Engagement, excitement and happily ever afters?

Saturday 17th of November was a day I won't be forgetting in a hurry. I woke up in the morning for work knowing I'd hardly been able to sleep throughout the night and I was already dreaming of an acceptable time to be able to go to sleep when I was home. The day at work goes pretty quick but I couldn't wait to get home. Once I stepped through the front door, I said hi to Will and then I collapsed into our comfy armchair and took a breath and closed my eyes, a few seconds later I opened them again only to see Will on one knee in front of me. He was saying the words but I couldn't comprehend the words which were coming out, it was hard to understand what he was saying as I was freaking out. I recall hearing Liv, you know I love you. Then me bursting into tears and freaking out, probably not an ideal reaction but I promise you it was a happy one. The ring he pulled out of his pocket was so me, I knew as soon as I saw it he had put a lot of thought into his choice. 

I am glad Will decided to do it in our house as opposed to in a restaurant or a public location as I would freak out at the idea of people staring at us. Getting engaged is something most girls dream of but don't know when, if ever it will actually happen for them. I'm almost 24 so the timing felt right. The Pinterest boards have been being added to since 2013 so it is great to be able to have meaning behind them. We haven't set a date and know it won't be anytime soon, weddings are expensive if you want the big wedding which is something I now dream of becoming a reality for me. Buying a house is also a goal I would like to achieve in the next 5 years, so it is hard to balance the two. With the new year approaching, I will be setting my new years resolution to start saving up for the future. 

Dating with BPD is a difficult one, let alone planning a future with someone. For them and for me, it's hard. I find it hard to cope with so much love for one person, I am unable to feel the love in normal doses, it's all or nothing and sometimes I love that person so much and then other times I can't cope with being around them. Sadly, I'm not sure this will ever change. But for me, being happy to spend the rest of my life with someone feels like I am making progress, I feel the most stable and settled I have done for as long as I remember. The future looks bright and a huge change from the way I felt before my 22nd birthday, where I didn't even see myself having much of a future if any. I have a job, a house, four bunnies and now a fiance which feels crazy to say! 

We never really know what the future holds but as of November 17th I feel like my life has changed in a way which it never has before and I feel ecstatic that someone feels that way about me enough to actually want to marry me(!) and I am excited for what the future holds. 

Exploring Birmingham: The German Markets and Christmas Shopping.

I was recently asked to explore Birmingham as part of a campaign, as part of this collaboration I was given some spending money to explore Birmingham, however, all thoughts are my own as always. As someone who lives only a 30-minute train ride away from Birmingham, I couldn't wait to spend my time in the city, especially now the German Market was in full swing. Despite living close to Birmingham, I don't spend enough time here, there is always so much to explore, with the Bullring, Mailbox, Grand Central Station and it's many shops and also outside of these places, there are miles of streets full of shops and restaurants too. If you are travelling to do your Christmas shopping here, I'd recommend staying in a hotel as there many hotels in Birmingham and it's great for splitting up what you want to do and gives you a little break in between shopping. I mean there is so much walking my feet can do, and if you're like me and want to go pretty much everywhere it can become a little much.  

So I headed to Birmingham on Tuesday, ready to take on what Birmingham has to offer. When we arrived, we decided that food would be a great place to start, because who wants to shop on an empty stomach? I decided to try one of the many places in Grand Central and went to Tortilla which is a burrito bar which serves a variety of yummy food including tacos and nachos, which was an amazing experience and so reasonably priced too. Stay tuned for a full review of Tortilla in the near future. 

With a belly full of food we headed outside to the German Market, which is a Frankfurt styled market it runs from New Street to Victoria Square, it is packed with stalls full of amazing food including crepes, hotdogs and chocolatey treats. There are pop up bars accompanied by adorable little tables, which are selling German beers and hot chocolate. Stalls which were selling coffee beans, popcorn and marshmallows. Along with an assortment of gift stalls which had a generous offering of Christmas decorations, jewellery, hand-painted ornaments and rainbow candles. Will and I decided to get some keyrings for ourselves and one for our friend. I went for Jessie keyring as she's my fave and I've had a similar one in the past which I loved. After we had a long mooch around the stalls we headed back inside of Grand Central. 
Bullring bull

