Recently, stress has been getting the better of me. I have spent most my days on the phone to various people, or at the computer desperately filling out application forms, trying to get a new job. In the midst of all of this, I have neglected time for myself. But on Sunday evening, I decided to take the control back and dedicate some precious time to freshening myself up and making myself feel better about my body, my appearance and well, my life!

I’m sure many of you can relate here: job applications are not easy. Finding a job isn’t easy. It is stressful, time consuming, expensive, draining and makes you feel somewhat of a failure. No matter your experience, your qualifications and your determination to succeed, job applications are friggin’ hard work. And no matter what people so frivolously say, jobs just don’t ‘fall into one’s lap’. Your dream job isn’t ‘just around the corner’. And no, companies aren’t always ‘desperate for staff that they’ll take anyone on’! URGH, the things people say to you when you’re job hunting. Grinds on me so much!

Anyway, my rant was slightly off topic there. I’m unsure if it was needed. But to hell with it, I’m keeping it in! So, my point here is that, within stressful times in our lives, whether that be whilst studying for important exams, being ill for a long period of time, or just simply going through testing times, we must take time out off the ‘stress zone’ to refocus and refresh.

My New, Made Up, Self-Care Routine (lets hope it sticks)

Lately I have neglected my routine and found my legs were almost as hairy as my dogs and that my toe nails looked more like Tom’s (sorry Tom) than my own. Not a good look. In fact, I’d go as far as to say Tom’s look a little more lady like than my own right now. GREAT.

So Sunday came around and I stopped in my tracks and declared upstairs was for me, and me only. No dog. No Tom. Just me, myself and I. Oh and a fantastic playlist. Calm and chilled music only: Lapsley and Christine and The Queens alike (current obsession, think I’ve listened to IT over 300 times already).

I showered for about 30 minutes, shaving EVERYWHERE (TMI – to hell with it!). I washed my hair. Like properly washed it. Like the hairdressers do. Getting every little strand covered in shampoo, and even trying to give myself a head massage like I get at the salon. Slight fail, but brownie points for trying!

I then got out the shower into a very steamy room, stood there for a few minutes, already feeling better to be almost hair-less. Then after towelling down, I moisturised. Like ACTUALLY moisturised my entire body. Now, I know some people do this after every shower. Well done you people. I wish I could say I was THAT organised and great at looking after myself. But I’m not. When I moisturise, I feel I should get a sticker or something that I can wear all day and show people how much I’ve achieved that day!

The moisturiser of choice was sooo worth it because it also tans me. So not only am I feeling super duewy and soft, I’m also going to wake up feeling like I’ve been to Portugal for a month. Winning! It is this one here: Dove DermaSpa (highly recommend for those like me: pale & slightly lazy). Oh, it also smells like summer in a bottle!

Here are some of the products I used on Sunday!

Then after letting myself ‘dry’ off. I put on a silky robe, which made me feel like a Victoria Secrets Model. Shame I’m not. But hey ho, life’s a bitch! And then I did a manicure AND a pedicure on myself, which made me feel super girlie and happy. Only slight issue, I forgot to shave my hairy toes. So they look more like I’ve painted Tom’s than my own. Oops! Anyway, that didn’t stop me walking downstairs showcasing my hands and feet to Tom. He had no idea what was going on. Men, hey!

Now it didn’t stop there. I washed my face, put on moisturisers, eye creams and anti-ageing products, in the hopes of waking up looking 18 again. I might only be 26, but my God, I feel like I’ve taken a trip to wrinkle city and brought back waaaay too many souvenirs! Anti-ageing creams are my best friends at the moment.

Then to top it all off, I got in bed at 9pm. I took a herbal tea to my bed. Peppermint and liquorice is my go-to tea. Pukka, totally recommend it. And I sat there listening to my music, drinking my tea and flicking through magazines before hitting the sack for an early night. It was PURE BLISS. And you know what? I am going to do it all again this Sunday. And so should you!! Trust me, you’ll feel 10 million times better for it.

Anyway, I do hope you will allow yourselves to enjoy some ‘ME TIME’ soon. We all need it and we all feel better for it. Let me know what products are your go-to products when you have ‘me time’. Thanks for reading!

Love

Jessica Xx

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After Valentines Day came and went in the blink of an eye, Tom and I decided a day out, at a Spa, would be the perfect opportunity to spend some well deserved time together. We have both been equally as stressed out recently (work, life, money – the usual!) and agreed a day of pampering was what we needed – money worries aside. I did a lot of research, and Rowhill Grange Hotel and Utopia Spa came up as a local hotel and spa that seemed to tick all the boxes. We were considering a full Spa Day, however, as the prices were a little steep and Tom wasn’t too sure if he was interested in any of the other treatments, we decided on booking a side by side, full body massage in a dual treatment room.

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On Sunday the weather was glorious; we arrived up through the long and scenic drive to the hotel and spa, passing ‘Ducks Crossing’ signs (how adorable!) and fields of daffodils (I suddenly felt very far from the cities hustle and bustle). The calm, serene ambiance of the grounds met my expectations of what a Spa Day is all about;  I got out of the car and felt immediately relaxed and I hadn’t even had my massage yet!

