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2018 Review

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2018 Review

Hey lovelies!

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season filled with love and joy ? I was plagued with a horrible chest infection/cold from Christmas Eve up until only a couple of days ago…not really how I wanted to spend my Christmas but oh well! Apologies again for missing last Friday’s post, I just didn’t have it in me. 

But I’m back now, and ready for everything 2019 has to offer! I thought I’d do a 2018 review as this year has been a journey, and I wanted to look back on everything that has happened. This is about to get very real, just fyi.

Before I jump into the post, I just want to let you know that EVERYTHING in my shop is 20% off for the whole of January! Click the ‘shop’ tab above, the shopping cart icon below, or here to get shopping! 

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January

2018 started off rough. I lost one of my beloved family dogs very suddenly, and then only a couple of weeks later lost my darling grandmother. I was very fortunate to be able to spend lots of time with her before she passed, and looking back now I wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world.

February

February was a bit of a blur. It was mostly spent in mega-organising mode planning my nan’s funeral and trying to take as much of the burden as possible off of my mum and granddad. I would not have been able to get through it without Nathan; he was my rock. 

We also had a massive snowstorm, which reminded me of the beauty in the world.

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March

March was the worst month. My mental health hit an all-time low, and I struggled with work and university, and living apart from Nathan. After a pretty major breakdown, I spent a week with Nathan up in Birmingham and decided to move back up in the summer and continue university online. 

The only good thing from March was getting our gorgeous photos back from Amy from Mooie Fee Photography. She is an absolute angel, and I’m still completely in love with the photos ❤️ Check our her website, she’s just the best. 

April

In April I celebrated my 22nd birthday by going to see Lauv in concert, and I got to meet him! This was such a crazy experience, as his music was such a huge part of the beginning of mine and Nathan’s relationship. The concert was amazing, and was definitely a turning point in the year.  


May

Ahh…exam season. May was full of stress ? I had missed a lot of university with everything that had happened earlier in the year, and I was very worried about failing my exams, and in turn failing second year. But I passed! 

June

In June Nathan and I took a much deserved holiday! We went to where I used to live in California, and it was actually my first time back there since moving back to England. It was a surreal experience, but incredible. Being able to share that part of my life with Nathan meant so much, and getting to see my best friends again was just amazing. 

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July

In July I moved up to Birmingham and moved back in with Nathan. We redecorated the house, and I got to truly make it our home. My office space is one of my favourite places in the house, and I had the best time creating it. I also started seriously thinking about relaunching my blog in July, and started the whole planning process! 

August

August was a pretty great month…I saw Hamilton for the first time and I am OBSESSED. It was absolutely incredible, honestly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, and I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack now. I would love to go and see it again ? 

I also went to the Picasso exhibition at the Tate Modern, which was just outstanding. 

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September

September welcomed the return of Autumn, and I felt myself becoming more and more like myself again as the leaves changed. 

October

In October Nathan and I celebrated being together for four years with a trip to the beautiful Cotswolds. While the trip was not without setbacks (we popped a tire in the middle of a multi-storey car park ?), it was absolutely beautiful. 

I carved my first pumpkin ever for Halloween, and watched a lot of spooky movies! 

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November

In November I met the incredible Carmen through the wonders of Bumble BFF (yes, I had resorted to finding friends through an app. Don’t knock it ’till you try it). Carmen is the loveliest person, and meeting her came at exactly the right time ❤️ 

I also relaunched my blog! This was very scary for me, and I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me in the last couple of months ❤️ 

December

2018 ended much, much better than it began. December was filled with so many festive things, and my heart was so happy.

I also got to go to the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. in London which was just bloody amazing. They had loads of costumes and props from the movies, and I was very excited about all of the Captain America stuff they had (as you can see from my face – yes that is the actual costume that Chris Evans wore. I died.). I would 100% recommend this for any Marvel fans, the tickets were very reasonably priced, and the experience greatly exceeded my expectations! 

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2018 taught me my true strength. Bring on 2019! ??

