Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Harrods beauty and outfit picks

[noskim]My skin has been a bit temperamental this week, which is frustrating because it decided to break out two days before my engagement celebration drinks. Sigh. But truth be told I've not been as attentive to it as I could have been (aka I'm a lazy bones). Instead of continuing my militant double cleanse, tone, eye cream, serum, moisturiser and spf regime, I've given it a quick scrub, slapped on some cream and had done with it. And considering it's been hot, muggy and dirty in London recently, I only have myself to blame.

Prevention is definitely better than cure, so reinstating my skin routine now is probably a bit late, but better late than never I suppose! This got me thinking about some products that I'm due to update, and I've been doing a bit of 'window shopping' on the Harrods website. This may seem a little aspirational, but I actually find Harrods to have a fantastic beauty range, and the beauty prices are comparable to a lot of other online sites. Here are some of my current wishlist items.

Harrods beauty picks

[1] Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (£16.00) | I had a sample of this in a Birchbox once, and it's simply fantastic. You use it before your shampoo and it leaves it bouncy, shiny and bright.

[2] Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough Facial Firming Serum (£34.50) | Definitely for those disaster skin days. I reviewed this Philosophy range a while back and have never been able to find a range to match it.

[3] Molton Brown Limited Edition Black Peppercorn Body Wash (£22) | My absolute fave. Quite masculine, so nice for the mornings when sickly sweet smells leave me feeling a bit icky. I love it.

[4] OPI Nail Lacquer in Jouce Bar Hopping (£12) | Definitely a holiday colour. I love coral in the summer.

[5] Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face SPF 50 (£26) | Having scoured many beauty tips from the incredible Caroline Hirons, I've learned that factor 15 spf in a moisturiser is simply rubbish. Factor 50 all the way! I have this Elizabeth Arden one and it applies beautifully.

Inevitably a click led to another click, and another, and another, and I soon found myself lusting over outfits from the AW14 collections. As much as I adore basking in the warm sunshine, I've been feeling deeply resentful about being cooped up in a badly air conditioned office all week, and would much rather be cosied up in jeans and a jumper while the wind howls and the rain gushes down outside. You definitely feel you're missing out less I think! I'm not sure the likes of Givenchy or Giorgio Armani are going to wind up in my wardrobe any time soon, but here are a few bits on my wishlist (some realistically and others most definitely not!)

Harrods outfit wishlist


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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Instagram recents

Life lately

[1] I've been missing these little munchkins so much recently while I've been at work during the day. Socks has started 'singing' a lot more recently at teatime. She has the cutest 'chirruping' meow. It's adorable.

[2] A little snap of Port Gaverne from when I was there in June. This was the view outside our back door. Sigh.

[3] The bargain lace crop top I snapped up from eBay for £3.30

[4] Some recent skincare buys I've been trialling. So far so good!

[5] Love my new aztec print joggers from Topshop, but was gutted that they went bobbly after one wash! Can't really justify that for £28 so think it's going to be a reluctant store return :(

[6] These lovely ladies organised a barbecue and bubbles to celebrate my engagement. LOVE.

[7] Some juicing goodies. It's funny how you can pretty much throw anything into a juicer and as long as it includes an apple it will taste delish! I've also been hunting down lots of tasty ideas for tea, including these Florette salad recipes, which look so yum!

[8] I did the London Color Run a few weeks ago. So much fun!

[9] My new New Look kimono will be appearing on the blog soon. If you haven't had a peek already they have so many pretty styles. Tassles and chiffon heaven.

Life lately

[1] I bought this Accessorize necklace a few weeks ago and it always gets a kind comment when I wear it. I love it's modern art deco feel.

[2] Ilumi dishes have been a life-saver for me recently when I've been lured out after work because of that tempting evening sunshine. When I haven't got time to cook a full meal it's such a yummy, healthy alternative.

[3] I was given this French Connection necklace a couple of months ago and it makes the perfect instant Peter Pan collar. Love it.

