Everything I Spent Money On In May

31 May 2020

Back at the beginning of the month, I decided that I was going to try my best not to spend any money in May. Now, of course not spending a penny was going to be impossible, what with the numerous monthly bills I have and other responsibilities like my car, but the idea was to spend no money unless I really had to. In short, this meant no new clothes, makeup, skincare, home decor, books, anything! I announced this challenge in my Plans For May post because if you haven't posted it online and told the world about it, are you really doing it? Or, better still, is there any point in even doing it?

Now, I don't want to spoil it, but I'm gonna be honest, I'm pretty damn pleased with how I did... 

Everything I Spent Money On In May // A list of everything I spent money on in the month of May, from lip balm to mechanics bills.

Everything I Spent Money On In May

Week One:

I actually outlined in my original post that buying Murphy some birthday presents was an exception I was going to allow. I stuck by this and spent £15 on toys and bits and bobs for him because what is a first birthday without some new chew toys, eh?

Week Two:

£0 spent. Yep. A grand total of nothing. Obviously, being in lockdown greatly helped to make this challenge a whole lot easier as there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, and few places open to spend money, but, I'm very pleased with myself nonetheless! 

Week Three: 

Fixing my car was on my April To-Do List and guess who finally got round to it during the third week of May? Having not driven my car since the beginning of lockdown, getting it sorted and going for a drive was SO nice! Getting Phil fixed and a full tank of petrol only cost me £65 which I am SO grateful for, I was lowkey ready to be handed a £700 bill from the mechanic and writing off this entire challenge...

Week Four:

My first purchase of week four was a Lost Stock Box at £35 - having heard about the initiative, I knew I wanted to get one to help support the garment makers in Bangladesh. The box is yet to arrive but I'm suuuper excited to see what I get! 

I wrote a blog post all about the aforementioned Lost Stock Boxes and this brought a lot of traffic to my site, so I decided to add a custom 'featured post' section to my landing page. This cost a mere £4 via the lovely girl that designed my blog, and is £4 very well spent in my opinion. 

Next up on my list of purchases was a replacement Nuxe Reve De Miel lip balm (£10). I was out with the dog when my trusty Roaccutane sidekick fell out of my pocket so I quickly bought another one online because this gal needs her lip balm. 

The final purchase of week four was some supplies for a new hobby I'm going to be having a go at... I spent about £20, buying the items individually from small businesses and I cannot wait for them all to arrive, and to get stuck in. 

Week Five:

That lip balm I said I ordered? Well, it was a Bank Holiday weekend wasn't it, so guess who ended up going to a physical shop to pick up a replacement because their lips were painfully dry and chapped. Goodbye £11, but thank you Marks & Spencers for saving the day! Not to be dramatic, but I think my lips would have actually fallen off if I hadn't done something. 


Besides some food and a replacement deodorant, that really was all I bought in the month of May. Wowcher, what a saving kween. Some quick maths later, I calculate that to be a total of £160 spent! As someone who ordinarily loves a bit of online shopping, I think this challenge has been an absolute success! 

Now, I bet you're all wondering if I'm going to be continuing it into June?... The short answer is no. There are a few things I'd like to buy, and starting a no spending challenge with a shopping list doesn't tend to go down too well, does it? That being said, I'm definitely going to continue being more thoughtful with my purchases, and stop buying things for the sake of it!


Have you been using lockdown as a chance to save or splurge?

Everything I Spent Money On In May // A list of everything I spent money on in the month of May, from lip balm to mechanics bills.

All The Tools I Use To Run My Blog (And Their Costs)

26 May 2020

I was recently listening to one of Vix Meldrew's podcasts which was alllll about the different tools and platforms she uses to run her blog and social channels and thought for today's post I would share with you the ones I personally use, as well as their costs. If you're new to the blogging scene (or perhaps even just thinking about setting one up yourself) I'm hoping this blog post will help point you in the right direction and give you some sort of idea about where to start/what to use/which platforms I recommend...

*This post contains a referral link*

All of the tools I use to run my lifestyle blog and their costs. A rundown of the platforms and app I use to create and publish content on becc4.co.uk

All The Tools I Use To Run My Blog (And Their Costs)

Blogger 

After making the initial decision that I wanted to set up becc4.co.uk, the next thing there was to think about was what blogging platform I wanted to use. Now, I'm going to be honest, I went for Blogger because it's a) cheaper and b) simpler than some of the other options. Blogger is totally free to use and all domains end with .blogspot.com. 

