Chill out Tuesday

Hello! Welcome to the second Tuesday blog. This week I’m going to be doing a blog that has been requested by a couple of people…how to have the ultimate chill out evening. Learning to unwind and de-stress is so important in the world we live in. Every one of us will have something that riles us up over the course of a week whether it be work related, personal worries and stresses or the fact that traffic and road rage destroyed our day from the out set! Therefore it is so important to take time to focus on you. To realise that the most important thing to focus on is you, because if you aren’t taking time out to restore your batteries you won’t be any good to anyone!

Everyone will have different ideas for what their ultimate chill out evening will involve. Mine however includes baths, pampering, beauty products, PJs and either a good book, chilled music or my favourite TV programme or film.


The main part of my chill out evening is my bath. I will start the bath running while I gather all my bits and bobs to create the perfect setting. Dimmed lights and a nice scented candle (for me a Bath & Body Works one every time) always make the mood immediately calming. Once the bath is starting to fill I will pop in my LUSH product of choice. If I have a Bath Bomb like I did in these photos, I will also add in some Sanex unscented bubbles so that I get colour and bubbles! Some people do choose to throw in a Bath Bomb and a Bubble Bar but for me that becomes too expensive. At this point I will also put my towel on the radiator (in the colder months) so that you don’t get that horrid cold shiver when you get out later.


Here are a selection of the LUSH baths I’ve had and the names just incase you want to go out and have a splurge!

(From L-R)

1 – Northern Lights Bath Bomb   2 – Sunnyside Bubble Bar     3 – Avobath Bath Bomb

4 – Ickle Baby Bot Bath Bamb       5 – Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb    6 – Dragons Egg Bath Bomb

7 – The Experimenter Bath Bomb    8 – Bright Side Bubble Bar   9 – Lava Lamp Bath Bomb

10 – Twilight Bath Bomb

I will then set up my entertainment (!) whilst the bath finishes filling! I normally watch something on the iPad which I prop up on the basket next to the bath. Occasionally when I don’t want to concentrate on a screen, I will have my chill out playlist going which is lovely when you’re in a candle lit bath – heaven. I do chop and change the playlist but just incase anyone is interested, I’ve listed the songs that have made the cut at the moment for you:

  1. Patty Griffin – Up to the Mountain
  2. Gallant – Weight in Gold
  3. The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
  4. Simply Red – For you Babies
  5. All Saints – Pure Shores
  6. The Script – I’m Yours
  7. John Legend – Stay with You
  8. Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway
  9. Ray LaMontagne – Trouble
  10. Coldplay – Us Against the World
  11. Beverley Knight – First Time
  12. James Taylor – Sweet Baby James
  13. Otis Redding – These Arms of Mine
  14. Bruno Mars – Count on Me
  15. Jack Johnson – Banana Pancakes


Obviously I wash (shock horror) whilst in the bath and due to my skin sensitivity I have to be careful with what I use. I find that the scented Dove products are fine for me or I opt for Johnsons. I love using a body puff as it allows your shower gel to go further and I find them gentler on my skin compared to sponges or flannels. I’ve got a bright yellow one at the moment which was given to me as a ‘piece of sunshine’ which always makes me smile! Since being in Dubai I have definitely started looking after my skin more. I exfoliate once or twice a week and my go to product is called ‘Rub Rub Rub’ and yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s a LUSH product. It’s bright blue in colour but has a fresh but not overwhelming scent and isn’t harsh on the skin.


Once a week I will give myself a face mask or face exfoliation when I’m in the bath. I absolutely love using Clarins Doux Polissant which is a gentle refiner and has tiny microbeads resulting in an extremely gentle but effective face exfoliation. Although cheap and cheerful, I find the face masks from Superdrug are really lovely. I really like the Manuka Honey Peel Off mask but I have never had a bad experience with any in this range so I’d highly recommend them.


You may find that depending on how long you want to stay in the bath, you may have to top up the hot water which is no big problem. Something I have never owned but am tempted by is a bath pillow, the better ones have little suction pads underneath so you can position it perfectly without worrying that it’s going to slip.

Once you’re ready to get out, make sure you have your choice of body moisturiser ready. I go for Dr Organic Aloe Vera Skin Lotion or another LUSH product called Dream Cream. Both are so refreshing on the skin and sink in quickly and aren’t greasy. It’s easy to forget to look after your feet so I always include them in my moisturising regime after a bath! My favourite foot cream is called, ‘Best Foot Forward Foot Butter with Peppermint Oil’ by Dirty Works. I get mine from Sainsbury’s but I’m sure you could find it elsewhere. Once the cream is well rubbed in, pop on some cotton socks and this will ensure that the cream is fully absorbed leading to maximum mositurisation.

Then you need to look after your face. I either use the Dr Organic Aloe Vera face cream or the Clinique Moisture Surge however, Dream Cream can also be used on your face. Twice a week I also like to apply Clinque’s ‘All About Eyes’ cream which is a moisture surge for the under eyes, reducing the size and colour of circles. Then a little layer of Vaseline to keep your lips moisturised too is a must do.