[4] Frank and I went engagement ring shopping recently and I got it! Can't wait to share it with you all soon!

[5] I grey this little beauty from as seed (posted here). After numerous trials and tribulations on the horticultural front this made me very happy!

[6] Changing rooms in Joy stores have this amazing 'Who Tall Are You?' mirrors. I'm the same height as Elton :)

[7] Didn't swim fully in the sea in Cornwall due to these rascals. Fascinating to look at though.

[8] I visited the Crossbones Cemetery a few weeks ago and made this little video.

[9] I popped into Poundland's Christmas in July showcasing and loved this art deco table. Feeling very festive indeed now...

And finally, for good measure, I love that I can ask Frank (and my friend Mark) to pose in any silly situation and they'll always oblige. Tee hee :)




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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Girls - the myths debunked

I often hear the phrase 'a season, a reason, a lifetime' when it comes to friends. I guess I always thought that by the time I left uni my friendship groups would be set in stone. I might meet the odd 'season' and 'reason' friends along the way, but my 'lifetime' friends were built on longevity. I'd known them for 10, 20, even 25 years.

And then there was the 'colleague' thing - the dangerous blurring of the line between friendship and professionalism. I thought the two should be kept relatively separate. Work friends for work, home friends for home.

On both counts I was wrong, and now I find myself with three of the most wonderful friends - Mandy, Rach and Lou - who I met through work and have known for between 2 and 4 years.

These photos were taken a couple of weekends ago, when the girls insisted on throwing a barbecue when I got engaged. On that day (and every day) they made me feel loved. I've had a lot of thoughts about friendship swimming around my head lately, which perhaps I'll save for a later, longer post. For now I just want to say how much I adore and treasure these beautiful ladies, and how lucky I feel to have them in my life.






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Monday, 14 July 2014

Five wedding dreads

When it comes to getting ‘wedding-ey’, I’m not exactly the 'bridiest' of brides. Naturally when they found out I was engaged, my lovely friends were excited about the wedding planning, but I have to admit that my heart sank a little bit at the thought of all this planning, and the truth is there's a teeny part of me that's dreading it. This is not to say that I don't want to marry Frank. The thought of spending the rest of my life with him fills me with complete happiness and contentment. It's the prospect of wedding fair scouring, dress altering, hymn choosing, venue negotiating, music playlisting, menu sampling (ok, maybe that bit I can handle) and photographer booking that doesn’t exactly fill me with un-'bride'-led joy. I know, I know - you're probably thinking 'get over it'. And it's true, I really should, but having flicked through a few wedding magazines and scoured a few Pinterest boards, I feel a little uninspired. Is it just me? Am I a complete bah-wedding-humbug?

The fact is, I don’t really care if the ‘organza favour bags’ are mint green or duck egg, or if the groom wears grey or navy. I’m not bothered about a Master of Ceremonies, or seat covers, or canap├ęs. And I'm not bothered if the speeches are before or after dinner, or if my hair is up or down. I’m sure my enthusiasm will increase with time, and that once I’m there with my loved ones (and Frank of course), I’ll have the best day imaginable, but there are certain elements of the lead-up (and day) that I’m just plain apathetic about (like the above). And if I’m honest, there are also a couple of other areas that I’m just plain dreading. Namely these….

1. Wedding dress shopping
I'm sure this will raise a few eyebrows, but I'm terrified about going wedding dress shopping. Every time I glance through the window of a wedding dress shop I see a sea of white (although I'm told there's also 'bone', 'blush', 'ecru', 'oyster', 'champagne', 'mocha', 'cream' and 'ivory' – who knew?) This is strange because as a publications editor I work with colour and detail a lot, but to me, THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME. I know this isn’t the case, and I know I’ll probably feel pretty blooming spectacular in my chosen frock, but right now, those limp swathes of fabric hanging in the bridal stores just leave me cold. And bored. And that crap about knowing ‘the one’ when you try it on? Nope - I don't buy it.

