Life has a way of allowing you accumulate materialistic things that you simply don't need, don't use, and just ends up getting in your way. As the new year is imminent and approaching fast its time to get rid of those belonging that no longer have purpose in our lives and either bin, donate, sell or recycle them.

By no means do you need to get rid of a tonne of your belongings and live like a caveman, just have a quick scout around and see what you don't need to be going into the New Year with, I have one bin bag full for charity and a bag for the bin.

So here are 16 materialistic things that you can get rid of to mark the end 2016, before you go into 2017:

1. GIFTS- Unused and unwanted gifts, I don't have any problem in getting rid of something that I know I wont use, what is the point of having a spare diary sitting in a drawer for years when you can give it to someone with out one? why keep hold of PJs a size too small? Why keep that puzzle that auntie Ann ordered on Amazon after one 2 many? Why keep that cook book on gourmet recipes when you cant even read? why why why???...

2. PACKAGING - Unpack that sack of Christmas gifts in the corner and distribute them around your house and room, get rid of the perfume boxes that you keep just because there pretty, get rid of you old phone boxes you don't need them anymore. Get rid of that candle jar you've been planning on upcycling it isn't going to happen.

3. MAKEUP- The truth is makeup expires and you're putting that on your face, would you put a 1 year out of date piece of salmon in your body? probably not, so why are you continuing to smear that 4 year old foundation on your face? The bin is calling your foundation, and Debenhams is waiting for you and your money!

4. TOILETRIES- These expire too, and lets face it even if it hasn't expired you are never ever going to actually use that Lynxs woman shower gel are you? time to donate it.

5. SHOES- Life is too short to take those ugly or uncomfortable shoes into 2017, time to donate all of those shoes that have given you blisters and forced you to walk on vomit splattered pavements due to the pain at 3am to someone who has more accommodating feet than yours.

6. UNDERWEAR/ SOCKS- clear out your underwear drawer, get rid of that uncomfortable thong that you wore once, throw away those socks with holes in and the odd ones because chance are the other unicorn adorned sock has galloped off far far way, so its time to put the remaining one in the bin.

7. BOOKS- I am all for keeping books if you are going to actually read it again, or if its a reference book such as a dictionary, or an encyclopaedia (you never know when you need to refresh your pointless facts) those could be useful. But who has actually read the same book twice? not me because why should I when there are so many more out there to be read, I don't want to know about the story that I know the ending to. I want to know about the story that I don't know the ending to. Goodbye Twilight Saga. Hello Harry Potter.

8. STATIONARY- get rid of those dried up pens and those fugly notepads filled up with bad memories and gobbledegook , and welcome in that snazzy Cath K one you got off your Secret Santa and take comfort in your trusty black biros!

9. OLD GAMES- Get rid of your Rugrats PlayStation1 game that you've had stashed in the back of the cupboard and the board games with missing pieces, your a winner baby and you don't need Monopoly with no Mayfair holding you back!

10. PLASTIC CARRIER BAGS- Who even are you, get rid of them, you are not your dad, you do not need plastic bags coming out of every orifice, you are a modern person, you carry your shopping in your faux leather tote and you carry your tiger loaf in your arms like a baby with a bunch of bananas hanging of your fingers.

11. RECIEPTS- they are just bad memories to remind you of the lack of discipline that you had in Primark when you spent £42 on socks and vest tops. Start 2017 fresh and with a receipt free purse.

12. UNHEALTHY SNACKS- That selection box on the side is not going to gel well with your New Years diet so time to leave it in the staff room at work or give it to a food back, or family member, the same goes with the rest of the junk food. Or just eat it quickly before the New Year starts.

13. CLOTHING- Donate all of those things that make you feel uncomfortable or unconfident. Say goodbye to those jeans that stretch out at the knees and make you look like you are the owner of saggy knee caps. Say goodbye to those patterns that don't agree with you. Say goodbye to those clothes that no longer and never will fit again.

14. ELECTRONICS- donate those old electronics to those who can make use of them, and throw out those broken electronics that are beyond use, that old Nokia 3310 that's been moved around since high school. The chargers that you have no idea what they are supposed to even charge. The cables that don't seem to belong to anything, can all now belong to the bin.

15. KITCHEN ACCESSORIES- The mug that you got with your Easter egg, the shot glass you borrowed from a bar on a night out that you have never used, time to donate. That smoothie maker that you purchased last year and used once when you were being healthy for a day, its time to let it fly the nest. The lunchboxes with no lids.

16. CALENDARS- Its time to belong in the New Year you no longer need the 2016 calendar hanging up on the wall to confuse you, or your old diary loitering in your handbag its almost 2017 out with the old and in with the new!

