Valentines Day With Love Layla

Valentines Day, let's be honest as a single person sucks, beyond belief. It is a day (and even more for the run-up to it) of being reminded your single, seeing everyone around you getting engaged, being all loved up and getting presents. I've been there. I am also happy to say this year seems like it'll be the first year I am with someone I truly care about. I am one of those people who want to buy all of the loved-up shit for their partner, I can say I think I've changed. Two years ago the idea of Valentine's day made me want to chuck up (a lot), I thought my friends were soppy gits, but it turns out I now feel that way too. To a certain extent. I as a person wouldn't be me without a bit of humour in the mix. Which is where Love Layla comes in. Love Layla is a family run business who specialise in cards (specifically) the rude and offensive kind. They make cards based on what people think rather than what they actually say. Like, saying I love you and you're my world on a card, is great and all but, a card with a true story behind it like "everyday I fall more in love with you... except yesterday you were a twat", it makes me laugh and it is so much more memorable don't you think?  

The range of Valentines Day cards they have on site is HUGE, there are so many different choices, it is super difficult to decide on just one. The cards range from the slightly more PG ones like "I wouldn't want to watch a box set with anyone else" to a variety of other stuff (not for the faint-hearted, I warned you first) if you wanna check out these amazing cards, you can check out the Valentines Day range here. All of the card designs are unique, and you won't find one like it on the high street. Everything from the way the cards are made, to the little graphics on each of them, you can tell a lot of thought goes into them. Love Layla started as a husband and wife duo at home in their office, and it was named after their daughter. These cards and other products (gotta remember those balloons and badges too) are fun, new and exciting. If you're up for a laugh and so is your other half, I'd recommend checking out Love Layla. P.s. You only have 14 days til the 'big day' so you better get buying them (quickly!) 

Which is your favourite card? 

*In collaboration with Love Layla, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I mean common, these cards rock! 

*Collaborative post

Stationery haul with Mustard!

T-rex lunchbox
Mustard Stationery
Rainbow sticky notes

Stationery is one of my loves in life, and my collection is forever growing (and I doubt it will ever stop) I have more notebooks in my house than I could probably fill in a lifetime, just about every coloured pen going and don't even get me started on cute erasers and sticky notes. Recently I was contacted by the PR team at Mustard who offered to send me a bundle of their goodies and when it arrived the next day I was so impressed with what was in the package. Mustard for those of you who haven't heard of them is a brand who sell cool stationery and gifts, and they're a little bit different to the *normal* which made them even more appealing to me. They have some great collections on site including t-rexmarblelucky cat and rainbows and unicorns. As well as having some amazing gift items such as lights, coffee cups and even clocks. 

When I opened the package I was drawn to the t-rex lunch box immediately, the colours are amazing and I am forever buying new lunch boxes for work, it clips together and is sturdy which is always something I am always on the lookout for after *that* incident when my bag suffered the full force of my garlic pasta, from experience it is impossible to get the smell out of. The lunchbox has two compartments, a large one and a smaller one. I'd be likely to put the pasta in the big compartment and some snacks in the other one. The lunch box is airtight so perfect for crisps/crackers (another thing I hard to learn the hard way, I would not recommend crackers that have been exposed to air. Plus there is no chance of your lunch getting confused with anyone else's. 

Next thing I noticed was the amazingly bright bottle from Froot infusing bottle, I am a huge fan of lemon and lime water or even cucumber, it gives a refreshing and fun hit to normal water. The bottle itself is 800ml which is a pretty decent size and again like the lunch box feels sturdy, leakages are also something you do not want in your bag. It's simple to use, by popping the fruit in the tube attached to the top compartment then pour water over it, enabling you to have flavoured water on demand. The only downside to the bottle is it is a little heavy, and quite bulky so you would need a fairly big bag to put it in.

The rainbow sticky notes were the next thing I found in the package, I am one for hoarding sticky notes all over my desk at work, along with a range of bath and body works hand sanitises. The cool thing about these sticky notes is that they stand up on their own. There are a variety of different sized sticky notes. Great for adding a pop of colour to your workspace. 