I think I've convinced myself I'll end up looking something like this...

2. The best man’s speech
The prospect of sitting at a table, with all eyes on me, grimacing and cringing my way through a stream of bad jokes terrifies me, especially because I know it’s a rite of passage that cannot be avoided. Having heard some absolute horror stories (just search for #badweddingspeeches on Twitter if you want to see what I mean), I know this will quite possibly be the longest 2-20 minutes of my life. Gah! While voicing my fears, Frank told me that Paddy Power has a downloadable wedding sweepstake kit so guests can bet on the length of the speech. Winning a few pennies from a potentially gruesome experience could soften the blow I suppose (assuming I’m allowed to take part that is!).

3. The first dance
I can’t dance at the best of times, let alone in a floor length dress and heels with a packed room of people watching. A colleague of mine took dance classes and did an entire routine to the Muppets theme tune on his big day. I’m more likely to find myself arse over tit on the next episode of You’ve Been Framed. Sigh.

4. The “can my partner/child/best mate/elderly relative/dog come?” conversation
This is always a tough one, and I know there are going to be some very difficult conversations ahead. Guest lists are painful, and as much as I’d love to invite the world and their mother, two charity workers funding their own wedding (when we don’t even own our own house) is not conducive to an ‘invite everyone’ approach. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

5. The stare
At work we have what is known as the birthday 'cake and stare', and every year I book the day off in an attempt to avoid it. This pretty much encapsulates how I feel about being the centre of attention. I'm a bubbly person, but I hate being looked at. Ugh ugh ugh. I know it's something I'll have to suck up and get on with, but really - the pain!

I only hope I can be as confident and carefree as this blushing bride.


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Friday, 11 July 2014

Some recent adventures

Once again I've realised that in between blogging about some of the bigger bits and pieces, there's been lots of lovely moments that have slipped through the net and gone unmentioned. I decided it's high time to give you a little update about some of my recent adventures. So here it goes.

Last year I went to a wedding where our favours were little packets of seeds. When I got home and unpacked my suitcase full of dirty laundry, I tucked the packet in a drawer and promptly forgot about it. A few months later I came across the seeds again and thought I’d try planting them. I’ve never been very successful with my horticultural endeavours, so when I saw two little seedlings pushing up through the soil I was over the moon.

sunflower seedling

As the little plants began to grow, I was a bit flummoxed about what to do with them next. A little prowl on the interweb taught me that they needed to become ‘acclimatised’ to the outside, so every morning for a few weeks I’d pop the little plants on my outside windowsill and bring them back in at night. Once the plants became a bit too big for their pot, I planted them outside and staked them so they had support. Left to their own devices, a couple of months later – boom!


I know it sounds a little silly to be quite so excited about this, but there’s something really satisfying about growing a living thing from scratch, giving it your time and care, responding to its needs and seeing it flourish. I definitely can’t wait to get my own little garden in the future!

The other big development this week was finding a certain sparkly item of jewellery that is currently sitting on my left ring finger. I’m really looking forward to updating you about this soon because the whole experience (which I was a little disheartened about at first) ended up being so lovely. Stay tuned!

In other news, it’s no secret that one of my favourite brand relationships is with Superdry. The press team are so lovely and genuine, and often drop me an email simply to say hello and stay in touch. They recently opened a new concept store in Islington, round the corner from Frank’s work, so we popped down to have a nosey. While online shopping is handy, if you get the chance to pop into the Islington or Regent’s Street store it really is worth it. Superdry always go to a lot of effort to preserve the integrity of old buildings, giving them an antique, industrial feel. The Islington store is no exception. It used to be an old tram station, and they’ve retained many of the old features such as the bare and glazed brick walls and iron railings.

