30 November 2016

Winter Loungewear Wishlist 2016

Winter loungewear wishlist 2016. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I wrote a blog post exactly like this in December last year, and honestly? It's my favourite fashion post that I've ever written (you can read it here). I loved trawling through tonnes of  beautiful lounge wear to find my picks to share with you. If there was one thing I wish was acceptable - and practical - to wear all year round, it's definitely soft, cosy loungewear that you can snuggle up in. I basically never want winter to end.

So, from left to right, here are my first set of picks. I've tried not to get *too* Christmassy in this post, as I know some people don't celebrate it/just aren't that into Christmas, so don't be fooled by my first choice. These Rudolph slipper socks look like the cutest, warmest things I've ever seen. Despite having a vast collection of bed socks (sad but true), I don't have any really Christmassy ones, so this needs to change. Obvs. 

I'm a big fan of long sleeved pajamas. If you didn't know that already, then you probably will by the end of this post. This starry PJ top from Vera Moda, which pairs with the matching bottoms is so beautifully simple that I don't think I would be able to resist it. Plus the material is fairly thin, so you won't get too hot snuggled up in bed. 

Mermaid blankets are my favourite craze of 2016 I think. I basically need one in my life just to survive this sudden cold blast. Although you can get one in almost every colour, our living room is filled with nude colours, and I love the idea of matching with it, so this grey mermaid tail blanket made its way into one of my top spots. 

Have you ever seen anything as cute as these bunny slippers?! They look like toys from my childhood and I can imagine them being so soft. The little floppy fluffy ears just make me want to beam. 

Winter loungewear wishlist 2016. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Next, from left to right again, we kick things off with a simple stripey onesie. This jersey onesie is something that I would 100% wear all day around the house on a day off, and I've just been loving stripes at the moment so it seems perfect.

I did try to keep things down to one slipper pick, but seriously these Christmassy brown dog slippers are just too good. All I need now is a real dog in a Christmas jumper under my tree on the 25th December.

As I mentioned before, cosy socks are kind of my thang. Cosy bootie style socks with extra fluffy insides are even better. These faux fur cable knit socks hit the nail on the head.

It wouldn't be a wishlist post from me without a little bit of Disney wedged in now would it. I had high Disney-related hopes for Primark this year, but I'm just feeling a bit meh about them. A good online search found these Mickey Mouse PJs and I'm never looking back. 

Winter loungewear wishlist 2016. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

And we're down to the final three. You basically can't say no to a baby penguin at Christmas, and I've been eyeing up the cuddly toy versions in Clintons for weeks now, so I let out a little gasp of joy when I saw this penguin onesie. The white cuffs add such a nice detail to it too.

This red fairisle style onesie is probably my favourite piece in this entire wishlist. I mean, it just screams Christmas. I love the pom poms, I love the colours, I love the style. It's basically my dream onesie. 

Last but not least is a fleeced dressing gown with teddy bear ears. I love the dressing gown I have at the moment, but a girl can't have too many dressing gowns can she? All I really want in life right now is a dressing gown with a hood and little ears on it. For reals. 

What are your favourites from this list?

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29 November 2016

10 Alternative Advent Calendar Ideas

10 Alternative Advent Calendar Ideas. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

10 Alternative Advent Calendar Ideas. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Can you believe that December is only two days away?! I could hardly believe it until I stepped outside to feed my bunny this morning and his water bowl had frozen over overnight! The weather has definitely dropped a few degrees in the past few days, and I'm feeling very thankful that we have access to heating, and are able to pay for it to keep our home warm. 

I've been thinking about what to do during advent since October, when I started watching Zoella's 2015 Vlogmas. I decided I really wanted to do something special for my nearest and dearest this year to get them excited for the big day. It's the first year that me and my boyfriend will be spending Christmas day together, and I really want to make it one to remember.

So, here are 10 special advent ideas that I considered, before finally settling on doing number one for him and my sister:

1.) 24 days of small presents. I have genuinely had so much fun doing this one. I set myself a budget of up to £2 for each gift, apart from a special one on Christmas Eve, and got to work finding loads of little treasures. I started collecting things for these advent calendars way back in October, so it hasn't felt too costly. Now all I have to do is wrap them and put them in an order that I'd like them to open them in! I included a whole range of beauty, toiletries, lifestyle, fashion and trinket-y bits in these, and I can't wait to see what they think of them.

2.) Writing a letter/postcard a day. My grandma and I mostly communicate by writing letters back and forth every few weeks, and I love sending cute, artsy postcards to my sister, so this one seems like a lot of fun. Either choose 24 members of your family/friends, or double up on a few people! If I was going to do this, my sister and grandma would probably get 4 or 5 each. 