German market

German Market

We went to a few shops within grand central including John Lewis and Hema, before heading through Link Street, which is where we found Driftroom a quirky store selling a range of gifts and lighting and we spoke to the shop owner who was happy enough for us to take photos of the goodies within. After 30 mins in the store, I decided to buy a new card game 'cat chaos' which I can't wait to play and then we left. I was tempted to buy one the bigger lights but it was the idea of carrying it around and on the train which made us leave it behind. We popped into the Disney Store and Debenhams also, where I purchased a jar of personalised Nutella. After this, we headed to Selfridges which is four floors of gifts, clothes and of course more food. We had a look at all four floors which we don't often do, as I wanted to check out all it has to offer, and treated myself to a few bits from Paperchase and lusted over a Gucci bag. Once we had a look around we headed to Eds Diner to get some dessert, where I had waffles sandwiched together with Nutella and Will had cheesecake covered in peanut butter and chocolate sauce, washed down with a large Pepsi max each and with that we headed home to get the train. 

I had a fabulous time exploring Birmingham and if my feet weren't super painful I could have spent another few hours there for sure. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you'd like to see more posts on Birmingham let me know in the comments below. 

Selfridges Robin Christmas


Disney Store Birmingham

Eds diner cheesecake

Eds Diner Waffle

*I was gifted some spending by Hotels.com in return for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own :) 

Bakedin Review: Sticky toffee drip cake!

Since moving house I've become even fonder of baking, throughout October I did a variety of Halloween posts and with Christmas on the horizon expect the posts to keep coming. A little while back I was offered the chance to review a baking subscription box called Bakedin, which each month you are sent a new recipe out to try. The recipe includes ingredients which are already weighed out for you, and any additional extras such as baking paper or measuring tools are included. You just need to add the fresh ingredients on top. Each bag of product is labelled to follow each of the steps which are contained within the leaflet in the box. The recipes are developed by Michel Roux who is one of the worlds finest pastry chefs, which makes the whole concept even more exciting. If you're looking to sign up to Bakedin, if you subscribe here and then use the code 'OLIVIAJADE299' you can get your first box for only £2.99. My first impressions when the box arrived was how neatly packaged it was as I've noticed a lot of companies using excess packaging lately, so I was glad to see this was just right. I saw the recipe card and was drooling at what my kitchen adventure was going to entail. For the Sticky toffee drip cake, the additional ingredients needed alongside were butter, double cream and eggs. 

Having the step by step leaflet in front of me was super helpful as I knew which bag to use and the timings. The first thing I was greeted with was bag 1, which was full of dates and I had to heat them in a ban and then let them boil. As someone who has no idea about using fruit within food, I was a little confused about what sort of consistency the dates should end up like. I did find the picture on this step a bit hard to understand how it was supposed to look at this point so I just went for it. The rest of the creating of the cake I found it easier to follow the card. Adding the rest of the ingredients (sugar and eggs) to the dates and after stirring this, I then went on to fold in the flour. Once this was done it made a nice golden mixture which was then poured equally into 2 cake tins. I popped the tins into the oven for about 18 minutes before they needed to come out. I know the recipe said about 25 minutes but mine were done way before that. I used the stick provided to poke into each of the sponges to make sure they come out clean which they did yay.  

Sticky toffee drip cake

I then took out the cakes and left them to cool on the side, before a few hours later creating the butter icing. Which was simply just butter, icing sugar and a tiny amount of milk. Once whisked together I covered one of my cakes in icing before sandwiching the second one on top and then covering the top and the sides with the icing. I struggle a lot with precision so I did find it hard to make this look 'perfect' once I was happy enough with the result I popped the cake in the fridge overnight for the butter icing to set. You don't have to do this, however, as it was quite late I thought it made sense to do so.  

Sticky toffee drip cake

In the morning I took the cake out of the fridge and it was time for the final step, making the toffee! This was the part I was most excited about throughout the process but also slightly scared as I have tried to make it before and it turned into a mess. For the toffee sauce, we added butter, double cream and demerara sugar and put it on the stove in a heavy duty pan. I continually stirred until it gave the texture of the sauce I was looking for. Then I poured the sauce into a jug and let it cool for a while, before pouring it all over the cake and watching it drip down the sides, it looked so divine. For someone who doesn't really know that much about making cakes, I was pleasantly surprised at how great the cake turned out! Plus my friends and boyfriend loved it too. 

