24 May 2017

The detail in Walt Disney World and how it inspires me

The detail in Walt Disney World and why it inspires me. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The detail in Walt Disney World and why it inspires me. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The detail in Walt Disney World and why it inspires me. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The detail in Walt Disney World and why it inspires me. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The detail in Walt Disney World and why it inspires me. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk
Laziness is one of my biggest flaws, and one that I'm definitely trying to work on. I used to be that blogger that wouldn't even bother proofreading her posts before they went up, because cba, but in the last five months I've turned that around. However, in terms of most other things, laziness still wins. I enjoy wearing comfy no-effort clothes, I clean when I have to, and thinking that I can get away with the bare minimum for everything is kind of my own personal agenda.

Visiting Walt Disney World completely changed my perspective on all of this. I've always thought that it's the big things that matter: furniture is what decorates a house, plain flatlays are the way forward and so on. I could never quite put my finger on what wasn't right. Until I saw the level of effort that designers and architects had gone into at Disney World. The whole place was a thousand times more magical because of the little things. 

I literally gasped as I strolled around the parks at the tiniest of things. The bird houses in Animal Kingdom (the top photo) were practically palaces; a sight to behold on their own, even without the magnificent birds surrounding them. At night time they switched on lanterns just like the ones in Tangled in a little courtyard and I was mesmerised. Hell, even the wooden boards blocking off a new construction were painted beautifully. 

As each day at the parks went by, I began to notice how every single tiny little detail in Disney World had been considered, carefully planned, and created to culminate in a one of a kind experience. When I got home, I realised how bare our house is. Now, I don't mean that it's missing that bit of Disney pizazz, but that I've overlooked all the details in our home, whilst focusing on the big things. Despite having lived here for six months now, we've only got one thing hanging up on a wall in the house. All of the 'temporary' moving storage is still in place. We've even still got a couple of unpacked boxes. But I'd convinced myself that it doesn't matter, and that our house is a home without these things. Now I'm starting to see differently.

Since coming back, we've re-installed a canvas painting we bought last summer onto our dining room wall. I've created a collage wall in my office space. I've even got back into the habit of buying flowers for my desk and lighting candles whilst I'm working. It feels amazing. I've convinced my boyfriend to unpack a couple of the boxes he's been ignoring for months. All these little details are starting to make this house carry more of our personalities. I'm so, so much happier with how it looks now in comparison to how it looks a month ago. 

My photography is (hopefully) starting to improve a little bit because of it as well now. I've finally begun to really look at other people's flatlays and realise just how much more effort they put into them in comparison to the effort I put in. I've started to notice how much white space is left in my images, and research different ways to build texture and create interesting flatlays without them looking cluttered. I've by no means become some kind of photography expert overnight, but I can feel a difference in my style, and I hope you'll all be able to see it in upcoming posts too.

Have you ever been inspired by something like this?
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22 May 2017

Top 4 snacks to try at Walt Disney World, Orlando

Top 4 snacks to try at Walt Disney World, Orlando. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Top 4 snacks to try at Walt Disney World, Orlando. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Top 4 snacks to try at Walt Disney World, Orlando. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Top 4 snacks to try at Walt Disney World, Orlando. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Food is love, food is life. For real though, whenever I go on holiday, food is a major factor in terms of my spending, and in terms of what I'm most looking forward to. Holidays give you the chance to try new cuisines, and I'm ten times more likely to give new food a try if I'm away from home. Walt Disney World in Orlando offered up a zillion different food options, but we were on a fairly tight budget. Rather than spending a lot of money on a main meal at the parks, we often went for a light lunch and a snack during the day. Here are my favourites:

Mickey Mouse ice cream from Animal Kingdom. How cute does this look? I'm not a big ice cream fan, and the weather makes it melt pretty darn fast, so one scoop was perfect. The little mickey sprinkles and the chocolate chip 'ears' made it something that I just couldn't miss out on.

Giant pink doughnuts from Epcot. I mean, I'm pretty sure this is a rip-off of the Homer Simpson style ones they do in Universal Studios, but I got it here first. This is the biggest doughnut I've ever seen in my LIFE and that earns it a place on the list, even without how pretty it is factoring in.

Strawberry cider from Epcot. I know I left the UK and wanted to try new food & drink, but I could hardly miss out on the opportunity to try cider made in America in 'England' in Epcot. The strawberry taste was subtle, but still there, and it was such a refreshing drink to have in the heat of midday. 

Mickey Mouse pretzels from Hollywood Studios. I couldn't leave the States without getting a pretzel, could I?! We just don't have them on this scale here in the UK. The fact that it's shaped like Mickey Mouse just kind of boggles my mind (how do they do that?!) and makes it quite frankly epic.

