White duvet cover with grey polka dots. Reverse of duvet also showing with grey and white floral pattern

Sometimes in life, the simple pleasures are the best ones.

When I was younger, I never imagined in a million years that home stuff would excite me.

But ever since I moved out and into a place of my own the idea of buying new things to put my stamp on my home has actually excited me. Oh, if only my 15-year-old self could see me now!

There is something so satisfying about new bed sheets. Although, living with a guy who measures in at over 6 feet means we have a super king size bed. Yup, it’s huge. So I’m always on the lookout for affordable, nice bedding. And of course, a bed set that goes with the current wall colour (orange!!) but will go just as well once we paint it a new colour. I’m pushing for purple.

Hardly surprising then that for me grey and whites are my go to. JD Williams has lots of choices and ones that suit all budgets. I’m also a fan of a reversible duvet. More bang for your buck is never a bad thing! This one is great – a nice floral pattern on one side, and polka dots on the reverse. I like a floral print, but the polka dots also give it a modern edge.

White duvet cover with grey polka dots

The other great thing about neutral colours is that you can go for a much brighter sheet. This means I get away with having bright pink ones. I’m fully aware they don’t go with our orange wall, but I’m hoping this will encourage us to decorate…

Photo of girl sitting under a purple blanket. View out the window of water.

While browsing bed sheets I also had a look at some of the throws JD Williams had to offer. I love a good fluffy blanket. As someone who is cold pretty much all the time, a good blanket is a necessity in my house. The fluffier the better! This purple one is so soft and warm. I opted for purple, thinking that it would go with the sheets, along with ones I already have. My thought was that it would go on the bottom of the bed. It hasn’t moved from my favourite spot since I got it (I’m writing this post snuggled under it!). Is there anything better than spending a chilled out Sunday, cosy with a cuppa either reading or just enjoying a great view?! I think not.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets excited about home stuff?

 

Check out the full collection of bedding at JD Williams.

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

 

First 2 photos taken by me, bottom photo taken by M Richardson

*items gifted to me by JD Williams
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Photo of phone showing the Badoo explore page, cup of coffee, a croissant and a book.

VALENTINE’S DAY HAS BEEN AND GONE.

A DAY THAT MADE COUPLES FEEL SMUG AND MUSHY AND MANY SINGLE PEOPLE FEELING BUMMED OUT. IF YOU’RE STILL ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A DATE AFTER THE BIG DAY FEAR NOT, THERE IS STILL TIME!

The world of dating is a scary one. Putting yourself out there can be daunting, what if you have a disastrous first date (we all heard the story about the girl getting stuck in the bathroom window, right?!)? What if you really like someone and they don’t feel the same?

But, as well as terrifying it can be great fun. Think about it. You get to meet new people, possibly try new places. You will have someone to go to the cinema with, or out for dinner. In the 21st century how do we meet potential new partners though? Times have changed, we no longer go to the dancing on a Saturday night and although we can meet people at work, who really wants to have to deal with that if things don’t work out.

It’s hardly surprising then that more and more people are finding love online. And no longer is it something that people are embarrassed to admit. There are dating apps for every type of person. Whether you want something that goes really in depth with what you’re looking for, or something a little bit less full on, and a little more fun. Badoo falls into both categories! While users can add details about whether they want kids, are a smoker etc it initially starts off with photos of potential matches. If you like how someone looks you can find out more. With over 370 million people using the app why wouldn’t you want to try to find love here?

So when it comes to finding love what are the things we look for? I’m just gonna go straight in there and say that looks matter. Some may find this shallow but they don’t call it love at first sight for nothing! First impressions count for a lot. Rightly or wrongly we make up our mind about someone within the first seven seconds. The difference between someone you’re friends with, and someone you’re in a relationship with is finding them hot.

Badoo presents you with photos of potential dates, (you can state whether you’re a girl looking for a guy or girl and vice versa) and you swipe yes or no based on how hot you think they are. Sometimes the decision process is super quick, either you’re digging them or not. But what about those people that make you pause for a moment, maybe they have a killer smile or the nicest eyes you’ve ever seen? Those are the people who draw you in and make you want to know more.

Queue the all-important bio! This is your opportunity to really catch someone’s attention and leave them desperate to meet you. As important as looks are, when you’re looking for a relationship there needs to be some common interests. A bio with very little information is not going to get as much interest as if you add a bit about yourself. With Badoo, you get 500 characters to give a little insight into what floats your boat in life and to share any interesting facts about yourself. You need to be confident, but not cocky. Think about how you would sell yourself on a CV, and translate that into dating. Grab their attention with your bio, and make them really want to meet you for that face to face interview, I mean date (a first date is a bit like an interview though!).

