that we should enjoy every moment. As someone who worries a lot and is always thinking of the future, remembering to live in the now is of great importance.

I wrote in my March luxe letter that I was going to try to have a more relaxed mindset, particularly with my blog. I think that overall, I’ve done quite well in aiming for this recently. It’s certainly a work in progress, but I’m enjoying blogging more than ever at the moment. I feel full of inspiration and motivation, and I’m finding so many supportive and helpful people within the blogging community. To be able to chat with so many other like-minded people is so much fun!

Let me know if you did anything nice over Easter and how April has been for you.

Wishing us all a wonderful May full of happy moments.

Much love,

Lifestyle

5 reasons why I’ve fallen in love with blogging

Starting a blog has been one of the best decisions I think I’ve made. I wanted to start one for a long time, but didn’t know where on earth to start and whether or not I should take the plunge. I wanted to share with you 5 reasons why I love blogging.

Now it can be very time consuming. There is so much involved behind the scenes and so many things to learn and improve upon, but it’s such good fun and it can be so rewarding. If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, hopefully this post might help convince you to start. If you’ve been blogging for some time, let me know if you love these aspects of it too!

 

Reason 1: Having photos I otherwise would never have had

I’ve always loved taking photos. Photographs are such a good way to capture memories, provide reminders of fun times and document events and celebrations.

Luckily, I had already started blogging when we went on our small road trip around France last year. Because I had my blog in mind when we were travelling around, I made sure I took plenty of photos to document where we went and where we visited etc. I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t have a blog, I would have nowhere near as many photos of our trip. Many of the sights we saw and places we visited would be long forgotten about in a few years.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I personally find that in addition to visual memories, photos also help to serve as a reminder of feelings, emotions and the experiences felt at the time. I remember feeling such a sense of awe inside the Orleans cathedral, which I never would have been reminded of without the photos I took of the building.

Whenever I look at the photos I took of the Pierrefonds chateau as we were walking up the hill towards it, I’m reminded of how incredibly impressive and domineering it was from that angle.

How sad to think these incredible experiences may have otherwise been forgotten about.

 

Reason 2: Having a creative outlet

I never used to think of myself as a particularly creative person. I studied Art and Design at school and really didn’t enjoy it. It was one of those subjects I took as a GCSE even though I didn’t like it, because I was good at it. Maybe because I didn’t enjoy it, I presumed I wasn’t creative.

I’ve been realising for the last few years that I’ve wanted to be creative in some way, but I wasn’t sure how. I designed and made all of our wedding stationery and that was fun. Maybe it made me crave being creative even more.

Starting a blog was something I debated for a long time. I just wasn’t sure what to write about, how to get started and so on. When I did finally make a start, writing about the work we’ve done to our home, I found myself really enjoying being able to write and design my own space on the internet. It felt really exciting to be able to make something exactly how I wanted it to be.

Changing to a lifestyle blog, where I can write about other additional passions, has been even more exciting. To be able to write whatever you like about subjects you love in your own space is so incredibly freeing somehow. There is no one telling you how you need to write, what you need to write about and what photos you can use. Of course, if you’re writing a sponsored post or working in some other way with a brand, there may be restrictions etc, but the bottom line is that it is still completely your own blog, and you can say no to anything you don’t want to do.

How fun to have something that is totally yours out there for everyone to see.

 

Reason 3: Being part of the blogging community

Through running this blog, I’ve had the pleasure of chatting to so many lovely people. I’ve personally found that Twitter is a great place to engage in conversations with other bloggers. There are several bloggers I’ve begun chatting to on there who are super helpful, friendly and supportive. It’s fun to get to know people with similar interests to you who support and encourage you.

In addition, I’ve seen so many bloggers make real life friends through this community. How wonderful that something can bring complete strangers together to become close friends on such a frequent basis.

Whilst you do occasionally hear about some negativity and drama going on in this community, I’ve felt very lucky to so far have had such positive experiences. There are so many genuinely nice people.

It’s such an amazing feeling when you receive lovely comments on blog posts and when someone retweets your posts, or features you on their blog. For someone to go out of their way to tell you they really like what you’re doing is so rewarding. Being able to support other people in the blogging industry and receiving support back is such a wonderful experience.

