Snow in Peak District

For most people, snowing is just fun. For me, it’s one of the things I miss most. While I love the British weather, never too cold, never too hot, I was used to heaps of snow in winter. With all the amber code for snow these last few days, I wanted to see the snow. Liverpool is a place where seldom snows and, if it snows, it’s not cold enough to have snow on the ground. The only thing we could do was to get in the car and drive a bit over an hour to Peak District.

Fence with snow

Hills with snow

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Why I think that self care is important

Today I’m going to talk about Why I think that self care is important. I thought of this post for a while. I’ve seen many posts and comments where self-care was synonymous with SPA days, weekends away at expensive hotels, fancy meals in posh restaurants. I don’t think this is the case, I don’t think self care means a SPA day. You can relax at a SPA, of course, why not. But, if you can’t afford the SPA day, it only can mean two things, not going and feeling the added peer pressure because someone else from your group is going. The other thing is to spend the money on credit card, that leads to financial pressure, that is the opposite of self care. I love going to a massage, it’s relaxing, but I wouldn’t pay with the credit card for it.

Why I think that self care is important

For me, taking care of oneself means making a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate, cuddle up on the sofa with a good book. A hair mask and a Homemade coffee body scrub can make you feel amazing. Going to bed early at 8 or 9, reading a bit or doing a Sudoku, relaxing before sleeping. All these things mean self care.

Anther thing I think is very important is to eat healthy. Cake is amazing, chips are fab too, they are great to eat, but making a healthy and nutritious meal that is tasty too (even if not as tasty as the cake and chips are), means self care. If we can go past “treats” as in sugary and/or fatty, unhealthy pieces of food, we might discover a world of tasty dishes that are healthy too. Taking care of your body means, in my mind, eating good just as important as applying moisturizer in the mornings or brushing my teeth. Breaking away from the “norms” of sugary hot chocolates generously topped with whipped cream as self care can make a huge difference. A healthy smoothie can be just as exciting if you are thinking of it as something you are doing for yourself instead of something you “have” do to.

Taking the time to remove the makeup, to apply a moisturizer, a lip balm, a foot balm. All these things are easy to make and they don’t take a lot of time. Many times I hear from friends or just women I interact with on social media that they don’t have time to do that. I think making sure you follow a basic skincare regime that takes less than 5 minutes is much more important than spending 30 minutes on Instagram or twitter to catch-up.

Everything you do for you that is actually good too, will make you feel even better. Loving oneself brings more happiness and less stress. If you are a mother, you would like your children to take care of themselves, so, being a role model is a great way to do that. For me, self care is not selfish, is just the opposite.

I hope I have inspired you to do a bit more today for you, to take a few more minutes to do something good for you. Do you think of other things that mean self care without having to spend lots of money?

10 items I loved this year from the goodie bags

I though it would be nice to make a post with 10 items I loved this year from the goodie bags. While I’m delighted with many other items, I had to pick only a few, and that was difficult. The items are not ordered in any particular way. They vary from beauty products to mugs, from tea to makeup. For some of the products I’ve already made posts, so I will link to those, for the rest I’m going to talk about them. I think I will make a post about the last item, a face cream, next year, after I use it for a bit longer.

10 items I loved this year from the goodie bags Collage of pictures

There are only 9 items in this picture, but the studs are shown below too. I received these goodies from different events, both BlogOn events, in May and September, some are from Paladone events, others from Very, Metquarter and a couple more from The Body Shop, at a fashion event.

01. Vitamin E Moisture Cream from The Body Shop, review here. It is a face moisturizer I love. Now I’m at my second one and I still enjoy it a lot. I think it’s good value for money too.

02. English Tea Shop – Silent Night, as Pyramid Sachets. I have this tea when we have “Winter tea” in the advent calendar I’ve made. I like it a lot, it’s Christmasy and lovely. I would buy them without a doubt.

03. Peppermint Intensive Cooling Foot Rescue, second item from The Body Shop, review here. I’m very happy with this cream, it’s moisturizing and lovely.

04. Mickey Mouse Luminart, that is now hanging on my kitchen wall. I like the vintage feel of it. It’s not something I would have thought of buying, but I’m so glad I’ve won it at a Paladone Gamesnight. I think it looks beautiful.

10 items I loved this year from the goodie bags. Studs

05. ChloBo stud earrings. I love nature inspired jewellery, most of the jewellery pieces I have have natural shapes and form, represent flowers, butterflies, geckos, and leaves.

06. NYX matte lipstick. I received this at the Very Holiday event. I never heard about the NYX brand before, but I was delighted to try it. The lipstick is long lasting and has a very nice colour. I would buy from them, amazing value for money.

07. Sweet Freedom Choc Pot, a product I received in the goodie bag at BlogOn in May. I’ve used Sweet Freedom products even before seeing the brand at BlogOn, but I didn’t try their choc pot. It’s delicious and very low in calories. I liked it a lot and I bought it again, from the supermarket.

08. Star Wars mugs, from Paladone, another item on my list of things I loved. My husband and I use these mugs often. I like having tea or hot chocolate in them when we play games.

09. W7 vegan makeup. I bought two palettes of W7. It’s a good quality makeup, considering the price. Now I received a W7 palette and I love the colours. It complements the palette I bought and I’m very happy with them. It’s not a high end brand, but, when it comes to makeup, I’m happy to pay less. Working from home has its advantages, including that I don’t need makeup that stays on from 8 to 7, but it’s enough for a few hours when I’m going out.

