Healthy Oat Blueberry Banana muffins (Nic's Nutrition).

31.1.16

I've been quiet on the baking front recently but now that I'm fully moved in with Paul and settled in, and enjoying having a lovely big kitchen, I decided to give some healthy baking a go last weekend. For healthy baking I usually turn to Nic's Nutrition because her recipes are ace. I made her oat and blueberry banana muffins as I already had most of the ingredients in the cupboard so I only needed to pop out for a couple of bits.

For my first attempt I think they came out okay! I'm not sure if my measurements for the "wet" ingredients were quite right and the texture of the muffins are more scone-like than muffin-y, but they're really tasty and were a hit with Paul too!

I have been struggling with my appetite recently, and I feel nauseous most mornings, so breakfast as soon as I wake up isn't always an option. It has been really handy popping a muffin or two in my handbag to eat at my desk with my morning cuppa mid-morning. They came out in a variety of sizes so I find a couple of small ones or one big one would suffice! They're full of oats to keep you full plus other yummy ingredients like honey, cinnamon, bananas and blueberries.

I plan to make these again very soon, but I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a silicone muffin tray to make them look more uniform in shape and equal in size #saddoalert

Any other breakfast muffin recipes would be gratefully received!



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5 good things (burning candles, button up skirts and finding the balance!)

26.1.16

I am heading into a mammoth blog and YouTube catch up but before I do I thought a quick update was in order to let you guys know what's going well for me at the moment. I had a really crap day yesterday as I felt so unwell and was feeling massively sorry for myself when I got home from work, and my evening was a total write-off, but today was a new day and much more positive, so I'm hoping the week continues in that fashion.

Here they are, my 5 good things!
 
1) I feel like I am finally getting somewhere with the doctors in relation to my health issues. This morning I had what felt like half the blood in my body taken to have a full screen of blood tests, the results of which I will get on Monday. If they're all fine I will be referred to a specialist centre to be treated for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is just utterly shit. But at least I will be heading in the right direction of ways I can improve my body and mind!
 
2) Finding the balance. For the first time in a long time I have stopped obsessing over calories, and tracking percentages of carbs and protein and fat, and worrying about the bits that wobble, and being too restrictive. It feels totally liberating to just eat what my body fancies and not deny myself anything which then leads to an obsession over that thing. I just need to be well enough to exercise again and I'll be laughing!
 
3) New Bath & Body Works candles. My American friend Amy recently sent me a box of goodies including a heap of mini B&BW candles which all smell uh-ma-zing and are currently filling our house with scents of pumpkin and waffles and vanilla and other such delights. Thanks Amy!!
 
4) Finding a skirt in the sale that fits and subsequently deciding it's your favourite-est skirt ever and wearing it all the time. Not so fun when you catch it on the edge of a table in a busy restaurant and all the poppers come undone though!
 
5) I've got the afternoon off tomorrow for a bit of a midweek break with Paul, Lily and Lola and I am so ready for it. A bit of quality time with those guys always perks me right up.

Link me to your current "good things" if you've blogged about them!
 
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Going for the chop....again.

24.1.16

This time last year I had just cut my hair super short and LOVED it. It was in a short graduated bob with a few long layers, inspired by Julianne Hough who has the best hair ever. I grew it a little and then it stayed around my shoulders for a while and looked great with a bit of volume and wave to it, but then I decided to grow it. Because I always forget that Victoria + long hair = rats tails and no volume. So the vicious cycle of growing/cutting began again!

Last week I got it cut back into a shoulder length bob but without layers this time. Apparently it's trendy to have a really square bob, so I'm fashionable for once in my life! Ha! It feels so healthy and thick, and I am loving being able to get volume and messiness back into my hair again. I am also looking forward to all the time I will save on washing and drying.

I'm sticking with the ombre colour for now, as I love being blonde but don't love having regrowth after a week. Last week I had a lowlight put through to break up the blonde a little bit and I'm really pleased with it.

I'm definitely going to keep it short for a while now, I may even go a bit shorter next time once I'm used to it. Nothing like a new hair do for the start of a new year!


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A long weekend in Wales (part two).

23.1.16

Read part one here!

These photos were all taken in or around our beautiful little cottage which we hardly left and wanted to live in! It was a delightfully cosy place which we would love to go back to with the Pugs for another (longer) trip some day.

This is the first time I've been away with the dogs and it was wonderful. We took them down to the beach which was next to our cottage, navigating over puddles and lifting them over the cobbles to have a splash in the sea. It must have been freezing on their tootsies so we didn't stay out too long, but it was lovely to be out and about with no one else around. Just Paul. And my fur babies. What more do I need! ♥
 
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My nose piercing story and advice.