3.) Do one kind deed a day. The #GRLPOWR Twitter chat was all about giving during the Christmas season this week, and I felt so inspired by it to do more during the month of December. If you want to make this into an actual calendar, then you could totally draw your ideas for the kind deeds up into one and hang it on your wall. I'm thinking of buying a homeless person a hot drink one day and trying to smile at everybody I meet on another, even though I'm not 'officially' doing this one.

4.) Give one thing to charity each day. When I moved house I realised just how much unnecessary stuff I hoard for absolutely no reason, when someone else would just love it. There's still a whole bunch of things in my wardrobe that need to go, and a pile of books waiting to be taken to the charity shop, so I'm going to be bringing it all in in December. It'd be so great if we all did this and gave charities a massive boost during this time of year!

5.) Special chocolates each day. I actually got this idea from one of Tanya Burr's vlogs, where she spoke about the fact that her husband, Jim, hid little lindt teddy bears around the house during advent: one for each day. Doing this with your partner's/mum's/sister/'s/dad's/whoever's favourite chocolate or sweet would be a lovely way to perk up their day.

6.) Call someone every day. Christmas is all about spending time with people, but if (like me) you don't live too close to your family anymore, that can be really hard to do. Giving someone a call is such a nice, simple way to make someone know that they're being thought of at this time of year. I really struggle with making phone calls because of my anxiety, so this would be perfect for me if I felt like challenging myself.

7.) Have a present hide and seek with clues. This is another idea that I've borrowed from a Youtuber. Zoella did this last year for her partner and it looked like such fun! I would love to make up little clues to find lots of little presents all around the house.

8.) Go on weekly dates, with a present each day leading up to it. This is a couple based one (obvs), but you can alter it how you want. It's so hard to find time to actually go on dates anymore, but it would be lovely to set aside four nights during December to do it. Each day you can give the other person little hints as to what the date will be, or little things that they can use on the date. I'd love to go to an outdoor ice rink, and would get gloves, a hat, a scarf, etc, as the presents leading up to it.

9.) A homemade candle advent calendar. There are a few candle advent calendars out there, but (in my opinion at least), they're pretty overpriced, and they never have exactly what you want. Making a candle calendar for yourself or someone you love with their favourite scents in would be such a thoughtful gift. It also doesn't have to work out as being too expensive: Primark have some really good jar candles for £1 and I've spotted some for the same price in Wilkos too!

10.) A homemade beauty calendar. This idea is obviously pretty similar to the last. Beauty advent calendars are even more overpriced, and I may have shed a little tear when I wandered into The Body Shop a couple of weeks ago and saw how much they were charging for theirs. You can include loads of different toiletries, and minis to keep the cost down AND then it will be filled with things that the person will actually use.

I've filmed a video over on my Youtube channel all about this here:



I really hope that you enjoyed this post, and that it's helped you feel a little more festive. What kind of advent calendar are you doing this year?

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28 November 2016

Trying out a sensual scent: Korres Jasmine range* review

Trying out a sensual scent: Korres Jasmine range review. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Trying out a sensual scent: Korres Jasmine range review. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Trying out a sensual scent: Korres Jasmine range review. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

When it comes to beauty products, I'm a stickler for just going back to the same old scents time and time again, because I know I'll love them. Sweet, fruity scents are my jam, and if you've ever smelt Snow Fairy, well, that's basically my ideal scent. 

However, sometimes it's good to branch out of your comfort zone, but I usually need a little push to do it. So, when Korres offered to send me their mint tea* and jasmine* shower gel and body milk sets I knew I had to go for it. I've already written a lengthy review here, all about my experiences trying out a unisex scent with their mint range. 

Jasmine however isn't usually described, or represented as being a unisex scent, rather it's always spoken about as it it's going to make you a goddess of the shower scene. Oh, and men everywhere are going to fall down for you. Now, I can't say that that's happened to me since I've been using the Jasmine shower gel* and body milk*, but it has affected my confidence.

It's a much more musky scent than anything I would normally go for, and in that sense it made me feel much more sophisticated. When I sit and moisturise my legs after a shower I feel a bit more like a woman, rather than a girl trying to make her way to adulthood without getting dry skin. 

I feel a bit more sassy as I step out of the door, and more inclined to wear a musky perfume: something that will scream 'sophisticated lady'. Usually that is so not me, but it was nice to step into the shoes of someone else for a period, and see what it's like to go after a totally different scent.