Now, with hindsight, I probably would have opted for Wordpress because of the flexibility there is with everything and the huge range of plugins available. That being said, it is possible to migrate from one to another so it's definitely not a finite decision and Blogger is a great place to start if you're not sure whether blogging is for you or not!

GoDaddy 

To go from becc4.blogspot.com to becc4.co.uk I had to purchase my own domain. I'm going to be honest, I don't know too much about the intricacies and complexities, all I do know is that it's fairly straight forward with Blogger. I chose GoDaddy because they had a fantastic offer for the first two years and have stuck with them for this renewal too. Back in March, I paid £23.98 for my domain and security renewal for this year. 

Lightroom 

To edit all of my photos I use the mobile Lightroom app. It's fab, easy to use, and is free from the app store. I edit all of my photos, in the same way, using a preset, then post them here on my blog as well as on my social media channels. If you don't already use Lightroom, I highly recommend downloading the mobile app and giving it a go. It's definitely what up-levelled my blog photography! 

Crowdfire 

A fairly new addition to my blogging toolbox, I use Crowdfire to schedule all of my promotional tweets. I try to sit down and do a load in bulk, scheduling between three and five a day, to help get my posts seen. I find using a Tweet Planner particularly useful for weekdays - when I'm usually at work - because I can't physically post them manually. (I also wouldn't want to because how dull would that be?!) I used to use the free version of Crowdfire but decided to upgrade my account so that I could schedule more tweets, further in advance! I paid £48.40 for the year, making the weekly cost less than a pound and I don't think I could be without it now.


So there we have it, all of the tools I use to run my blog as well as their associated costs. I hope this post has been informative and somewhat interesting, I'm very nosy so love to hear how other people are doing things...



What tools do you use to run your blog?

All of the tools I use to run my lifestyle blog and their costs. A rundown of the platforms and app I use to create and publish content on becc4.co.uk

The Gooiest Biscoff and White Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

22 May 2020

Yet, another Biscoff recipe from Becca... Are you surprised?

I've been wanting to make a batch of cookies for the longest time, but after the great flour shortage of April, it appears that soft brown sugar is May's ingredient in very short supply. (Or it is in my area at least!) So much so, in fact, that I ended up buying a huge 3kg bag of the stuff as it was the only one I could seem to find anywhere, so expect to see a lot of cookies around these parts over the coming weeks!

This Biscoff and White Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe is adapted from this Copycat Millie’s Cookie Recipe. I changed a few of the quantities and ratios and am VERY pleased with how they turned out, they’re perfectly gooey and oh, so decadent!

The Gooiest Biscoff and White Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. An easy step by step guide to making biscoff and white chocolate chip cookies.
The Gooiest Biscoff and White Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. An easy step by step guide to making biscoff and white chocolate chip cookies.

Biscoff and White Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

INGREDIENTS

100g Margarine
125g Soft Brown Sugar
100g Caster Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
225g Self-Raising Flour
½ tsp Salt
200g White Chocolate (I used a bar and chopped it into pieces)
3 tbsp Biscoff

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

2. Mix together the butter and sugars until light and creamy.

3. Add the vanilla extract and the egg, and mix some more.

4. Sift the flour into the mix and then add the salt and stir until combined.

5. Add the chocolate, ensuring it’s evenly distributed throughout the dough.

6. Take a golf-ball sized amount of the dough and place a 5p sized dollop of Biscoff in the centre, then roll into a smooth ball.

7. Place onto a baking paper lined tray, leaving space for them to spread.

8. Bake for about 7 minutes, then leave on the tray to set a little more.


Ta-daaaaa, there we have the gooiest, tastiest white chocolate and biscoff cookies everrrrr. I did also make some other variations of these; just plain white chocolate and white chocolate and raspberry, but I think the Biscoff ones are by far the best.

As always, if you have a go at making these please do send me photos, I love to see your bakes!


What is your favourite flavour cookie?

The Gooiest Biscoff and White Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. An easy step by step guide to making biscoff and white chocolate chip cookies.
The Gooiest Biscoff and White Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. An easy step by step guide to making biscoff and white chocolate chip cookies.

What is a Lost Stock Box?

18 May 2020

COVID-19 has caused mass disruption to many industries, and the fashion industry is no exception. With many countries choosing to shut all but ‘essential’ businesses, fashion retailers have had no choice but to close. Whilst this not only affects those who physically work in the stores, the chain extends much further than that.

