Sunday, 3 February 2019

Learning to Love Myself

We're finally one month into 2019 and it's officially February: the month of love. I know people joke about January being a practise month but I really felt like it was. It dragged horrendously, I didn't blog at all and feel like I set myself up to fail with the 12927843 unrealistic new year's resolutions I gave myself. But you know what? That's okay.

I am so happy it's February now and everyone knows this month revolves around love. But instead of focusing on romantic love, I have but one goal for this month, and every month going forward to be honest: I need to love myself more.

I've never really been my biggest fan. Forever the first to put myself down, I've struggled with insecurities my whole life and have always been so focused on loving everyone around me, I've forgotten to love myself. Ever since I was a teenager my source of happiness always came from a boy - since the age of 17 I've only ever really been single for a few months, and the thought of being alone always terrified me.

But, something hit me today and made me realise that in order to be really, truly happy, and in a happy relationship, I have to love myself. You'd think that the countless quotes I re-pin on Pinterest about 'loving yourself first' would have had some impact before now, but it actually took a very emotional Sunday listening to sad songs and songs about self-love for me to realise where I've been going wrong all this time.

It honestly feels like I've had a bit of an epiphany - I'm in control of my own story, and I don't need anyone else to make me happy - I can do that all by myself. So, I'm going to be taking more time to do the things I enjoy on my own, practising more self-care and just generally giving myself a bit of a break. I'm planning on taking up some new hobbies, learning new skills and taking time to look after my body and my mind.

I implore anyone who has ever felt down about themselves, anyone who is riddled with insecurities or anyone who has ever felt like they needed someone else to show them that they're worth loving - learn to love yourself. You are absolutely enough and you deserve all the love in the world.

Still doubting yourself? Listen to the Spotify playlist I put together above. If you only have time to listen to one song, make it Katy Perry's 'Love Me'. The lyrics just some it all up - 'I don't negotiate with insecurities, they always seem to get the best of me... I'll be the one defining who I'm gonna be... I'm gonna love myself the way I want you to love me'. Trust me, these songs will make you want to love yourself more.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Christmas Gift Guide: Last-Minute Luxury

Can you believe there is less than a week until Christmas?! It's actually scary how quickly it's crept up on me this year. Have you bought all your presents? I still have one or two to get, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who is going to be rushing around this week getting last-minute gifts - so I thought I'd put together a little luxury Christmas gift guide for anyone in need of some last-minute inspiration! 

There is nothing better than receiving some luxe beauty products on December 25th. While you guys know I love a bargain, I don't think you can really replicate the feeling you get when opening something really lavish and luxurious. There are so many incredible luxury beauty brands out there too, so we're spoilt for choice!

Makeup is one of my favourite things to get at Christmas, and every year the makeup brands never fail to step up and release some insane ranges. For the girl who loves a highlight, Anastasia Beverley Hills has this stunning ABH Sugar Glow Kit*, which features four beautiful highlight shades packed full of sweet sparkle. If you want to go all out bling, however, then the Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter in Trophy Wife is insane and would make an amazing gift for any girl who loves glitter. 

Charlotte Tilbury, to me, is the definition of luxury beauty and so anything from there gets the seal of approval from me - particularly the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick* and the gorgeous palettes they have so many of - I'm in love with their Luxury Eyeshadow Palettes this year. For any blush fans out there, the Guerlain Meteorites are absolutely stunning and would make a great gift for anyone looking for a gorgeous natural flush. 

If skincare or fragrance are more your thing, then there are countless gorgeous perfumes and skincare sets to choose from. My all-time favourite luxury perfume has got to be Lancome Tresor La Nuit - I always get compliments when I wear this. Whether you choose to get it in a set or on its own - this little beauty won't disappoint. For luxe skincare lovers, Gatineau have so many amazing gift sets this year - at some really fab prices. I love the Little Luxuries Set* - it's got travel sizes of so many of their incredible products, so it's ideal for anyone new to the brand. If you're looking for a single luxury skincare item, I can't recommend Caudalie Divine Oil* enough - this multi-purpose oil can be used on the face, hair and body and smells amazing. For £18 it's the perfect luxe stocking filler! 

Need some more inspiration? Take a look below for even more luxury beauty gift ideas. Happy shopping! 


Monday, 17 December 2018

5 Ways to Beat SAD This Winter

Whilst Christmas might be just around the corner, it doesn't take away from the fact that this time of year can be pretty tough for a lot of us. We wake up and it's dark, go home and it's dark, it's constantly freezing cold and the sun is nowhere to be seen. It's definitely a far cry from the glorious summer we had mere months ago.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, as it is most commonly known, affects around one in 15 people in the UK alone every year, between September and April. Caused by lack of sunlight and Vitamin D, SAD saps the life out of many of us during the winter months. It leaves us feeling down, depressed, unmotivated and lethargic. It's also known as 'winter depression', which basically sums up the effect it has on many of us.

I definitely feel it at this time of the year - as much as I love getting cosy with a hot chocolate and curling up in front of the TV, the chilly weather and near-constant darkness definitely affects my mood. I suffer with depression on and off as it is, but during the winter it definitely takes a turn for the worst. I know a lot of you guys must feel the winter blues too, so I thought I'd put together a few tips for beating SAD this winter.