We sipped fizz, listened to the DJs and band, I tried on a few clothes while Frank got stuck into the pick ‘n’ mix area. As always the staff were on hand for a chat and a giggle in the warm sunshine. Lovely.

Superdry Islington store opening

Superdry Islington store opening

One of the nice things about working in central London is that from time to time I can pop into the odd press day. Having missed out on a tour of Battersea Dogs Home due to my holiday (booo!) I plumped instead for Poundland’s Christmas showcasing. While it felt a bit strange admiring tinsel and baubles on a hot summer’s day, I found myself getting well into the Christmas spirit. The team were so knowledgeable and helpful, and had clearly gone to a lot of effort to bring the decorations to life in the venue. I’d been so pleasantly surprised with Poundland’s Christmas decorations last year, and this year didn’t disappoint. My favourite had to be the silver and mint table, which you could easily add a shot of black to to give it an art deco feel.

Poundland Christmas decorations showcasing

Poundland are also about to launch a new range of jewellery, and I picked up this necklace (fondly referred to as the ‘Shreddie necklace’. I wore it out with the girls last night and it got lots of compliments. They couldn’t believe it’ll be on sale for only £1!

Poundland jewellery necklace

Other than that I’ve spent a lot of time working, blogging and freelancing, while trying to avoid the World Cup (except Germany who I have in the sweepstakes – come on guys!) and catching up with friends. I have so much planned over the this weekend – Pakistani food at the amazing Salt ‘n’ Pepper tonight, a barbecue with my sister tomorrow, Frank’s British 10k and the World Cup final on Sunday among other things. Still, there’ll be lots of fun things to tell you all about I’m sure, and I’m looking forward to seeing what some of you lovely bloggers are up to too!


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Thursday, 10 July 2014

What I wore: George jumpsuit

This is my first foray into the jumpsuit world. I've been known to try on the odd jumpsuit in a changing room, usually resigning myself to the impending predictability that it won't fit. Being a classic pear with a short torso, finding a jumpsuit or onesie that doesn't swamp my top half or give me... er hem... a camel toe (shudder) is a near impossibility. So buying one online was a complete gamble. What I completely failed to photograph (slaps wrist) is the back, which has ties that make the straps adjustable. It also has ties at the waist and is designed in a way that is forgiving to us curvy girls.

I wore this jumpsuit for the first time in Cornwall. I didn't plan to hike for 9 miles in this outfit (Frank told me it was a light stroll... he lied), but it proved to be a very comfy, light option for a holiday. It will definitely make the short list for my Croatia trip in September.

Jumpsuit: George at Asda (£14) | denim jacket: Miss Selfridge (old) | necklace: George at Asda (old) | gladiator sandals: New Look (£19.99)




I'm at a bit of a loss with what to do with my hair at the moment. I've been growing out my bob for what seems like forever, and it's definitely in need of some TLC, not to mention the astonishing number of grey hairs that seem to spring up on a daily basis (I actually have the beginnings of a mallen streak, a la Morticia Addams and Caitlin Moran, which I've been hiding with my fringe). I've been enjoying trying to embrace my natural waves a bit more and giving the frazzlers straighteners a rest.


My birthday's coming up in a couple of weeks, falling quite inconveniently on a Wednesday. I always try to take a day (or better yet a week) off for my birthday. The thought of letting the day slip by while sitting in meetings and bashing away at my computer is too grusesome to bear thinking about. Unfortunately this year Frank has run out of annual leave, but I've decided to see this as an opportunity for some well-earned me time: having a coffee in a cafe with a good book, lazing in the park, visiting a museum and fingers crossed having a little spa treat. I recently discovered that my favourite central London spa has closed (no!) but having stumbled across Trueskin's spa packages, I'm sorely tempted to try a 'fassage' (that's a massage and facial package - inspired!). I think it could well be the girlie birthday treat I've been looking for!

I hope you've all been having a great week. One more day until the weekend. Yay!