With the shops not being open, items aren’t being bought, and if items aren’t being bought, new stock isn’t being needed. But, as with any industry and supply chain, orders and arrangements are often made months in advance. This means that many of the trend pieces that were designed for this summer never made it onto the shop floor but are ready and waiting to be bought. Whilst this may not sound like too much of a big deal to many, what our high street fashion retailers aren’t telling us is that they have cancelled orders for over $2 billion USD worth of clothes that have already been produced, leaving the (underpaid) garment workers they employ in a dire situation.

This is where the Lost Stock Box comes in…

What is a lost stock box? An outline of what a lost stock box is, why they are needed and who they are helping.

What is a Lost Stock Box?

The Lost Stock Box is a fashion parcel that contains at least three items that were made by workers in Bangladesh to be sold on our high streets this summer. The boxes retail at £35 each and are worth at least £70 RRP. The money made from each box will support a garment worker and their family for a week, now that all of their work has been cancelled and are receiving no income.


What would happen to the clothes if they didn’t go into a Lost Stock Box?

It’s estimated that 982 million garments (!!) have been cancelled or suspended from 1150 factories in Bangladesh that are now facing landfill – Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). 982 million!


Will I get clothes I like in my Lost Stock Box?

Yes, you should! When you add a box to your basket, you’re asked a few questions surrounding your personal style. They are as follows:

How do you like your clothes to fit?
  • - A tighter fit
  • - A normal fit (true to size)
  • - An oversized fit

What colour scheme do you prefer?
  • Neutrals
  • Brights
  • Darks

What is your favourite pattern for tops and t-shirts?
  • Graphics or slogans
  • Stripes or dots
  • Florals
  • No pattern

How would you describe your style?
  • I like to be at the cutting edge of fashion
  • I prefer timeless styles

In case you were wondering, this is how I answered the questions when I ordered my Lost Stock Box; a normal fit, brights, no pattern, and I like to be at the cutting edge of fashion.


How much is shipping for a Lost Stock Box?

The price of shipping to England is £3.99 per box.


Why aren’t the workers getting paid, they made the clothes?

Cally Russell, who is the brains behind Lost Stock, was quoted in this BBC article to have said that ‘most deals between the retailers and the factories are payment on delivery so the factories take all the risk up front by manufacturing the garments before they have been paid for the materials and labour’. This hence means they are receiving no payment from these fashion giants, despite doing everything asked of them.


Whilst these boxes won’t solve the issues of fast fashion, the fall out of COVID-19, or the great inequity these workers face, they will however, provide a food and hygiene package for a family that needs one for a week and prevent tonnes of new clothing being put straight into landfill. You can buy your Lost Stock Box here. 

p.s. the clothes featured in the photo are my own, and not from the box. They take 4-6 weeks to arrive!

What is a lost stock box? An outline of what a lost stock box is, why they are needed and who they are helping.

25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown

17 May 2020

If there’s one thing lockdown has taught me, it’s that coming up with content when you’re confined to the same four walls day in day out is waaay more difficult than anticipated. I mean, I didn’t ever imagine there’d be a time that I wouldn’t be allowed my house for 8 weeks (besides a couple of food shops and daily dog walks) but here we are, 2020 is already turning out to be wild. Now, because of this, it’s fair to say coming up with fresh, interesting, daily content has been a bit of a struggle. 

I’ve previously written a blog post with 15 Lockdown Blog Post Ideas for Lifestyle Bloggers, so figured I’d continue this series with 25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown. These are all fairly general and can apply to most niches, but if you’d like me to compile a more specific list of ideas get in touch and I can get one written! Anyway, shall we get straight into the lockdown Instagram story ideas, we’ve got quite a lot to cover… 

25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown. A list of content ideas for bloggers to use on Instagram stories.

25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown 


What You’re Currently Watching 

Let’s be real, there’s only so many times one person can scroll the Netflix homepage without getting bored and end up watching Gossip Girl on repeat for the 523rd time... I’ve found SO many good new programmes via people’s Instagram stories, so I always try to post anything I’m watching and whether I think it’s good or bad. Ps if you’ve run out of things to watch this lockdown, here’s my Netflix Watch List for some inspiration. 

Things You’re Most Looking Forward to After Lockdown 

What things are you missing most this lockdown? Share them, it’s a great way to get a conversation started, particularly if your followers are missing the same things too! 

Meals You’re Eating 

I don’t know about you, but my days are currently revolving around mealtimes at the moment. I wake up thinking about breakfast, spend all morning planning my lunch and then eagerly count down the minutes until the most exciting part of a lockdown day; dinner. I love seeing what meals other people are making and getting alllll the inspo. 

25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown. A list of content ideas for bloggers to use on Instagram stories.