Sticky toffee drip cake
Sticky toffee drip cake

I found my first Bakedin box a success, it has provided me with a recipe I never previously would have thought to make and I also now know how to make toffee sauce. The step by step guide made it easy to create the product compared to a normal recipe. The box already has the ingredients weighed out is great for those also who don't have scales. It even comes with a guide for how much butter to use. Thank you to the Bakedin team for providing me with this box and it was great fun to get creative!

Would you subscribe to Bakedin?  

Highstreet Bargain Beauty Haul!

I love to find a good bargain, I mean who doesn't? It's a great feeling when you find a huge discount on an item you've been wanting for a while or even seeing an item you once knew was 4x the amount of what it is being sold for currently. TKmaxx is one of my favourite places to shop all things discount beauty, earlier this year I wrote a post about bagging a bargain and it was massively popular so I thought I'd share with you some of my latest discount beauty items. I am writing this post just after buying the items so I am hoping you guys will be able to locate these in your local stores. Let me know in the comments what your best bargain of all time was. 

Too Faced Unicorn Dreams £22 - £7.99
When I go to TKmaxx I am a little wary of how old products are for the price in which they are being charged at, but when I saw the mermaid and unicorn collections within the items I knew the collections are both relatively new. So when I saw this amazing unicorn dreams mystical effect highlighting stick for £7.99 when it is still on sale in Selfridges for £22, I knew I needed to snap it up. The other thing about TKmaxx is that often people use the products for swatches which means that often there are faults with the items, but this unicorn horn was completely untouched which made me super happy. They had two shades of the highlighter and I went for Unicorn Dreams.   

Freederm Pore Minimiser £6.49 £1.63
I was looking around the skincare in Boots and spotted this Freederm Pore Minimiser for £1.63, I suffer from acne and I am constantly looking for new products to keep it at bay. I picked up this as I know that Freederm is always a great go-to for troubled skin. 

Biore deep cleansing pore strips £8.49 £2.13
As far as I am aware of the reason that these are currently £2.13 is due to Biore are rebranding their packaging of these strips. However, I believe the product will be exactly the same. For the sake of an old box for a quarter of the price, I am pretty happy with that. 

MasqueB.A.R Anti-Blemish Mud Mask £7.99 £2.50 
I first heard of the brand MasqueBAR on ASOS when I purchased some of their charcoal masks, I believe I paid around £9 for them at the time. They are some of the best face masks I've ever used and for £2.50 for 3 masks you can't really go wrong. I can't actually see any reason these are reduced as of yet, but it is likely to also be due to a re-package of the product.

Too Faced Mermaid Tears £16.20 £5.99 
Another Too Faced bargain that I picked up from TK Maxx, I was shocked to find that this gorgeous colour changing lipstick from Too Faced was just £5.99. The packaging of the product drew me in and once I opened the product to check it wasn't already used (and it wasn't, win) I saw a beautiful greeny purple glittery shade and I fell in love. For the price and the fact I knew I'd wear it so much I had to purchase it. I know a lot of people wouldn't want to wear the colour so that may be one of the reasons it's cheaper. 

Honourable mention- Popbands: 
Finally, I thought I'd give a quick shoutout to Superdrug as their clearance section has some bargains in it and I found these Popbands for just 30p for 3. They're great for tieing up your hair and don't hurt like normal bobbles can. They come on a card so they're also great for storing in your bag. I'd totally recommend seeing what bargains you can find in your local Superdrug as I know sometimes it can be pretty hit and miss. 

It's amazing what bargains are available on our highstreet and half of the time we don't even know they're there. Plus I still got Boots points on my Boots purchases as I had additional ones loaded to my card for a face product. Win. 

