New Year, New Journal

The Bullet Journal

Many of you, I’m sure, will have heard of the bullet journal. It’s a way of organising your life, but old school – analogue; using a notebook instead of Google Calendar. I’ve been doing a version of it for years. I don’t fill my journal with tasks and planning, because I don’t like to have my work life in my journal, so my journal is more about recording. I love being able to look back and see how I felt, what I was doing and how my year unfolded.

1. The Notebook:

I use a Leuchtturm 1917 A5 dotted notebook. I find the dots really help me set the spreads up. However, the pages do bleed through a bit, they’re very thin, so if you want to do a lot of colour and even paint, I wouldn’t recommend this one.


2. Monthly Spreads:

I have a few ‘spreads’ which I use every month. I use a ‘month at a glance’ which is basically a calendar which I make for myself and populate each month, and I have a ‘line a day’ page where I write one line for each day of the month.


I love having the month spread out before me, and the process of adding in events and birthdays really helps me not to forget anything important. I also like looking back on these years later to see what I was getting up to that same month but 3 years ago.


My line a day is my own mashed up version of what other bullet journalers call a mood tracker and a gratuity log. A gratuity log is where you write a line a day on something you’re grateful for, while a mood tracker is a means of plotting your mood and emotions over a month – it useful for working out what might be triggering low moods. However, I don’t want to stick to either of those two things as a focus so I simply write one line about anything that happened that day, but this will often be a statement about my mood, or something I’m grateful for.

3 Weekly Spreads:

After you’ve created your monthly overviews of anything you want to track and log that month, the weekly spreads then follow. These can be highly functional – an overview of tasks, appointments and to do lists, or can be more more about journaling. I tend to do a mix. I have a whole separate notebook for work bullet journaling, and that’s where my most functional spreads live.

I decorate my spreads with stickers, washi tape, magazine cut outs and some of my own photos which I get printed as ready made stickers from my redbubble account.

4 Get Creative:

This step is very much optional, but I personally try to use my journal as an opportunity to be creative. So, sometimes, I add paintings and spend more time on the aesthetic of it. But other people keep their bullet journals very functional and don’t worry about this step.

5 Enjoy!

It’s very easy to get bogged down with trying to make your journal ‘perfect’ but remember that it’s just for you, and the process should be calming, satisfying and enjoyable.


To help with some ideas, click here to watch my 2020 set up!



Ode to an English Garden

English Country Gardens

I wanted to create a post purely dedicated to the English Country Garden in early Summer. I’ve come to feel that it is one of the most delightful spectacles available. And while we might lament all this rain, its worth remembering, that without this rainy climate, our gardens wouldn’t look as wonderful.

Canal facing front garden in Bath.


My Parents’ Oxfordshire Garden



Bampton Village Open Garden Day


Having no garden of our own currently, we have to live through others. But thankfully there are plenty of opportunities for this in Oxfordshire. There are wonderful national trust properties like Grey’s Court and Hidcote – see my previous post on this – Open Garden schemes, both village planned and with the National Open Garden scheme.

Which gardens would you recommend in the Oxfordshire area?

Skincare Review: Drunk Elephant and More

Skincare Review:

I did an order from Cult Beauty a month ago and most of the order was skincare. So I thought I’d post a little review one month on, and let you know how I’ve found these new products. Before I get stuck in, I just wanted to quickly mention how impressed I was with Cult Beauty – firstly in the range of brands and products they stock and then secondly their delivery – my products came the following day – despite it being a Sunday!

Anyway, let’s jump in. First up: Drunk Elephant.

Drunk Elephant:

I’ve been seeing this brand everywhere and I wanted to see for myself whether it was worth the hype. I purchased two products; the Makeup Melting Butter Cleanser and the C-firma Day Serum. One hit and one miss.

The Makeup- Melting Butter Cleanser was a major hit. I’ve tried the Clinique version before but this one is far superior. It really does melt away makeup and leaves your skin feeling nourished without leaving a slightly slimy film that I find the Clinique one leaves. It – possibly combined with the Pixi glow tonic – has reduced the size of my pores because I’m getting a far deeper clean. This is definitely worth the money at £29.99.

