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Favourites Of The Month | September.

I swear I say this every single month but HOW is it already the end of September. It seems like just yesterday I was walking around with so much sweat between my thighs I constantly thought I’d weed myself, moaning about the sunshine and waiting for the delights of pumpkin spiced syrup. Nice image for you there, ey. Seriously though, it is mad how quickly this year is going. It is also mad how I have managed to do favourites of the month consistently now since March. Well done me.

By this point you’re probably getting the hang of these, so let’s just get straight into it. 

Fashion

It will probably come as no surprise to you that this month’s fashion favourite is from Gymshark (something tells me that this is going to become a reoccurring theme). A few months back Gymshark released their Slounge Collection and quite literally as soon as I got into the office and saw these sets in the flesh I knew I HAD to get my hands on them. I went for all three components of the set in the grey but can also vouch for the other colours (I was really torn but decided that grey would go with more). They are possibly the comfiest joggers I have ever owned and yet they still manage to have such a flattering, bootylicious fit. The whole collection is an absolute game changer for Gymshark and I cannot rave about them enough. They are perfect for rest days, casual days out and for smashing your gym session now it’s getting a little colder – the perfect all rounder outfit.

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Image from gymshark.com

I wear a size S in all three components and they fit perfectly. I am usually a size 10 in bottoms and around an 8-10 in tops.

Make Up 

When I first bought this product I was a little disappointed. Not because it was bad quality because it is definitely not (it has such a silky smooth formula – I cannot fault it) but because it was a little too golden for my skin tone. I am talking about the cult favourite from Laura Geller, the Baker Gelato Swirl Highlighter in Gilded Honey. This glow is one of the best I have ever owned but the colour just wasn’t quite right. HOWEVER, that all changed this month. I have been consistently using my gradual tan and so I have a bit of a glow. Plus, now my make up as transitioned from the dewy, summer, barely there look to a more intense, winter look, it is perfect. It goes so well with deep brown lids and burgundy/berry lips. The product has a little bit of sparkle and a LOT of glow. It makes my make up pop and my skin look super healthy even in the colder weather.

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Image from beautybay.com

I would seriously recommend having a look at this product if you haven’t already because I really can see why there is such a hype surrounding it.

Skin Care

As you will know if you’ve read these posts before, I get really dry skin and this only gets worse as the weather starts to get colder. My absolute go to over the past few weeks has been Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Concentration Cream. It is the most delicious, nourishing formula that smells like melted chocolate. It has a thicker texture than usual moisturisers and feels so silky smooth, which I really like. This product has made it into my daily bag, which is a HUGE achievement for a moisturiser so well done Palmer’s – I tip my wooly bobble hat to you. The collection is HUGE so have a browse and see what floats your boat.

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Image from ebay.com

Exercise

It surprises me to say this but this month my love for the deadlift has returned. I really went off deadlifting when I pulled my lower back due to some dodgy form and seriously overestimating my capabilities (sure I am pull 100kg after 2 weeks off, no worries…). Since then I admit I have avoided it but since starting training in Solihull I have really started to love them again. Rather than going super heavy like I was doing before, I tend to do high reps with a lower weight (50-60kg) and I am really enjoying them.

If you’re not deadlifting here’s why you definitely should be doing:

  • It works your full body.
  • It helps with fat burning
  • It can help improve your posture (as long as the form is correct) 
  • Helps increase grip strength
  • Makes you feel BAD ASS.

Entertainment (Book) 

This one way easy this month. My September favourites when it comes to entertainment has to go to the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. The first book in this series is the one that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film was inspired by. They are such fantastic reads – trippy, engaging and totally unpredictable. If you get the chance and enjoy crime fiction then I would seriously recommend giving these books ago. Larsson has such an original writing style that will have you hooked from the first page!

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Image from booktopiablog.com

This has actually been the easiest favourites of the month EVER! I usually find myself really torn but I am loving all of these things so much that they were unrivalled this month. What have you been loving this month? Did you treat yourself to the Gymshark slounge? On the hunt for an intense moisturiser to get you through the winter months? Let me know in the comments below. 

Jamie x

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Favourites Of The Month | August.