Step by Step Recipes 

Following on from waiting for mealtimes, another firm favourite lockdown hobby of mine is baking. I love seeing what other people are making and how they do it, a) because I’m nosy and b) because it shows how difficult something really is to whip up! There’s nothing worse than starting a recipe and realising that a bake is one that could only be pulled off by Mary Berry herself. 

Things You’re Grateful For

I started a blog series (and didn’t get very far with it, but we won’t dwell on that now) called the Gratitude Diaries where I was showing a few things I was grateful for each week. This was a really positive post to write and helped show that it’s not all doom and gloom. I think this would also work really well on stories, as a quick dose of positivity on the gram, as it can be a pretty negative place sometimes! 

Shoutout Your Favourite Brands/Creators 

We are all in this together. Sharing your favourite creators/brands/local businesses is a great way to show the love and help people out during this difficult time! 

(Re)Share Any Lockdown-Relevant Blog Posts

I’m guilty of sharing a blog post on my stories once at a maximum and then never mentioning it again… If you’ve got any content that’s particularly relevant, interesting or insightful for these lockdown days, tell people about it! Just because it’s been posted before it doesn’t mean that people a) even saw it, b) took the time to look at it whilst tapping through or c) clicked through to read the content. 

Outfit of The Days 

Don’t get me wrong, these don’t have to be serious, I love just posting which mis-matched pjs I’m wearing! 

25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown. A list of content ideas for bloggers to use on Instagram stories.

Behind the Scenes of Any Content You Do Take 

This is something I keeeep meaning to do! I’m always asked how I take my photos, how I set my shots up etc so one day I’m going to film myself in action. I love seeing how people create the images they post, it’s so inspiring!

Throwback Travel Snaps 

Whilst any foreign travel looks very much off the cards for a long while yet, travel throwback pics look like the only way we can get ourselves some exotic beaches on the gram. I love seeing where people have been on holiday, their thoughts on their trip and what they recommend doing whilst there. Whilst we can’t actually go anywhere, we can get planning… 

Two Truths and A Lie 

Despite taking a bit of thinking and prep time, this is one of my favourite games. The ‘Quiz’ function is great for this as you as it allows you to have 3(+) possible answers and also display the correct choice once someone has answered. 

Reintroduce Yourself 

I think we often take it for granted that people have followed us for a while, read all of our captions and watch all of our stories. Reintroducing yourself is a great way to ensure that people know a little bit about who you are and what you’re about. This is particularly important if, like me, your feed is full of flatlays and home d├ęcor shots – who’s the face behind the gram?!

Room Tour 

Having spent so much time hanging out in my room recently I’ve spotted multiple things I want to change/add/buy. I love seeing how other people have styled their spaces, particularly now that we’re all spending more time in them and paying more attention to how they look! 

25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown. A list of content ideas for bloggers to use on Instagram stories.

Food Shopping Haul 

In case you hadn’t realised here, food is the common thread in this 25 things to post on Instagram stories during lockdown post. I love talking about food, I love seeing food, food, food, food. Now, what might once have been considered a very mundane thing to post about, is now top tier content. I don’t know about you but a trip to the supermarket can very much be the highlight of the lockdown week and those new mango yoghurts you spotted in Tesco? Yes, tell us more about them. 

Timelapses Of You Doing ANYTHING 

Can someone please explain to me how and why time lapses are so interesting? People could literally just be filming themselves polishing their windowsills and I’m watching. There’s definitely got to be some psychology behind why time laspes are so good to watch and one day I’m going to look into it. 

Your Current Skincare Routine 

If there’s one thing we’ve all got more of this lockdown it’s time. And with time, comes a more thorough skincare routine, am I right? Now that I have all the time in the world in the evenings (what with not having to commute and everything being shut) I’ve found myself carrying out a far more extensive skincare routine than usual… Share it! 

25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown. A list of content ideas for bloggers to use on Instagram stories.

Things Currently on Your Wishlist 

This one is fairly self-explanatory and goes down particularly well if your readers are all quite consumerist! That being said, if they’re not, it’s probably best not to ram (disclosed) affiliate links down their throats every day during a pandemic! 

Host A Mini Quiz 

If you have an area of expertise or a topic you’re particularly interested in, hosting a quiz is a fab idea. For example, I have a psychology degree and half of my brain is taken up by research studies and psychological principles I had to learn and memorise for my exams – maybe I should create a little quiz myself! 

Ask Your Audience About the Content They Love Consuming 

Whilst you may love the content you’re producing and the things you’re talking about, it’s always a good idea to check in and see how your followers are finding it! I’m not saying that you should only post what people want to see, but it’s important to check that you’re not totally out of touch with what your followers are keen on! 