Love always,

Emily ❤


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The BEST Christmas Cookies Ever

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The BEST Christmas Cookies Ever!

Hey lovelies!

Get ready. 

Today I’m sharing my family Christmas cookie recipe with you. This is one of my all-time favourite recipes, and these are the best cookies to make at this time of year. They’re buttery and crumbly and not too sweet, so you can really go to town on the icing!

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Baking these cookies is a long-standing tradition in my family. One of my earliest memories of Christmas is helping my mum decorate them, and it’s something we’ve done every year. Sadly now that I’m living thousands of miles away we aren’t able to bake them together, but I still bake these cookies every year, and I think of my mum every time I do.

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The base recipe for these is suuuuper simple: all you need is butter, flour, and caster sugar. The fun part is customising the cookies. You can use whatever shape cutter you like, and decorate them however you want. I tend to stick to the traditional icing, the same way I used to decorate when I was a little girl, but I also love dipping the cookies into melted dark chocolate. Yuuummmmmm.

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One thing I should mention before I get on to the recipe: when adding the flour to the creamed butter and sugar, there will be a point where you’ll think it’s all gone horribly wrong. The mixture turns into breadcrumbs, and you’ll think there’s absolutely no way it could ever get back to a dough. Be patient. Just keep mixing, and eventually the breadcrumbs will get bigger and bigger until all at once the dough will come together. 

Here’s the recipe:

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I love these cookies so so much, and I really hope you do too! I would love to know what you think of them, and to see how you choose to decorate them! Leave me a comment below or tag me in your instagram pictures @justcallmeringo!

This is the last post going up before the big day, so I wish you all the merriest Christmas, and I hope you have the most incredible day! ?

Love always,

Emily ❤️


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Introducing the Just Call Me Ringo Shop!

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Introducing the Just Call Me Ringo Shop!

Hey lovelies!

So…unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month you should know that I have opened my very own Etsy shop! (If you didn’t know, and you’re now thinking, omg how do I make sure I never miss something this amazing ever again??? you can sign up to be part of my email squad here, and you can make sure you’re following me on Instagram!)

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The shop will mostly be literary quotes, as literature is my one true love. However, I will also be selling designs with quotes from TV and movies, song lyrics, and inspirational/motivational quotes.

I will be updating the shop regularly with new designs, but if there is a quote or design that you particularly love, feel free to email me for a custom design, or send me a message on my social media (links below)!

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At the moment all prints are only available as digital downloads, but I am currently working on being able to offer my products printed and sent straight to your door.

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Why open a shop at all, you may be asking? 

Well, when I moved back in with Nathan after spending a year doing long-distance, I wanted to redecorate and make the house a bit more homey. I’m a firm believer that a home should reflect it’s inhabitants, and of making a home feel as warm and cosy as possible. I was searching for the perfect prints to hang in the living room, and I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted – a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald in a simple, typewriter font. 

So I decided to make one myself. I downloaded a typewriter font and wrote out the quote I wanted on Microsoft Word, then sent the file over to my local printers and got it printed. I fell completely in love with the finished product. You can buy the design here (I made it slightly different from the one in my living room, as I wanted to keep that one just for me).

When Nathan first saw it in our living room, he asked where I got the print from. When I told him that I had made it myself, he told me that I should start designing prints to sell (it wasn’t the first time I had designed decor for our home). I didn’t really think much about it, but after a few months of him telling me to do it, I decided to give it a go. I really really enjoy creating the designs, and the thought that something I’ve created could end up in someone’s home really excites me.

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I have a long list of designs I want to create in the future, and will be doing ‘shop updates’ from time to time where I’ll upload a bunch of new prints in one go. To be the first to hear about any new designs and upcoming offers, make sure you’re signed up to my email squad.

You can find the shop here, on the ‘shop’ tab in the top menu, or by clicking on the shopping cart icon below ?? 

I would love your feedback on the shop, so please leave me a comment below letting me know what you think! 