I do have to say though, I think I'll be heading back to my normal sweet sweet goodness in the shower: florals just aren't really my thing.

What's your favourite kind of scent for the shower?

*Although products in this post were gifted to me for the purpose of a review, all opinions are my own*

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27 November 2016

Vatika Garlic Hair Oil

Vatika Garlic Hair Oil review. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Vatika Garlic Hair Oil review. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I mentioned in a recent post that I have an overriding worry that my hair is going to thin/fall out, and I take quite a few precautions to stop it from doing so. I've gone into detail about what that means for my hair care routine, and why I think it might be in the post, which you can read here, so I won't be chatting about that in this post. However, I've mentioned it because it is the main reason why I do oil my hair.

Hair oiling is a bit of a weird thing, but it does absolute wonders for me. I've dyed and stripped my hair. It's also pretty long and thick at the moment. All of these things means it needs a little bit more TLC to keep it, well, somewhat restrained. 

In the past I've used a whole range of hair oils to do an array of different things. Olive oil is fab if I want my hair to look shiny and feel smooth. Coconut oil on the other hand is better if I'm suffering with dandruff because it's brilliant at moisturing your scalp. I've used a few other shop bought oils, but mostly come back to argan oil if I'm using something that isn't a household product.

When I went to the Bloggers Ball way back in June (yes, this post has been on the back burner since then), and was offered Vatika's garlic hair oil to try I was pretty intrigued. I mean, I LOVE garlic, but do I want my hair to smell like it? Er, na. 

Of course I had to give it a good whiff then and there because I haven't yet learnt that curiosity killed the cat and all that jazz. It actually smells lemony rather than garlicky, which means my hair smells nice and fresh when I have it on. Two of the main ingredients other than garlic are lemon and rosemary, so this makes a lot of sense. It did *slightly* remind me of lemon scented cleaning products however, which isn't brilliant.

I spent a good while giving my hair a much needed coating of this oil last week. I've been so busy moving house in the past month (we STILL have at least one box looking neglected and sad in the living room), that I've not had a chance to oil my hair as regularly as I would do. As I've stripped the ends of my hair, I paid particular attention to them and the results were actually a little startling. I've since washed my hair three times and the ends still feel soft. 

I've used this a few times now, and with my hair being so long the bottle has only lasted me three goes, and I've only got about enough left to cover half of my hair. But, this is about as long as some other (much more expensive) oils have lasted me in the past, so I'm counting it as a win!

Here's a video I filmed all about how to oil your hair:



What do you use to oil your hair? I need to get something soon and I don't think this will be a repurchase

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25 November 2016

Self harm and recovery: My story (TW)

Self harm and recovery: my story. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

This post obviously comes with a massive trigger warning because I am going to be talking about self harm. I won't, however, be discussing the intricate details of my self harm. I think saying how often it was/how bad/what I used would do way more harm than good in terms of this post. I know for sure that when I was self-harming someone discussing those aspects of it would encourage me to compare myself to them, and it would all be very triggering. The one detail I will give is that my self harm took place via cutting myself, rather than any other type.

I'm writing this post to go hand in hand with the video I filmed all about it last week, and I'll link the video to you all at the end of the post. Unlike the majority of the other pieces of writing I publicise on this blog, this is more for me than anyone else. I've reached a point in my life at which I can talk about my experiences self-harming and recovering. Yet, it's something that I rarely (if ever) discuss in person. It's something I've avoided talking about for years, and I've only recently come to terms with it enough to be able to tell friends that yes, I did used to self harm. I do however hope that this post helps some of you, and encourages people to discuss this taboo subject with greater care and frequency. I've split the post into various segments, or steps on my mental health journey, mostly to help me arrange my thoughts on this topic. 

How and why I started

I first started self-harming when I was 16. I was feeling distant from my boyfriend at the time, lonely at school and for some horrible horrible reason I took the conscious decision to start self-harming. Thankfully I didn't get too 'hooked' (if that's the word to use; I can't think of a better one), and stopped again until I was half way through my 17th year of life.

When I was in Year 12 at school life suddenly got really really shitty. I decided to do five a-levels rather than four, and got obsessed with getting perfect or near-perfect scores in everything we did. I worked during my lunch breaks, morning breaks, weekends and right up until I went to bed. This also meant that I cut myself off from everybody socially. Not a good combination. And then, on the 8th December, my Granddad died. And I couldn't cope with school anymore. I simply couldn't handle the thought of getting out of bed in the morning, and making my way in to a day of school. So I stopped going all the time, and ended up only making about 2/3rds of my classes for the remainder of the year. I remember my best friend trying everything she could to get my to come in and to open up to her, but I just couldn't. I'd started self-harming again in the November and it was getting out of control. 