Christmas with Yankee Candle 2018

It's no secret that Yankee Candle is my favourite candle brand, their one of those brands that once they're in your life, they never really leave. You know their reliable, last ages and always have a huge variety of scents to chose from. Yankee Candle releases several collections throughout the year but the Christmas range is always my favourite. If you missed last years collection be sure to stop by the post. This year I was gifted 2 of the candles and an advent calendar so I thought I'd share my thoughts with you on those and if there are any other brands of candles/wax melts you'd like for me to review, do let me know in the comments and I'll try to do so. 

Yankee Candle has a variety of sized candles, the large jars which are featured in this post are £23.99 and they have over 110 hours of burning time, the medium jars costing £19.99 and having around 65-70 hours and the small jars which cost £8.99 and have a burn time of 20-30 hours. They also have wax melts and votive candles. As someone who likes to have a variety of scents on the go, I do usually buy one of the large candles for my favourite scent and then a huge variety of the melts as I feel like they smell the strongest for the longest amount of time and cost £1.79. Plus it's a great way to try out new fragrances and great for creating presents for friends with, as you can pick a variety of scents to allow them to chose from. So this year the two scents I am going to be reviewing are Winter Wonder and Frosty Gingerbread and hopefully, you find these reviews useful as I am rubbish at explaining scents.

Frosty Gingerbread

Frosty Gingerbread:
Frosty Gingerbread reminds me of my first Yankee Candle, I don't even remember the name of it, I just remember that smelled so strongly of ginger and other winter spices and filled my room with that 'true' Christmas scent. Frosty Gingerbread fills any room with that true homely smell and makes you feel instantly relaxed. The smell to me honestly just smells like when you've baked gingerbread biscuits and the smell takes over the whole house and it's just lush. 

Yankee Candle state the following about the fragrance notes:
Top: Cinnamon, Vanilla frosting, Nutmeg
Mid: Ginger, Clove
Base: Gingerbread, Sugar.

The first scent that I notice when I smell the candle is ginger, followed by a sweet sugary scent. I think for some people, it could be a scent that isn't their cup of tea as it is strong and could be overpowering. I know not everyone loves the winter spiced candles, but I find it delightful. The colour of the candle is a deep red and the biscuits on the front make me want to make my own too. If you love ginger you're in for a real treat, let me tell ya. 

Winter Wonder Candle

Winter Wonder: 
Have you ever just smelt a candle and known it was one you needed to purchase? This candle is that one for me. To me, at first, I thought this smelt like a mix of white chocolate and peppermint. It's super sweet scent and totally different to Frosty Gingerbread. It smells so lush and it's one of those candles that aren't overpowering but are a nice background scent. 

The fragrance notes for this candle as advised by Yankee Candle are:
Top: Frozen Lemon, Frost Air
Mid: Champagne Accord, Silver Balsam
Base: Vanilla, Sheer Musk

If you're looking for a sweet scent this Christmas I'd totally recommend this one, it is one of my favourite ever candles alongside Fireside Treats. It's one of those candles that are a safe bet for a family or a friend too in my opinion as it's just such a loveable and relaxing scent.  

Yankee Candle Advent Calender 2018

Advent Calendar 2018 (Contains Spoilers): 
Last year throughout December I loved opening each of the tea light candles and trying out the fragrances which were within. The candles are the perfect size for an evening of burning and for the size, they pack a punch for sure. 

The scents in this year's calendar are: Glittering Star, Winter Glow, Icy Blue Spruce, Crackling Woodfire, Sparkling Cinamon, The Perfect Tree, Snowflake Cookie and All Is Bright. Which is a large variety compared to last year, as I felt there were a lot fewer scents to chose from. I am excited to try out some of these scents and it's a great way to decide if to buy a full-sized version of the candle. 

Overall I'd say the Christmas collection this year has a lot more choice and the scents are a little more like me. Full speed ahead to December

What are your favourite Christmas scents? 

Lets talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Hello November. Goodbye Sunlight. 