Marble stationery
Marble stationery

Marble has been a huge trend in the last couple of years and it doesn't seem to be slowing down at all. Mustard has an amazing Marble collection, containing everything from sticky notes to lunch boxes and coffee cups. I was sent another lot of sticky notes, however this time in the form of a giant block of sticky notes (650 to be precise), great for us bloggers who love to quickly jot ideas down. I don't know about anyone but I love to stick them everywhere to fill with post inspiration and ideas. I was also sent some lush mini notebooks with Marble covers, which a great for carrying around on the go to jot things down. Overall I think Mustard is a fabulous place to locate 'unique' stationery and great gifts.  

What was your favourite piece of this Haul? 

Prices of products featured-
T-rex lunch box £10 
Marble memo block £8.00
Marble sticky notes £6.00
Rainbow sticky notes £6.00
Froot infusing bottle £15.00
Marble Notebooks £6.00

*Contains PR samples 

9 Hacks for surviving student life AD

Student life; some of the best and worst times of your life, amirite? Like, on one hand, you get to live with your friends, party a lot and for most of us, we get to explore a new place. On the other hand, we have to manage money, make those friends, do a ton of uni work and learn your way around a new place. There are so many things I wish I had learned before going to university, like how to make a bed. My time at university was mostly spent Googling a variety of things I didn't know the answer to like making a bed or finding out how long you cook something for. Google is your best friend whilst at university, you get your references from there, do research on it and even find out where the closest takeaway is. For this post I decided to include 8 of the best hacks/life tips I learnt whilst at university and some of them are pretty damn useful and others not so much, but I thought they were useful and some of them I still do. I'd love to know in the comments what life skills and hacks you picked up from university! 

1. You can use a mug for basically everything.
Ok, so not everything, but a lot of stuff. A mug is an underrated tool in the kitchen, in my opinion, you can use it to make drinks in obviously but you can also use it for making cakes, scrambled eggs and of course as a bowl to drink soup out of. 

2. The microwave is your best friend. 
The microwave like a mug can be used for so much stuff, you can use it to make ready meals, make just about everything in the food cupboard and even heat up pizza, the morning after the night before. A great hack with pizza is if you put a small cup of cold water alongside your pizza and it stops the crusts going chewy, let's be honest. Nobody wants this. 

3. Make lectures easy with Trint
When you're in a lecture at 9am, barely able to keep your eyes open the last thing you want to do is write notes. This where Trint comes in, you record your lecture on your phone and then it will transcribe it for you on to your laptop at a later date. This is great for being able to hear back your lecture and for being able to read back through everything and taking parts to look into further detail. 

4. The wooden spoon hack. 
When cooking pasta it's a pain when you have to stand around and watch it, to make sure that it doesn't boil over. When in university one of my friends taught me the wooden spoon hack and still to this day I do not have a clue how it works but it just does. You put a wooden spoon across your pan and the water will not boil over. Magic right

5. Keeping the fridge clean. 
Cleaning the fridge is a grim job, especially when it's full of gone off and when stuff has leaked everywhere, ew. An easy hack I found online is to cover your fridge in clingfilm, looks a little odd, however when it comes to cleaning it, it's somewhat easier, you just peel it off and put it in the bin.

6. PayPal is a life saver. 
When you're out with your friends and one of you gets a round in and you need to pay each other back, it's just an annoyance to carry cash and who even does bank transfers anymore? PayPal is the easy way to send money to each other in a few seconds, would totally recommend it for bills too. That way you can easily keep track of who has paid and who hasn't and what's left to pay. 

7. Clean your keyboard with a post-it note. 
This hack has changed my life, cleaning your keyboard properly is a pretty momentous task as it involves taking all of the keys off your keyboard, cleaning it out and then putting them all back on. With this hack, you can get the crumbs and dust out with a post-it note. All you need to do is slide it within the keys and the sticky side should catch the dust and crumbs.