I always have my baths when I know all of my other jobs are done and anything that’s needed first thing in the morning is ready to go. That means I can then either get straight into bed and spend some time reading or continuing to listening to calming music or I can snuggle up under a blanket and watch some TV. Something that I would recommend is to not have any screen time i.e TV, iPad, phone, computer within the last hour before you are going to sleep. I find that when I do this, I get to sleep much quicker and sleep much more deeply and wake up feeling more refreshed the next day.

As strange as it is, I don’t like hot drinks but I know that many people find having a hot tea or hot chocolate helps them relax and sleep better too. Some people will even have this when they are in the bath although it’s more common for people to have a glass of wine or a soft drink whilst soaking! Each to their own!

I have always been a stickler for making my bed in the morning because then when it comes to bedtime, you are getting into a welcoming bed rather than one of mess and chaos which would destroy your relaxation of the last few hours! There’s nothing better than sinking into a freshly made with plumped up pillows and warm covers! My most relaxing evenings are aways made better when it’s been sheet washing day – I’m sure most of us will agree that fresh sheets are one of life’s true luxuries…or maybe that’s just me!! Sadly, alopecia has only robbed me of hair from the neck up but that does mean that the fab feeling of getting into a freshly made bed with newly shaved legs hasn’t been taken from me! Some men will never understand the joy of that feeling!

So there you have it, a simple yet fulfilling way to spend an evening which will guarantee you have a happy and productive day when you wake up.


Happy Tuesday!



Christmas present haul

Christmas may be a few weeks ago now – I know, how did that happen? – but I wanted to have a go at doing my first ever haul blog! They are blogs and vlogs that I really enjoy reading and watching, probably because it satisfies the nosy parker in me but also because I like to get ideas for nice gifts for people when an occasion next comes up. I haven’t included every single gift I received but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t love and appreciate each and every one. So before I get started it’s disclosure time…this isn’t about me bragging about what I got, it’s just me having a go at writing a new type of blog.

As with every year, I was so lucky with the gifts I received, most of them being total surprises and I didn’t have one single gift that I needed to exchange or take back – score! The first gifts I want to show are some of the gorgeous LUSH bath bombs and bubble bars I got. I have taken them out of the beautiful gift boxes as I wanted to use them ASAP! Honestly, I know I go on about LUSH a lot and I will be doing a Blog in more detail about baths and relaxation, but seriously, if you haven’t ever shopped there – go. Yes, it is on the pricier side of bath and beauty products but I’d rather have fun baths than a run of the mill, boring, functional bath!

The first set I opened was called ‘Happy Daze.’ It included The Experimenter Bath Bomb, Fizzbanger Bath Bomb, Brightside Bubble Bar and The Comforter Bubble Bar. I was so thrilled with this set because out of the four, three are my favourites  and since trying the Fizzbanger, it’s safe to say this set will now feature on any future wish list!


The second box was a seasonal Christmas selection box was called ‘Festive Friends.’ Inside were three gorgeous LUSH products: the Butterbear Bath Bomb, Father Christmas Bath Bomb and the Penguin Bubble Bar. You won’t see the Butterbear in the photos because I’ve already used him up! It was another product I’d never tried and again, LUSH didn’t let me down. I’ve always loved a musk scent (who remembers White Musk from The Body Shop?!) so this one suited me to a T.

Whilst on the theme of bath and beauty products, I want to mention the other skin care items I got. My skin has been even more sensitive than usual lately. On one of our many trips to Holland&Barrett, we discovered their skin care section. Mum has restocked my shelves with their Dr. Organic Aloe Vera skin lotion and the concentrated Aloe Vera cream which is the only thing (along with Clinique’s Moisture Surge) that my skin can handle at the moment and I LOVE them. They don’t have a scent as such but they aren’t greasy and dry on your skin quickly which is a positive for me. You don’t need to apply much of any of these Dr. Organic products, they are thick but they go a long way which means you don’t need to buy them frequently so are very cost effective. High Five!


I also received a gift which will be really useful; it’s called, This Works, Super Sleep Dual Pillow Spray. The set contains two 20ml sprays, a sleep plus pillow spray which is a “fast acting, natural remedy to restore a healthy sleep pattern,” and deep sleep pillow spray which is “a best-selling natural sleep aid that inspires feelings of calm.” An absolutely spot on gift for me at the moment seeing as sleep is very important and can be a painful, disturbed experience.


I haven’t been able to photograph my next gift because it was in use from Christmas Day! Mum and Dad got me the most amazing Dreamland Intelliheat Premium Fleece Dual Control Fitted Electric Underblanket. Now seriously, anything that’s name is that long and that detailed must be an out of this world product! And on top of that, it was a Which? best buy – wouldn’t expect anything less in terms of research from my Dad! It has two controls which means you can heat one side of the bed or both (I opt for both because I don’t have anyone else to warm up the other side for me!). When you are getting ready for bed you set the controls to ‘quick heat up’ for five minutes and then set the under sheet to your own personal preference once the time is up. You can set it to heat the bed for either one hour or nine. This is my only negative thing about the product – it would be good to have an in-between time setting, like four hours because at the moment, nine hours is too long but an hour is too short – first world problems or what?! Then there are five heating options, the last few nights when its been freezing I’ve gone for five but really, three is the optimal temperature and enables the perfect nights sleep. All old woman jokes aside, I really have found that it’s helped with my muscle pain during the night. Like with hot baths, heat does seem to ease pain and I haven’t felt as stiff when I wake up (!) Honestly, one of the best presents I have EVER recieved! I believe Mum and Dad got it from John Lewis but I’m sure there are other places it can be purchased from too.