20.1.16

I got my nose pierced last year (May to be precise) after umm-ing and ahh-ing about it for ages. With lots of changes going on in my life I felt like I was finding myself more and more as time went on (as cheesy as that sounds!) and I felt like part of that change was to bite the bullet and get the piercing that I wanted so badly.

With my big sister holding my hand I went for it and got it done at a tattoo/piercing shop over on the Isle of Man while I was visiting her. We did our research and found lots of positive reviews for the shop in question so we had a walk across town to have a nosy.

I thought I would do a blog post about my experience because I had so.many.damn.problems with my piercing for the first 4 - 5 months. I have always been fairly good at healing and didn't have any problems with my ear piercings when I was younger but my nose was a different kettle of fish. At one point I felt like it would never heal, especially on the day where luminous pus was flowing out of it *sorry if you're eating at this moment in time*..

So here it is, a bit of advice if you're having problems with your nose piercing. If you're thinking about getting it done please don't let this post put you off. Even after the problems I encountered I don't regret having it done, I love it! It was definitely worth the hassle.


- Everyone heals at different speeds so don't worry if your piercing hasn't healed in the time the shop stated it would. I messed with my piercing far too much when I first got it and it took 5 months for it to fully heal and to stop getting infected, whereas I have seen other people changing their studs regularly after just a couple of weeks. You will know best if it feels/looks healed. If it doesn't just leave it be until it is. Be patient!

- If you get a lump next to your stud, like I did, pop to a local piercing shop to get professional advice. I googled what my lump was, doing a spot of self-diagnoses, but I got it completely wrong so all the treatments I tried didn't work. When I got a pro to look at it they told me it was a build up of fluid and that I should compress it using boiled water on cotton wool. Once I started doing that it worked a treat! Before that I had tried things like tea tree oil and aspirin paste with no luck.

- Keep it clean but don't over clean it. I would clean mine in one of two ways. The quick way was simply dipping a cotton bud stick into boiled water with rock salt then cleaning the inside and outside of my nose. Or I would pop some boiled water with rock salt in a small bowl and, once the water had cooled enough, submerge my nose in it. I found this reduced the swelling on the inside of my nostril as well as cleaning the outside. At one point I was doing this cleaning routine far too often as I was obsessed with getting it to heal. Once I had found a happy medium with the cleaning malarkey things looked and felt much better.

- Don't touch it with dirty hands. My sister will laugh at this one as she was always telling me off for twizzling my stud without washing my hands first, but it's easily done when you don't realise you're doing it.

- Once it has healed and you want to change the stud but you don't feel confident doing so, go to a professional who will sort it for you.

- When it's new and you're not used to it being there try to be conscious of it when pulling clothes over your head, or wearing a scarf that could get caught in it, or picking your nose ;) I knocked mine a few times in the early days, forgetting it was there. I felt like I would never get used to having a nose piercing but now I don't even think about it! I forget it's there most of the time.

- Enjoy it :) 


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A long weekend in Wales (part one).

17.1.16

Last weekend we started January as we mean to go on by heading off on a little adventure with the Pugs to Wales. As I didn't get to spend Christmas with Paul or the Pugs we decided to book somewhere for the four of us for the new year and the criteria was simple - must take dogs and must have a hot tub. Our search didn't bring up too many options but that's okay, the cottage we found was a real gem! We stayed here, a traditional cottage near the beach at Llanon in Ceredigion. 

Our stay was exactly what we both needed (although staying one more night would have been the icing on the cake!) It was the perfect size for the two of us and Lily and Lola, decorated in a shabby chic style with nautical touches here and there. The cottage consisted of an open kitchen/dining/living room space, a double bedroom with en suite (complete with a 'bath with legs'), a small outside space, and a hot tub at the back of the cottage. The living area has a log burning fire which really enhances the cosy feel of the cottage (and it kept Paul out of mischief as he was determined to keep it burning for more than 5 minutes!) 


We didn't do a whole lot of exploring, apart from a couple of walks to the beach with the dogs and a brief visit to Aberystwyth (props to me for spelling that right first time without cheating!), because our cottage was so homely and it felt such a shame to leave it. We were happy to spend all our time there; watching telly, reading, sleeping, cooking, drinking, and of course, trying out the hot tub. I could seriously get used to having a glass of fizz in a hot tub of an evening looking up at the stars and chatting away with such good company. 

It was a long old drive for us from Sheffield so if/when we go back (which we would love to) we will stay for 3 or 4 nights instead of 2 to really make the most of it. That way we would get a bit more time to explore the nearby areas and take the dogs out on some more adventures. It's not often they get to paddle in the sea!

If you have stayed in any dog-friendly holiday homes/cottages that aren't too far from Yorkshire please do let me know! 
 
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5 good things (moving in and moving on!)