Hey guys! It’s my favourite time of the month again. If you are new to the blog (hi!) then this is a monthly feature where I share with you all the things I have been loving (clues in the title I guess). This month has been chaos! I have moved away from home and started my first job. I’ve made a loads of new friends and generally had a wicked time. Don’t you worry though, I have still found time to experiment with new bits and bobs and so have a lot to share with you guys today. So sit tight and let’s get started… 

Fashion 

As mentioned I started work this month, which can only mean one thing – a massive Zara order (I mean, I had to get a new wardrobe for work, right?). I tried to look beyond the heat wave with this shop and so got myself some autumnal clothing to take me into the next season. I love everything I got but my favourite has got to be these Leopard Print Trousers from their latest animal print collection.

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Image from Zara

I have never been a huge animal print fan but I saw these and I totally fell in love. They are so comfy and easy to wear, plus they look like I’ve made a load of effort when in reality I feel like I’m lounging about on the sofa. I usually team these up with some black or white mules (I love these onesand a cute little crop top (they go with so many colours – black, brown, red and purple look amazing with them). 

Make Up 

This month’s favourites have come as a huge surprise to me for 2 reasons. Firstly, I had no clue I was getting them until they turned up in the post from the lovely folks at Influenster. And secondly, last time I received lipsticks from this brand I was really not a fan. However, the Rimmel London Stay Satin Liquid Lipsticks have really impressed me – so much so they have secured a spot on this months favourites.

Now I’m going to be honest with you, they take some getting used to. They’re not the easiest to apply and the formula of the brighter colours never, ever fully dry so they smudge super easily (not selling them so far, I know). This said, the colours are absolutely unreal (I have never had a lipstick with such intense and beautiful colour pigment) and they do last for ages even with the risk of smudging. The brighter lipsticks haven’t been my go-to’s (however, I am loving experimenting with them and trying new looks) BUT the shade Shoulder Pads well and truly has my heart. It is the most stunning pinky nude that lasts all day and suits my pale complexion like a dream! I am truly obsessed, I think I have worn it every make up day this month.

As for the other colours, normally I would never be seen in a purple or a grey but these are just so stunning and have a perfect satin finish. Yes they have some negatives and yes you really do have to play around with them, but you can create so so many different looks and these have really made August the month that I have moved out of my comfort zone when it comes to make up.

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Skin Care 

I don’t know if this counts as skin care but just roll with it. This months winner is the MakeUp Eraser by MakeUp Eraser (imaginative…). I got this product in last months The Pip Box and, despite initial scepticism, I am totally obsessed! This rather underwhelming little bit of cloth is actually really impressive. It removes make up with water alone and therefore uses no chemicals or nasty stuff. It’s vegan, reusable and really does remove even the thickest mascara (believe me, I put it to the test).  It’s made from a specially knitted polyester/silk fibre which, when wet creates a hydro-mechanical process (fancy, right?) that breaks the surface tension of the oils that bond make up to the skin. Not bad for a little bit of cloth.

I love it. it’s good for the environment, it’s good for my skin, it’s good for how super lazy I am when it comes to removing make up AND it lasts between 3-5 years. Everyone’s a winner.

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Image from selfridges.com

A runner up this month has got to be Bepanthen. Nope, I haven’t got nappy rash. I do, however, have a baby tattoo and this stuff has been an absolute dream when it comes to keep it moisturised and healing properly. I would seriously recommend picking yourself some of this up if you’ve got a new tattoo.

Exercise 

This has been a tough one this month as I am back doing my usual 4 day split training programme with a 5th day of abs and cardio. I am loving it and it is certainly nice to be back into a routine, but there has been nothing particularly new/exciting to report. I am currently looking at joining some adventure holidays though. Ever since Crete I have been desperate to get back out on the water and go kayaking again. I absolutely loved it but sadly in Birmingham the opportunities are limited. I am therefore on the hunt for an adventure holiday where I can do this again. I’m thinking something where I can go kayaking, rock climbing and maybe try my hand at surfing so if you have any suggestions let me know!

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Get me back on those waves. 

One thing I have loved about switching up my exercise over the past few months has been how I no longer just love weights, I love being active. I have really opened my eyes to new sports and becoming willing to experiment with sports I never thought I would enjoy.