Love always,

Emily ❤️


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How I’m Wrapping my Christmas Presents for 2018

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How I’m Wrapping my Christmas Presents for 2018

Hey lovelies!

Only 11 days until Christmas! Who’s excited? ?

A couple of days ago I had the ultimate festive day. I wrote all my Christmas cards, baked some cookies, and wrapped all of my presents.

Gift giving is one of my favourite parts of the holiday season. I love spending the time to find the perfect gift for someone, and I actually keep a list throughout the year of ideas! 

I’m also a firm believer that a present should look incredible, especially at Christmas. They’ve gotta look great under the tree after all ? I try and stick within a certain theme each year, and this year I decided to go for a natural, forest-y vibe. 

To get this natural festive forest vibe, I chose a simple brown and forest-green paper, some classic red and green  ribbon, some beautiful stag tags, and some natural pine cones and real cypress cuttings (from a bush on my street).

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I decided to wrap half of my presents with the natural accents using brown paper, candy cane-striped yarn, the cypress cuttings, and the pine cones. Although this took a little bit longer than most people would probably spend wrapping, the end result is so beautiful, and definitely worth it! 

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For the rest of my presents I used the forest-green paper, and a few different ribbons and yarn. These are much simpler, but still beautiful.

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I’m so happy with how these turned out, and I cannot wait for Christmas to give them to my loved ones! They look so gorgeous together, and it only took a little extra effort to make all the difference.

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I would love to see how you’re wrapping your presents this year! Send me your pictures, or tag me on instagram @justcallmeringo!

Love always,

Emily ❤️ 


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My Top 5 Christmas Films

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My Top 5 Christmas Films

Hey lovelies!

One of my favourite things to do around Christmas is cuddle up on the sofa with lots of yummy snacks and watch a good Christmas film. It’s the only time of year when it’s socially acceptable to watch truly cheesy films, which I absolutely love! There are so many to choose from, so I thought I would share my top 5.

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5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

I’m not talking about the 1964 stop motion TV movie. I’m talking about the 1998 feature length animated film. You’ve got Whoopi Goldberg as a sassy ice queen (could give Elsa a run for her money, tbh), some truly terrible jokes, and a bonus visit from Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ that makes the whole movie worth it. This movie is the ultimate childhood nostalgia for me.

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Could you believe that I had never seen this film until a few years ago? (Shocking, I know) This film is a true classic, from the incredible adult jokes (the whos’ key party for one) to the adorable singing of Cindy Lou-Who, you just can’t beat it. Jim Carrey deserved an Oscar for this.

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3. The Polar Express

Ahhh. This movie just hits you right in the feels. Josh Groban’s ‘Believe’ is one of my favourite Christmas songs, and I have such respect for Tom Hanks after realising that he voiced almost every character in this film!

2. The Holiday

This is the only ‘grown up’ film in my top 5, and it truly deserves this spot. Kate Winslet’s incredible journey to discover her inner badass is unbeatable, and I think we could all admit that we’d have the exact same reaction upon entering that amazing house. Plus, Jude Law is perfection.

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1. Arthur Christmas

I reckon this is my favourite Christmas film of all time. A lot of people have never even heard of it, which I personally think is a national crisis. It’s the purest story of true Christmas spirit that I’ve ever seen, and makes my heart swell every time I watch it. Bill Nye’s Grandsanta is truly hilarious, and the ending makes me cry every single time (the best kind of tears though). It’s currently on Netflix UK, and I would highly recommend purchasing it if you live anywhere else. You’ll want to watch it again and again.

I would love to know your favourite Christmas/Holiday films, let me know in the comments!

I’m going to go watch them all now ?

Love always,

Emily ❤


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December Plan With Me

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December Plan With Me

Hey lovelies!

Can you believe it’s already December? This year has just flown by! 

Today I want to talk about one of my favourite things: bullet journalling. For those of you who don’t know, a bullet journal is a personalised book that acts as a diary, planner, and notebook all in one! You set it up, so it is completely bespoke to your needs. 