A few other things to consider:

  • Fun photos – no duck selfies, use photos of you having fun. It makes you seem a lot more approachable.
  • Share any funny quirks you have – everyone has at least one.
  • Show your personality and sense of humour in your writing – not everyone is a writer but don’t be too formal, you’re not writing an essay.
  • Don’t be afraid to use an emoji – emojis have made it into our daily life, and these can be a fun way of showing what your interests are.

Here’s mine just to give an example:

Photo of Badoo dating app profile

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

Top photo courtesy of Badoo, bottom photo screenshot of my Badoo profile.

*post sponsored by Badoo

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Gin new town mojito cocktail and two bottles of Edinburgh Gin

New Town Mojito.

Ginuary has been fun. I’m not a big drinker so a dry January wouldn’t really have had any huge benefit to me. Plus, I always think as soon as you try to deny yourself something, you just want it more.

So today we have my last Ginuary post. I’ve enjoyed trying out new gin this month and for today’s post, I’ve given a gin cocktail a try. Most of the gin websites will give you suggestions on how to drink their products. Great if you’re new to a certain type of gin, or even just looking for some new ideas.

In all honesty, I’m not really one for cocktails unless I’m out for drinks. They can be a bit too much faff and generally include things I don’t have to hand in the house. But on my quest to try new gin at the start of this month I’d looked a few up. The Edinburgh Gin website has some really delicious sounding cocktails, and when I saw a gin-based mojito I was desperate to try it.

The first time I went to make it I was seriously disappointed. I’d convinced myself that I had a bottle of Elderflower gin liqueur in amongst my many bottles of gin. I did not. Never fear, Mark to the rescue. He surprised me with a bottle a couple of nights later!

Bottles of gin. One Edinburgh Gin and one Edinburgh Gin Elderflower liqueur.

The New Town Mojito is different from your traditional mojito. Not only because it’s made with gin rather than white rum. But it also misses out the mint and soda, and the lime is replaced with lemon. Basically, the only thing similar to a mojito is the name.

Thankfully the only faffy bit of this cocktail was juicing the lemon. I made the rest of it easily. And it was absolutely delicious. Really crisp and fresh tasting and would be an ideal summer cocktail. The elderflower and apple paired perfectly, lemon added a nice twist and a bit of zing to the flavour.

This is definitely one I will make again. Although I would maybe add a bit of soda water to make it go further and add a bit of fizz to the drink.

How do you drink the Elderflower gin? As always I would love your suggestions!

Fancy having a read at my other Ginuary posts? You can get them here.

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

 

Photographs by me

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Bottle of Hendrick's gin, apple and elderflower water and a red teacup and saucer

Hendrick’s gin is next up for Ginuary.

A couple of years ago I wasn’t a gin drinker at all.

My first date with Mark was at a gin bar. I picked the venue because it was a really cool bar, rather than my love of the stuff. Roll on Christmas and I got a bottle of Hendrick’s from Mark, bought because of the cool design on the box that made him think of Alice in Wonderland (which went well with the other present he bought me).

My opinion of gin was one I formed as a teenager. It was always the stuff you would avoid sneaking out of the drinks cupboard, mostly because it smelled like perfume and I always imagined it tasting like it smelled. My drink of choice was always vodka. Mostly because when mixed with Fanta Fruit Twist it tasted like Fanta Fruit Twist and not alcohol!

But after being given a bottle and starting to drink it, I’ve changed my opinion. It does still smell a bit like perfume, thankfully it doesn’t taste like it. To confirm though, I’ve never tasted perfume, so maybe it does… This is another bottle I love. It looks good in amongst the others on display in our kitchen. Only down point is that you can’t really see how much you have left in it.

As many gin drinkers will know, each type of gin has a recommended mixer and garnish to go along with it. When it come’s to Hendrick’s gin, you’re meant to garnish with cucumber. Well, I actually really dislike cucumber and Mark doesn’t each much salad, so we never have this in the house. And to buy cucumber for a couple of gins feels like a waste (I know I could probably freeze it, but I know I won’t).