Entertainment (Books) 

This month it’s not a TV show that has been entertaining me. In fact, I have been struggling to find anything on Netflix that has been floating my boat. Instead I have been reading a hell of a lot. I love a good crime/mystery book and so I have been loving Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks novels. Nothing new here but they are really fantastic books that I would seriously recommend – my favourite is Cold Is The Grave.

If you’re fancying something a little less morbid, Everything I Know About Love is a fantastic read (you might remember it featured on my summer reading list a few weeks back) and I urge you to read it.

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So there you have it, some of my August favourites. As always, I want to know your thoughts! Up for trying out the Rimmel Stay Satin Lips or not up for braving grey lippy? Any August TV show band wagons I need to join? Let me know your thoughts and what you guys have been loving this month.

Jamie x 

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10 books to put on your summer reading list.

Hey guys and happy Friday. I am currently sunning myself up in Crete enjoying my first summer of freedom from academia. This can only mean one thing… I can finally start reading for fun again! Doing a degree in history has meant that over the past 3 years I have read a lot but, as gripping as The Communist Manifesto is, I have had very little time to read for enjoyment. As a kid reading was one of my favourite things and I could easily get through 2 books a week. Over the past 3 years, however, I am lucky if I have been able to get through 2 books a month – if that! Terrible, I know. Anyway, I have made it my mission this summer to get back into reading so I thought I would share with you guys 10 books that have made it onto my summer reading list and should definitely be on yours as well. 

10 Books to put on your Summer Reading List 

1. ‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton
If you read last weeks blog post you’ll know that I have had this book on my reading list for some time. A memoir from The Sunday Times’ former dating columnist, ‘Everything I Know About Love’ covers Alderton’s experiences of relationships – the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s meant to be a super inspirational read that tells a story of self love and confidence.
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2.‘Lullaby’ by Leïla Slimani

This book was recommended in Cosmopolitan’s Best Summer Reads for 2018 and sounds like it is going to be right up my street. It tells the story of Myriam and Paul who find Louise to au pair their two young children in their chic apartment. The relationship takes a turn for the worse and jealously, resentment and suspicion starts to emerge. I’m thinking murder, affairs and other juicy stuff that will make for a great read.

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3. ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman

I’ll be honest, this is not necessarily a book I would normally go for but I have seen so many bloggers sing its praises that I thought it would be rude not to give it a shot. It tells the story of the life of Eleanor Oliphant. It’s won a lot of awards and is apparently soon going to be on the big screens under direction of Reece Witherspoon so it definitely earns a spot on the list.

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4. ‘Me Before You’ by JoJo Moyes  

I know, I know, this is not a new book but I have heard this is a fantastic read and Moyes has recently brought out a third instalment to the series, which also looks fantastic. My Mum isn’t a huge reader but she read this and adored it so it must be good. I don’t usually like watching the film before I read the book but I adored this film and really want to give this book a go. Don’t worry, I’ll have the tissues ready!

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5.‘The Outsider’ by Stephen King
I absolutely love Stephen King as a writer and definitely want to give this new one a go (although it might not make for good bedtime reading). This book follows the story of a man defending his innocence against evidence that he has assaulted and murdered a young boy. Apparently the book is full of nods to current events and the ever growing conversation surrounding abuse, consent and the Black Lives Matter movement.
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6. ‘The Woman in the Window’ by A. J. Finn

This book is giving me some serious ‘A Girl on the Train’ vibes and I loved that book! Following the life of Anna Fox who hasn’t left her house in 10 months and watches the world go by from the window of her New York town house (house envy, right?). When the Russell’s move in next door, she begins assessing and observing them, and one evening witnesses something no one was suppose to see… Sounds good doesn’t it?

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7. ‘The Mars Room’ by Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner has a very impressive resume, been nominated for the National Book Award Twice (keep in mind she has garnered this after only publishing two books – pretty good right?). 2 nominations can’t be wrong so I have decided that ‘The Mars Room’ deserves a spot in my top 10. The book tells the story of a mother serving two life sentences for the murder of her stalker, which sounds like a pretty good read to me!