The day of the year I dread more than most the day the clocks go back and this year that was on 28th October, I didn't mind the extra hour in bed, or that day, in general. It was a pretty good Sunday, but the loss of light which was ahead was stuck in my head. Knowing that it wouldn't be until March when those long nights became longer days all over again. Sat my desk that day, knowing when I started it was only just getting light and when I finish the light will be completely gone. Limiting myself to going out in the evenings because the dark is something I fear. The person I become not having those extra hours of light struggles through the next few months. SAD also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression which comes and goes throughout a seasonal pattern. Most of us struggle with change which is out of our control, but this goes deeper than that. The change for most of us who struggle with SAD is unbearable. The lack of light makes us a shadow of who we were in the summer. SAD doesn't just affect people who struggle with the winter months, it can be the same for the summer months too. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder brings out the worst parts our depression and there's nothing we can do about it. For me personally, it makes me want to hide out in my bed a lot more, as the idea of going outside is not something I want to contend with. Getting up and going to work seems to become more of a struggle each and every day. The energy I had in the other 5 months of the year, zapped from within me. Looking forward to the months of being able to open the curtains and feel happy to be awake. SAD can often make us feel like we want to hibernate and not see our friends, not go out, and finding it hard to sleep at night and then almost impossible to stay awake in the light. One of my bad bouts involved me failing to sleep at night due to constantly waking up, then sleeping all day until it was dark again. I think I went 4 days without seeing any natural light and it made me feel so ill, but I couldn't overcome it. 

Despite this, Christmas is still one of my favourite times of the year, and this is something which helps me to get through those really bad days. The upcoming excitement of the streets being covered in lights, a huge tree making its way to the middle of the town, my house being filled with bright and quirky ornaments and of course the best Christmas songs and films around. The spirit of people coming together churns out some of the person who has been hiding inside. I find it a lot easier to cope on days when I feel like I have things to look forward to, and as much as I hate to admit it on the days when I eat better, I do feel the benefit. Taking those daily vitamins is a great way to boost your mood from within also, I often don't realise how much they do for me until I stop taking them. Vitamin C and D are my best friends for giving me an extra boost.

Until recently I had suffered in silence about Seasonal Affective Disorder and when a work friend and I started to discuss how every single morning at work felt like we had to wade through water whilst feeling like we have weights on our ankles which was pulling us back down, no matter how hard we tried to stop it. He told me about SAD lights and what a difference they make to each day, this is called light therapy. Most light boxes emit 10,000 lux, which boosts the serotonin in your brain and helps you cope day to day during these times For someone who didn't even know these existed, it was a huge relief to learn such things are available in these bad times. This year, I've started to research in purchasing my own lightbox. Sad.uk who sell these lights also have a huge section of information on their site about the different types of light boxes you can get to suit your lifestyle as well offering information on SAD itself, which can be useful to share with friends and family. Sad.uk also recommend getting light in as early as possible to boost your energy throughout the day. 

For now, until the sun returns for another summer ahead, I will try to make the most of the light around me, whether that is real, or artificial. It all makes a difference.

Will Reviews: Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2

Will here, back for another review on Dungarees and Donuts! Olivia was gifted these Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 headphones are available here, they are Bluetooth wireless headphones with noise cancelling technology. As last time when I did a review for Mo Bro's Grooming Kit a lot of you seemed to enjoy it, we thought it would be fun to do another review! Let me know in the comments what you'd like to see me review next. 

Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2

The Look:
Personally, I'm really picky about headphones. I hate having ones that aren't designed to last, and I really don't like having ones that sound bad either. The issue is there are so many headphones that are poorly designed and poorly designed headphones can actually cause discomfort and a poor experience when listening to music.  The Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 has surprised me, there's a lot of technology going on in quite a small headset. In terms of design, they look nice. There's grip on each earpiece and a nice imitation wood finish on the sides. The black and brown colour scheme is a nice touch, I really like how Plantronics have used different textures in the design of these. I couldn't really complain about how it looks as it looks really modern and sleek.

Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2

The Sound:
Music is built up from different frequencies, highs, mids, and lows. Some headphones distort or miss some frequencies, and I really don't like that. From what I've experienced with the BackBeat PRO 2 music sounds really nice and I didn't hear any distortion. When listening to music to test these, The bass was really cool, every thud from a kick drum and every snap from a snare was prominent, and the ring from every cymbal sounded really smooth and clear. It's possible to hear every echo and reverb from sounds through these headphones too, and you can hear layered or hidden elements of songs too. These headphones would be really good for music production.