10. Skin Doctors Potent Vit. C Day Ampoules, from Very Christmas Party. I started using this cream a few days ago and I’m very happy with it. I might make a blog post about it, as I said earlier, but I need to use it for a bit longer. So far, it looks like my skin is moisturized and happy.

These are the 10 items I loved this year from the goodie bags. Are you a blogger? What items did you love from the goodie bags you received at events?

Best Luxury Mince Pies

This year I went on a quest to find the Best Luxury Mince Pies. To find them, I made a comparison of 4 supermarket own luxury brands. I’ve compared Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, and Co-Op. Basically, I found a way to justify eating 24 mince pies almost a month before Christmas, with the help of my husband, luckily.

Best Luxury Mince Pies, four pies on a plate

It was hard to pick our favourite. To make sure we were as objective as possible, I made up a list of things we should rate. We each gave a mark from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Because not all aspects we’ve marked were as important, I’ve opted for an weighted average.

Best Luxury Mince Pies, boxes of pies from Sainsbury's, CO-OP, Tesco, and ASDA

We’ve started with the packaging. We took into consideration how the pictures look, the thickness of the cardboard, any details they have about the product. For example, the picture on the package was the best on the Co-Op’s box, and the “V” for vegetarian looked better too. Unlike the other three, the ones from Sainsbury’s had an extra wrap. Both my husband and I gave it 5 points. The package we didn’t like was ASDA’s. I gave only 2 points, it wasn’t Christmasy at all.

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Last Questions

These are the last questions from the 365 Provoking Questions challenge I took earlier this year. I saw this challenge on Danielle’s blog underlandtowonderland and I wanted to give it a try. All the questions can be seen on marcandangel’s website.
If you want to see the answers to the other questions, see: 28 Provoking Questions; Which is worse, failing or never trying?; 30 Questions about me; 100 Questions in 10 words or less; Let’s talk about money; Questions about the past and the future; Questions about me and others; 23 Questions. It was a fascinating thing to do.

Last Questions

1. What do you love to practice?

My hobbies, like blogging, my work, I love doing many things.

2. What questions do you often ask yourself?

Why have I done this in this way? Can I do it better next time?

3. What are you an expert at?

I’m not sure expert is the best way to describe what I’m good at. I think I’m a very good cook, but I’m not a Michelin star chef, so am I an expert? The same concept can be applied to other things too, like work and so on.

4. What is your favorite time of the year?

I think the winter, or the period from the start of October to Christmas. My husband and I met at the beginning of October many years ago and we celebrate that, we have our birthdays and other anniversaries. Before Christmas we’ve got Festus, another thing we are celebrating.

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Sassoon Men at Metquarter

This week my husband and I went to the launch of the Sassoon Men at Metquarter, a dedicated space for men. I had a style change last year courtesy of Sassoon. I loved that look and I plan to go back to it next year. As you can imagine, I was delighted to be invited to attend this event.

launch party

Sassoon Men at Metquarter is the first one to open outside London. The new dedicated space is on a second floor of their existing salon.

presentation of different hair styles

One of the best things about going to a luxury salon is having a highly specialized barber that can offer advice and knows very well what style would be better suited.

When it comes to taking care of the hair, the scalp’s health is just as important. This is something I didn’t consider before, as I’ve always had long hair and its health was paramount for me.

Besides the talk about Sassoon’s history and their ethos that still guides the company today, we saw during the presentation three examples of hair styles that suited different head shapes, hair texture, and hair structure. It was very interesting to see different types of dyed hair too. I was impressed with the styles, all three looked very natural.

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My November

November is my favourite month, because it’s my birthday. This year we went to a day trip in a lovely English village, and we had a light lunch at The Bull Pub. As for the cake, it was the one made for the last 100 years for Royal birthdays, Tschumi’s Chocolate Cake; that was so special. Also, the cake is filled with a cream made with 450g chocolate, do I need to say more?

Tschumi's Chocolate Cake. Slice of cake

Blog wise, I’ve attended three fab blogger events: Very Christmas Party, Harry Potter Games Night, and yesterday we went to Sassoon Salon, I will blog about it soon (possibly tomorrow). I also went to the Cake and Bake Show, in Manchester.

Me, laughing

I also made a review for a lovely rose necklace, and I had fun doing it. This is what happens behind the scenes. I tell my husband to say something to make me smile and he makes me laugh.

100 places in UK in 6 years

If you haven’t seen my post on the 6th anniversary of my move to UK. I’ve visited 100 places in 6 these years, so it’s a very interesting post.

a picture for each day of november

Besides all the things I mentioned before, I’ve started a special Christmas related activity at the stately home I volunteer. So far, I had to dress up as a kitchen-maid, and I teach children how to make chocolate truffles and buttercream biscuits, and how to curtsy. It’s delightful, the children are so keen to learn things, and they are so cute too. I enjoy it a lot. There are other positions and, if I have how, I will try the other positions too.

On the 22nd I finished an online course with a fab grade: 92% (I needed at least 75% to pass). I loved learning on that subject. I still have a couple of online courses I’m doing now. One is for pleasure, another one for work.

In November I’ve read three more books, bringing the total to 58 this year. It’s been amazing, I had no idea I will have the time to read so much. I’ve also started a 30days30Bakes challenge, to bake something every day for 30 days.

What did you do last month?