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8. ‘The Vogue Factor’ by Kirstie Clements

I have actually read this book already, however, I had to mention it because I really think it deserves a spot on your summer reading list! Ex-Editor of Vogue Australia writes about her experience in the world of high fashion and magazine journalism. It is super honest, witty and inspiring, raising a lot of issues with the industry and well as the incredible opportunities that come with it. I would seriously recommend giving it a go.

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9. ‘The Perfect Stranger’ by Megan Miranda

Another mystery book, ‘The Perfect Stranger’ tells to story of old friends Leah and Emmy who move to Pennsylvania for a fresh start. When a women with a freakish resemblance to Leah is assault and Emmy disappears, Leah joins forces with Detective Kyle Donovan (potential or a bit of romance?) to investigate Emmy’s life.

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10. ‘Emma in the Night’ by Wendy Walker

Just in case it hasn’t been made obvious so far, I like a good mystery book. ‘Emma in the Night’ tells the story of two sisters who goes missing. One returns, one does not until 3 years later. Her story is meant to be pretty shocking and full of drama. I’m intrigued…

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So there you go, 10 books that are on my summer reading list and I think you need on yours. Let me know your recommendations and what you think of these if you give any of them a go. If you want some more suggestions I would recommend visiting some of these links – they have loads of fab suggestions whatever you fancy!

‘Best New Books for Summer 2018’ – Cosmopolitan

’20 Smart Books You Will Want to Read at the Beach’ – Esquire

’25 Best Books For Summer 2018′ – Good Housekeeping

’10 Best New Novels for 2018′ – The Independent 

Happy reading guys and gals. 

Jamie x 

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My Holiday Essentials.

Happy Friday guys and gals! As you read this post I am likely to be last minute panic packing ready for my holiday next week. Myself and my lovely in laws (and Conor, of course) will very shortly be sunning ourselves up in a private villa in Crete. I thought I would share with you guys some of my holiday essentials in the hope that this post will prevent me from leaving anything sitting on my bedside table. So without further ado, here are the things that will definitely be making it into my summer holiday suitcase (fingers crossed…) 

Hand Luggage

So Crete is not too far away but that does not mean that my hand luggage does not have to be thought through. Apart from the obvious travel documents, there are some bits and bobs that I simply cannot be separated with (even if I am 7.5 miles up in the air). 

Carmex Pineapple and Mint (£2.79 from Superdrug)

I cannot possibly be without a lip balm and this is my new summer favourite! When it comes to lip balms nothing quite compares with Carmex – I have been using it for years. They have recently come out with a load of new flavours and I was gifted the pineapple and mint in my Cosmopolitan Self Made goodie bag. Since then I have gone through another 2 tubes of these and I love it. It’s the best flavour and super light and summery. It’s a little thinner in consistency to other Carmex products so it is perfect for warmer weather and it is super moisturising and SPF 15. This will definitely be in my hand luggage.

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Bourjois Healthy Mix Pressed Face Powder (£9.99 from Boots) 

This is not the first time this powder has been mentioned on my blog. You might remember it featured a few months back in my post on skin care and my go to products when it came to helping with breakouts and I still love this product! It is such a fresh, light powder that really helps even out my skin tone. Since getting it it has not left my bag and I often use it to touch up my make up throughout the day. It comes with a little mirror and an applicator so you literally just need the compact and you’re good to go.

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‘Everything I know about Love’ by Dolly Alderton (£6.49 from Amazon) 

There are so many books that I want to read this summer but this one has really caught my eye and I think will make for great plane entertainment, not to mention chilling by the side of the pool! Recommended by Cosmopolitan, ‘Everything I know about love’ is a memoir from Dolly Alderton who is a former dating columnist for The Sunday Times. Alderton covers her life of relationships – the good, the bad and the ugly. It looks like a fab read with a really inspiring message about self love and being confident in your own skin – always an important message.

(Stay tuned for next weeks post for a full list of my summer reading goals)

 

Fashion

Zara Straw Bag with Rounded Handles (£29.99 from Zara) 

Straw bags have been making an appearance on the high street for a few months now and what better time to get on the trend then when you’re heading off on holiday? I have done a bit of browsing and this Zara Straw Bag is my favourite! It’s not the most affordable on the market but it’s super cute and the perfect size to take you from the beach to the cocktail bars in the evening. I have also been using this at home as well so I will definitely get a lot of use out of it. If you’re looking for something a little bigger or something that you can close, which is a slight downfall of this bag, Zara have loads of different styles so have a browse!