Productivity Tips

Now that we’re 9 weeks deep in this weird weird situation it’s unsurprising that the old motivation levels are dropping. I mean, I think we were all expecting this to happen so any tips for being productive and staying on task wouldn’t go amiss right now. 

25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown. A list of content ideas for bloggers to use on Instagram stories.

To-Do Lists 

I love seeing people’s to-do lists for the day. Whilst they may be a little overwhelming when you see that Sarah has plans to redecorate the whole house, make a two-course roast dinner for lunch and read an entire book, I find it really interesting to see what odds and ends people are up to. What’s even more satisfying is seeing people tick items off their list, with before and after photos to prove it! 
 

A Game of Would You Rather 

Another one in the game show category, who doesn’t love a game of would you rather?! I personally ask my friends and family at least one of these questions a day, so they won’t be at all surprised to see that this one has made this list. Whilst the questions I’d put on my stories probably aren’t in the same vein as the ones I’d ask them, this game can be great fun in story format nonetheless!

Show a Transformation 

I love a before and after. Cleaned a hob? Redecorated a room? Tie-dyed a jumper? Show the people the goods. 

Books You’re Reading

I always say that I want to read more, but now that I have the time, I’m actually doing it! I know I’m not alone in this, I’ve seen far more book recommendations on my feed than I ever have! If you’re reading a good book – especially if it’s not one of the current popular choices – share it, tell people about it! 

25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown. A list of content ideas for bloggers to use on Instagram stories.

Share Your ‘On This Day’ 

If you’re feeling particularly brave and want to bait yourself out, sharing your old posts from that day is a great source of entertainment. Now, I’m not talking about the pretty selfie you posted on Instagram this time last year, I’m talking about those Facebook statuses from 2010 about your love for One Direction or the questions on the MyMaths homework you can’t do. As much as I should go through and delete a lot (all) of my old posts, part of me loves occasionally looking at them and having a laugh. 


And there we have it, there were 25 things to post on Instagram stories during lockdown that don’t involve going anywhere or seeing anyone. (BoJo approved). I hope this post has been helpful and has given you at least some inspiration for future IG stories. If you have any other ideas, please do comment them below and maybe I’ll write up a part 2…



What have you been posting on stories during lockdown?

25 Things to Post on Instagram Stories During Lockdown. A list of content ideas for bloggers to use on Instagram stories.

Month Two On Roaccutane (NHS)

12 May 2020

So, I've now been on Roaccutane on the NHS for two whole months?! Whaaaaat. Where has that time gone? After years of problems with my skin, I genuinely cannot believe that we're actually coming out of the other side AND WE ARE GLOWING. Who'd have thought we'd see the day?

In case you're new around here and have no idea who I am or what my acne journey has been so far, I've previously written about my first month on Roaccutane which will more than get you up to speed. But, in short, I've had acne for the last seven or so years, and in 2020 I finally got referred to a dermatologist to have Roaccutane on the NHS. 

A ramble about my second month of taking Roaccutane on the NHS including the side effects I've experienced and some progress pictures.

As you can see, my skin is definitely improving and I am SO pleased with how it is looking already. My face is no longer as sore and red, and for the first time in a good few years, it's actually looking smooth??

Now, during the first month of treatment, my lips and the skin around my nose was SO dry. I'm talking flaking off in chunks and could probably have been served on top of pasta and called parmesan kinda dry. But, I'm very fortunate that this has very much calmed down, and besides some expected dryness to the lips, I'm really not suffering with any superrrrr dry skin at the moment! 

I've mentioned it before, but I recently updated my Roaccutane skincare routine and I feel like I've finally found a good combination of products that are working for me, so I definitely also attribute some of my skin success to them too. 

One bizarre side effect I did have over the course of last month was bleeding gums. Now, this isn't something I've ever had before but for a couple of days, my gums were bleeding when I brushed my teeth. They weren't hurting at all, I'd just notice it when I spat the toothpaste out. Fortunately, this hasn't happened again since! 

On the topic of things I'd never had before Roaccutane: eczema. About three weeks into my treatment I started developing eczema on the backs of my hands and up my arms. Now, we can't fully blame the Roaccutane for this, seeing as we're currently amidst a pandemic and all washing our hands far more than usual, but I'm pleased to report that the eczema has very much calmed down and is now more than manageable. 

Two more things I'd like to mention in this update; my hair doesn't get as greasy as it once did and I'm able to go daaays without it being desperate for a wash, wahey, but, I'm still getting some muscle soreness after exercise, boo. If/when I do a particularly strenuous workout, I find that my limbs really ache for far longer than usual, so I'm still sticking to doing things a little less impactful. 