15.1.16

This week has been an emotional rollercoaster! The stress of moving house for the third time in 12 months has really got to me and I can feel my glandular fever flaring up AGAIN. It's just a saga now. I'm hoping a peaceful Friday night and plenty of sleep over the weekend will see me right. Otherwise I'm wondering if I can have a new body please, one that works properly?!

I just worked out that, after living in the same house from birth to being roughly 24 years old, I have moved ten times. TEN TIMES. Ten times in 6 years is quite frankly ridiculous. It's no wonder I always feel unsettled and anxious! No wonder at all. I am ready for this new start, ready to get nice and settled with Lily and Lola, and ready to make lots of new memories with Paul, who really is the bees knees. 

I love writing 5 good things posts so here's one for your viewing pleasure! Let me know if you do these posts, I'd love to have a nosy. 

1) Yesterday the tenancy on my flat ended and I handed my keys back. I got confirmation that I would get my full bond back (see - having dogs in a rental property isn't so bad is it! Hmppff!) and I spent the day sorting out all my bills and whatnot. It is such a huge relief to have my belongings moved and to be living in one place, as opposed to hopping between Paul's house and my flat (and him doing the same!) I am really excited to be living with Paul, it feels like home already.
 
2) A trip to IKEA on Sunday for new furniture! (and meatballs!) 
 
3) A spot of pampering. Yesterday I toddled off to The Salon on Ecclesall Road (Sheffield) for a microdermabrasion facial as they're amazing for my acne scarring and I felt like I deserved a treat. The treatment was great - I just wish I had booked in for more! I left feeling relaxed and promised myself I would do it more often. 


4) A clean bill of health for the Puggies. They had their boosters last week and apart from dodgy eyesight and Lily's poorly paw they are doing well for their age! They are turning into old ladies now but I can't think about that too much..! 
 
5) Blog plans. It has been difficult to blog over the past year or so, with everything going on and no fixed abode, so now that things are settling down I plan to blog a LOT more. We have a lot of plans over the next few months and I plan to share it all with you guys. 


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Current beauty favourites (Burt's Bees, Bumble & Bumble, Pro-voke, Lush, Soap & Glory, Clinique).

3.1.16

Burt's Bees almond and milk hand cream
This little beauty has to go at the top of this list. I got this hand cream for Christmas, in a gift-set with a lip balm, and I was really excited to use it having not tried much from Burt's Bees before. I get through hand cream like nobody's business due to my extremely dry hands as a result of excessive hand washing. I even have prescription eczema cream that I use when things get really bad, but this hand cream blows that out of the water. It leaves my hands feeling super soft, it banishes the dry patches between my fingers, it lasts for ages even through hand washing, and it smells frickin' amazing! 10/10!


LUSH 'Santa' lip scrub
It's probably slightly redundant including this item in my list because I assume it's only available in the run up to Christmas BUT it's worth keeping it in mind when it rolls around at the end of this year. I have tried a Lush lip scrub before but found it a little dry, however the formula of the Santa version seems much improved. It's cola flavoured which is just yum. I use this after doing my make-up to get rid of any foundation on my lips then I pop a lip balm on over the top and the end result is a lovely-looking pout!


Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil shampoo
I got through a couple of bottles of this shampoo when it was first released and I loved it. I love the Invisible Oil oil/serum so I had high hopes for the shampoo and conditioner - I wasn't disappointed. It leaves my hair feeling really clean, without feeling too 'stripped', and the lengths feel smoother and sleeker. It also leaves my colour looking fresh, even though it's not a colour preserving shampoo. I got a fresh bottle of this shampoo and the conditioner for Christmas - hurrah! I will be making it last as it's not cheap! But it's definitely worth it.

This is by far the best purple shampoo I have used for my blonde highlights. My blonde colour can easily start to look 'warm' instead of the cool white tones I prefer, but leaving this shampoo on for 5 to 10 minutes once a week brings the colour back to how I like it. I find purple shampoos quite drying but this one isn't too bad, as long as I use a good moisturising conditioner afterwards. It's only a few quid and well worth it!


Soap & Glory 'Love at First Blush' blusher
I acquired this by chance when I bought a couple of bits from Soap & Glory and received a free gift containing this blusher. It has ended up becoming a firm favourite of mine, and I use it every day. I have received a couple of nice compliments while wearing it as it gives me such a nice glow. I am rather happy I discovered this by accident! It's definitely the best blusher I have tried.

This is my all time favourite mascara, which I discovered earlier this year when my friend recommended it to me. I have got quite small eyes and stubby lashes so any mascaras with a big wand leave me with mascara all over my eye lids. Not a good look! The High-Lengths mascara has a small comb-style wand which is perfect for me. It lengths and separates my lashes a treat! I popped this on my Christmas list and Santa didn't disappoint. I have tried so many other mascaras but this is the only one for me.


Have you tried any of these products? What's your current beauty fave?

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