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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

To wedding blog or not to wedding blog, that is the question

A few years ago one of my best friends announced she was getting married. I was thrilled for her. Genuinely, unequivocally and completely thrilled. What I didn’t tell her was that this came shortly after my first reaction: dismay.

Our friendship was perfect. I didn’t want it to change. In my mind her engagement upset the balance of our friendship. Rather than the gentle to and fro of conversation topics focusing on her life and then mine, there would be one overarching theme: wedding planning. What’s more, I’d have to share her with all the other well-wishers and friends wanting to help and support her. I became more and more worried about whether this would rock the boat of our friendship. Would she become a wedding bore? And then a baby bore? Is that the only thing we’d have to talk about?

I’m being bitterly honest here, and the fact is, it was never a problem. She didn’t become a one-trick pony, and I in my then-single state enjoyed rolling up my sleeves and helping. But now I find myself on the other side of the fence, trying very hard to brush off the engagement chat when people ask, sometimes to the extent that I can’t even enjoy it for myself.

And then there’s the blogging thing. Do I blog about my wedding plans and risk being a bore? Or do I keep schtum and tweet about my latest Topshop purchase when really I’m scouring wedding websites?

The last thing I want is for people to feel they can’t relate to me anymore, and I know how it feels. Everyone is different, but as a blog reader, I like variety, and I tend to gravitate towards blogs with varied content, or else dip into themed blogs (like running or food) as and when I feel the need. I love hearing snippets about people’s landmark moments: their weddings, their babies, their new jobs and their travels, but ‘snippets’ is the operative word here. I’m not a mother, so while I love seeing your gorgeous family photos and hearing about Freddy’s first words, reading post after post of baby, baby baby will inevitably lead to my mouse hovering over the ‘delete’ button on my Bloglovin’ feed. Shallow? Maybe, but with so many great blogs out there, I want to read things that inspire and motivate me. When I have my own family, I’ll probably be hankering over these posts. When I travel more or get a new job, I’ll do the same. That’s just how it is. Life goes through seasons.

As a newly-engaged lifestyle blogger, I’ve been trying to decide how much to write about my wedding plans, especially when I know it won’t appeal to lots of you. I’ve thought long and hard about it, and at one stage decided not to write about it at all. But then it occurred to me – this blog is a lifestyle blog. An online scrapbook documenting my highs, lows, likes, dislikes and everything in between. And this wedding is part of my life. Decision made.

So I will be blogging from time to time about the wedding, but I promise not to ostracise you all with endless monologues about colour schemes, dress beading and first dance options. As the least wedding-y person ever, I’d like to take you on this little journey with me and welcome your thoughts and ideas (aka HELP!). For starters I’ve almost fallen at the first hurdle with my choice of engagement ring. Solitaire diamond? Clusters? Yellow gold? Platinum? Sapphires? Rubies? Old? New? I thought I was set on an old ring until I discovered the Vashi engagement rings collection online. I’ve been having to restrain my little magpie eyes from wanting the shiniest, prettiest thing I can find without thinking it through. Hopefully all this will be just another mini life adventure. Be patient with me!


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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Insta-bollocks part 2

So it would seem you folks liked my last Insta-bollocks post, where I posted 'the truth behind the Instagram' for some of my pictures. Since then I started using the #instagramhonesty hashtag to post the odd pic that shows the real situation. Like these two beauties:

Waking up

Moving random piles of crap around my room while taking blog photos (you know you do it too).

And without further ado, here is my latest instalment of #instagramhonesty.

How it looks: Newly engaged! Going ring shopping! Yay! Best day eveeeeeerrrrrr!!!!

The reality: Grey streak, grey streak, grey streak, grey streak. Holy crap I'm getting OLD.

How it looks: Hey there blog readers, I'm Splodge, Sally's adorable feline companion. I'm just gonna roll on over so you can tickle my belly. Aren't I cute? Prrrr. Hmmm? Cute. Soooo cute.