8. Keep track of your spending. 
There are so many apps these days to help you with your spending. When your student loan 'drops' you live well for the first week and then have to survive on 20p noodles for the rest of term (we've all been there) however if you have a money managing buddy, advising you of what your money looks like as well as what you've spent it on, it may make you think twice. 

9. You NEED Cards against humanity.
Honestly, this game is a life changer, it's known as the party game for horrible people. However it sure does get the conversation flowing, makes people laugh and feel a little bit more at ease and you can never really get bored of playing and as it's like a whole new game each time you play with different people. With loads of expansion packs too, there is always plenty more to add to the game. 

What is your top life hack? 

*This post was written in collaboration with Trint, however, all thoughts and experiences (sadly) are my own. 

Date night with Ristorante AD

As much as I like going out to restaurants for 'date night', nothing quite beats a quiet night in with a pizza, finding something to watch on Netflix (I have some great recommendations, btw) and chilling in bed in your comfiest pj's. I am a huge fan of ordering takeout pizza, I am pretty sure my local pizza place is now on first name terms with me and know my order off by heart. However looking at my finances and my obsession with pizza growing, even more, it was time to find a cheaper alternative. Sometimes though, those takeaway pizzas from the back section of your local supermarket don't quite cut it. In recent years there has been a huge demand for supermarket pizzas that taste like the real deal.

This where Ristorante come into this, if you don't know who Ristorante is, then where have you been? Ristorante is one of the only frozen pizza companies who have a mushroom only pizza (my fave!!) as well as offering gluten-free pizzas and a variety of other classic pizzas like pepperoni, four cheese and cheese and tomato. Recently Ristorante has brought out a limited edition pizza called the Bianca Deliciosa. A pizza topped with a creamy white sauce topped with onion and bacon, essentially it is a carbonara on a pizza. Smells like one too. I am a huge fan of the number of pizzas in recent years having a creamy white sauce base as opposed to a tomato one, it mixes things up for sure.

So for our date night this week, we headed to our local Asda and picked up two pizzas to try, both pizzas cost us a fiver, so pretty good going. We also stocked up on a variety of sweet treats and drinks (because a date night wouldn't be complete without treats!) and headed home, dependant on the oven you have, the pizzas take around 11 minutes to cook to perfection. What I noticed about these pizzas as opposed to some other frozen ones is that they didn't fall into a sloppy mess when trying to take them out of the oven. They were easy to cut up and we tucked in. The Bianca Deliciosa tasted and smelt just like a carbonara on a pizza, the smell of the bacon took over the house and took me back to being 10 years old and my mum cooking carbonara for tea. The base was thin and crispy and wasn't too heavy on the stomach. The ease of the pizzas doesn't mean you need to sacrifice any of the quality and they're also super purse friendly. The pizzas seem like a great idea to get in for when you are having friends over or to have a chill night with your other half.

Which pizza from their range would you most like to try? 

*No pizzas were harmed in the making of this post, this post was in collaboration with Ristorante, however, all thoughts are my own. 

24 hours (ish) in Manchester.

Manchester, my old friend I have missed you. It's been several years I've visited Manchester despite living less than an hour away. It's been more of an anxious thing why I've stayed away for so long, cities seem to have become a thing of the past, however now I am going to make them a part of my future. Hence the 24 hours in Manchester post you are about to read, although it wasn't exactly 24 hours more like 27, it just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? So Wills present to me this year was an overnight stay in Manchester along with some shopping (present goals right there!) So we spent a little while searching the web for 'quirky' hotels in Manchester near the centre and we came across Ibis Styles which was smack bang in the middle of the centre, perfect. Ibis Styles caught my attention straight away with the weather theme, in lounge sits a large deckchair and a huge pair of sunglasses oh and also multiple umbrellas on the ceiling. We were sold. So we booked our tickets and 6 days later, we were on our way. 