At 6 weeks I had a blood test, and my results all came back clear, meaning I got the green light to continue with the treatment. My mood has also been absolutely fine meaning my dermatologist suggested upping my dose to 60mg as this should reduce my treatment time without disrupting things too much!  

I had a bit of a palaver trying to get my next supply of tablets, but am happy to report that it's now been sorted and the next prescription is currently being written. The current plan is to take 60mg of Isotretinoin for the next three months and then go back and see the dermatologist for a review after that. 

And there we have it, my second month on Roaccutane. Again, it's not been anywhere near as bad as I was expecting and I'm very pleased with the results so far... I cannot wait to see how it's all looking in three months' time! I try and post weekly video updates on my Instagram story, so if you'd like to follow my Roaccutane journey even more, that is definitely the place to go... 

A ramble about my second month of taking Roaccutane on the NHS including the side effects I've experienced and some progress pictures.
Day 1 of Treatment / After 1 Month of Treatment / After 2 Months of Treatment 

A ramble about my second month of taking Roaccutane on the NHS including the side effects I've experienced and some progress pictures.

White Chocolate Biscoff Treats

7 May 2020

After being on a bit of a baking rampage, my momentum seems to have slowed down and this gal has been taking a break. For one, eggs are now harder to source than loo roll was back in March, and two, I've been trying to eat somewhat better. Apparently demolishing an entire tray of cookies in two days isn't all that good for you, who knew? Anyway, this healthy eating thing has since gone straight out of the window and today's recipe (if we can call it that) is an absolutely decadent snack that I am wholeheartedly here for. 

If I were to do a little survey and ask people if they could name one sweet food I always harp on about, I'm sure the overwhelming response would be Biscoff. I just love the stuff. I've been a fan for a good few years now and could pretty much spread it on anything. I mean, my old dissertation supervisor and I used to snack on it during our meetings. Now, what is better than Biscoff? Biscoff and White Chocolate... Trust me. 

So, for today's recipe, I thought we'd bring it right back to basics and make something that takes a grand total of about 5 minutes to make... Enter my white chocolate Biscoff treats! 

White Chocolate Biscoff Treats Recipe

White Chocolate Biscoff Treats 

Now, depending on your level of a) love for Biscoff and b) patience, I've got two different recipes for you. I mean, I'm calling them recipes but they're suuuuuper simple and don't take much thinking about, I'm just not sure what else to call them... 

Biscoff Krispie Treats 

INGREDIENTS:
Smooth Biscoff
White Chocolate Coco Pops. 

Yep, you know what we're doing here... Biscoff melts really well in the microwave so just add a few tablespoons to a small bowl and melt for about 30 seconds. Then, you guessed it, add the coco pops until they're all evenly but thinly coated. Place the mixture in paper cases and leave to set, or, eat straight out of the bowl whilst still warm, there's no judgement around here.

For reference, I definitely think the cereal being White Chocolate Coco Pops is crucial as I'm not sure just any snap, crackle, and pop would do. 


White Chocolate, Biscoff and Marshmallow Treats 

INGREDIENTS:
Smooth Biscoff 
White Chocolate 
White Chocolate Coco Pops
Marshmallows

Again, making this treat is hardly rocket science, but I figured I may as well write it out whilst I'm here. Melt your white chocolate in the microwave in a medium-sized bowl. Then, add your Coco Pops and marshmallows an mix until they're thinly and evenly coated in the chocolate. Add the mix to paper cases. Melt a tablespoon of Biscoff in the microwave (it takes about 30 seconds) then drizzle on top of the treats in any arty way you fancy. Leave to set.


And there we have it... The simplest recipe I think I'll ever write but perhaps these are treats you've never thought about making! As ever, if you do give this recipe a go I'd love to see how yours turn out, pls send me a picture! 

White Chocolate Biscoff Treats Recipe

The 30 Day Song Challenge

5 May 2020

I'm sure you've seen this challenge floating around Instagram for the last few weeks, but rather than spam my stories with a daily song, I thought I'd compile them all into one nice comprehensive blog post. Not only does this mean you won't have to tap through them if you're not interested, but it means that if you are looking for song recommendations, this post is a great place to find thirty songs that I love! Now, I cannot take any credit for this song challenge idea, one of my best pals Matt actually suggested it, so thank u! U da bomb.