What else would you get rid of to mark the end of one year, and the start of another?

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Whether you are bored on a day off or just looking for something fun to do to pass some time, some ideas of things to do is never a bad thing right?... so here is a little list that I have compiled of things that I like to do when I have some time off.

1. Do some exercise- try a new sport, sign up for a class at your gym or maybe go for a swim at the local pool.

2. Start a blog or diary and record your daily activities, thoughts, ideas and feelings.

3. Visit somewhere you have never been before, whether this is a little café that you always hear people rave about or a local beauty spot go and pay that place a visit.

4. Get crafty and make a scrapbook of your favourite memories.

5. Visit the library and hire out some reading material, to keep you amused for the next few weeks.

6. Go camping if you have the time and if the weather permits, or make a fort out of all of your spare bedding and blankets and have a little at home camp out.

7. Bake something delicious, whether its an old favourite or something totally new, make your self some sweet treats.

8. Visit friends/family you haven't seen for a while and have a catch up over a cuppa.

9. Dig out your old photographs and reminisce about the good times that you have had.

10. Go to a local museum or gallery and admire what's on show.

11. Go and see a new release at the cinema, and take some of your favourite treats to snack on.

12. Be a tourist in your own home town, visit somewhere where you have never been before despite it being right on your doorstep.

13. Have an at home pamper session, whip out the hair treatments, face masks, give yourself a mani and a pedi and feel your best.

14. Wrap up and go for a walk stroll at your local park or beach.

15. Minimalize and declutter your life, clean out your bag, donate unwanted clothes and clutter, throw away used up product bottles that are still in your draws, clean the car, be a domestic goddess.

What are your favourite ways to spend days off?

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I thought I would share with you what is in my make up bag, these are the products that I reach for on a daily basis, not to say that I use all of the products everyday, but I do use them all fairly regularly probably a few times a week. Of course I have more make up than this in my vanity but usually items that I don't reach for as often.

The Bag
First up the Make Up Bag its just a one from Boots Natural Collection range a few years ago, I think it was no more than £5, it is a good size and can hold everything in there comfortably, and it is wipe clean which is good because they all ways get so messy inside. As much as I envy all of the designer make up bags out there I just cannot justify spending a lot of money when there are some fab cheaper options out there, that really do the same job.

The Base
My go to Moisturiser at the moment is the Clarin's Daily Energizer, I think it does a fab job at just making my skin feel smoother and adding some much needed moisture as my skin is so dry at the moment. The Foundation that I am using is a Estee Lauder Double Wear, I normally stick to drug store foundations but I saw this when I was at Bicester Village recently and snapped it up, so far I am impressed. I currently am using the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer it does the job at brightening my under eyes and doesn't leave it creasy or dry so its a win win situation from me.

The Bronzer/ Blusher/ Highlight
I am a massive fan of Bronzer so when I saw this Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder at Bicester village I snapped it up I have heard many good things about it and am not disappointed with this purchase, plus the size is fab so it is going to be something that I will be using a lot this year, previous to this I was using the Benefit Hoola Bronzer which is a product that I will repurchase in the future. This is the only Blusher that I own by Maybelline's Dream Touch range, I can take it or leave it in my routine but I like to have it there for those days that I want to add a bit of colour. The Highlighter that I use is the Benefit High Beam, I do really like this as it add a subtle dewy glimmer to the high points of my face, but I do think for what it is its a little bit on the pricey side, I am on the look out for something to replace this when I finish.

The Brushes
For my Bronzer Brush I use the Real Techniques Blush Brush, its soft and applies the product evenly. For an Eyebrow Brush I use the Stila 10 Brush, I haven't had this long but it seem to be good, the bristles haven't fallen out and its fine enough to be able to apply powder on to the brows.

The Eyes
Eyeshadow isn't something that I will choose wear daily, but when I do I will reach for my Urban Decay Naked Palette the neutral colour range is something that I really like to wear, because it's so easy I am all about minimal effort and simplicity in my make up routine, I don't own any of the other Naked palettes, although I appreciate how good they are I just don't feel like I need to add anything else, I think this does it all for me. For Mascara I am a massive fan of drugstore brands and have repurchase this Maybelline Lash Sensational one several times, I just think it has a fab result on the lash, making them look thicker and longer.

The Brows
I use the Eyebrow Powder in the Benefit Brow Zing palette, its a good match and gives natural results that last all day. For Eyebrow Gel I use the Maybelline Brow Drama, which is a tinted gel, it holds in place all day and has a good result.