Our check-in wasn't until 2 pm and we arrived just after 12 so we decided to go seek out some lunch, me being me I was certain I knew the way to where I wanted to go, but ended up in the wrong direction, oops. After about an hour of walking, we settled down to eat some lush pizzas in a place called Insolito, which were huge and a margarita was only £7.50, so with some drinks lunch came to under £20, and we were stuffed for hours. The manager was so lovely and it was super quick service, and I can imagine on an evening the atmosphere would be buzzing. After our pizzas, we popped into a few little stores on the way to check in, including a couple of vintage stores one with a sale of 1kg of clothes for £15, bargain! I also ended up in one of my favourite shops Cyberdog, their shops are always an experience, although photos are not allowed in their stores, else this post would be full of their photos. After this, it was finally 2 pm and ready to check in. I was excited to see what the hotel had in store for us. 

We were greeted by a lovely friendly receptionist, who asked us which floor we'd want to stay on which was pretty cool, I decided to go for one of the middle ones, so we would still have a view. We popped in the rain themed lift and made it to our room, the room is spacious, has a super large shower and the bed was so comfy. The cute pieces of decor around the room really topped it off. The cloud-shaped table was my favourite! We dropped off our bags and went out to explore more. At around 6pm we met my friend Greg who made the move to Manchester for university and never left (don't blame him!) and he became our tour guide for the rest of the night. We went to a Mexican tapas place called Wahaca which had some lovely decor and great service, although some of the food blew my head off *I am awful with spicy food*, it was a great atmosphere and you can pay your bill via an app which made it super easy to leave after we'd finished. 

A few people recommended visiting a secret bar called The Washhouse, which from the outside looks like an old styled launderette, you arrived and used the phone advising of your reservation (as you have to book in advance) but behind a large washing machine door, there was a completely different story. A candlelit room, with around 10 tables and a huge bar, we were greeted by one of the owners who sat us down, and ran through the menu with us and left us to ponder our choices. All of the cocktails are unique to The Washhouse which made it feel that bit more exclusive. Greg and Will picked their choices, however I was a little more clueless, I was asked my preferences on alcohol to try to determine my ideal cocktail, in the end I went for 'life's a beach' and we were told little stories on each of the cocktails, they were all created from personal parts of their lives which added to the experience. The cocktails came out and described to us in detail about what each part of the cocktail was, mine included 'sand' made out of gingerbread which was amazing and Greg got his marshmallows toasted in front of him. I'd totally recommend visiting this place as it's quirky, fun and they have some pretty damn good drinks. 

 The final stop of the night was to a bar, which was recommended to us by Greg, called Hold Fast located in the Northern Quarter. The bar was fairly busy for a Thursday night, they have a huge range of cocktails as well as plenty of other choices. I went for a raspberry vodka and Pepsi which is one of my faves and we headed to a table. Our table was situated next to a large variety of board games, which I thought was pretty cool. We ended up playing 5 rounds of Guess Who and Greg beat me on all of them, I guess I am easy to read? Then we played some Jenga, the bar also has a DJ and games consoles. We had a super fun time at Hold Fast and it's a great way to spend an evening. Overall I had a fabulous time in Manchester and definitely want to go back soon and explore. 

What are your favourite things to do in Manchester?  

4 ways to help you feel better! AD

January is one of the worst months of the year, am I right? Despite it being my birthday month I still despise it. Pretty much everyone is broke, the weather sucks and the Christmas blues have well and truly set in. January feels like such an isolated month as there isn't much to look forward to for a while. However, fear not. I am here today with a post of 4 ways to feel better (or at least somewhat) during these times. Let me know in the comments what helps you through January. 

I am one of the worst people in existence for getting sick, it always seems to happen to me, at the worst of times of course. I recently decided to invest in a rather large amount of vitamins, including vitamin c and iron. With the help of an expert at Natures Best, I've been able to find out what vitamins you do need for your body to function at it's best.

Natures Best says:
"Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin. This is because we need to expose our skin to sunlight in order for our body to manufacture it. Having a good level of Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth, as we need it to absorb calcium and phosphorus from our foods and also helps to support our immune system. This is particularly important as we age. We do get around 10% of our Vitamin D from food and sources include eggs, butter, milk, cheese, meat and fish." For someone like myself who is a huge fan of staying indoors and I don't have the best diet, this is something I really need to take this into consideration.