Have you been to Walt Disney World? What were your favourite snacks?

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21 May 2017

10 things I wasn't expecting when I visited Florida

10 things I wasn't expecting when I visited Florida. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I loved my time in Florida last month, but there were definitely some things that cropped up which I wasn't expecting at all. Obviously this post isn't made with the intent to cause offence; it's just a little list of all the things that shocked me.

1.) Automatic toilets everywhere. It took pretty much the entire two weeks I was there to work out how to not set off the automatic toilet flush every time I went for a wee. 

2.) Fries, not chips. Sometimes nothing hits the spot quite like a good chip shop chip, am I right?! I had no idea that chunky chips were just not really a 'thing' in Florida

3.) There are gun ranges everywhere. And people totally go as some kind of family bonding activity?? I've written a whole post on my experiences with this here.

4.) Water is more expensive than coke. Why is this a thing? You honestly have to decide between having a drink that's actually refreshing and saving a little bit of money.

5.) There aren't alligators everywhere. After the tragic incident in which a young boy got attacked by an alligator at Walt Disney World, the media made it seem as though they were running loose everywhere. We didn't see any however, until we actually went looking for them at Boggy Creek's Gatorland

6.) Finding a recycling bin is practically impossible. I really struggled with not being able to recycle hardly anything whilst I was away. Despite owning his own house in a residential estate, my uncle is barred from getting a recycle bin for himself or renters because he's not a US resident. How strange is that?! 

7.) No one uses change. I felt so self-conscious using anything smaller than a dollar to pay for something. People just avoided taking/giving change. I was short-changed by a couple of pennies a few times, and all I could consider was how angry the little old ladies who frequent the restaurant I work in would be if I did the same to them!

8.) Food shopping is so darn expensive. If you head to any supermarket in the UK, there's always more expensive brands and cheaper brands. You can opt between things like Sainsbury's basics, Tesco's finest, or a variety of brands that deal in their own specific foods. Any supermarket we went to in Florida was ridiculously expensive, no matter what the quality of the food was like. I can see why people eat out so often!


9.) No one walks anywhere. Every road has sidewalks, but I saw at most ten people using them over our entire holiday. Everything is so far apart that it's hard for people to walk anywhere, and I just felt as though they were eerily empty. 

10.) Everyone was so so friendly. I think nice weather just brings out the best in people (or maybe Floridians are generally friendlier to be around than us Brits??!). Everyone we spoke to was more than willing to help us out with anything we needed, and we never received one cold brush off from someone at work.

Have you been to Florida? Did you find anything that shocked you there?


18 May 2017

Can I enter the 'male blogging awards' now?: switching to male toiletries

Can I enter the 'male blogging awards' now?: switching to male toiletries. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Last week saw the release of a number of blogging award shortlists. Despite most people being happy, there were the standard complaints about there not being enough categories for everybody's niches. This year, however, there was an entire infestation of complaints from some (definitely not all, for real) male bloggers that there was no 'male blogging' category. Just to clarify, there's no 'female blogging' category either, but because the industry is saturated with women, and a large number of the bloggers on the shortlist were women, some people claimed it was unfair not to include a category just for men. 

Now, a lot of male bloggers hit out against the complainers, stating (rightly) that the categories weren't gendered, and if a male blogger's content was strong enough for the category he would be in with a chance of being shortlisted. Luckily for me, I had a piece of content planned chatting about men's products, which is going to be useful to men, so does that mean I can enter the new category too? Or do I have to have a penis? Who knows.

Blogging drama aside, I really wanted to do this post to see how men's toiletries compare to women's. I know the majority of the market out there isn't specifically aimed at women, but when brands use 'feminine' colours, fonts and advertisements to sell their products, it's quite clear who their target market is. 

For the last fortnight I've only used toiletries aimed at men, to see whether or not they were very different to women's at all, or whether things were simply packaged and priced differently.

Face cleansing

My Liz Earle cleanser is my holy grail, and so I was a bit skeptical to switch it out for, well, anything really. I went for Nivea's sensitive facial wash for men and it really hit the spot quite well. I loved its fresh scent, and how gentle it was on my skin. I couldn't use it to remove any makeup as I would with my cleanse and polish tube, but as a normal wash goes, it was perfectly fine. It's the only product out of the lot that I'm going to continue using until it runs out.

Paired with this, I got Real Shaving Cos daily face scrub. Now, I don't know about you, but any face scrub that I've ever used daily is very, very gentle. You can barely see the exfoliants in it, and it's definitely not something that scratches. This however was something else (I'm pretty sure it can be found somewhere in the depths of hell tbh). It was as harsh as a body exfoliant, and within the first couple of days of using it I had the worst spot I've had since I was a teen. 