The Lips
For Lip Balm  I use either Vaseline Lip Therapy or Carmex, I would say that Carmex does a lot better job, but I am a sucker for a little dab of Vaseline overnight. My go to Lip Stick of the moment is Mac Chatter Box which is a nice daytime pink, I have almost used it up whilst I like the colour I don't think I will repurchase this straight away, I think I will give something else ago.

Do you own any of these make up products? What are your favourite go to products?
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Whitlingham lake is on the out skirts of Norwich in Norfolk, as well as walking around  the wooded lake you can take jog, run or cycle around the lake. Or in the lake itself you can take part in some water sports activities! Regardless of how you spend your time here you can then follow up with a warm drink and freshly baked cake at the visitors centre that is found beside the car park. Personally I prefer a brisk stroll around the lake in the evening when it isn't too busy.


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I don't know anybody that doesn't love Soap and Glory with there super affordable skincare, bath, shower and make up products, the super cute packaging and the awesome scents that accompany the products there are numerous reasons to love them.

I recently received some of the travel sized miniatures from the Sugar Crush range for Christmas so I thought I would give you a little run down of what I thought of their products. SUGAR CRUSH BODY WASH I love the smell of this it is super refreshing the sweet lime citrous scent is lovely, it isn't over powering I use a small amount on a shower puff which then lathers up nicely to leave your body feeling really soft and clean. SUGAR CRUSH BODY SCRUB again a super sweet lime scented product, it is a really thick body scrub which you use in the shower just apply to problem areas where you need to scrub- legs, arms, elbows, knees... and then rinse off for the most smoothest and delicious smelling skin! SUGAR CRUSH BODY BUTTER CREAM I find that this is best used on damp skin, of course you can use it on dry skin either way you will get left with fab results, I just like to take a reasonable amount and massage it into my skin, it leaves your skin feeling soft, absorbs well and it doesn't feel greasy or oily. SUGAR CRUSH HAND FOOD everyone and their dog raves about the original hand food, so the sugar crush version I hate to say it but I like it better, its super refreshing, it absorbs well, it doesn't leave my hands feeling greasy, it is really hydrating and it is just what my hands need in this harsh winter weather.

Have you tried anything from the Soap and Glory Sugar Crush range, what did you think about it?

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I was recently offered the chance to try the Jason Vitamin E Skin Oil, as my skin is super dry and having just come back from travelling in a hot country, and now I am straight back into the harsh wintery weather of England I jumped at the chance to give this a go!

First up there are no horrible ingredients such as parabens, artificial colours, petrolatum, or synthetic fragrances in this product which is great for those of us who are conscious of what we are subjecting your skin to. By no means am I a skincare queen, who knows exactly what all of the ingredients in different products do, but I do like to take some interest and avoid as many nasties as possible.

It contains Vitamin E as well as 5 essential oils from Almond, Avocado, Sunflower, Apricot and Wheat germ which all play a role in leaving your skin super moisturised, and feeling smooth and soothed. I have been applying this directly to my body and face after showering/bathing and applying this to my hands at night and in the morning, obviously it is an oil, so it does leave your skin feeling oily, but it soaks in relatively quickly in about 15 minutes, and the oily formula all plays a part in leaving your skin feeling nourished. It has a really nice sweet almond scent to the product which I really like it is probably one of my favourite skincare scents as it is not overpowering.

It is a great product year round with multiple purposes for the skin to ease sunburn, wind exposure, decrease roughness and can be used as frequently as you feel your skin needs it.

It is currently available for £5.49 for a 120ml bottle on the NutriCentre website.

Have you tried skin oils before? What are your thoughts on them?

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Instagram has quickly become one of the most used social media platform, where a small image accompanied by a little paragraph of writing with a few hashtags has taken the world by storm! With over 300million users, a popular instagram account with active followers can increase the followers to your blog or website, and mean increased sales for brands.

Create a username that reflects the you and the image that you want to be putting across having a username like 'Hotcerealtea15257aa' isn't memorable and probably isn't going to interest many people enough to click on it and see what your account is all about. At any point you are able to go and change your user name in the settings, so if everything else is in line except your username you do not need to start again. As fickle as it is people really do judge an Instagram account by its username, so you may as well start off in a positive way. I would try to stick to something simple that has your name, business name or blog name in it, that way it is easily recognisable.

Think of what your image represents and narrow that down to a few words these are what you want your Instagram to sum up when people browse your account, so if you are a travel blogger you may want to concentrate on the nature, vibrancy, life. A clothing brand may want to show the marketing, clothing, models, and products. Also think of the lay out of photos, are you going to have boarders or no boarders? size of the image? filters or no filters. Try to keep it as consistent as possible. I like to adopt the 90/10 approach, 90% of my images I like to think I am sticking to my theme, the other 10% of the images, don't fit, but I like that image enough to post it.