People's reactions

I've had some amazing reactions to telling people that I was self-harming, but I've also had some terrible ones. When I started university I opened up to my best friend there and my boyfriend, and they both did anything and everything they could to support me and try to help me recover. It was just incredible, and I am so so thankful to them. 

Then I had an incident one day. One of the boys we lived with saw my cuts, and got incredibly aggressive. He pushed me up into a corner, shouting in my face, and asking me what the fuck was wrong with me. It was quite frankly horrific, and it made me scared to ever go out without covering up first for a good two years. 

In the end, I think that the people I trusted always came through for me with their reactions, and anyone I haven't trusted has always disappointed me. Even now I get it with my scars: I told my work colleagues a few weeks ago, and they were so so lovely about it, and it reminded me that people can be kind.

Opening Up

My biggest problem with this one was that it wasn't always my choice. Now that I'm just left with my scars most people don't even notice that I used to self-harm, or if they do they rarely say anything. Sadly when I was at my worst it was hard to cover up, and when my parents found out I was devastated. It's something that to this day I can't talk to them about willingly because it was forced out of me all those years ago. It created a massive rift in our relationship, and the mental state that I was in at the time made sure that it took a while for that rift to be repaired. 

Opening up about something so personal, so taboo, and so generally misunderstood is always going to be tough. Choosing whether or not to open up to someone is really hard, and as time has gone on I've tried to do it more and more. You see, now I want people to understand what I went through, so that they can realise that someone they know self-harmed: it's not a far off crisis that exists in an alternate world, but something that real people have to deal with. Now I don't mind people asking me what makes them curious about it, as long as we're good friends, because I hope that it can help them break down the stigma to others. Back when I was in my deepest darkest mental health pit, however, I wouldn't have been able to answer any questions, and I wouldn't have wanted to.  

Seeking Help

This was something I struggled with for so long. I found that when I was self harming I was stuck in this paradox of not wanting to get better and desperately wanting to get better. It sounds confusing, but it was my coping mechanism: I couldn't imagine what I would do without it. The very notion of recovery was terrifying, and it took me a long time to accept that I simply couldn't carry on living in the way I was.

Being at uni meant there were a whole host of things I could do in terms of getting help, but I was too anxious to try any of them other than speaking to my GP. Unfortunately for me this didn't go to plan. I was turned away twice from the GP and refused help because I had no plans for suicide (seriously). I was distraught, and it just made me think that my self harm wasn't really an issue, when in fact it was taking over my life. Any self harm on any level is concerning, and if you need help to deal with it then you need help. 

After another two years of not wanting to see any more GPs, I went to a completely different doctors and was finally offered all the help I needed. I got to choose whether or not I had therapy, what form of therapy it would be and whether or not I wanted tablets to help me. It was so so much better than my first attempts at seeking help, and I only wish the first set of doctors I saw could have been more understanding. 

Recovering and relapsing

In truth, I wouldn't be able to turn around and say 'this is what I did to recover, this is what worked and what didn't work for me and here is a step by step instruction of how to recover'. Recovery was (is) a long process for me, and I started off in a truly scary place. I read tonnes and tonnes of infographics all about things you could do to help stop self harming and none of them worked. That was really quite demoralising. As well as this, I didn't have any help from the NHS, and my mind was genuinely trying to convince itself that it did want to recover.

At the beginning I spent far more time convinced that I would never be able to recover than I did spending time trying to recover. It just seemed impossible, made me stressed, upset me and made my self-esteem go crashing down. But, I had an amazing amount of support from my boyfriend. I wouldn't even be able to count the number of times he just held me whilst I cried, upset that my mind could turn against me in this way. Or times that he encouraged me to look to other things to help destress. Or stayed up with me so I didn't have to fall asleep first. Or stayed in with me so I wouldn't be alone and therefore able to self-harm. And it was really shit at first. I was angry that someone was trying to take my ability to self harm away from me. And I mean really, really angry. I couldn't understand why he couldn't just leave me be and accept, like I had, that I just wouldn't be able to recover.

It's a weird thing to look back and wonder if you would have even made it this far without one person. I'm not saying that he was the be all and end all of why I recovered. I worked really fucking hard to do that every day for a good three years. And I still have to fight the urges, recoil from triggers and give myself an internal pep talk about it sometimes now, almost four years on from when my self harming was at its worst.