Drunk Elephant Butter Cleanser

The vitamin C serum. Not so much. Although a serum its very thick in the way it sits on your skin. And I cannot handle the smell! It smells like fake tan, and I can still smell it up to 24 hours later (I am very smell sensitive). I can’t comment on it’s effectiveness as I’ve not managed to use it consistently due to the smell. I will continue to use it up as it’s expensive and I’m not wasting all that money. But overall, not a fan: especially at £67!!

Drunk Elephant Serum


Next I picked up the Pixi Glow tonic in Boots. I’ve never been one for toner, I always forget to include it in my skincare routine and I’ve always found the ones I’ve used in the past have stripped my skin and been quite stingy. This one however, manages to deep clean but without any alcoholic smell or sting. It’s actually very soothing and moisturising; no idea how it manages that as a toner but it does! I absolutely love this, its a new permanent addition to my skincare.

Pixi Glow Tonic


This moisturiser doesn’t look like much, but it’s fantastic. It also comes in a bigger tube, I got the 30ml but it also comes in 75ml. It’s a really nourishing moisturiser without being heavy. It has a very light scent but its a very natural scent, nothing floral or chemically. It’s worked wonders on my dry skin which is now completely gone and it’s not caused any aggravation or break outs (I have really sensitive skin). The only downside is that it doesn’t contain SPF. At £13 for the small tube and £20 for the 75ml I think this stuff is amazing value for how good it is.



Finally I purchased the Lanolips original ointment. I’m not blown away by this, I find the thick ointment sits on your lips all night – which is great for getting nourishment but I find it a bit gross when I wake up, and I worry about smudging it allover my pillow while I sleep. Ew. It also hasn’t made a massive difference to my chapped lips. But given that I don’t use a lip balm at all this is definitely better than nothing!

Coco and Eve

And then finally, I wanted to give a quick shout out to a hair care sample I received in my birchbox from Coco and Eve. It was their nourishing hair masque. I used it just before getting my hair done before a wedding and it was wonderful. It wasn’t too scented which I really liked and, having left it on for a few minutes in the shower, it made my hair instantly de-tangled. And I have really knotty hair. Because I don’t tend to brush it! I will definitely consider purchasing the full size when my sample runs out.

What are your current skincare favourites?

Spring Lookbook

What to wear for Spring and Summer Weddings this Season

Hi loves, I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful long weekend. For this look book I want to share the items I’ve found for the Spring/Summer hen parties and weddings I have coming up. I have 4 weddings to go to this year! For one I’m a maid of honour, and for that I’m wearing the green Jenny Yoo dress. Each picture is a link to the item, however, the Blue shoes are the closest I can find to the one’s I’m actually wearing which are Reiss from a few seasons ago – mine aren’t slingbacks.

I spent months trying to find something suitable for the country weddings I’m going to, many of which are in the beautiful Cotswolds, in garden settings and I have to say I’ve been saved by the return of the Midi Dress!

Warehouse Yellow Midi DressUrban Outfitters DressshoePhase 8Jenny Yoo Bridesmaidoffice shoes

Urban Outfitters Hoop Earings

Spring Makeup: Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Review – Would I Re-purchase?

As winter came to an end, I decided my makeup needed a Spring re-vamp. I simultaneously ran out of moisturiser, cleanser and foundation, so I decided I might as well take the plunge and spend some coin to re-stock. I wanted high quality makeup that would last, and I was seeing Charlotte Tilbury everywhere, all over my favourite Youtube channels and Instagram.


I went to the Charlotte Tilbury stand in the Oxford John Lewis in the Westgate Shopping Centre. I usually absolutely hate going to stalls – the staff are so quick to jump on you ‘CAN I HELP?!’ – no, go away. But the staff here were really good, they left me to browse in peace, and only asked if they could help once I had the foundation I wanted in my hands.

And there it began – ‘do you already have makeup on’ she asked. I did. Before I knew it, I was on a stool having my makeup removed by their new cleanser. Next came moisturiser, then eye cream, primer, and foundation. Once on, it needed setting, of course, but not before a bit of concealer was added. I was sold, I confess I bought it all.  My skin had never looked better, and the lady who did my make up was professional and informative – she didn’t pressure me to buy the products, the makeup spoke for itself. It was a great experience – and this from someone who hates small talk so much they will even avoid even the hairdressers at all costs.