Use them, hashtag the location, the brand, what the item is, hashtag it all is my best advice, this is the way that people will be able to find your images through what they like and you hopefully will gain new followers if they like what they see. People won't be able to find that awesome beach shot, or image of a new book you have purchased if there is nothing for them to search it by.

Reply to other people, if they have left a comment on your post then thank them or reply if they have left a question. In return also comment on photos that you like, if there is a question answer it, but be genuine and sincere, people don't want to see "love it!" on everything as its not always genuine. The same goes with liking photos, like photos, people like to be liked, so if you see an image that you enjoy press that heart! Don't try to be elite, follow people back if you like what they post, who cares if you are following hundreds of accounts? if you like what you see why not? People like people who interact we are people not robots!

Simple Tag your photos with the brands that feature in it, and also Geotag that photo to the place that the photo was taken at, this way when people are looking for those brands or at those places your image will come up in the results, which means they are more likely to follow you as you obviously have something in common like eating at and going to the same place, and liking the same brands.

Link your instagram to twitter so that it shows up on your twitter feed, do the same for facebook. Have your links in your bio for your blog, or website, post links in your image, this way people are more likely to go from one of your social media sites to the other, and are likely to follow you on instagram if they are already following you on one of the other platforms, so make sure that link is readily available.

What Do You Gain Instagram Followers? 

Leave Your Instagram Name Below For Me To Check Out
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Lush is one of those brands that you can get for any girl as a gift and you really can't go wrong, to me I think they have some good values as a brand such as being against animal testing, using fab ingredients and supporting charity which I really can't argue with. Not only that they manage to whizz out some of the nicest and most talked about gifts and products out there for Bathing, Showering, Haircare, Skincare and more whilst upholding their values.

Snow Fairy Shower Gel
This is favourite Christmas lush product, I love the subtle iridescent shimmer to it, and the candy-floss scent is to die for its sooo sweet smelling it smells way better than candy-floss, I don't even like candy-floss, but this is on a different level, it probably is the best smelling shower gel out there, I am so sad that is only out at Christmas time, I stagger my usage of this over the year so that I can maintain the festive spirit in every shower!

Magic Wand Reusable Bubble Bar
I love these bubble bar wands, all you have to do is swish it around in the bath water a little bit and then leave to dry out for next time. Its is a super cute bright pink star with some shimmer, in the classic Snow Fairy Scent, so what is not to love?! I cannot wait to use this.

Candy Mountain Bubble Bar
A super cute pink and white bubble bar that smells of a candy shop, all you do with this is just crumble it under running bath water to create the most glorious bubbles! You can go wild and crumble it all in one bath, or spread the bubble love by crumbling a little bit over a few baths.

I hope you enjoyed this small haul, I only got a few Lush items for Christmas, but I think as most people tend to get a lot of toiletries gifted to them that its nice sometimes to just have a few and not be overwhelmed by a massive pile of products that will inevitably end up getting wasted.

Have you tried any of these products? Did you receive any thing from Lush this Christmas?

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Luna Park is a iconic amusement park, from the big clown face that greets you at the entrance which you have to walk through the mouth, to the fun colours and illustrations that are adorning the parks attractions. Despite it being an overcast day it is definitely a place that stands out in the dullness of the weather. I hope you enjoy the photos that I took of my stroll around Luna Park. I would definitely recommend that you visit if you are ever in the Melbourne area, even if it is just for the evening. 

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I had never stepped foot inside the doors of a Bath and Body works until I discovered one inside an airport terminal, so knowing I had a little bit of space left in my bag and some time to kill, it was a green light for me to enter. Here is the result of my little spending spree.
 The Anti-Bacterial Hand Gels are one of those Bath and Body Work products that I have heard of numerous times from youtubers and bloggers, so they were something I was interested in picking up, so I picked up 5 of the pocketbacs they worked out at less than £1 and are 29ml so a really good price, they didn't have the full range in the store I went into so I was limited, but the ones that I did pick up were Pure Paradise which is a really nice blend of ocean kissed frangipani and star fruit Beautiful Day that just smells like summer with hints of apple and pear. Mad About You which smells of peonies, berries and musk. Raspberry Pink Peony simply a mix of peonies and raspberries. And lastly Energy which has blasts of orange and ginger so is super refreshing. I love hand sanitizers so I was well chuffed with my purchase and they make a lovely change to the classic Aloe Vera scent.