Next up are books. I got four this year and all serve a different purpose!

  • First up, Mum and Dad gave me a  Dorling Kindersley photography book aimed at helping beginners. It takes you through everything you will need to know as a beginner and uses step by step pointers and photos which is a real positive for me as I’m a visual learner. It teaches you about ISO, aperture and shutter speed as well as shooting in various locations, lights and photographing  different subjects. Photography is a hobby I want to learn more about this year so I was really chuffed with this book.
  • Then I opened my annual diary from WH Smith’s. It’s a beautiful, bright, butterfly themed, page a day diary which is what I have used since I was twelve! Spot on Mum – thanks.
  • Next I opened a hilarious book from a friend entitled, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. I’ve heard so many people talk about this book, although the title is funny, having browsed over the first few pages, it seems like there will be lots of things to take from the book to implement into my life. I’m looking forward to reading it and will feed back once I’m finished!
  • Then finally I received, ‘The Christmasaurus’ by Tom Fletcher – yup, the guy from the band McFly! He is also the author of the series of children’s books, ‘The Dinosaur that Pooped…..’ series. As a teacher, I know that children adore these books and as an avid follower of Tom on YouTube, I’d followed his writing and publishing process, so was excited to get my hands on the finished product. The book has already been commissioned for a stage show next Christmas and is being made into an animated movie – amazing, what a talented guy.


I have an inkling that people may have picked up on the fact that I am partial to a quote here and there! The plaques and shaped quote gifts I received were all so lovely, meaningful and ones that Dad is going to have to come and put up for me – I mean, what else is he going to do with all this time on his hands now?! I don’t know where they are from but if you like the look of them as gifts for people, all you need to do is search the internet and you will be bombarded by similar things. They may not be big or expensive gifts but personally, I think they are a perfect sentimental gift for someone you care about. The one Mum gave me about socks, is an example of one that isn’t soppy but one that I will read over and over and always have a little chuckle to myself because we all know it’s so true!


You will also see that I received my own personalised recipe book – so cool! I already have one but it’s the one I was given when I went to Uni and it’s quite small and won’t fit in the recipes I find in magazines etc. So this one is perfect. I am going to transfer the recipes into the new book but also make sure I cut and stick in the recipes that Mum hand wrote because they hold a sentimental value to me. There’s something about keeping handwritten recipes that hold a bit of family history in my opinion.

Luckily my friends know me very well! I received three, yes three Mahogany Teakwood Bath and Body Works candles! One all the way from Chicago and two from Dubai – seriously, so happy! I also received one other beautiful candle and a gorgeous, stripped wood tea light holder with butterfly detailing. I don’t have a problem – promise.


My brother treated me to a necklace that I have had my eye on for ages. It is designed by a lady called Anna Saccone who is part of the Saccone-Joly family who are vloggers on YouTube. Each necklace has a Zodiac design on which means you can buy in accordance to the recipients star sign. You can choose from silver, rose gold or silver gold plated and they come in L, M or S sizes which is a great feature. Mine has the Taurus sign and is in rose gold, it came in a beautiful display box and included the story behind the designs. Anna sells these pieces on and she also designs Zodiac style charms and bracelets. Beautiful gifts for all ages, I would highly recommend.


I wanted to feature the gorgeous tree decorations I received. You may see a pattern occurring here – I may possibly like penguins! All three are from from three different friends and I love them all. One is a wood carved decoration with my named carved into one side and a Christmas penguin into the other. The next one is a glass Christmas penguin and the third is a glitter covered, more traditionally shaped bauble and I love him! Also along the penguin theme, a friend bought me a penguin pen which I will use to plan future blogs – another quirky, fun gift.


Finally, I wanted to mention a gift that you won’t be able to find or buy anywhere but that I am in love with. When I went to Egypt I purchased some beautiful material from a market at such a cheap price and had the idea that I wanted to use it for a throw or some kind. I mentioned it to Mum and Dad when I brought it home but never noticed that it had disappeared! So when I opened up the most beautiful quilt/bed throw and pillow on Christmas morning, I was in total shock! It was beyond what I had imagined for the material and I will treasure it forever. It was made by one of mum’s friends from choir and I would highly recommend her if you need anything like this made, she has done such a great job.

So there you have it, my first haul!  I hope you enjoyed it and that you may have some gift ideas for the coming year, let me know what gifts you loved this Christmas…that way I can continue to indulge in my nosiness!

Happy weekend!