Face masks are part of my weekly self care routine, and I really didn't want to go a whole fortnight without one. I grabbed one of the Montagne Jeunesse ones for men (we've all been there, stood in Savers picking the women's ones out for a sleepover as a teen, right?!). The pros were that it was vegan and ... well that was pretty much it. It smelt of spearmint, which was strange and made my eyes water a little. It took forever to dry and was the most painful peel-off mask I've used in a LONG time. I felt how those girls look on the viral videos of charcoal mask peel-offs. It was not pleasant.

Shower time

Shower gel is something that I always splash out a little bit on. I rarely go for the £1 options because I love having a little extra treat in the mornings, so generally my shower gels come from The Body Shop or LUSH. I find that they actually last longer than the cheap ones as well, so it works out to be pretty cost effective.

I didn't realise how much having that little mini morning pamper affected my mood until I got rid of it. I tried out a few different men's shower gels, but mostly kept to Lynx's Excite. This is an entire brand that's really dedicated to men's toiletries, but I actually thought this product was the closest to one aimed at women that I tried the whole time. The gel was purple, it had quite a fruity scent (why are most men's toiletries herbal-scented though?!) and didn't feel like it was stripping my skin of all moisture. 

Hair

I'm not too fussy when it comes to shampoos: I'm that person that buys whatever's on offer, providing I like the brand. I picked up L'Oreal's thickening shampoo for men, as I'd used a similar version for women in the past. But, again, it was very harsh. I've only used it for a fortnight, so I can't really determine whether it's helped my hair get thicker at all, but it was SO drying. It feels like all the moisture had been stripped out of my hair after every wash.

The Results

Overall, the majority of the products I used were a lot harsher than their feminine counterparts. My skin and hair feel like they've been stripped and scrubbed bare, and not in a good way at all. If you use products aimed at men all the time, and suffer with dry skin/dandruff from a dry scalp then I'd honestly recommend giving women's skin care and hair care a try to see if it helps. Obviously I only tried a very small sample of what's on offer, so I'm by no means an expert in the market, but I really did notice a massive difference in the state of my skin and hair.

I really didn't expect this little experiment to affect me mentally at all, but this wasn't the case. A few days in I was itching to get back to my normal products and my normal routine. I was sick of smelling herby and I wanted to switch back to products that genuinely nourished my skin. I was no longer looking forward to showering, or smelling fresh after washing my hair. I'm fully aware that marketing has clearly gotten to me, but for now, I'm content to continue using my normal products, and lay the ones aimed at men away for the time being.

Have you ever switched up your routine like this?
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17 May 2017

New in from Dorkface shop and my collage wall

New in from Dorkface shop and my collage wall. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

New in from Dorkface shop and my collage wall. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

New in from Dorkface shop and my collage wall. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

New in from Dorkface shop and my collage wall. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

New in from Dorkface shop and my collage wall. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

New in from Dorkface shop and my collage wall. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk
I've been living in my first ever home with my boyfriend for six months now, and it has flown by. We've lived together for the past four years, but the majority of that time was spent in student housing; we'd never lived on our own, just the two of us, before. We've added a few little touches to make it feel more homely, but quite frankly, we don't have the money to spend on decor: we don't even have all the furniture we need still!

16 May 2017

The $20 play suit that makes me feel a million bucks

The $20 play suit that makes me feel a million bucks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The $20 play suit that makes me feel a million bucks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The $20 play suit that makes me feel a million bucks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I'm no fashion blogger, and candids are ten thousand times harder to get when you're taking the photos alone, am I right?! But, I had to show you all this lil Hollister playsuit that I picked up when we went to the States last month. For real though, if someone could teach me how to take A+ outfit photos, then I'd be on cloud nine.

Playsuits are something that I've steered way clear off since they got really popular a couple of years ago. It's not because I haven't given them a go. Oh no. Believe me, I've tried. But the several that I've owned or tried on in shops have been some of the least flattering things I've ever worn. And that's a hard thing to achieve; I've gone through a lot of fashion 'phases'. Play suits usually cover up any parts of my figure that I like, and make me look like a bit of a chunky rectangle. 

I've spoken out in the past about dealing with the weight gain that I've put on in the last year or two, and how it's affected my confidence as a blogger, but it really has impacted my confidence in general. For so long, I've fought with the idea that I can't wear certain outfits, or look at current trends because it means buying clothes in a size that I don't really want to accept that I fit into. Finally coming to terms with my size has meant that I was able to go out and buy almost a whole new wardrobe whilst I was in the States (I've filmed a massive haul of it all over on my Youtube channel). It also gave me the confidence to try this Hollister play suit on and I fell in love. I can already feel it becoming my go-to outfit this summer. I love it even more because it was only $20 - Hollister was so much cheaper in Florida than it is here in the UK.