I next picked up 4 of their fragrance mists and 1 body lotion, obviously I was well and truly in holiday mode so many of the items I have reflect that haha! So first up is Love and Sunshine mist which smells like lemons and strawberries, I also got the matching body lotion which is super moisturising for dry skin. Beautiful Day which has hints of pear and apple. Sea Island Cotton which just smells so fresh like cotton mixed with air, this is probably my favourite I am a sucker for anything cotton scented. And finally Warm Vanilla Sugar which is sweet vanilla mixed with a subtle floral scent. These all worked out at less than £2 each and are fab for travelling and for those on the go at 88ml each.

I love everything that I purchased, if only I had more money, time and space I would have my whole beauty regime rammed of their products I am sure!

Have you ever been to a Bath and Body Works? What are your favourite products?

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A guide for those looking for gifts for the loved ones in your lifes with a touch of the travel bug. So whether you are looking for a gift for someone who is already on an adventure, or that someone that enjoys holidays and travelling then hopefully this gift guide has something to give you inspiration for a suitable well loved and received gift.


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I love this time of the year, when the festive vibes are in full swing, people around you are radiating from cheer and joy, and my diary is jam packed with festive fun! However I am by no means am I one of those Christmas fanatics that has the tree up in November, festivities are purely reserved for December only! :)

Favourite things about this time of year?
I just love how (mostly) everyone is just that little bit more cheerful and optimistic at this time of year. I like how you reconnect with friends and family that you haven't seen for a while. I like those winter walks. I like how the sky looks like it could snow but thankfully hardly ever does.

Favourite winter drink?
It has to be a hot chocolate with a little bit of whipped cream and some mini marshmallows, the ultimate drink for a cold evening.

Go to winter clothing style?
I love oversized jumpers, checked scarfs(I have 5 on rotate), skinny jeans, Chelsea boots, pom pom beanie hats, I really am pretty casual I just want to be warm and comfortable.

What's on your Christmas wish list?
I never feel like I want a lot of things off people, as I tend to just buy what I want throughout the year. But if Santa was rich then I would like a designer bag and matching purse, hair straighteners, a suitcase, and a watch.

Favourite Christmas food?
I am not the biggest fan of Christmas foods, but I do enjoy all of the Christmas snacks on offer- nuts, clementines, crackers, mini chocolates... you get my drift. 

Gift giving or gift receiving?
A bit of both I think its fun, of course its nice to have a clear out and give to charity and buy gifts to give to your loved ones, but I do enjoy receiving a gift or two :)


Go to winter beauty look?
My make up look remains pretty natural throughout the year, but in the winter I love Berry toned lips, coppery eyes, and a little bit of subtle shimmer on a night out!

New Years resolutions?
I can't say I have really thought about this, but I can already guess that I wont stick to them haha.

Favourite Christmas movies?
I enjoy watching those classics like Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and Mrs Doubt Fire, not really 'Christmas' films but they are always on at this time of the year!

Link me to your Christmas Tags or post your answers below, I look forward to reading your answers!

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Slowly I am making my way through my beauty products, along the way I am finding products that I love and adore, and then I come across products that I really should have left on the shelf in boots. More often than not though the only products that I finish are those that I enjoy, as it truly is torturous using products that you don't like, so those products make their way to the bin, or to family and friends that are able to enjoy the products.

Benefit They're Real Mascara
Sadly this was only a mini size of the mascara, but from the few times that I used this mascara I found it to do a really great job at extending the lashes and giving them a more dramatic look, it is also really long wearing which is great as I am really not one to reapply make up throughout the day, the only downside is that it can be a little bit hard to budge when it comes to removing your make up but thats a small price to pay for a fab mascara!

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I don't often finish a product completely for numerous reasons that include, being tempted by new products, not liking that product enough to finish it and putting it somewhere that I simply end up forgetting about it. So here are a few items that I have recently finished using up, and a little review on those.

GIRLZ ONLY DRY SHAMPOO - Normally I stick to Batiste dry shampoo, but there was none left, so I gave this one a go, it was pretty cheap I think less than £2 and it done a good job, I don't really have a strong opinion on dry shampoo as long as it adds a little volume and gives my hair a little refresh between washes then I am pretty happy. One thing I do hate about this product is the name, I don't like childish names for products where they add a random 'Z', to make it seem hip and happening, I suppose it is maybe supposed to appeal to a younger market but it comes across as a little try hard.

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A couple of weeks ago I had a little splurge on Clarins skincare products, they are a brand that I always find have good quality products that work well for my skin but I often bypass them in favour of cheaper products, so when I saw that Boots were doing a
promotion where you receive 750 boots points for every Clarins product that you purchase I thought it was a pretty good deal especially as there were a few things that I had been eyeing up.
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