The Feel: 

The BackBeat PRO 2 has soft padding around the headband and ears. The padding is soft, the headband is very adjustable too, making for a great fit and comfort. They're able to be used for long periods of time without discomfort. They don't feel too loose to wear either, which is another positive. The noise cancelling that these headphones have is good, and probably some of the best I have ever used. When the music is at half volume, any background noise is almost unnoticeable. I can imagine the noise cancellation to be great for trips away or even during a noisy commute on the train. 

Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2

The wrap up: 
Not to forget, these headphones are also wireless making them great for when you're on the go, you don't have to deal with wires getting tangled and you can take phone calls through the headset. Most wireless headphones have a really bad battery life that doesn't last much longer, but these headphones actually have a very long battery life. From what I noticed, they seemed to last longer than a day's worth of use when wireless.

One of the cons of these headphones is that they aren't collapsible so when you put it in your bag you need to be careful in case it was to break, but they feel very sturdy. The open mic feature can be a bit confusing when you're not using it, as your voice is played back through the headphones but this can easily be adjusted.

Overall, my experience with using these headphones has been really great and I couldn't recommend them enough. I have to say that they definitely stand up to competitors in the market. Absolutely worth the money because you really do get the quality that you pay for!

What does your tattoo mean? The ramblings of a tattooed blogger.

Growing up, I loved to watch Miami and LA Ink. Watching in awe at the people going into the tattoo studio as a blank canvas and leaving with these beautiful pieces all over their body. Each one of them had their own story to tell, whether it was a passing of a relative, a date of a birth or a piece of art they've wanted for years they always meant something and Kat and the team would create these lovely pieces which were literal pieces of art. I dreamed of the day I was old enough to get my first piece, I would spend hours on the internet searching what I wanted to get. I was still clueless at 18, the shows made it look so simple to decide on something so permanent, I was panicking that I would make the wrong decision. I was also scared of the pain, forever asking people if it would hurt and how much. The honest truth being, it depends where, how big and what your pain threshold is like. For those of you who are wondering, tattoos do hurt, I have a few stand out pieces which I felt like my body parts may just fall off.

It wasn't until I reached 20, that I finally made a choice, got booked in and turned up on that day and got my first piece done on my left wrist which meant so much to me, it was a beautiful rope infinity symbol with an anchor within and it says 'I refuse to sink'. It was about overcoming my struggles and working through the constant battle of my mental illness. To this day, I am glad this was my first piece as it is is so meaningful to me. On my other wrist, sits a beautiful rainbow coloured quill writing out the word 'believe', again this piece was a little part of something bigger in my life. 

I had the tattoos that had significant meaning to me, I wanted to have a bit of fun with the rest, and until I recently had my bunnies tattooed on my leg, the pieces I had were random, colourful and fun. Getting asked but "what does your tattoo mean?" is a question which always strikes me a little as there can be no meaning. I liked this piece of flash from my tattoo artists sheet, or I saw something cute on Pinterest and wanted to turn it into my own vision. I love coloured tattoos, small pieces built up into something bigger. Three of my tattoos are of bunnies which is my favourite animal, I have a few food pieces including a doughnut and the others are just random things I liked the look of.  

To me, my tattoos were something I liked at the time, and whether I turn around and hate them in the future is something I'll have to live with, but for now, I am happy covering my body in these pieces. The colour makes me happy and gives me something that brings out confidence within me, some of my tattoos I prefer over others, just like most things. The thought process behind each one is different and sometimes it really as simple as seeing something drawn up by an artist that you think would compliment your pieces and other times it can be something more personal like a pet.

The comments of what will those tattoos look like when you're old, or when you gain or lose weight, the honest answer to that is, I don't know. I may regret them when I am 80 or I may not, it's a new generation of tattoo lovers and I know I certain I will not be alone. Tattoos can symbolise a journey of a lifetime, and bring stories from within. They can also show some colour on your body. 

My tattoos mean something to me, to everyone else they probably don't. The same goes for most tattoos which are upon someone's skin. For those who like tattoos will probably enjoy looking at my pieces like I do theirs. I love looking at the cool pieces of art they've chosen on their body, and laughing with them about those not so good mistakes they made. It is important to remember that not all tattoos have meaning to that person, and it is ok to have one purely for the sake of liking the image. 

Do you have tattoos?