So lets get into the products – in total I spent £179 and I’ve been using them for over 3 months now; there are some which are now holy grail items to me, but others I would not re-purchase. So if you’re thinking of investing in some Charlotte Tilbury makeup, but want the low down before you splash the cash, here’s all you need to know about her face products.


I purchased the new Goddess Skin Cleansing Ritual Kit. I was really impressed with the price – at £32.50 you get a 2 step kit and muslin face cloth. Step one is the citrus oil radiance cleanse, and step 2 a purifying charcoal cleanse. The oil cleanse I used morning and night and lasted 3 months, the charcoal I’ve only been using in the evenings and still has loads left. They were really good for the price, however, I didn’t like the smell of either, and the charcoal facial cleanse was very drying and stings a little bit in application. I wouldn’t recommend for sensitive skin. I’ve not noticed any big difference to my skin. However, they, combined with the moisturiser, did completely get rid of the flaking skin I had above my eyebrows and on my cheeks.

For me personally, with sensitive, combination, acne prone skin: 3 stars.

Magic Cream Moisturiser

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This is held up as THE product, as you can tell by the name. At £49 for the smaller pot this stuff is expensive. I have to say I don’t like it at all. It’s very thick but takes loads of product to actually sink into the skin.I don’t like the smell either. It leaves a thick layer on the skin in a way that feels clogging. It has definitely helped my dry skin, all the flakiness which had developed over winter is now gone. But overall this isn’t for me at all.

I wonder if it might suit more mature skin, I feel like I need something lighter for now: 2 stars

Magic Eye Rescue

The eye cream cost £40 –  put on at night, or before makeup. I LOVE this! It sinks right into my skin and turns it soft and supple. If I put it on the night before I wake with a noticeably brighter eye area and a lovely dewy effect. I will definitely re-purchase when I run out, but I’m pleased to say this product is lasting a really long time.

Magic: 5 stars

Brightening Youth Glow Primer

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I’ve never really been one for primer, and I don’t use this one consistently. Costing £38.50 it has slight glitters in it which I don’t really like, but it has a good tackiness for holding foundation in place. Somehow it magically reduces redness, which I love. I find that the Magic Foundation doesn’t sink into the skin so naturally with the primer on underneath, but it does last longer. I have quite bad skin, but if my skin wasn’t prone to redness and blemishes I’d use this primer by itself just with some concealer.

Beautiful glowy effect and redness reducing, however the magic foundation will work beautifully without it too: 4 stars

Magic Foundation

LOVE LOVE LOVE – this is THE best foundation I’ve ever used. Firstly, it is actually my shade –  Hallelujah – I have very pale skin and finding a light shade with the right tones is a struggle. This foundation is full coverage but leaves a beautiful dewy finish – to the extent that I almost hate to set it. But I do tend to set it for work, when I want it to last all day. At £32 I also think the price is reasonable, there are plenty out there which cost more and this one is showing no signs or running out yet.

This foundation leaves my skin looking smooth and even: 5 stars

Retouch Concealer


This is also fantastic – concealer is another thing I’ve struggled with in the past. Firstly getting a light enough shade, and secondly finding something that doesn’t break down and go all flaky looking. This concealer is excellent – at £25 it provides a good, brightening coverage, but without looking cakey – it’s very natural looking. Great for under eyes and also thick enough to cover blemishes.

Natural, with good coverage: 5 stars

Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder


This powder. It’s actually magical. It really does airbrush your skin. Pores just absolutely disappear. I’m really really impressed with this and will certainly be re-purchasing. It’s £34 and worth every penny. The only downside is that it’s completely matifying so it will undo all the dewiness of the Magic Foundation. A good way to use it is to just apply it to set particularly oily areas and under eyes. For me though it’s worth it – I need a product which will effectively set my makeup and have it last all day.

Holy Grail Powder: 5 stars

Conclusion: The make up products were really excellent and I will continue to re-purchase, but the skin care, on the whole did not do it for me. (I’m thinking of trying Drunk Elephant next – let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in a review on that)


Watch a video overview of this review on my Youtube Channel here