Considering the infamous January Sales, I've done pretty well with saving my money instead of spending it. I made ONE Boxing Day sales purchase, despite the fact that I spent hours every evening scrolling through every clothes website ever, desperately trying to find a bargain. It clearly wasn't meant to be, though, because I just couldn't find anything I wanted. I think it's for the best though, because I'm really happy with the purchases I've made.
I like making lists. Lists of books that I want to buy, lists of my favourite snacks to eat, lists of places I want to visit before I die. I find list writing very therapeutic and clarifying for my mind. This is mostly because it's an extraction of information, but also because I like to see things listed neatly and in an organised way. I write a post called The Happy List most months where I share little happy things that have happened to me recently but another list I'd like to start keeping regularly is a list of things I'm grateful for. I was going to do this in a notebook but then I thought: why not share it with you?
I don't think it's a secret that my anxiety is playing havoc with my life at the moment. It's like I've fallen back down every step I've taken over the past year or so, and I'm finding it incredibly difficult to do simple things like eating, taking a bath, sleeping led down and leaving the house. There seem to be some other underlying health issues that are contributing to my anxiety and until I get them sorted I kind of feel like I'm in limbo, just waiting around. In order to regain some control and some semblance of a normal day, I thought I'd jot down some goals for the rest of the week that I hope to achieve.
I feel like gaming is one huge part of my life that I never feature on my blog. I sometimes mention certain games in my favourites posts or maybe in a Happy List, but I've never really dedicated an entire post to a game before. This is mostly because I don't think anyone would read it and although I still kind of think that I wanted to write up a little post on my current favourite game - Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer.
Last Friday saw Luke & I proceed with round two of our Great British Bake Off tournament, and this time we thought that we should each bake what the other baked last week, meaning I was to bake cookies and Luke was to bake some brownies. I scoured the internet for days looking for the perfect recipe (and one that ensured me a win) and ended up settling on these Nutella & Sea Salt cookies. I'm a huge fan of the salty-and-sweet combo, hence why I chose to make peanut butter brownies last week and why I particularly enjoy dipping McDonalds chips into chocolate milkshake. Ahem. But that's a weird quirk for another day. The recipe that I followed is super easy as it only has 5 ingredients, although my cookies don't look much like they do in the recipe's photo!
One of the things I love most about Lush is their super ethical take on packaging. Around half of the products on offer can be taken home completely free of packaging, not to mention the genius shampoos, deodorants and bubble baths that come in bar-form rather than liquid inside a plastic bottle. When they do use packaging, it's ethical, too - around 90% of it can be recycled. This includes the infamous black pots that a lot of the skincare and body care products come in. But what else can you do with your empty packaging aside from popping them in with your recycling? WELL I'M HERE TO TELL YA.
B. Flawless Long-Lasting Concealer in Light. || B. Radiant BB Under Eye Concealer in Light.
Exciting announcement time: the entire contents of my make-up bag is now completely cruelty-free! I have one product that isn't vegan, but aside from that one the rest of it is. And two of my favourite vegan make-up products are my B. concealers. I decided to pop them both into this post together, as I feel like they're both great for different reasons and they both make up for what the other lacks. I also find that they work really well together if I need something more heavy-duty for my dark circles that day.
*This review contains spoilers for The Selection, The Elite and The One*
When I found out that Kiera Cass was planning on releasing another two books in addition to the Selection trilogy, I was dreading it. Not to mention when I discovered that the main character of these books was America's daughter. I'm not usually a fan of books like that - I read The Selection because of America and Maxon and if they weren't the main focus of these next books then why would I enjoy them? As it turned out, I really enjoyed The Heir - a lot more than I expected to!
GUESS WHAT TODAY IS? *throws eco-friendly confetti* It's my one year cruelty-free anniversary! Yep, exactly one year ago today I uploaded my first ever consciously cruelty-free blog post to What Lauren Did Today. Technically my one year anniversary was the 1st of January, as it was one of my New Years resolutions for 2015, but I feel like the 8th holds more cause for celebration as it's also my blog's cruelty-free birthday.
If there's one New Year's resolution that I feel like everyone should make, it's a pledge to self care. I think we're all pretty hard on ourselves and feel like setting aside time to take care of ourselves is self-indulgent and unimportant, when it's actually one of the most necessary things to do for yourself. I have to admit that I struggle with this sometimes - I almost feel like I don't deserve to take time to care for myself - but once I do I feel so much better.
1. Get clean. Brush your teeth, wash your hair, put on some perfume and a clean outfit. Sometimes if I'm having a really hard time, I find it difficult to get out of bed and to just start my day. Something that really helps is just getting ready - I always feel a lot more human when I'm in fresh clothes and have brushed my teeth. You don't have to apply make-up if you don't want to, and if you're not seeing anyone then maybe you could just take a quick shower and change into some clean pyjamas before settling down to read a book!
2. Make a collage of your future plans and dreams.You could do this in a scrapbook, in the form of a sketch, a list or a Pinterest board. I find it's a lot easier to focus on where you're headed if you can visually see everything you're hoping to achieve. You don't have to show anyone this either - so you can pin down exactly what it is you really want.
I kicked off 2016 in the best way possible - by competing in a Great British Bake Off against my boyfriend and ending up with a kitchen full of delicious baked goodies. No room for salad leaves in my New Year's fridge I'm afraid! Luke decided to bake some simple (yet incredible) white-and-milk-chocolate cookies, where-as I thought I'd be a bit more adventurous and tried my hand at baking some peanut butter brownies. As it turned out, Luke won our bake-off, namely because I'm the only person in my family that actually likes peanut butter. Of course I forgot about that when choosing my bake and now have an entire batch of brownies to myself... not that I'm complaining. BUT it would appear that everyone on Twitter/Instagram liked the look of these, so I thought I'd pop up a post sharing the recipe (although I did stray from it a few times by accident.)