I started bullet journalling in September, after a long period of wanting to start but being too scared to. I was scared of doing it ‘wrong,’ of it not being ‘aesthetically pleasing’ enough, that it wouldn’t be perfect. I’m so glad I finally let go of my fears and started!

I’ll be writing a whole post early next year about how I’ve set up my bullet journal, but for now I want to share my December pages with you.

This post contains affiliate links. These are marked with an *. I may make some money if you purchase through these links, with no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

I start every month with a title spread, which includes a monthly illustration and a calendar – these usually set the theme for the month. For December I decided to really let my festive creativity flow, and settled on a wreath illustration and Christmas lights theme.

One of the ways I use my bullet journal is to track my habits and mood. I’ve found that I am way more likely to perform a task if I’m tracking it, and it’s really helped my productivity! I track my habits monthly, and use a simple daily fill-in-the-square method. Although the basic format of my tracker is usually the same, I try and incorporate the monthly theme and colours as much as possible. 

Below you can see the set-up, as well as the habits that I track daily. I also track different aspects of my health and mood on the opposite page.

The final aspect of my monthly planning is the weekly spread. While the set-up of this will vary from month to month (I’m still experimenting to find the perfect format), the content stays the same.

I include my weekly to-do list, where I will write tasks that need to be completed that week, or long-term/ongoing tasks. I also include a mini-calendar showing the current week, and any important upcoming events. Then I include my daily schedule. I use this space to catalog what I have done in a given day, and to write any appointments or activities planned for that day. 

Again I incorporate the monthly theme and colours, shown here by the Christmas lights, green highlighting, and typography.

And with that, my monthly planning is complete!

I always use Pinterest for inspiration (you can follow me via the link below), and thoroughly enjoy organising my bullet journal each month. 

My notebook of choice is the Moleskine dotted soft cover large notebook*, and I always use my favourite Zebra Mildliner pens* and Mozart single brush pens*

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I planned December in my bullet journal, and hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration for your monthly spreads!

 

Love always,

Emily ❤️ 


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Decking the Halls

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Decking the Halls

Hey lovelies!

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week, and that you’re ready to get festive, lord knows I am! In fact, I’ve got my ultimate Christmas music playlist on as I’m writing this. I might be slightly biased, but I reckon it’s the best Christmas playlist ever created. Check it out here.

This week I decorated my house for the season! Decorating has always been one of my absolute favourite things about Christmas; I can remember helping my mum decorate as a child. We used to have to kick my dad out of the house (he’s a bit of a scrooge), and we’d spend the whole afternoon decorating. I can still smell the glorious scent that would fill the house as we’d go from room to room.

usually try to wait until December 1st to decorate, but this year I just couldn’t wait any longer. I decided to put The Polar Express on in the background, and I decked my halls.

Since I finally have a proper mantlepiece this year, I really wanted to hang a garland over it. I couldn’t find one that I really liked that wasn’t way too long, so I decided to DIY it! I picked up some tree cut-offs at my local Christmas tree farm (I got mine for free) and used a hot glue gun to arrange the branches together. I also found some decorative pine cones at my local Morissons (of all places) for £2.50 and glued a couple of them on for an added forest touch. 

I did it in two parts, as my mantlepiece isn’t very wide and I wanted to put my noël ornament on there as well, and I think it looks amazing! I also did one to go next to my letter board in the hallway. It was super easy to do, and only took me about ten minutes to complete, but I think it adds such a lovely authentic feel to my living room. Plus, any excuse to have some real Christmas tree in the house. 

*sigh* maybe next year I’ll get my real tree.

For now, though, we’ve got an incredible pre-lit tree from Asda (similar). It was really inexpensive, and is incredible quality – we’ve had ours for three years now and it’s still as good as new!

For decorations, I will always love the traditional red, gold, and green colour scheme. I use traditional round baubles in those colours, and then decorate with the other ornaments we’ve picked up over the years. I think it adds a personal touch to the tree, as I get to pick and choose my favourite ornaments each year.