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Mix and Match Tropical/Orange Bikini (from £16 from MissGuided)

I have had a lot of problems trying to find an appropriate bikini to wear on a holiday with the in laws. Love Island has been giving me some serious swimwear envy and MissGuided have provided the goods when it comes to Love Island inspired costumes. Unfortunately finding high-waisted bottoms that are not going to be flashing my arse off to everyone I come into contact with has been a serious challenge. These mix and match sets, however, come in loads of different styles and really cute patterns. I’ve picked up this tropical set and the juicy orange set, which is such a gorgeous colour and is super in style at the moment. They also have a lovely pastel blue, white, red and loads others! I would definitely recommend taking a look.

Fancy getting your hands on one of these Love Island style bikinis (or anything from MissGuided at all) then use this link and you can save yourself £5 if you click referred by a friend!

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Black Maxi Belted Beach Kimono (£20 from Pretty Little Thing)

After seeing Olivia Buckland’s Instagram post of this gorgeous rose gold, sequinned kimono I knew I wanted one. I searched and managed to find her kimono on MissGuided. Slight problem… it’s £200. Sadly I am not an Instagram/reality show sensation and so £200 for a kimono was a little steep. I did, however, find some cheaper alternatives and this one from Pretty Little Thing is about as close as you’re going to get to Olivia’s. It comes in at £30 so it’s a hell of a lot cheaper. I actually ended up picking myself up this one from Pretty Little Thing. Even though it’s not quite what I was looking for, it’s super simply and easy to wear. Plus, at £20 I don’t mind getting it messy on the beach!

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When I’m on holiday I try to wear as little make up as possible, but I still like to get dolled up for nights out and fancy meals.

Sleek MakeUP Face Form in Medium (£9.99 from FeelUnique)

This is my go to contour palette. It comes with a matte contour, which is the perfect shade and super easy to blend. There is also a slightly glittery bronzer that I absolutely love when I have a bit of a tan. It is super natural but easy to build and gives your face a gorgeous glow. I also sometimes use this colour as an eye shadow if I am going for a warm, natural make up look. The middle powder is a highlight, which surprise surprise I also love! It gives you the most beautiful sheen without being glittery and rather than sitting on top of the skin almost blends to become part of it, giving the most naturally gorgeous glow. I use this palette every single day when I am home and I would not be without it on holiday. It is super sleek and so takes up hardly any room in your case and can create a variety of different beautiful looks.

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Banana Boat Kids Ultra Mist Advance Protection, Factor 50 (£6.99 from Chemist Direct)

It wouldn’t be a holiday essentials post without a suncream and this one is my favourite. I am really pale and suffer terribly with heat rash but I also hate suncream. I always wear it, without a doubt, but I cannot stand the feel on my skin. This suncream on the other hand is the more refreshing mist, smells amazing and gives fantastic protection. It is super easy to apply and does not feel sticky or greasy at all (even on my face). It helps to control my heat rash and I have never been burnt using this. The only slight problem is that because it is a spray it does not last for ages so make sure you stock up on a few bottles because you will probably run out.

LUSH American Cream Conditioner (from £5.75 from LUSH)

My hair always needs extra care when I go away. The mixture of heat, sweat and sea water does nothing for keeping my hair smooth and soft and so I always make sure I have a deep conditioner packed. American Cream from LUSH is great! It smells like a delicious strawberry milkshake and has honey water within it, which it super nourishing. I usually use this every other day on holiday and it really helps keep my hair in good condition. If you are looking for a lightweight, less moisturising conditioner than maybe go for Happy Happy Joy Joy over this or if your hair is super damaged, LUSH do a fab hot oil treatment I would recommend giving a go. LUSH have loads of different conditioners so check out their blog on ‘How to choose the perfect hair conditioner’ for your hair type. They can be a little expensive but they’re so worth it!

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So there you have it, some of my holiday essentials that I will be packing and taking to Crete with me! Where are you guys heading off to this year and what bits and bobs will definitely be in your case? 

Jamie x 

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