The 30 Day Song Challenge on Instagram


 The 30 Day Song Challenge 

Day 1 - A song you like with a colour in the title 

Dancing Under Red Skies - Dermot Kennedy

Day 2 - A song you like with a number in the title 

One - Lewis Capaldi 

Day 3 - A song that reminds you of summertime 

I Got U - Duke Dumont, Jax Jones 

Day 4 - A song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget 

Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz

Day 5 - A song that needs to be played out loud 

Vibranium - Chunkz, Neji

Day 6 - A song that makes you want to dance 

Temperature - Sean Paul 

Day 7 - A song to drive to

No Church In The Wild - JAYZ-Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocen, The-Dream 

Day 8 - A song about drugs or alcohol 

Neon Cathedral - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Allen Stone

Day 9 - A song that makes you happy 

Holiday - Dizzee Rascal 

Day 10 - A song that makes you sad 

Somewhere Over The Rainbow_ What A Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

Day 11 - A song that you never get tired of 

Bound 2 - Kanye West

Day 12 - A song from your preteen years 

Wouldn't You - N-Dubz 

Day 13 - A song you like from the 70s 

Jolene - Dolly Parton

Day 14 - A song that you'd love to be played at your wedding 

All of Me - John Legend 

Day 15 - A song you like that is a cover by another artist 

Heartless - Dermot Kennedy

Day 16 - A song that's a classic favourite 

Better Now - Post Malone 

Day 17 - A song you'd sing a duet with someone on karaoke 

Can't Hold Us - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Ray Dalton 

Day 18 - A song from the year you were born 

C'est la Vie - B*Witched

Day 19 - A song that makes you think about life 

An Evening I Will Not Forget - Dermot Kennedy 

Day 20 - A song that has many meanings to you 

Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran 

Day 21 - A song you like with a person's name in the title 

Zack and Codeine - Post Malone

Day 22 - A song that moves you forward 

POWER - Kanye West 

Day 23 - A song you think everybody should listen to 

All My Friends - Dermot Kennedy 

Day 24 - A song by a band you wish were still together 

Tarantula - Pendulum , DJ Fresh, $pyda, Tenor Fly 

Day 25 - A song you like by an artist no longer living 

Tears Dry On Their Own - Amy Winehouse 

Day 26 - A song that makes you want to fall in love

Perfect - Ed Sheeran 
 

Day 27 - A song that breaks your heart 

I'm Into Something Good - Herman's Hermits 

Day 28 - A song by an artist whose voice you love 

Leave a Light On - Tom Walker 

Day 29 - A song you remember from your childhood 

Groovejet - Spiller 

Day 30 - A song that reminds you of yourself

Bangers N Mash - Macky Gee, MC Skibadee 


Lol, no judgment on these choices, please. For a few of the days I actually had no idea what to pick, so do excuse the few randoms mixed in. I had noooo idea what to pick for day 30, so picked a song that I used to overplay that drove everyone crazy... If you've never heard it, it's a classic. You might also notice that Dermot Kennedy makes quite an appearance - it's fair to say I'm a big fan. But, anyway, there we have it, my attempt at the 30 day song challenge... 


What song reminds you of yourself? (What does that even mean?)

The 30 Day Song Challenge on Instagram

A First Look At: Pixi's Retinol and Jasmine Collection

3 May 2020

Ooooh, what have we got here then? Enter Pixi's latest release; the Retinol and Jasmine Collection. Designed to renew and rejuvenate, this is a collection that I'm particularly excited to try. This range consists of six products which retail for between £18 and £26 and can be purchased online at Pixi Beauty

Now, a quick summary for anyone that isn't crystal clear on what retinol is, how it works, or what it's used for. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, and helps speed up skin renewal leading to a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. It is also known to improve skin tone and reduce pigmentation, and does this by increasing collagen production in the body, not via exfoliation! (Apologies if I've missed anything or phrased something incorrectly but this girl tried her best!)

I was kindly gifted all of the products in this post, but as always, that doesn't impact my opinion.

A First Look At: Pixi's Retinol and Jasmine Collection for renewing and rejuvenating the skin.


Pixi's Retinol and Jasmine Collection

Retinol Jasmine Cleanser* - £18.00

This creamy cleanser contains three stand-out ingredients; retinol to smooth the skin, jasmine oil which is an anti-inflammatory, and ceramides which help to lock-in moisture. This Retinol Jasmine Cleanser removes all impurities for smoother, firmer and more radiant-looking skin, and should be rinsed off with water. 