The weirdest thing about recovery was that I expected it to be a process rather than an on/off switch of self-harming. I'd seen all those little pitcures of graphs with the squiggly arrow going in a mass of directions rather than diagonally up in order to show what recovery is like. But I only expected it to be like that for a short time. I expected that squiggly line to straighten out within a few months. I wasn't ready for the fact that years on, I might relapse, and get a good ol' squiggle in my line. It happens, and I'm learning to live with that. I've accepted that I might not stay self harm free forever, but it's been a year since my last relapse, and I'm happy with that, for now.

I hope this was helpful to people that are struggling. Here's my video all about my story:




24 November 2016

What I would put in a Nourish ME subscription box

What I'd put in a Nourish ME subscription box. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.ukf

What I'd put in a Nourish ME subscription box. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

What I'd put in a Nourish ME subscription box. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

What I'd put in a Nourish ME subscription box. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

What I'd put in a Nourish ME subscription box. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Subscription boxes are the stuff my dreams are made of, and if I had money to spend on them each month then believe me, my name would be on a whole tonne of lists. But, not being able to buy them doesn't actually stop me scouring endless review blog posts of different boxes and searching online to see what goes in them each month. 

So, I thought this post would be a really fun thing to do. I've put together my own little box of bits that are all things I've talked about (or will do) on my blog in a roundabout way, and all things that I would love to see if I opened up a subscription box. I've gone for a nice range of beauty and lifestyle picks so that there's hopefully something for everyone in here.

First of all I knew I wanted to put an adult colouring book in. These are my favourite things at the moment and if you haven't tried one then definitely pop one on your Christmas list. I've gone for quite a relaxing theme for this box so this fits in perfectly. I've chosen the Alice in Wonderland colouring book to go in because it is just beautiful, and I've dedicated a shameful number of hours to filling parts of it in. 

Also in the lifestyle section, is a pretty darn cute tsum tsum. I love my Alice tsum tsum, but if you have a peek at my top 10 Disney films post, then you'll be able to see more of my little collection. Tsum Tsums are simply adorable, and popping in a limited edition one to the box would definitely brighten up my day. I'm not alone in this, I'm sure(?!). 

A good notebook is a blogger essential, and I seem to have hundreds. BUT, I've somehow managed to put something in each of them, so that's basically a good enough excuse to need more, right? This is one I picked up from T K Maxx and I just love it. It's one of my two main notebooks that I do my freelance/blogging work in and the quotation on the front motivates me every time I pick it up. Plus the design itself is fab, so it's a win-win really.

And last, but definitely not least, for lifestyle would be a seasonal candle. This year I'm loving spiced Christmassy scents for Winter, although I haven't yet broken out my festive candles - they're being saved until December hits. This cinnamon spice one from Wilkos smells beautiful, and I can imagine it making my room feel very hygge. 

Now onto beauty. It wouldn't be a relaxing subscription box if it didn't have some goodies to pamper yourself with now would it? I love  face masks, and any subscription box isn't really complete without one in my opinion. Note: this has made me very disappointed in the past. Superdrug do some amazing face masks, and I'm actually in the process of testing their entire range out for a future post for you all. This detoxifing dead sea mineral mask is one that I've come back to time and time again because it makes my sensitive combination skin feel uhh-mazing. 

The last tiny thing I popped in was some hand cream. This is something I can't live without in these colder months - my hands just always seem to be chapped. I've chosen the LUSH charity pot hand and body cream in a tester size. LUSH's lotions are something I can always rely on to hydrate my skin without making it oily or irritating it.

And there we have it: my Nourish ME subscription box. What would you put in yours? I would LOVE to see some of you make posts like this!

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23 November 2016

Paperchase Christmas Haul

Paperchase Christmas haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Paperchase Christmas haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Paperchase Christmas haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Paperchase Christmas haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Paperchase Christmas haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk
I know, I know, it's November and I've got a Christmas post up, BUT I truly do think that this is 'the most wonderful time of the year'. And I want to extend the preparations and excitement over as long a period as possible, obvs. Aside from that, it's our first Christmas in our own house, and we currently have no decorations or anything, so I'm trying to spread out the cost by getting cracking on buying bits and pieces now rather than having to do it all in one go and making my bank balance look more than a little sad.

We all know how much I adore stationery, and it's one of the first thing that gets me excited abut Christmas. I love sending cards to family and friends, letting them know that I'm thinking about them in this season. Everyone says that 'it's the thought that counts' and I really do abide by this motto at this time of year. I spend a ridiculous amount of time choosing what wrapping paper I'm going to use for each person's presents and which card most suits them. 