I also picked up a couple of festive cushion covers from H&M home, a red star one, and a happy holidays one. There were so many others that I wanted to get, but I simply don’t have enough cushions!!

Lastly, I had to put on the Christmas bedding! Call it overkill if you will, but I’ve got to have some sort of festivity in every room of the house ?

I had so much fun decorating my house, and coming downstairs in the morning to a winter wonderland puts the biggest smile on my face. I would love to see how you’re decorating your house this year! Tag me in any of your instagram pictures @justcallmeringo, or send me some pictures!

Speaking of instagram, Vlogmas starts tomorrow! This year I’ll be doing Vlogmas-style content over on my instagram stories, so make sure you’re following me to see what I’m up to in the lead up to Christmas (links below)! ?

One final thing before I go – if you haven’t already heard, MY SHOP IS NOW OPEN! ? If you have a bookworm in your life, or if you’re looking for an extra festive touch for your home, I’ve got you covered! Head on over to my shop to check out my products (you can do this via the ‘shop’ tab in the header, or via the link below), and let me know if there are any quotes or anything that you would like to see. I’ll be writing a blog post all about my inspiration for opening the shop when the first update is ready, but in the meantime be sure to subscribe to my mailing list to be told when I release new designs! 

Here are a couple of my favourite designs:  

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Love always,

Emily ❤️


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My 2018 Christmas Bucket List

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My 2018 Christmas Bucket List

Hey lovelies!

I hope you all had an amazing week, and a happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! ?

Is it too early to launch into the Christmas content? I mean, Thanksgiving is over so there aren’t any other holidays between now and Christmas…I think it’s time. ??? (feel free to tell me that it’s too early in the comments ?)

That being said, I wanted to share my Christmas bucket list for this year with you all. Christmas is by far my absolute favourite time of year; I don’t care how old you are, you cannot deny the magical atmosphere that this time of year brings. There are so many things I wait all year to do (okay fine sometimes I cheat and watch The Holiday in mid-July, sue me), but I often find myself so busy that the season flies by and I haven’t done half of what makes Christmas so special to me. This year I decided that that wasn’t going to happen, so I made a bucket list in my bullet journal to remind me of all the wonderful things I plan on doing.

Here’s my 2018 Christmas bucket list:

  • Decorate the tree (obviously)
  • Build a gingerbread house – strangely enough I have only done this two or three times in my entire life!
  • Wrap presents – I like to have a theme for my presents and to go the extra mile when wrapping, I’ll be writing a blog post on this year’s wrapping sometime in December.
  • Kiss under the mistletoe
  • Write Christmas cards – a tradition that I personally think needs to be preserved.
  • Bake and decorate cookies – this is one of my longest standing Christmas traditions; every year my sister and I would bake and decorate cookies with my mum. I’ll be putting up the family recipe in December!
  • Look at Christmas lights – whether I take a drive to look at houses, or walk through town.
  • And finally, listen to Christmas music – I can happily say that I can already check that off ?

I also added a few of my favourite Christmas essentials to the list – these are things that I think no Christmas is complete without:

  • Hot chocolate (especially if it has peppermint in it)
  • Mulled wine – mostly for the incredible smell that fills the house when you make it!
  • Board games
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Matching pyjamas
  • Cheesy Christmas movies
  • Advent calendars – any excuse to eat chocolate every day!
  • And last but by no means least, Christmas scented candles

I would love to know what some of your favourite Christmas traditions are, or what you’re most looking forward to this year! Let me know in the comments below!

Before I go, I’m very very happy to announce that my shop will be opening very soon! Make sure you’re signed up to my email newsletter to receive an EXCLUSIVE discount when it opens! You can do this via the form below, or the sidebar ❤️ Thank you to everyone who has already signed up, you guys are the best!

 

Love always,

Emily ❤️


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My Favourite Lush Products

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My Favourite Lush Products

Hey lovelies! 