 

Reason 4: Learning new skills

Creating a blog from scratch and constantly hoping to improve it means I’ve learnt so many things. It can be daunting at first to try to do things you don’t know much or anything about, but it’s so rewarding and exciting to feel like you’re learning so much.

I’ve got to grips (slightly!) with coding, which is something I would otherwise never have looked into. I personally feel that being able to code and manage the more technical sides of running a website is something that is going to become more necessary in the future, so learning about it now can only be a good thing. Although I will admit here that I do rely on Dan a great deal to help me out with this!

SEO is very important when blogging and something that I’ve been able to learn so much about. I’m in no way a pro at it and I have so much more to learn, but to begin to understand something that I really didn’t know much about has been so interesting.

As I previously mentioned, I have always loved photography. The need for high quality images on my blog has persuaded me to spend time learning how to edit photos to make them the best they can be. I don’t tend to edit my photos much at all, but I’ve learnt that just altering things slightly, especially the brightness, can turn a good photo into an amazing one.

As someone who loves printing photos off to display in our home, knowing how to edit well means I can have much improved images not only on my blog, but also in my home.

 

Reason 5: Finding new blogs and sources of inspiration

I remember the days before I started my own blog, when I would search for blogs to read. Somehow, I always struggled to find ones I really wanted to follow.

Since becoming a part of the community, I’ve found it so much easier to find blogs that I really enjoy reading. When you connect with other bloggers on Twitter and Instagram, you start finding so many great posts being promoted and blogs you hadn’t heard of before.

I now have so many blogs that I regularly read and engage with that I otherwise would probably never have found. This, in turn means that I get so much more inspiration. There are so many posts I’ve read that have inspired me in some way, whether it’s trying out a new way of decorating, editing my photos differently or lifestyle advice. You can honestly learn so much from reading blogs and get so much inspiration from them.

 

So there are my 5 reasons why I’ve fallen in love with blogging. It’s been such an amazing experience and I’m so glad I started!

Inspiration Lifestyle

Why it’s okay to want to be filthy rich

I sometimes feel like there is a widespread belief that it isn’t okay to want to be rich – it isn’t spiritual, it isn’t moral and it isn’t something we should strive for.

We should be ashamed of wanting to earn lots of money, wanting a big house and luxury cars and designer clothes to wear. It’s materialistic and won’t bring us happiness, so we should pretend that we don’t want to have a nice lifestyle full of beach holidays, champagne and dinner at the best restaurants.

This is how I used to feel.

I used to think it probably wasn’t the right thing to want to earn good money, that it isn’t morally right to want to feel a real fire in your soul ignited at the thought of becoming rich and successful and being able to buy whatever you want whenever you want.

We are frequently told that money doesn’t buy happiness and that other things in life are much more important, that we need to stop concentrating on money and success. We are often made to feel like money is the enemy and if we don’t drastically simplify our lives and focus on a distinctly minimalist lifestyle, we are going to end up burnt out, surrounded by things we don’t want and we’re all going to be extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with our lives.

I do believe that simply being rich doesn’t buy happiness. No way can earning lots of money make for an amazing and fulfilled life all on it’s own. I also believe that adopting a certain amount of minimalism can create wonders, particularly in terms of getting rid of everything in your life that doesn’t spark joy.

But is being well off and enjoying a luxurious lifestyle a bad thing? Certainly not. In fact, I believe that, along with other factors, having lots of money is a really a very good thing.

Having the desire to want to earn good money encourages hard work, it inspires you to dream, envision and create, and it gives you a burning desire that will to push you to achieve your goals and thrive in the world. I believe there is a high importance of following your dreams.

The more money you have, the more you have to spend.

The economy needs people who have plenty of cash to spare. It’s what makes small businesses emerge and succeed, it gives a workforce employment and it makes the world go round.

When you spend money in your local economy, you help your town, your city and your country to be the place that it is. You are supporting people’s livelihoods, fulfilling people’s dreams and providing the means for other people to work, live, provide, and enjoy their lives.

Money provides the means for us to not just buy things, but it also enables us to buy experiences. We can travel the world, experience other cultures, enrich our lives and the lives of our children and our families. We can experience more, learn more and grow our knowledge. And you know what they say – knowledge is power.