It's got everything I want. It feels fun and flirty and it makes me feel okay about getting my thighs out. I love the little choker style detail with an open section around the cleavage. I honestly feel like I can conquer the world in this outfit, and it gave me the confidence to try on a whole bunch of clothing styles that I never would have considered going near!

14 May 2017

Swamp rides and gatorville: visiting Boggy Creek, Florida

Swamp rides and gatorville: visiting Boggy Creek, Florida. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Swamp rides and gatorville: visiting Boggy Creek, Florida. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Swamp rides and gatorville: visiting Boggy Creek, Florida. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Swamp rides and gatorville: visiting Boggy Creek, Florida. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Swamp rides and gatorville: visiting Boggy Creek, Florida. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Whenever I travel somewhere new, I always like to do something involving animals. Florida is home to a whole load of swamps, and in them a whole load of gators. After all the media hype surrounding the alligator incident at Disney World I was half expecting to see them crawling around everywhere, kind of like foxes in the UK. But, it's okay guys, we actually had to go searching in their natural habitat to find some.

12 May 2017

Testing cult beauty blogger makeup | New in from Sephora

Testing cult beauty blogger makeup | New in from Sephora. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Testing cult beauty blogger makeup | New in from Sephora. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Testing cult beauty blogger makeup | New in from Sephora. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Testing cult beauty blogger makeup | New in from Sephora. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk
I read a LOT of beauty blog posts. And the more you read, the more you see familiar names cropping up time and time again. When I got the opportunity to head to Sephora in April, there were a few particular products that come under what I like to call 'cult beauty blogger products'. You know the ones: those bits that it feels like everybody and their mum has tried. I'm talking Liz Earle's cleanse and Polish (which even I've written a post on here), I'm talking the Kylie lip kits, I'm talking sheet masks. You get the gist. 

I picked my top four 'must have' cult beauty blogger picks and today we're  going to be chatting about whether or not they live up to the hype.

10 May 2017

Losing a small pet still SUCKS

Losing a small pet still SUCKS. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Losing a small pet still SUCKS. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Losing a small pet still SUCKS. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Losing a small pet still SUCKS. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Losing a small pet still SUCKS. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk
If you follow me on Twitter/Instagram, then you might have seen me talking about this last week, but my lil Russian dwarf hamster Jeff passed away on Thursday. He'd not been very well, so it wasn't the biggest shock in the world but I was still pretty distraught. I thought I'd get over it quite quickly, and we've got some new little fluffy hammies now, which I thought would make the pain of losing Jeff go away. But it hasn't, obviously. I'm not sure why I thought it ever would.

9 May 2017

Top 5 attractions in each Walt Disney World park (Orlando)

Top 5 attractions in each Walt Disney World park (Orlando). Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Walt Disney World is a truly magical place, and I feel so lucky to have has the opportunity to visit it last month. Each park (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot) has a massive number of attractions, and it's near impossible to get them all crammed into one day. So, here's my little summary of the top five must-see/do attractions at each park.


5 May 2017

Welcome to Springfield!

A trip to Springfield in Universal Studios, Orlando. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Simpsons is hands down one of the best TV shows ever IMO. It appeals to exactly my sense of humour: a lot of silliness, with a lot of satire thrown in. If you haven't watched it since you were a kid, honestly go back and rewatch some episodes because there are moments of pure gold that totally flew over your head when you were younger.


3 May 2017

April favourites and a look back over the month

April favourites and a look back over the month. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

April favourites and a look back over the month. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

April favourites and a look back over the month. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

April favourites and a look back over the month. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

April favourites and a look back over the month. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

April favourites and a look back over the month. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk
April was definitely the best month of 2017 so far for me. It was filled with about a zillion ounces of stress, but so much fun and joy managed to totally balance that out. As you probably all know, I spent two weeks in Florida in the first half of the month and it was amazing! We did a huge range of things, from visiting Harry Potter World (amazing, of course) to seeing first hand what a gun range was like (terrifying). I truly feel like a got a good all round glimpse at what being in the state was like, and it was a massive check off of my bucket list!

1 May 2017

A massive Bath and Body Works haul!

A massive Bath and Body Works haul! Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

A massive Bath and Body Works haul! Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

A massive Bath and Body Works haul! Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

A massive Bath and Body Works haul! Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

A massive Bath and Body Works haul! Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Bath and Body Works is basically my idea of heaven, but we don't have it over here in the UK, which sucks. I've watched a shameful number of BABW hauls over on Youtube and the company's own Instagram almost makes me weep with all the prettiness it holds. So, it pretty much was on par with Disney World with things I wanted needed to do when we headed to Florida last month. For real.