I started off with wrapping paper because necessities come first. Paperchase are actually doing a 3 for 2 deal on their wrapping rolls at the moment so I had to whittle my options down to three rolls. So, I went with a fun one, a sophisticated one and one that is a good all-rounder for adults and children. 

The sprouts wrapping paper is probably my favourite one of all time. I bought it last year and was a little too excited to see that Paperchase had it in this year too. Clearly I wasn't the only one who enjoyed it! The happy little faces of the sprouts were just too much. And so obviously when I saw the sprouts cards I couldn't resist them either. I don't remember seeing them last year (I for sure would have picked them up if I had), so I was pleasantly surprised.

On the sophisticated level, I went for the gold dot tree wrapping paper. This is nice and simple, and is definitely something I could see myself wrapping my Grandma's pressies in - I think she would love it! The Merry and Bright cards are also a little more classy than the sprouts ones, and will probably be going to my family members. The plain brown background makes the bold Christmassy colours stand out. 

And then on the good all-rounder front I went for a cute, slightly abstract reindeer wrapping paper. We don't have very many littluns to buy for, so I didn't want one that could only be used for kids. This hit a nice medium, by being appropriate for children whilst being something I wouldn't feel weird about wrapping an adult's pressies in. To go with this, I picked up the twelve days of Christmas cards, which I would be comfortable giving to family, work colleagues and friends. 

Then I moved onto wrapping accessories. These are something that I'm usually pretty shitty at getting. I'm not brilliant at wrapping in itself, and adding on bows, ribbons and tags just over complicates my un-creative brain. But, I ventured out into it so that I could make my sister's presents look cute because I know she loves it.

My first port of call was tags. Last year I picked up these multicoloured glitter tags and this was another thing that had to be a repurchase. They're an absolute steal at £1.50 for ten and the quality is amazing. I had already picked up some bows from Tiger, so I was sorted on that front, but ribbon was next up on my wishlist. Their 20m gold curling ribbon was exactly what I wanted, especially for £1! This is perfect for pairing with the gold dot tree wrapping paper. The gift stickers were also a must have for me. I'm a sucker for buying people lots of small gifts rather than one big pressie, so getting tags for all of them can end up being fairly pricey. In this gold sticker pack come 44 stickers which you can use for a variety of things. Some don't have enough space on to write a to/from, which I was really annoyed by when they arrived, but I'l just end up using them to decorate the presents.

And finally I picked up a couple of table decorations/Christmas blog props. Seriously though, how excited are you all to start seeing everyone using Christmas blog props? I'm pretty ecstatic. I got the Chloe characters 3-tier confetti to start with. We always do a buffet on Christmas evening, and this year I'm hosting for the first time, so I thought that these little nutcrackers, trees and candy canes would make for the cutest sprinkle for the table. Then I learnt a very important lesson about looking at the size of products before buying them. I picked up the mince spies appetiser plates, foolishly thinking they would be a reasonable size, but they're only big enough to hold a cupcake. These will probably end up just being used as quirky blog props and little decorations for the big day if I'm honest.

So there it is, my first Christmas haul! What would you have chosen?

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18 November 2016

Anti-Anxiety Pre-Bed Routine

Anti-anxiety pre-bed routine. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Anti-anxiety pre-bed routine. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I've been feeling a lot more inclined to chat about mental health issues on my blog at the moment as, if I'm honest, my own mental health has been pretty shitty for the past few weeks. There have been a few issues at work, which led to the nasty manager who was a bit of a bully getting fired. This was kind of fab as I felt as though a load had been taken off of my chest and I felt far less anxious for shifts. But, it has meant that my shifts have been upped to cover the shifts she would have been doing, and I have been struggling to deal with the thought of going to all of them. Also, when I moved house I moved much further away from my work, and walking & getting the bus there has made my anxiety a lot worse, especially after a scary bus journey on Saturday which led to my first panic attack in months. Not brill.

Anyhow, if you've been on my twitter recently you'll probably know all of this already and have seen that I'm a bit glum, so I'm really trying extra hard at the moment to do all the little (and large) things that help my anxiety lessen. The most important aspect of this is my bedtime routine. If I don't get enough sleep, waking up seems terrifying, and more importantly, being awake in the night stresses me out a ridiculous amount. Annoyingly, as I've been preparing to write this, my sleeping habits have worsened and even after a ten and a half hour long day at work yesterday I still woke up after about three hours' sleep and couldn't re-enter the land of nod. 