And you can inspire others too. Seeing how much you’ve achieved and the nice lifestyle you will lead can only inspire others to do the same.

It can be difficult to gain the motivation and determination needed to succeed if you are surrounded by people who don’t realise their dreams and aren’t capable of living the life they wish to live. When you can prove to others that it’s possible, they will be driven to realise their ambitions and to aim high. They will know that it can be done, that life can be wonderful and that they too can have for themselves and their family what you have managed to provide.

Abundance for all is the dream and you can play your part. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and thrive. You deserve it.

Lifestyle

Luxe letter March 2017

To you, my beautiful reader, my luxe letter for March 2017. I hope you had a wonderful month?

For me, March was very hectic. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago discussing why learning to say no is so important. I had been given so much work that I was struggling to get everything completed on time and I was feeling exhausted. It was a real lesson to me that I don’t take too much on and to know when I need to say no, no matter how hard it can be to turn down work.

I spent all of last week battling with a cold. It was the full works: headache, runny nose, sore throat and a blocked nose at night, all of which meaning I was struggling to get any sleep, so I was feeling shattered. It really slowed down my productivity.

I ended up having to let blogging fall to the wayside for a little while. It was tough to not be on social media so much and not be reading other blogs, writing posts and taking photos, especially when the sun was shining gloriously so many times. Staring at a computer and rushing around to get the perfect photos when you your head is pounding and you feel like rubbish isn’t fun.

Usually I would feel guilty that I was letting things slip. I did still feel a little guilty, I’m not going to lie. But after learning to say no and reminding myself to not stress, I realised I shouldn’t worry about switching off the laptop and getting some rest.

We are told time and time again that we need to post consistently and be constantly active on social media and work our socks off to make things happen. I definitely agree that all of the above is great for getting our blogs/businesses out there and to see constant growth. However, at the end of the day, this blog is something I love and I would really hope that I can keep it this way.

When anything starts to feel like a chore and something that’s more hassle than it’s worth, I feel like stepping away for a little while is always best. I honestly feel like we’re all too hard on ourselves. If blogging is a sole career and we need it to be highly successful to pay the bills, then constantly writing posts and producing amazing Instagram photos are of course going to be extremely important and a high priority. But if not, I think we can all afford to be a little easier on ourselves. Sure, we need to work hard and be consistent to maintain growth and achieve what we dream of, but I think we need to remember to enjoy it all and to see it as fun.

I can’t believe we’re now in April already. I just don’t know where the time goes! I have so many ideas and projects I would like to start, but I think I’m going to take my time and see where things lead. Now that the sunshine is making more regular appearances, I’m so excited to be able to spend lots more time outside and to take so many more photos that make use of the natural light.

Wishing us all a wonderful April full of sunshine, beautiful photos and a more relaxed mindset!

Much love,

 

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle Luxe for Less

My favourite easy and affordable luxe rituals

I am a great believer in adding touches of luxury to your lifestyle, to make for a life that feels joyous and blissful. There are so many easy and super affordable ways to bring luxury into your everyday life, luxe hacks if you will. Here are some of my personal favourites:

 

Bring a fresh bouquet of flowers into your home

I have always been someone who thinks carefully before making any purchases and I used to think that buying flowers for my home was a waste of money. I guess it was the slightly frugal aspect of my personality creeping in, telling me I shouldn’t spend money on something I don’t need to buy. However, I’ve come to realise what a super easy way it is to treat myself. When you consider that they are something you will see and appreciate every single day, they are so worth buying.


The cost can also be so small – you can pick up a bunch for around £3 from the supermarket. When I take good care of my flowers, I find they sometimes last for up to 2 weeks.

 

Bring out the bubbles

If you enjoy a tipple in the evening after work or at the weekend, why not treat yourself to some fizz? I have recently started buying myself a bottle of something fizzy every week and I find there’s nothing better to add some luxury to my evening.

You can go all out and splurge on a bottle of champagne, by all means, if that’s well within your budget. My top tip is to buy a bottle of prosecco, cava, or mabye try asti spumante if you enjoy sweet sparkling drinks, all of which you can find for around the £5 mark. I really recommend Aldi’s cava and asti spumante, for fantastic value for money.