Natures Best recommend Vitamin C also-

"We all know that vitamin C is important for our immune system function but did you know it’s also needed for collagen formation and to support healthy bones. When we think of getting our vitamin C from the food we often think of the citrus fruits. It’s important to note that it is also found in vegetables such as red and green peppers, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus and dark leafy greens. Cooking does destroy some of the vitamin C content, so a great way to increase our intake is through smoothies that are easy to swallow and absorb. Making a smoothie a day for either breakfast or a snack is a nice easy way to increase our nutrient intake. Vitamin C can also be purchased in supplement form, and the powdered version could be added to smoothies for an extra antioxidant boost."

Read your favourite books:

I am not the biggest reader in the world, however, when it comes to novelty books I have a rather large stash, with everything from Mr Greedy Eats Clean To Get Lean to The Gummy Bear book. I have a massive stash and not only do they look good, they're an amazing pick me up and can be read just about anywhere. Firebox and Urban Outfitters are my favourite places to pick up unique books. 

Treat yourself (I mean what else are sales for?)
I am a firm believer in the sales and some of the bargains you can pick up, Accessorise always has one of the best sales for jewellery and I would highly recommend checking out the Paperchase sale as again it always has some great bargains. The sales are a little raked over now, some stores still have some awesome buys still to be had, as well as reducing them further. I am always one who checks out the sales and this year I even browsed the sales in store, including Next! 

Don't be too hard on yourself:
This is a huge one in my book, the new year always equals a new me for most people. Whether that is a new diet, losing weight, or even just working out more. It's great to have goals, something to work towards but there is nothing worse than getting set on these goals and then if these don't go to plan, it often leaves us feeling bummed out and worse than where we started. This year I decided to take a new approach to the new year new me situation. I gave myself a smaller list of goals that I wanted to achieve with no time frame on them, less pressure always makes it easier to achieve in my opinion. Whatever you want to achieve this year, I'm sure you've got this. 

What are your ways to feel better? 

*Collaborative post

Happy Birthday to me: 23 things I've learnt so far.

Today marks the day of my 23rd birthday and I cannot quite believe it, the year of being 22 has flown by, and I can't really say that's a bad thing as that year sucked, a lot. However, some good things did come out of it, like previous years and it's a damn good feeling to come out the other side. If you follow my blog, you'll know I like to reflect a lot on my life and my blog is usually the place I come to do it. I spent ages trying to think of the correct title for this post, as I wanted to share things I am proud of, as well as things I've learnt whilst being on this planet for 22 years. As this is my birthday post I decided to make it a little different although a haul will soon follow (true blogger style) for now here is 23 things I've learnt so far and a few photos of me from when I was younger. 

1. Growing up isn't as good as it seems:
When you're a teenager and getting told what do by your parents, all you want to do is grow up and be in control of your life, what I'd give for now to have all of my bills and food paid for, as well as all of that free time. Homework is a doddle compared to university work and going to work full time. 

2. Teenage years were hard, man. 
I swear as a teenager, nothing was ever simple. If it wasn't a boy breaking your heart, it was learning who you were, dealing with growing up, losing friends, coping with your sexuality, talking to people on the internet who you couldn't ever meet. Damn. 

3. Papa Johns has the best pizza I've ever tasted. 

4. I got two bunnies in 2017, and they're amazing. I love watching them grow and their amazing personalities shine. 

5. It's important to love (or at least like) your job. 
A lot of us spend more time at work than we do at home, so it's pretty key to love/like what you do. For me, I have a little work family and they're all super supportive. I have never felt more like I fit in, and the work is pretty enjoyable too. 

6. It's ok not to wear makeup every day:
From the age of 15 until 22, I would not go out the house without some kind of makeup on, whether that be eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, foundation or all of the above. I couldn't cope with how I felt and looked. I would love to say I'm ok with how I look without as I'm not really, however it's ok to give yourself a break. 

