Happy Easter! 🐣🐰🍫 Today (1st April) marks the beginning of the second quarter of the year. How was your March? Mine bought some exciting new work projects (a leadership development programme with a residential in a couple of weeks, a project interviewing people and sharing their experiences, and some more coaching). I had a bit of a frustrating month in terms of physical health as my walks and regular gym visits in February seem to have put my knee under strain so I had to take it a bit easier this month. Thanks to some rest I’m now back to full fitness and loving my new gym routine. I’ve also made progress with my mental health as this month I’ve stopped taking my antidepressants (following a month of tapering). I’m feeling in a really good place at the moment and looking forward to the next few months. I hope you are too, but if not don’t worry, just let things be 🙂
Here are the things I’ve been loving in March:
Apple AirPods* (RRP £159.00)
I’ve been lusting after this pair of wireless bluetooth earphones for a long time now, and frustrating anyone who knows me as I haven’t shut up about them but couldn’t justify the cost. Then my regular bluetooth earphones broke and I wanted them even more. Then I tripped over my headset cable and broke my laptop screen (costing me £600 in repair costs though fortunately I only had to pay an excess of £150 – almost exactly the price of the headphones that would have prevented this accident!). So when I finally got these earlier this month it was a very momentous occasion. I had such high expectations of them. Yet they have exceeded all expectations! I love the freedom I have when wearing these – I can be listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or chatting on the phone whilst walking, at the gym, cooking, doing chores… I’m also making much more use of Siri to do things like add to my groceries list and read my groceries list to me whilst I’m in the supermarket. Being able to do all this without having to get my phone out of my bag (or in the same room as me when I’m at home) is amazingly convenient. I’ve been using them for all my work calls too and they switch between my phone and laptop really easily. The battery doesn’t last amazingly well (particularly for phone calls) however the charging case is brilliant and they charge so quickly so I can just take one out to charge and then switch without interrupting the phone call. I love them so much and can’t recommend them highly enough!
Audible* (£7.99/month for one book per month, 30-day free trial)
Partly because of the convenience of the AirPods, this month I’ve been testing out audiobooks and really enjoying them. So far I’ve listened to three audiobooks (one purchased from Apple, one from the Audible trial, and one purchased from Audible). I love being able to listen as I do other things and am finding it’s really helping me make more time for reading. I wasn’t sure I’d like audiobooks and have resisted for a long time but am so glad I tried them as I love them. If you haven’t tried before, I definitely recommend taking out the 30-day free trial for Audible* to see what you think. You get a credit for one audiobook (which you can use to purchase any audiobook and will have this to keep forever), and if you don’t like it you can cancel before the month is up and you won’t have spent anything. Given how expensive audiobooks are, I think £7.99/month is a good cost and is definitely something I’ll be continuing with for now.
Moleskine Professional notebook* (various – £18.99 for the large soft cover shown)
Someone recently referred to me as ‘The Queen of Notebooks’ – something I’d be very happy with being known as. For many years I used digital methods for pretty much everything, but as my work style and preferences have changed, so have my habits. I also learnt the value of handwriting notes, particularly when it comes to helping remember what you have written. Over the last couple of years I’ve tried lots of different types of note-taking methods and notebooks, and one format I really like is the Moleskine Professional notebook. It has page numbers, a full index (every page), a bookmark, and each page has three sections plus a date field (plus some features I don’t tend to use but are nice to have like project planning, to-do lists, and sticky tabs). I use the different sections of the page for different purposes (summary, key notes, actions) which has been working really well for note-taking when I’m learning.
Although I’ve enjoyed completing this diary every day, the value in this is more of a longer-term realisation than an immediate thing. I’ve been completing this since Christmas 2016 so I’m now seeing my previous year’s entries each day. It’s fascinating seeing patterns emerge as well as see how much things have changed in a year. It’s an enjoyable part of my nighttime routine and I look forward to building it up over the next few years. I like the fact it’s only small and doesn’t take a lot of space or time. Great for supporting daily journalling and also a lovely gift. I also have the Q&A a day journal* which was very enjoyable the first year and is interesting to continue with though some of my answers are the same this year as they were last year.
Mádara Brightening AHA Peel Mask* (£24 for 60ml)
I got this with a recent LoveLula* order using an offer they had on where you got this mask free if you spent over £25 on Mádara products (at the time of writing it’s still on – use the code MADARA at the checkout). I’ve had this mask on my wishlist for a while and was also intrigued by the new Mádara CC cream* so I jumped on to the offer and got both items for £27 – bargain! I’m still testing the CC cream but the mask I absolutely love! I’ve used it three times so far and each time I have been so impressed with how it has left my skin. I’m planning to do a full review soon so won’t say too much now but it’s a staple in my weekly skincare routine now and it’s really helping my skin. Definitely recommend this!
Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Hair Masque* (£12.99 for 354ml)
My hair needs a lot of moisture so I’ve started using hair masks on a more regular basis (once or twice a week). Shea Moisture is a brand I’ve heard great things about for those of us with dry hair, and when I spotted this range for fine, wavy hair I decided to give it a go. Shea Moisture* are a cruelty-free brand who don’t use sulphates or parabens in their products and do use a lot of natural fruit oils and moisturising ingredients. This mask smells amazing! It’s a very thick consistency but easy to massage into your hair. I leave it for around 5 minutes and then rinse with cool water. It really helps to keep my hair feeling lovely and soft as well as making it more manageable. It’s a huge tub so I think this will last me a good few months even if I use it every week!
Pure & Light Organic Revitalising Facial Exfoliation* (£28 for 50ml)
I received this in February as a product to test for the LoveLula Accredited Blogger Programme but hadn’t started using it until recently. I’m now using this every morning and I am so impressed! I was a little apprehensive about using an exfoliator so frequently but this is a really gentle exfoliator so can be used daily. It seems to be helping clean my skin from a couple of breakouts and smooth my skin. It’s also nourishing so is great for people like myself with drier/combination skin. It actually says it’s suited for all skin types and I can definitely understand that as it seems very balancing. It’s a little pricey for a cleanser but it is doing wonders for my skin so I think this may well become a staple in my routine.
Easter chocolates (Galaxy Golden Eggs and Cadbury Daim Eggs)
It wouldn’t be right not to include something Easter themed for a blog post on Easter Sunday! I have been really loving the Galaxy Golden Eggs this year, particularly these mini bags which are a perfect snack. The Cadbury Daim eggs are great too – a lovely little snack and good value (a bag of 8 for £1). Grab some quick before they sell out!
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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