So despite liking Hendrick’s with tonic and cucumber, I’ve spent a bit of time trying out different mixers. I’ve come back to elderflower water a few times. I really like it as a drink on its own and I think it works well with the botanical taste of gin. It compliments the gin well and still tastes good even if I have nothing to garnish it in the house.

Although cucumber probably does taste best with Hendrick’s someone had suggested to me that red apple also works well. I always have apples in the house so I will often use this as a garnish. When I saw this elderflower and apple water in Tesco I immediately thought it would taste good in the gin.

You can buy bottles of Hendrick’s that come with a little teacup. And I think drinking any sort of alcoholic beverage out of one is a grand idea, so obviously I selected one of mine to drink this! If you’re not a teacup sort of person then I’d suggest a short glass filled with ice.

Fill your teacup with ice, 25ml of Hendrick’s and top with the apple and elderflower water. Pop in a couple of slices of apple (Pink Lady is my choice), and enjoy.

Red teacup filled with gin and slices of apple. Bottle of Hendrick's gin and apple and elderflower water

Have you tried Hendrick’s with anything other than tonic water and cucumber? Hit me up with your suggestions.

You can read my first two Ginuary posts here and here.

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

Photographs taken by me.

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Photo of a bronze glitter diary with twenty eighteen written on it in black font, pink hello kitty pen and mug of tea. Sitting on top of a marble surface with fairy lights

Happy New Year!

I had the best intentions to post this earlier this week. But having plans every day between Christmas and New Year left me feeling pretty tired. So I’ve been enjoying the last few days with no plans and getting to spend time with just Mark.

Mark and I saw the new year in chilling in our flat. This Hogmanay we decided we weren’t going to make any plans and it was really nice! We ate pizza, caught up on TV from the festive period and had a few drinks. 2018 was the first year in a really long time (possibly ever as an adult) that I’ve not woken up hungover on New Years Day.

If you read my last post you will know I’m kinda glad we’ve started a new year. The new year always seems to fill people with a kind of hope. 365 days to hopefully fill with fun and happiness. For me, things are already starting better than 2017. I start a new job this month. And a job I wanted, rather than one I got just cause I needed a job. It seems like with most things in life, once you stop desperately trying for something and come to the realisation that it might not happen, it happens.

I start a job that has marketing in the job title! Something I’ve been trying to get for about four years. And much more seriously over the last year. Although I did have a marketing job for a short time it really wasn’t what I was looking for and was much more a sales role.

Now we’re in 2018 and it’s time to look at the year ahead. Every year I like to set some goals (not resolutions). This year I’m going to try and keep them manageable and realistic, as I don’t think I really did that with my goals last year. Before I get into this years, let’s have a look at my 2017 goals and how I did with hitting them.

Blog more often – This one I did. Maybe not as much as I wanted but I’ve felt more confident with my writing and a bit more like I’ve found my voice and writing style. I also moved my blog over to WordPress and gave it a wee make-over. When I say me, I mean Mark. He busted a gut getting it looking great and doing all the technical/coding stuff.

Spend less time stressing – NOPE! 2017 was a really stressful year.

Get an awesome new job – Erm, nope. I did have a job for a couple of months. But it was far from awesome. In fact, I hated it, more than being unemployed. I learned a pretty good lesson from this experience though – listen to my gut.

So what are my 2018 goals?

Get the most out my new job.

The job I’m starting this month is a temporary contract for eight to nine months. Although it’s only temporary, it’s a marketing job. I want to make sure that I learn as much as I can so that I can get another marketing job after it.

Start doing yoga.

I’m not talking every day, but at least a few times a week. My muscles get really tight from running and I think yoga will help me. Plus I need to try something to maybe help me relax a bit.

Improve photography.

I actually went to a photography workshop last year and finally got my camera off auto. I want to keep practising and get better.

Be a better adult.

We have run out of loo roll on more than one occasion in the last year. I never do housework often enough, and more times than is acceptable there have been full washes done of just underwear… As adults in our thirties, we should be better than this! So that’s something I’m definitely working on this year. With Mark, because you know, I’m not solely responsible for all household duties.

VLOG!

I’ve been saying I’ll do this for a while. During 2017 I did actually film and edit some videos but never got the guts to put them up. I want to do this during 2018. With my blog turning five this year I feel like it’s time to try it. If anything I will learn a new skill and that’s never a bad thing!

 

So there you go, my 2018 goals. Have you set goals or made resolutions? If so, I would love to hear what you’re looking to achieve this year.

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

Photograph by me

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