7. I passed my driving test. (FINALLY!) 
This has been my goal since I turned 18, I have given up learning a bunch of times and have been put off tests for life, however, I managed to stay strong and get through my driving test. Despite it being damn scary.

8. I made a blog and fell in love with it. 
Since 2014 I've been writing this blog, that me and my friend tried to think of punny names for back in college, the name has always felt like me. It's fun and colourful, yet I can feature my mental health posts, I am forever worried about oversharing, but you guys, my readers seem to be ok with that. 

9. People can be the worst, but they can also be the best. 

10. Online dating CAN work. Weirdly, I've met some of the best and the worst people in my life on dating sites. However, some of the bad ones have turned into me meeting other people who I consider now to be friends. I also found Will on a dating site and he makes me happier than anyone else ever has. 

11.Skincare is important. 

12.Taking photos from below instead of above will never give you a good angle.

13. It's okay that your style hasn't really changed since your 'emo' days. 
I was forever being called an emo as a teenager, and looking back on it I did fit the stereotype, I never really grew out of it. Black is still my favourite colour to wear, dark hair and dr martens, but I love my style.

14. Changing your name is a pretty big thing to do, however I did it and it's made me so much happier, for those of you who don't know, I changed my first and middle name and you can read more about this here.

15. Mean girls is one of the best films, period. 

16. Your parents can be, right? As a teenager, like most, I would not believe a thing my parents told me about growing up, however it turns out they were mostly right.

17. Nandos do great vegetarian food. True story. 

18. It's okay to drop those who treat you any less than you deserve to be treated. Whether that be a friend, family member or partner, you deserve the world and if someone isn't willing to give you that. Drop em. 

19.You can never have enough pyjamas. 

20. You can have friends everywhere, some of my best friends are online and I couldn't imagine having them in my life, they mean so much to me. 

21. We all make mistakes. We are human. It's ok. 

22. Even after being classed as an adult for the last 5 years I still feel like I am 16 years old and pretty clueless about the world.

23. Friends has been around for my entire life and it's still as good as the first time I watched it. 

Thanks for reading my post and for being a part of my Dungarees & Donuts journey so far!

List of my fashion favs!

Fashion: a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or behaviour.

I've never been one of those people who are all up to date with the trends, I struggle to even wear a matching outfit half of the time and I couldn't imagine creating a wardrobe for each season. To me, fashion is individual and reflects our personalities, to what I think is one of the best things, ever. Somebody else might hate. I have always been a girl who loves to wear black, but weirdly I love pink too, anything pink hmu. I have featured a variety of alternative fashion on my blog, including a wishlist of alternative shoes and many shop my style posts. But today I thought I'd delve a little deeper into my fashion choices and share with you what trends I want to see more of this year as well as my fashion influences. Hopefully, you enjoy this post and let me know your fashion inspirations in the comments. 

From as long as I can remember (when I was allowed to pick my own clothes) bar the short 'chavvy' faze I went through in year 8 where I may have worn a Mckenzie jacket and large hooped earnings as well as a pair of trackies on occasion. I followed the style choices of the alternative people in the bands I loved. Hayley Williams from Paramore being my main idol in my early teens (she still rocks it now tbh), along with the 'scene' models all over My Space (throwback) and my internet friends too. It was all about backcombed hair, ripped jeans, band tees and converse. This a faze that stuck around for a while, and to this day I still love converse and wouldn't be against wearing band tees again. I quite enjoyed this style, minus the fact the majority of my life at this point was in school uniform.

After this, I moved onto the more 'edgy' styles within in the rock/ pop-punk industry and I took inspiration from Taylor Momsen, I went for the fishnets with the tees style, boots and lots of eyeliner. Oh and my staple leather (fake of course) jacket which was pretty much in every single photo growing up, I wore the chokers and the red lipstick and dyed my hair a variety of colours and I loved it and I have to say it is one of my most confident periods. Once I started to realise wearing something more covered up would be better (and warmer) my style became a little bit of everything. Mostly based on dresses with boots and long tees and leggings, I enjoy to wear more skirts and even add some more colour to my palette which to me is a big deal. 