I use a bottle stopper* designed for champagne and sparkling wines, which helps to make a bottle last. By using this, I can enjoy a glass of fizz over several evenings.

It feels so luxurious to come home from work, slip into something more comfortable, and sip on a glass of bubbles.

 

Take a full-on luxe bath

One of my favourite ways to relax is to take the time to have a really luxurious bath. I find that I’m always rushing around trying to get so many things done, so I make sure I’m going to be able to take my time in the bath, without constantly thinking I need to get out to do job x,y and z. Worrying that I need to get out soon to get whatever job needs doing completed does not equal relaxation, so creating free time is of the utmost importance.

Bath creams that create bubbles are, of course, a key part. I’m currently loving the Imperial Leather Marshmallow Bath which smells utterly divine.

Candlelight in the evening adds a beautiful warm glow and provides a calm and relaxed vibe.

I have heard some people say that they find sitting in the bath boring, and so do I, which is why I never sit there alone with my thoughts. That is certainly not the best thing for an overactive mind like mine! Instead, I load up a Youtube video or inspiring audiobook, lie back and close my eyes, whilst occasionally reaching for my aforementioned glass of fizz, of course – sheer bliss.

 

Have candles in the house? Light them!

I remember seeing someone on Twitter tweet that they own lots of candles but they never light them because they feel bad using them! So many other people responded saying they did exactly the same thing. I used to be this way too, not wanting to use up candles because I liked them too much. However, a few months ago, I decided that this was such a waste.

Now, I love nothing more than coming home and lighting candles in the living room and sometimes in the kitchen when we’re cooking too. There’s something so relaxing, romantic and luxurious about spending the evening surrounded by candlelight.

If you have some candles that you really don’t want to use because you love them so much, you can always go and buy some cheap ones. One of my favourite places at the moment to get great value candles is Matalan. I also used to love getting the vanilla scented candles from Ikea. Oh how I wish there was an Ikea closer to me!

I often find cheap candles and candle holders in the sales too – I found this glam gold candle holder (I think it may have been a Parlane one) in the clearance section of a local garden centre and it provides such a beautiful glow when I light a tealight inside it.

This evening, try lighting some candles and turning all the lights off and enjoy!

 

These are some of my favourite ways to add a touch of luxury to everyday life that are so easy and super affordable. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can make your day feel special and you deserve to have every day feel special and luxurious.

 

*Affiliate link – provides me with a very small commission to support the costs of running this blog. The price of the product is in no way altered by this.

Inspiration Lifestyle

Why learning to say no is so important

Recently, I’ve been ridiculously busy. I wrote back in December about how I manage to juggle everything, while still having time for myself. I’m good at planning in advance and managing my time so that I get lots done and also take the time out to relax. Things were going really well and I was happy with the pace of life I was living.

However, over the last month or so, things just got too much. This is mainly because I hate to say no to people. I hate turning down work, so I’ve kept agreeing to taking more and more on. I don’t like to disappoint anyone or let anyone down.

Yesterday, I realised that I just can’t do it anymore. The last few weeks have been crazy. I’ve kept accepting every request that is sent my way, even when I’ve known in the back of my mind that squeezing yet another workload into my already busy schedule is going to make things difficult. But when something needs doing, I feel that I need to do it and do a damn good job at it while I’m at it.

There are no end of things to fit into my weeks. On top of my workload, there are family members that want Dan and I to visit them, our car needed servicing, there were appointments to attend, not to mention working on my biggest passion, this blog.

My blog started to turn from something that brings me so much enjoyment to being a chore. When you’re so busy, trying to find the time to work on something you usually adore can turn into what feels like another burden. The question of how to fit in writing and managing social media etc with everything else became an impossible task.

Well yesterday, everything changed.

I learnt that I need to start saying no, without feeling guilty. We need to start putting ourselves first, which is something I say all the time. Today, I plainly saw that over the last few weeks, I hadn’t been listening to my own advice.

The countless requests and large workloads asked of me were too much, I knew they were, yet I wasn’t brave enough to admit it and to turn jobs down. I wanted to please everyone, regardless of how it was making me feel. It couldn’t go on a day longer.