I know - especially with Christmas on the way (the season of being lazy, am I right?!) - exercise is probably the last thing you have on your mind. And I totally feel you - exercise used to be something I hated. However, after regularly going to the gym I've realised just how much of a mood boost it is. Whilst it can be pretty difficult to get the motivation to go, once I'm there and once I'm home I feel so much happier. I can go from feeling really low beforehand to dancing around the kitchen afterwards - it's honestly a little miracle worker. Whether it's a brisk walk with the dog, a trip to the gym or an exercise DVD at home - get moving and I promise you'll start to kick those SAD symptoms. 

Keep Busy

December can be a really lonely month for a lot of us - everyone is busy seeing family for Christmas or skint from all the presents they've been buying, and when it's so gloomy and unappealing outside it can be easy to stay cooped up inside and cut yourself off from people. It's so important to keep in touch with friends during the winter though - meet up for dinner, join a class, go for a hot chocolate or venture out on a Christmas shopping trip - getting out and keeping busy will have you feeling so much better than staying cooped up inside. 

Get a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep is one of my favourite things in the world, but it's something lots of us take for granted. It's also so important at this time of year, when we're feeling so tired and lethargic as it is. Sleep issues are really common with those suffering with SAD - lots of us oversleep, or take naps, leading to poor quality sleep which in turn just makes us feel even more tired and grumpy. Have a good bedtime routine and avoid taking naps if you can - instead, turn your bed into a haven of relaxation at nighttime so that you get the best quality sleep, and the right amount (around 8-9 hours) when you should. It's vital to invest in a really good quality mattress and pillow so that you get the best sleep you can (it makes such a difference), and you'll wake up feeling a million times better. 

Embrace All Things Hygge

While it's important to get out and about and keep busy at this time of year, it's also great to embrace all things "hygge" and cosy when you are at home. Light some candles, grab a good book and a chunky blanket, turn your phone and laptop off and just enjoy it. The Danish swear by it to boost happiness, and I can totally see why. Bonus points if you have a log fire to snuggle up in front of! 

Light Therapy

Another great option for SAD sufferers is light therapy. Whilst it sounds a tad scary, it isn't at all - it basically means investing in a special lamp or light box which simulates exposure to sunlight, so your mind is tricked into thinking it's getting the light it needs. There are countless lamps on the market, and many people swear by them to get them through the winter months.

Do you have any tips on beating SAD? Let me know!

*This post is in conjunction with TEMPUR® but all thoughts are my own.*

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers

With less than two weeks to go until the big day, I thought it was about time I put up a Christmas gift guide! I don't know about you, but I've still got a fair bit of Christmas shopping to be cracking on with. So, I'm putting together a couple of gift guides for any other last minute shoppers like myself! First up - stocking fillers.

Stocking fillers are probably my favourite gifts to buy (and to receive!). And there are so many options when it comes to buying those little extras - from key rings to lip balms, candles to phone cases and everything in between.

I don't think you can go wrong with candles at Christmas, and this gingerbread one was a total steal from the Wickford & Co range at Home Bargains (and it smells amazing!). If pamper products are more your thing, then a Body Shop body butter* is a great option, as is a mini Molton Brown shower gel (for something a bit more luxe) or a So...? body spritz*. For a really gorgeous pampering gift, Being by Sanctuary's 'I Don't Give a Frappe' set* has everything you need for a bit of relaxation and even comes in a cute plastic cup (plus it's reduced on Boots at the mo!). A total must-have for skincare fans has got to be Pixi Glow Tonic - this is a failsafe option if you're wondering what to get the skincare lover in your life!

For makeup lovers, head to TK Maxx and pick up an Anastasia Beverley Hills eyeshadow for the bargain price of £3.99 - the perfect little addition to a bigger present! While you're there, grab a Too Faced Melted Matte liquid lipstick for £5.99 - another total bargain considering these usually retail for almost £20!

If the person you're buying for is a lash addict (like myself!) then they'll love these uber glam faux mink lashes* from - they're perfect for the party season and a really good price for a mink-style lash! Sticking with all things party, an incredible new brand I've discovered is Prima Makeup, which does these amazing Diamond Metallic Eyeshadows*. For a super glittery, full-on glam look these are insane, and a much cheaper alternative to the Stila Glitter & Glow Eyeshadows (honestly, these are just as good - but so much cheaper!)

If the person you're buying for is forever glued to their iPhone, then why not get them a unique phone case from CaseApp*? I love how you can create your own designs or choose prints you like and turn them into your very own phone case. It makes a really cute personalised gift too!

TK Maxx or Homesense are the places to be for stationery lovers - there are so many cute notebooks, sticker books and diaries in there, which make ideal stocking fillers. Or, you can find some super cute stationery bits on Etsy too - I went to one of the Etsy Christmas Gift Fairs a couple of weeks ago and stumbled across this adorable 'Crazy Dog Lady' keyring from Faye Finney - she has some super cute Christmas cards and other bits too!

If none of these tickle your fancy, I've put together a little selection of other stocking filler-y bits I've found online below. Let me know what you're hoping to get in your stocking this year!

All images and content © Hannah Vickers 2010- unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.