So what does the future hold in terms of me and style as well as the rest of the world? After looking into trends I can see that pastels are supposed to be huge this spring/summer which to me is a dream, I am crazy in love with pastels. Another one I've seen is the return of Corduroy, you can pretty much get anything in Corduroy including dungarees and skirts wahey. This time it's coming back in the form of comfort and I love it. The material is so versatile so pretty much anyone can wear it and style it how they like. I know Chords are making a return which is a great fashion piece for the men in your life and Chums has all of the latest styles and fashion pieces.

Another trend I am hopeful for is the bright coloured statement pieces, a few years back I created some gorgeous tees online with my brand on them, and I'd love to do it again this year, bold and bright, there are so many choices online to do it including Printsome. I found that  I am a huge fan of making a statement and I love wearing bright and 'out there' pieces. My beautiful new Dr Martens are my new favourite staple piece, but as the year progresses I am sure I will gain a few more, and who knows even try something new? Someone pass me the corduroy and the glitter! The final fashion trend I am going to talk to you about is, prepare yourself for this, sequins! This is literally like my dream, I pretty much will buy any fashion piece that is covered in sequins, they're mostly going out dresses but I am hoping sequins will come in a bigger variety of choice this year. 

What are you hoping makes a comeback this year? 

*Collaborative post

TV Shows you need to watch, now!

A while back, I created a post called what I've been listening to lately and it was so much fun, as it was more of a personal post to me. As well as being a 'favourites' type post. With it being Christmas, cold and having a fair bit of time off, it's given me a considerable amount of time to watch TV. I am huge TV addict at the best of times, so when I am bored and ill, I have an endless amount of time to get through a lot. So I thought I'd share with you what I've been watching lately, and I am telling you now. It's a bit of a mixed bag? Everything from reality TV to crime documentaries, hopefully, you enjoy and let me know if you would like a part two in the comments. 

*TW* Contains programmes with sensitive issues. 

Black Mirror:
Just about everybody in my life raving about Black Mirror and with the new season which was getting ready to start (which is now on Netflix, woo) I seemed to be the only one who at work who hasn't seen it. Pretty much everyone who has seen it has recommended it to me. So one night after work, I decided it was time to take the plunge and why oh why did I take so long to watch it. I had approximately 11 days to watch all of the episodes Netflix had to offer, with it being Christmas it was a little bit of a push, so I left a few of the earlier ones and moved on to the new series, so I could finally discuss it with the guys at work. The first episode I saw was Shut up and dance, and damn this was on my mind for days after, I just was not expecting the outcome at all! My favourite out of the new series has to be the black museum, again another HUGE plot twist, I was not expecting. For those of you who are yet to see Black Mirror, listen to everyone in your life, it is 100% worth watching.   

Lock up:
For those of you who know me, you'll know I am a huge addict of crime documentaries, anything drugs and murder related hit me up. I am also a massive fan of Prison documentaries, god knows why. I think they're interesting and show you what it is like to be in prison around the world. Lock up have created many series in regards to different prisons around the USA, as well as people in different situations, e.g. first-timers, lifers. It's interesting to hear their story and what they did to end up at rock bottom. 

Louis Theroux- Talking to Anorexia 
Louis Theroux is my idol for those of you who don't already know, the guy is a hero and will venture into just about any topic given. I can say I've never seen a 'bad' Louis Theroux documentary, the content he creates is always unique and he will always cover topics, others wouldn't dare to. Recently some new Louis Theroux documentaries were broadcast and they all hit me hard, but there was one which didn't leave me for weeks after. Which was the talking to Anorexia one, I haven't personally ever dealt with an eating disorder of this kind, however, I know those who have, and I really don't think that people understand the true extent of how much these people really go through. Louis Theroux delves into the issues and provides useful information for those who are clueless on the issue. 