The reality: I just threw up all over your cream carpet. Now feed me, beeyatch.

How it looks: It's vote day! Have you done your civic duty? I have. Look at me being a responsible grown up. And because I voted I'm marginally higher on the moral high ground than all you non-voters. Just sayin'.

The reality: I barely made it on time to the polling booth and have no idea who to vote for so I vote Green. Never heard of the bloke. Ah well. At least now I've voted I have the right to complain about my #firstworldproblems.

How it looks: I'm a fully-fledged green-fingered goddess, wielding my spade in pure potato-planting victory. I'm also a model daughter who helps her mam without question.

The reality: Frank did most of the hard work while I took photos, making him pause sporadically while on digging duty for cleverly-orchestrated gardening action shots. My mum is brandishing a tape measure to check the rows are evenly spaced (no joke), berating us when they're not quite even. Frank sighs. A lot.

How it looks: Ok, ok, ok, so I know it's a teeny bit cheesy but come on. It's raining, it's miserable (it is after all England), but why wish for the sun to shine when you can shine instead? Inspired.

The reality: This sign was positioned on the wall of a grotty pub toilet. Wet floors, no loo roll, stinking, unmentionables in the toilet bowl, a clogged and overflowing sink. I leave the bathroom and apply vast quantities of hand sanitiser. Ick.

How it looks: I'm in Cornwall and I'm posting pictures of... wait for it.... seafood! We're in Rick Stein's deli. It's fresh, it's organic, it's artisan. I belong here.

The reality: RAMMED. Woman screaming at her child, punters arguing, ludicrous prices, tourists everywhere. I last 30 seconds (long enough to take this photo) and escape.

I'd love to see your #instagramhonesty! You can find me here.

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Monday, 7 July 2014

5 tips for a better night’s sleep

My name is Sally and I’m sleep obsessed. I only realised this recently, but I think about sleep a lot. “Why am I so tired?” “I must get an early night.” “If I don’t go to bed now I’ll only get 6 hours.” These are regular thoughts that churn inside my brain. The idea of going to bed and not knowing exactly how much sleep I’ve had is alien to me. I obsess about it.

When I’ve stayed at people’s houses or gone on holiday, I’ve had a few comments on my late rising. Reluctant to set my alarm, I’ll wander into the kitchen at 10am, rubbing my eyes and yawning while everyone else is washed, dressed, fed and watered. It makes me feel guilty, like I’m a lazy teenager wasting the ‘best part of the day’, but the truth is I’m just plain knackered, and those rare opportunities to wake naturally instead of jerking upright to the sound of my alarm are far too alluring to resist.

Sleep (and the lack it) affects people in different ways. For me, it changes my mood, concentration and performance indisputably. Any less than 8 hours and a thick fog drops like a curtain in front of my eye and I feel positively rubbish.

While I was on holiday in Cornwall last week I was in sleep-satisfied heaven. Lots of sleep, salty sea air, fresh and healthy local food and lots of walking. Two days back in London and I’m exhausted. Again. I can’t help but feel a little bit miffed.

Without wanting to be a moaning myrtle, (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this), I find it so difficult to fit everything in. If I get home at 7pm and go to bed at 10pm, I have 3 hours in which to cook dinner, do the laundry, clean up, complete various ‘life admin’, edit photos, blog, wash my hair, write my emails and if I’m lucky get some quality time with Frank. More often than not I’m still bashing away on my computer or scrubbing the dishes as the clock speeds towards midnight. How do people do it?

Today I realised that something has to change. There are little things I can do, like carve out some time to file my paperwork instead of stressing about it during the week, or delegate cooking duties to Frank, but on the whole I need to focus on the quality of my sleep so I feel fresh and refuelled, even if I haven’t quite managed the 8 hours I long for.

