Another month into 2018 already! How was your February? Mine started with a hectic week of travel (I don’t know how those of you who commute long journeys every day cope!) and although work travel was minimal for the rest of the month I travelled to various parts of England and Wales as part of my February Five challenge for Mind (the mental health charity) – I chose to do five walks, each with a different person and in a different place. It was a great challenge; I really enjoyed exploring new places and connecting with people 🙂
Here are the things I’ve been loving this last month:
I mentioned in my review of The Happiness Equation that I’ve recently been planning meals in advance and one thing that has been helping me with that is Simply Cook which is a subscription service that sends four recipes and the relevant accompaniments (in small tubs which fit through your letter box). We’ve used the service in the past but when we first moved to a vegetarian diet we struggled to find enough variety. They’ve since expanded the range of meals and we’re able to find at least four vegetarian and gluten free meals each month (although sometimes we choose repeats as we love them!). You get the sauces/stocks/spices in the kit along with the recipe, and buy the rest of the ingredients yourself – I find this useful if you have certain preferences you want to adapt for. You can choose your own meals or let them choose some for you. When the box is dispatched you receive an email with a list of the ingredients you’ll need to buy which I find helpful for planning in advance. The flavours of the meals are incredible – they’re always some of our favourite meals even if we’re not initially sure we’ll like them. The monthly subscription is £10 but if you enter my referral code as you checkout (JA3839) you’ll get your first box for £1 (and you can cancel after you’ve tried it if you decide you don’t want to continue your subscription). Highly recommend!
Happy Journal by Fearne Cotton* (RRP £14.99)
This was recommended by a friend and I’m so glad I chose to get a copy. It’s a daily journal designed to encourage you reflect on different elements of your life to help you lead a happy and more fulfilling life. Sometimes the daily prompt will be a question, sometimes it will be a suggestion of something to do, sometimes it will be a statement to reflect on or even a doodle to draw. Each month the journal has a different focus (for February it was love). I journal every night and have added this to my routine and am really enjoying it. I particularly like the more freeform approach as I’m finding it cathartic to write down what’s on my mind.
Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Stretch trousers* (RRP £50)
As mentioned, I’ve been walking more this month and these beauties have been well worth the investment. Although I’m not particularly tall, I have long legs and always really struggle to get trousers long enough (some of the ‘long’ ranges aren’t long enough for me). When it comes to walking trousers, you don’t really want ones that are too short! I struggled to find some that would fit me but asked a fellow long-legged friend who reminded me about Craghoppers (which I’ve had in the past). Things have moved on since I was last in the market for walking trousers and the Kiwi Pro Stretch trousers are amazing. They’re long enough for me, they’re actually a fairly flattering shape (and don’t gape at the waist), and they allow me to climb anywhere without feeling restricted. It was a bit of a challenge to find some in stock in my size but so worth it once I did. They fit me so well and are incredibly comfortable. We’re having a cold spell at the moment with regular snow so I’m using that as an excuse to wear these and my new walking boots almost every day! I hope to get more of these trousers in future – I currently have the graphite shade and would like some of the other colours.
PureChimp Super Cleanser* (80g, £11.95)
This one is a love/hate product for me so I was initially hesitant to include it in the list. The PureChimp Super Cleanser is a banana scented facial cleanser and exfoliator that you mix into a paste. Here’s where I hate it – I really struggle to make it into a paste! It’s really not an enjoyable experience as it’s tricky to use and takes a lot of effort to get it into anything remotely resembling a paste. However, it seems to do great stuff for my skin. I find it particularly good for making sure the skin around my nose is really clean as it has scrub particles that help to clear. It also seems very gentle and soothes my skin whilst ensuring it’s not too dry or oily. The scent is divisive – it smells like banana sweets! I like it, and because I like the effect on my skin this has made it into my favourites but it definitely isn’t my favourite product to use in terms of experience.
BaByliss Diamond Big Hair Dual* (RRP £60.00)
I had my hair done at the end of January and have been taking more care of it since. As a teenager I used to tie my hair back every day (for gymnastics) and to be honest I’ve never really got into the habit of looking after my hair properly. Since finding a fabulous hairdresser last year that’s all changed and I’ve realised my hair is important for my self-esteem so I’m taking more care and attention. I’m sure I’ll be reviewing some products I’ve been testing in future posts, but the main thing that has made the difference has been taking time to style my hair regularly. I’ve been using my BaByliss Big Hair which really helps to add volume and shine and keeps my hair nice and smooth. It’s basically a tool to help with blow drying (which I’ve never mastered the art of!) and works by drying the hair whilst also styling it (the brush head spins). It’s brilliant for short hair as well as long hair (I used mine when I had a bob and use it now I have longer hair), and the dual model is particularly good as it has two different sizes of brush head. I’d recommend it for anyone like me who likes their hair to look smooth and shiny but can’t seem to get the hang of blow drying!
Rosie from Autograph Lip Glossy in Supermodel Smile (2.5g, £12.50)
I received this in an Advent Calendar in 2016 and recently saw WavyKate on Youtube use it in a video which reminded me how much I like it. I’ve been using it almost every day since then; it’s a really subtle neutral gloss which adds a bit of colour and shine but isn’t sticky at all. It’s the sort of product I can wear without any make up or with a full face of make up and I love it for its versatility. It’s become my go-to lip product of the moment and I’d definitely recommend checking it out.
Mádara Oil-to-Milk Scrub* (60ml, £24.00)
What a fabulous face scrub! This manages to somehow be really gentle on the skin yet also quite a deep scrub. I’m really enjoying using it and the bonus is it smells like Love Hearts! I reviewed it in my blog post on the LoveLula February Beauty Box.
So those are the things I’ve been loving over the last few weeks. I’d love to hear your current favourites – have you discovered or re-discovered something recently? Let me know in the comments 🙂
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