Don't tell the bride: 
I've been watching this show for as long as I can remember, and I honestly didn't think the grooms could do anything to shock me further after the whole having the wedding in Vegas and the bride not being able to take her family and almost not going through with the wedding. However, since being bought by Channel 4, the weddings seem to get even more extreme and strange, with one wedding being at a school and another on a pig farm (I know right!!) they're a great watch for a duvet day, and always seem to work out ok. 

Netflix finally went and did it! They've put every single episode of Friends on for their UK viewers finally. Not like I haven't seen every episode countless times, somehow it feels different knowing I have the power at my fingertips, allowing me to watch all 10 seasons from start to end. WHENEVER I want. Can you tell I am excited?! 

What have you been watching lately? 

New year, new me?

New year, new me? I am pretty sure this is the most cliche start to just about every new year. Most of us set out long lists of what we want to achieve most years and it only seems to be a small percentage of us, who actually stick to these goals. Every year I tell myself on January 1st, I am going to lose a huge amount of weight, in an unreasonable time and in ways which for me are just not sustainable. As well as that I'll tell myself this will be the year I will go to the gym 5 times a week, along with getting more of a social life. It's only this year, it's become crystal clear to me, it's impossible to live this way. Setting unreasonable goals for yourself, which you are likely to fail at, is a bit like self-sabotage. So this year, I am doing it differently, I am not claiming to be a whole new me, or even close. More like an improved version of myself. The 'old me' was great, however, the new me can be even better. 

I am not setting unreasonable goals, more like things I'd like to achieve but these don't even just have to be in the year twenty eighteen, these can be anytime I can make these happen. These goals range from massive life-changing ones to small tips to live a happier life. I thought I'd share some of these goals with you today and hopefully inspire you to set some of your own goals. Remember you can start fresh at any time and it is not limited to January 1st. You do you, and you do what you want to do. 

My Big Goal List:
May as well jump in at the deep end with this and start with one of my biggest goals, which is to get a car for myself, I passed my test in July 2017, however affording a car is a totally different story, I am the worst at spending money, I am awful at saving. I've recently heard about a ton of apps you can download to help you stay within your budget, and that way allowing me to have some money spare to start saving for a car. I know it'll feel great, knowing I saved it all on my own. Now just to put myself on a spending ban, for a long time. To lose weight is my other big goal for the near future. I am about as bad at dieting as I am with saving, I am a huge fan of restaurants and often lack the motivation to cook, it's not ideal at all. But I am going back to Slimming World, with a fresh pair of eyes. This is me, and I want to succeed. It will be one of the hardest things I've had to do, like ever. As I am a huge comfort eater, and food is one of the things I enjoy most in life and as sad as that seems it's a hard cycle to break, however, it can be done. Whether it takes me 6 months, 6 years or even longer, if I am working towards this goal, I am happy.

My 'Small' Goals List:
In reality, no goals are actually small, a lot of them, even the 'easiest' ones can be difficult to maintain. But these will be ones I am pushing for this year. Taking better care of myself is a huge one for me, as someone who has struggled with mental illness for as long as they can remember, as well as issues with weight I was neglecting self-care and being kind to myself. Towards the end of 2017, I started to treat myself better, it's simple things for me, like treating myself to a haircut every six weeks, and getting some of the best hair products like Moroccan oil around and using face masks on the regular. Acne has been a huuuuge deal for me since I was around 11 years old, it comes and goes, but when it's here, it's bad. I've seen a variety of options online for acne removal and other issues people may be seen as flaws, see here more details. Murad seems to be the only skincare that works well on my skin, and despite being fairly pricey, it's something I am willing to invest in. Having good skin makes me feel good.

Do more social things is another one I want to get nailed down soon. I am a huge fan of staying in the house and an even bigger fan of staying in bed. The idea of going out with my friends is often hard, I don't really drink and can find it hard to socialise, but hiding away isn't going to make it any better. So my aim is to try to go out, when I am invited out by my friends, instead of going into panic mode and wanting to hide out. Try saying yes, it's ok to say no sometimes of course it is. However, I will try to make the effort to do more. 

What are your goals for the upcoming year? Let me know in the comments!

*Collaborative post