Retinol Tonic* - £18.00

Another Pixi toner, but will this one live up to the hype of the cult-favourite Glow Tonic? This one contains time-release retinol to smooth and refine, elderflower to soften and brighten, and chamomile to calm and minimize redness. This claims to lead to a smoother, softer appearance while soothing sensitive skin.

Jasmine Oil Blend* £26.00

Designed to use in the morning, this treatment consists of jasmine flower extract to rejuvenate and calm, evening primrose to help boost circulation, and grape seed oil to nourish. According to Pixi, this helps repair damage as well as calm and restore stressed and unbalanced skin.

Overnight Retinol Oil* - £26.00

The evening counterpart for the Jasmine Oil Blend, this oil contains time-release retinol to smooth and refine, peptides to firm and revitalize, and ceramide NP to lock-in moisture. These ingredients all help to restore skin plumpness and improve the appearance of fine lines and pores.

Retinol Jasmine Lotion* - £24.00

This lightweight moisturiser contains retinol to smooth and refine, peptides to firm and revitalise, and jasmine oil to nourish and brighten. 

Retinol Eye Cream* - £22.00

According to Pixi, this eye cream is formulated to improve elasticity, smooth & protect the delicate skin around the eye area. It contains time-release retinol to smooth and refine, caffeine to depuff and energize, and peptides to firm and revitalize. 


So there we have it, Pixi's new Retinol and Jasmine Collections... It all sounds pretty good, doesn't it! In case you were interested in reading about some of Pixi's other collections, I've previously written posts about Pixi's Vitamin C Range and their 20 Years of Glow.


Have you ever used retinols?


A First Look At: Pixi's Retinol and Jasmine Collection for renewing and rejuvenating the skin.

My Plans For May

1 May 2020

After setting myself an April To-Do List last month and failing miserably, I thought for this month's post we'd change up the name and concept slightly... As much as I wanted to fix my car, post most days on my blog and teach myself Photoshop, unfortunately, none of these things seemed to materialize. So, rather than call them things to do, this month I'm renaming them as plans. I'm also going to make them far more achievable and less effort bc errr we are in a pandemic after all and ain't nobody got time for that. So, shall we get into my plans for May?

My Plans for May // 5 things I'm going to do this month during lockdown.

Start Having Weekends Again

I don't know about you, but since being on furlough the days really have been all blurring into one. I have a lockdown routine that I'm loosely sticking to, but there's never anything particularly different about any given day. They're all becoming very similar and just a bit monotonous. It was only this morning that I realised I haven't been having weekends per se, and just treating every day like every other. So, in the month of May, I think I'm going to go back to having weekends... I'm going to keep all my work training, workouts, and blog stuff to weekdays and just have the weekends as days to veg out on the sofa, bake and do all the other fun, wholesome things. That's not to say I can't do them in the week too, but I'm going to try and keep my weekends free for solely fun things. 

Continue Pinteresting 

With all this extra time I've got on my hands, I've been finding myself on Pinterest more often than usual and am very much enjoying it. For one, it's just full of beautiful photos but secondly because it's not like the other types of social media. It's not a competition for likes, followers or engagement, it's more just a gallery and that's really refreshing! I don't know about you but Instagram can often become quite a draining place so I'm very much enjoying spending my time elsewhere on the internet!

Read Some More 

As I said in my last post, reading is always on all of my to-do lists and this one is no exception. So far I've only managed to read one book this lockdown, but, credit where credit's due, that's one more than than I've read in the last six months. I was recently recommended a couple of books by a follower so I'm going to get stuck into those this month, I'll let you know how I get on! 

Carry On Working Out 

I go through phases with working out and I'm very much back on the hype at the moment. These are the 3 free at-home workouts I'm loving at the moment and I'm trying to do something every day, or every weekday as I've now decided. Some days I just do a quick 10-minute yoga stretch and other days I'm dripping with sweat following a HIIT workout, but either way, I'm finding exercising to be a really great start to my days. 

Spend No Money 

I had 'no unnecessary shopping online' on my April to-do list and I can confirm I pretty much stuck to it! Besides a couple of books, a backup of my favourite lipbalm and a print I've been lusting after for ages that went into a limited stock sale, no purchases were made. I want to try and do a whole month of no spending in May which is obviously much easier said than done. It's also only really possible if we stay in lockdown because if not, this gal has a car to fix and petrol to buy, I'm not sure doing this challenge is a reason not to turn up to work, eh? (Having just written this I've already thought of an exemption... It's Murphy's first birthday this month so obviously, I'm going to have to buy him some new toys to mark the occasion! That'll be one thing we let slide.) 



What are your goals for May?

My Plans for May // 5 things I'm going to do this month during lockdown.

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