First mid-week post! Alongside my regular posts every Friday, I’ll be surprising you guys with a bonus post from time to time. Make sure you’re subscribed to my email newsletter so you never miss a post! 

Today I’m sharing some of my favourite Lush products with you guys. Taking a bath is one of my all-time favourite self-care rituals, and the best way to relax after a long week. Lush makes the most amaaaazing bath products, as I’m sure you already know. They’re all cruelty-free and most of them are vegan, and the packaging is plastic-free, both of which are really important to me. I usually tend to go for the more understated and subtle scents, as I like my bath to be a relaxation haven. I’ve picked a couple of my favourite bath bombs, my favourite bubble bar, and my favourite bath oil to share!


Let’s start with the bath oil. My favourite at the moment is their dreamtime bath oil. It has notes of sandalwood, ginger, lavender, and chamomile, which means it’s the perfect thing to pop in a bath before bed. It’s also made with cocoa butter, so it leaves your skin feeling sooooo soft. 

My favourite bubble bar has to be A French Kiss. I break it up and can usually get about three or four uses out of it by crumbling it under running water, depending on how bubbly I have my baths!  It’s scented with rosemary and lavender, and leaves the slightest tint of purple in the bath. 

And now for two of my favourite bath bombs (yes, it was very difficult to narrow it down to just two ?). First up is the Ickle Baby Bot bath bomb. This is actually formulated for young children so it’s perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. It’s scented with lavender, sandalwood, and chamomile (anyone else sensing a pattern here?), and turns the bath an amazing blue colour. Plus, it’s super cute! 

Next is the Butterball bath bomb. This is probably my all-time favourite Lush product, and one that I will always re-purchase. It’s scented with ylang-ylang, which is used in aroma therapy to treat stress and depression, so this bath bomb is perfect for creating the ultimate stress-busting bath. It’s also infused with cocoa butter which melts and coats your skin, leaving you softer than a baby’s bum! The cocoa butter also means it smells like chocolate, which is probably my favourite thing about it! 

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Of course, I can’t write this post at this time of year and not talk about something from Lush’s amazing Christmas range. I’ve chosen their Butterbear bath bomb, which, as you can probably guess, is the same formulation as the Butterball, but shaped as the cutest little festive bear! Plus they add cocoa powder to the bear’s nose, making the chocolatey smell all the more amazing. (How cute is the Christmas packaging though??)

There are so many more products I love from Lush, but if I wrote about all of them in one post it would take days to read! 

By the way, this post was not sponsored, and all opinions expressed are genuine.

Love always,

Emily ❤️ 


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A Rainy Day in Stratford

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A Rainy Day in Stratford

Hey lovelies!

This week Nathan took me to Stratford-Upon-Avon, to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace. As a massive literature nerd and lover of the Bard, it was such an amazing experience to see where he was born, and where he spent his time when he wasn’t in London. They also had an original copy of his First Folio (the first printed copy of his works) on display, which was incredible to see! It was quite amusing trying to decipher the old English spelling – I’m lucky it was open to Romeo and Juliet or I doubt I would have been able to read it!

Sadly, the house that Shakespeare owned when he was writing was demolished by a former owner, but you can visit the site and gardens!

This tree was planted from a cutting of one that Shakespeare is thought to have planted himself.

We took a lovely walk through the beautiful gardens while the rain had stopped. It was so gorgeous, I can’t imagine how beautiful it would be in the spring!

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Sadly the rain started up again, so we decided to go to my all-time favourite bagel place, The Steamhouse, for lunch. It had been a long time since my last fix, and I had yet to visit their Stratford location, so I was really excited to go! 

We both ordered our favourite – The Modest (mine with no cheese, and Nathan’s with no salad), and Nathan got the most beautiful looking hot chocolate. It was, as always, truly delicious and I once again lamented over not living near enough to go regularly. 


It was an amazing day, despite the rain, and I’m already thinking about going back for The Steamhouse’s Christmas menu…?

If you want more information on The Steamhouse, you can read my previous post on them here.

Love always,

Emily ❤


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