However, I used to find getting to sleep much, much harder than I do nowadays, because I simply hadn't nailed down a proper routine, and I know that my sleep has been rubbish over the past few days because I haven't been sticking to my normal routine. Writing this post today is going to be a bit of a prompt for me to make sure that I'm not lazy with my routine this evening as I am on a finish at work, which means I'll get back fairly late, and not have masses of time to wind down in.

The physical routine

Winding down for me takes a bit of time, and a bit of effort, but it's totally worth it in my mind to get a good night's sleep. Changing out of my work or day clothes into my pajamas is the first stage in my routine, and it signals to my body that it's time to start chilling out. I'm no longer restrained by tight clothes, a bra (total freedom) or pants. #goals. I'm pretty picky with my pajamas, as I like to feel a little bit happier when I put them on. At the moment my total faves are my long sleeved Bambi waffle-textured PJs from Primark, as they feel a little bit like a onesie and are just so soft. I also like to pop on a pair of cosy fluffy bed socks to keep my tootsies happy.

Then comes the cleanse. I take my makeup off with my Garnier micellar water, and follow it up with my Liz Earle cleanser. Using the latter feels a little bit pamper-y and ensures that all of my makeup is 100% gone. Then, once I'm in bed I massage on my Korres overnight sleeping facial mask to ensure that my skin is all soft and hydrated. 

If I can feel that my anxiety is really taking its toll on me, I'll have a nice long bath. A LUSH bath bomb, some Youtube videos in the background and a good body scrub always make me feel amazing as well as truly chilled out.

All of these combine to signal to my body that it's time to start slowing down. It takes a while for this to start settling in, but a good three weeks or so should be long enough for you to start feeling a little more relaxed and sleepy as you do these things. 

The mental routine

In my opinion this is definitely more important than the physical one, but they do go hand in hand together very well. The first stage in this part of my routine is definitely to switch my laptop off. I'm guilty of being one of those people who finds it really really hard to switch off, and most days I would just work right up until I'm too tired to keep my eyes open anymore. This really isn't healthy, and I always find that the tiredness ebbs away into anxiety when I hop into bed because I haven't had that time to wind down. I now really do try to turn my laptop off at least an hour before I go to bed.

Now, this doesn't mean I hold a complete pre-bed technology ban because I'm just not that kind of gal. Watching a good ol' bit of Netflix under a cosy blanket is one of my favourite ways to wind down. It gives me a chance to do something a bit fun before bedtime and for my brain to stop whirring on my own thoughts and focus on the programme.

However, sometimes that still can't keep the anxious thoughts at bay. So, often I'll be curled up with my colouring book and favourite pencils, or a jigsaw puzzle to help distract me and give me something to focus on. I've been absolutely loving the whole mindfulness colouring trend, and it's something that I hope I'll continue to do a lot more of in the future.

Finally, when I settle into bed I don't attempt to go straight to sleep. This never works for me. I even end up getting anxious about the fact that I don't know how my body transitions from being awake to being asleep, and I wake myself up by being concerned that I've forgotten how to sleep. It's all a bit of a vicious cycle. So, I turn off the main light in our bedroom and switch to a lamp. This means the light is less harsh, but I'm not left in total darkness: something which still spooks me out. At the moment we have a globe lamp that my boyfriend has had from childhood, and I love it, but I SO want to get a Lumee lamp for Christmas. Their lamps can be set to gradually get darker and darker over a period of your choosing and in that way replicates a sunset and appeals to your body's natural rhythms. 

Whilst the lamp is on I effectively read until I'm so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open, or focus on the book anymore. Reading transports me to an alternate realm, one in which my anxiety doesn't exist, and I'm not a girl feeling a bit low trying her best to get to sleep at a reasonable time. Instead, I'm in the book, following the characters along at a short distance. 

I really hope this was helpful to see what I do to attempt to keep my anxiety away at nighttime. What do you do?

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17 November 2016

25 Winter Blog Post Ideas

25 Winter blog post ideas. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

25 Winter blog post ideas. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

1.) Outerwear wishlist

2.) Embracing Hygge

3.) What to do on a cosy night in

4.) Favourite Christmas films

5.) Small interior accents to make your home winter-ready

6.) Hot chocolate recipe

7.) Mental health during the darker months

8.) How to get up in the mornings when it's dark

9.) Favourite homemade soup recipe

10.) 10 DIYs for Christmas

11.) What Christmas means to you

12.) Trying out new teas

13.) Top 5 favourite jumpers for the colder months

14.) Is Christmas too commercial?