So I made the change that was needed. I put it out there that I needed to reduce my workload and when I received another long list of work being made available to me, I advised I couldn’t accept any new work.

Did I feel sad to be turning down a lot of work? Yes. Did I think of all the money I was waving goodbye to? Yes. Did I feel guilty for saying no? Yes. But knowing that it’s going to mean I’m not feeling exhausted and so stressed all the time makes it completely worth it.

Life is all about living and enjoying the moment, not rushing around every single day too busy and under pressure to be able to appreciate it. Taking on things you really don’t want to do and don’t have the time for isn’t going to make for a happy life. Being selective about what you say yes to and commit to, on the other hand, makes for a much more enjoyable lifestyle. I know that, but sometimes it can be hard to put into practice.

Sometimes, I think we need to just take a moment to take a breather and to think of how much we’ve got going on in our lives. We can then decide what parts it might be a good idea to minimise or cut out and where we can start saying no to things in order to slow down. Our health, wellbeing and happiness are our main priorities, after all.

Maybe now is a good time to spring clean not just our homes, but every aspect of our lives. Clearing out the life clutter to make way for a more joyous and relaxed lifestyle.

 

 

Inspiration Lifestyle

How to achieve body confidence in a world of constant comparison

I want to talk a little today about body confidence and how to achieve it. I hear so many people say on a regular basis that they hate parts of their body, and it makes me so sad.

Personally, I have struggled with my body confidence a great deal in the past. There are a lot of things about the way I look that I don’t like.

I think that getting a little older has helped with this. The thing is, we only have one body, so we might as well grow to damn well love it.

I could sit and constantly think about all the things about my body that I don’t like. What would be the point? It doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t alter my body in any way and it doesn’t magically make the parts I dislike disappear and come back anew. If anything, it makes the things I don’t like seem worse and it makes my self-confidence decrease.

Why spend time sad about the things you can’t change? What a waste.

If there’s something you don’t like, do something about it. If it makes you feel better, cover that part up and think of the parts of yourself you love and accentuate them.

I once heard Beyonce say in an interview that she doesn’t like her ears because she thinks they’re too big. Because of this, she wears big earrings to try to offset how big they are. Beyonce, the ultimate queen of pop, has got a hangup just like the rest of us, but she does something about it to make herself feel better. Do we all talk about how big her ears are? No, we talk about how amazing she is. We don’t notice that small niggle she has. Just like the chances are very high that other people don’t notice those things that you dislike about yourself that you constantly fret about.

What you see as imperfections might be the parts of you that other people love and wish they had themselves. I used to think I had bad skin, which was the complete opposite of flawless. However, when I got married, my makeup artist commented completely off the bat that I’ve got really good skin. I’ve also had friends previously comment that they wish they had great looking skin like mine. It just goes to show that what you see, isn’t what everybody else is seeing.

I used to watch Gok Wan’s TV show How to Look Good Naked. During the show, he would line up several women of various sizes and they would stand in order according to their dress size. The main participant of the show would then be told to put herself into where she believed she would fit in the line. Every single time, the participants would place themselves in completely the wrong places, always believing they were much larger than they actually were. They were always in shock when Gok would pull them out of the line and move them down past several ladies who were larger than them. Because we always see ourselves in a different way to how everyone else sees us, and this TV show proved time and time again that we are so hard on ourselves, when we really shouldn’t be.

We are so self critical. We look at ourselves every day, so obviously we’re going to scrutinize every single part of ourselves, notice things other people will never notice and critique every tiny part of ourselves. The ironic thing is that by doing that, we are ending up deciding we don’t like certain parts of our bodies. The amount of times I’ve heard someone say they wish they had someone else’s legs, arms, stomach, even eyelashes! The list is endless.

We always seem to want what we can’t have, the grass always appears to be greener, but that part of someone else you wish you had? They might just be thinking the same about you.

We are so guilty of feeling we need to compete with everyone all the time. Constant comparison has turned into an epidemic. Instead of comparing the way we look to everyone else, we need to embrace and celebrate our uniqueness and our beauty. The world would be a very boring place if we all looked the same.

Love yourself for who you are and for how incredible you are. Be like Beyonce – be too busy being fabulous to worry about what you see as your imperfections.