A little scouting round on the internet told me that sleep deprivation does some worrying things to your health:
  • increases your risk of cancer
  • causes you to gain weight
  • weakens your immune system
  • increases your risk of diabetes
  • decreases your life expectancy
  • damages your skin
  • increases your risk of heart disease
  • reduces your fertility

Ouch. So, putting on my problem-solving hat, I did a lot more scouting around on the internet to find out how to get a better night’s sleep. Here are my top five tips.

1. Get regular exercise
It’s common knowledge that exercise lifts mood and reduces stress, which in turn helps you sleep better. Exercise can also help to improve not only the quantity of sleep but also the quality. I’m often guilty of using the excuse that I’m too ‘tired’ to exercise during the week. Codswallop. I’m just being lazy. The reason I’m tired is because I’m not getting enough (quantity and quality) sleep, and exercise improves this. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. That said, vigorous exercise just before going to sleep will keep you alert, so it’s important to do it at the right time.

2. Ban the blinky lights
The best night’s sleep I ever had was in a ‘pod’ hotel in Birmingham. It was a small, windowless room that was completely black when I switched off the light. Until recently my current bedroom had light pouring in from street lights outside, crappy thin curtains and all sorts of flashing gadgets – from mobile phones and radios alarms to internet routers and house phones. Even after banishing the gadgets and putting up blackout curtains there’s not much I can do about London light pollution, but I recently followed Holly Golightly’s example a la Breakfast at Tiffanys and started to use a sleep mask, which has been a massive help.

3. Change your bed
This might seem like an extravagance, but considering you spend nearly a third of your life sleeping, I’d say that’s a pretty good reason to buy a decent bed. Not only will it help you sleep better, but a good mattress is imperative for keeping your back healthy. No one wants a spring poking into them, or a lumpy, grumpy night’s sleep spent tossing and turning.

4. Keep your mind calm
I think a lot of us are guilty of checking Twitter, Facebook or emails right before we go to bed, or else dipping into one last episode of Game of Thrones. The problem is that this fires up your brain, making it active and alert, which is obviously not conducive to drifting calmly off to the land of nod. Being so busy all the time, I find it really hard, but I try to give myself 20 minutes in a warm bath or reading a good book to help me get to sleep. If I have lots of nagging jobs on my mind, I write a to do list so they’re on paper and not buzzing around my head. Meditation and yoga are also fab for clearing your brain.

5. Switch on the radio
A lot of people find complete quiet optimal for a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, the traffic in London doesn’t make this easy, and I don’t like to wear ear plugs too often. I find the best way to drift off is to put my radio on a sleep timer. My mum swears by the soft drone of the BBC World Service, but I love smooth classics on Classic FM with the velvety voices of Margherita Taylor or Myleene Klass.

What are your top tips for a good night’s sleep?


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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Review: Rhinoshield screen protector

A few months ago I made the bold leap and switched from Apple to Samsung. In the grand scheme of things it may sound like a trivial matter, but anyone who's been sucked into the iPhone vortex must know that once you've started, it's very hard to stop. My relationship with my iPhone had came to an abrupt end when it came to upgrade and my network wanted £45 a month for the privilege of an iPhone 5. That would be a no then.

After a lot of research and a bit of coaxing, I made the plunge and went for a Samsung Galaxy S4 for half the price. I haven't looked back.

One of the things I was a little worried about was my shiny new screen. I've seen enough smashed phone screeens on my daily commute to know that this is a road I don't want to go down. They look so sad and forlorn with their spidery jagged lines cobwebbing across the front. My sister told me that a screen protector was a must, so I decided to try the toughest in the business: Rhinoshield impatc protection*.


The screen protector was surprisingly easy to apply, with no bubbles or trapped dust. Safe to say it does exactly what it says on the tin. Getting used to my shiny and much larger new phone inevitably means it's had a few tumbles on the hard pavement. That sinking feeling when you reach down and prepare to see a large crack snaking across the screen has all but gone. This screen protector means business.


The Rhinoshield screen protector is available on their website.


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