15.) Favourite winter candles

16.) Winter reading list

17.) Ways to keep warm without turning the heating up

18.) Staying safe on the roads during adverse weather conditions

19.) Making gingerbread

20.) Dealing with the post-Christmas blues

21.) The perfect pair of heeled boots for Winter

22.) Budgeting for Christmas

23.) 10 outdoor activities you can still do during Winter

24.) Your Christmas eve routine

25.) Wintery FOTD

I tried to include a good range of general Winter posts as well as Christmassy ones, as I know that not everyone likes to celebrate it as much as me, hehe. I hope this helps with any blogger's block you might have at the moment!

What would you add to the list?

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16 November 2016

Warming vegetable soup recipe

Homemade vegetable soup recipe. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Homemade vegetable soup recipe. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Homemade vegetable soup recipe. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Homemade vegetable soup recipe. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk


Cooking is one of my favourite things to do, but in the run up to the Christmas season I've been finding my time a little pushed for making recipes that take longer than half an hour in total (this includes prep). I work in a restaurant and it is starting to get a little hectic right now, so my shifts are increasing, getting longer and getting a little bit more stressful.

So, on my day off last week I whipped up a massive batch of this homemade vegetable soup. And I mean massive: I had 17 portions of it in the end. My freezer has been looking a little rammed, but it has made for an easy lunch each day, giving me that extra little bit of time to chill out. The winter colds have been doing their rounds at the moments, but this soup is so stuffed with goodness that I'm hoping *fingers crossed* it'll stop me from getting one ... again. 

An added bonus really is that it is so cheap to make. All of the ingredients I used came to around £3 altogether, which makes each portion around 18p to make!

Ingredients:

4 salad tomatoes
3 sticks of celery
3 carrots
6 potatoes
3 small onions (or 1 large onion)
6 cloves garlic
2 400g cans of haricot beans
1 400g can of chickpeas
3 handfuls brown pasta
2 pints chicken stock
Olive oil
Chili flakes
Salt and pepper
Mixed herbs

Method:

1.) The prep time of this soup is going to take up most of your time, so prepare yourself for a lot of chopping. Before you start any actual cooking, dice the carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, celery and onion. Mince your garlic cloves.
2.) Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan (I use a big casserole pan for mine). Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened. 
3.) Whilst this is cooking make your stock.
4.) Add in all of the rest of the vegetables and a pinch or two of chili flakes, Stir for one minute.
5.) Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock. 
6.) Simmer for 15 minutes.
7.) Add the beans, chickpeas, pasta and a tablespoon of mixed herbs (or to taste). Simmer for another 15-20 minutes. 

And that's it folks. It's actually a really easy soup to make. There's only a small chance of really burning it, which is something that I definitely need. If you want, you can also add a little grated cheese to your bowl, because, well, who doesn't love cheese?

What's your favourite soup recipe for this time of year?

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15 November 2016

28 small things to do to help turn around a bad day

28 small things to do to help turn around a bad day. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

1.) Spend all day in your favourite PJs.

2.) Make a toasty hot cup of tea in your favourite mug.

3.) Call/skype a friend or relative that you've been missing.

4.) Have a bath. Fill it with a special bath bomb and lots of bubbles.

5.) Write a letter to someone.

6.) Binge watch a show you haven't seen before on Netflix.

7.) Bake something new.

8.) Put your bedding in the wash with scent boosters and then in the dryer to make it warm, cosy and smell beautiful.

9.) Do a facemask.

10.) Buy your favourite snack/meal and treat yo self with it (my go-to on this one is definitely nachos with cheese and salsa, mmm)

11.) Do an overnight hair mask.

12.) Cook a recipe that you've been wanting to try for ages.

13.) Wear your favourite, cosiest socks.

14.) Light some candles.

15.) Sing in the shower.

16.) Get organised by making a to-do list and then power through it.

17.) Snuggle up with your favourite cuddly toy and a soft blanket.

18.) Spend a few hours catching up on some reading.

19.) Do a jigsaw puzzle.

20.) Catch up on your Youtube subscriptions.

21.) Clear out some of your unwanted clothes and take them to a charity shop.

22.) Spend some time with your pet(s).

23.) Go for a walk, blasting your favourite tunes through your headphones.

24.) Tidy the room that you spend the most time in.

25.) Put your comfiest, slobbiest outfit on and revel in it.

26.) Alternatively, put on a snazzy outfit, do your makeup and take some bomb-ass selfies.

27.) Tell someone how you're feeling, even if it seems silly.

28.) Remember that you are worth it, and one bad day doesn't necessarily mean every day in the future will be bad.

I feel like I've been struggling a little (or a lot) with my mental health over the last week or two, and these are mostly things which I've felt have helped me from sinking. I hope you find this helpful in some way!

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