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Obviously this time we were not staying in the hotel, so I have no opinions on the hotel itself, rather the facilities it has. The Spa was well sign posted, just off to the right of the hotel, up some stairs and through some glass doors, opposite the Elements Bar and Lounge. The entrance into the spa is decorated beautifully, with gold and deep browns being the theme of the decor (all very luxurious). We were greeted by two very friendly and welcoming receptionists, and asked to fill out a health form prior to our treatments. Then once done, we were shown to a very dark waiting room, which due to us not being on actual ‘spa days’, we felt a little out of place being the only ones not wearing robes; I think we would’ve felt more appropriate waiting in the main entrance. It also seemed a little busy and too noisy for a waiting room fit for a spa – with workers loudly discussing what they had for dinner the night before, and the constant passing of people with cases, drinks or god knows what else (felt slightly less relaxed at this point!).

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Anyway, we were met by our two very lovely therapists (unfortunately I can not remember their names) and shown downstairs to our dual treatment room. I have to say, I was a little disappointed by the room, it seemed a little less ‘luxury massage room’ and a little more ‘let me wax your hairy legs room’! However, that aside, the therapists did a good job and setting the scene with relaxing music, dimming the lighting and spraying the room with what I can only imagine was a lavender based scent (ahhh, I do love lavender). Tom and I had the giggles initially, this is our first massage together for starters and we tend to be a little immature together at the best of times, however this soon passed once our treatment begun.

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The therapists checked we were happy with the pressure initially, but then never checked back in with us, which I found a little disconcerting as not many people are brave enough to say ‘actually now that’s too hard/soft etc’, so I do think this needed to be re-assessed throughout the treatment. Of course, I don’t mean every few minutes, but just maybe twice throughout the massage, to give someone the opportunity to speak up if needs be.

I loved how when the massage begun, my therapist asked me to deeply inhale a beautiful, tranquil scent which really relaxed me. Due to Tom not wanting a full body massage, he opted to focus on his back, shoulders and backs of legs, whereas I went for the full body option, turning over half way through the treatment in order to massage my arms, head and the front of my legs.

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I loved the back massage, my therapist did a brilliant job on my back, and when she focused on my head too (although I didn’t take my hair down – my mistake!), but I wasn’t so much of a fan of the neck massage (felt rather intrusive) or the backs of my legs (too ticklish!), I guess I know this for next time. Tom thoroughly enjoyed his whole massage, stating he could’ve had another hour! We both finished our treatments feeling calm, relaxed and stress free, which obviously meant they did a fantastic job.

What deeply annoyed me though, is that I paid for a 55 minute massage (stated online and over the phone) yet we were only taken to our treatment room (undressed and lay down ready) for 1.10pm and the massage was finished at 1.45pm – so only actually about 35 minutes long, if that. Now for £156 for the two of us, and having actually paid for a ’55 minute side by side massage’, I would’ve expected it to start at 1pm/1.05pm and finish at 1.55pm – this was a little cheeky and I think the spa needs to change the wording online and over the phone if this is the case for all of the dual treatments.

Timing aside, I would love to go back and try other treatments at the spa, plus also stay at the hotel. It seems like a gorgeous escape from reality, and the afternoon tea sounds delightful. Apparently to get a table at the afternoon tea, you must book quite far in advance, which must mean it’s quite delicious, and I am quite the fan of tea and cake!

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All in all, we had a wonderful time at the spa and can not wait to go back, and would absolutely recommend it (hopefully a few tweaks would be made in order to make it that little bit better). I hope you enjoyed the read, and if you fancy visiting Rowhill Grange yourself, take a look at their special offers online now: Rowhill Grange Hotel & Spa.

Thank you for reading, much love,

Jessica Xx

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It may not be the end or start of a month here, but I’m doing it anyway: a favourites post! I haven’t done one in a while and with all the new products I have, I couldn’t wait to share them with you, talk about impatient!

So what have I been buying and trying recently?

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine

I treated myself to 2 new YSL lip products:

No. 9 Nude In Private

No. 41 Corail À Porter

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Firstly, lets admire how gorgeous the packaging is! They look too good to use! And secondly, I can not get enough of them, I want more! The No.9 is a very simple nude which feels extremely hydrating and applies beautifully. It’s easy to apply and looks perfect paired with a low key day look, plus unlike most lipsticks, this won’t dry out your lips. No.41 is very girly, quite pink for me but I still love it. I definitely thought it’d be a little more coral than it is, however, when I put it on, it looks like a good colour against my skin tone and hair.

Buy here: YSL Lipsticks

Nair Argan Oil Shower Power Cream

I have had lots of issues with shaving recently; experiencing ingrown hairs, cuts and just generally results that are less than satisfying. I haven’t used hair removal cream since I was about 15 and I guess I assumed they would be just the same: foul smelling and horrible to use, so I have stayed clear of them for quite some time. However, in my recent Boots visit, I came across this product and thought it might be fun to trial another type of hair removal, in the hopes I’d find something more suitable! I am so happy I did buy it! It is AMAZING! Not only does it do the job, it smells much nicer than the ones I used 10 years ago, are much easier to use and great on my sensitive skin. I love it!

Tip – although it says it can be used in the shower, I put it on, leave it on for about 5 minutes at least before entering the shower…then leave it on for another 5 minutes before taking it off.

Buy here: Nair Argan Oil Shower Power Cream

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Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion

I have used Aveeno products before, but I have taken a real liking to this particular body moisturiser. It contains ‘naturally active Tripe Oat Complex’ which basically works well with dry, irritable and sensitive skin which is what I tend to have. It is fragrance free, paraben free and dermatologically tested. It applies beautifully and sinks into the skin, drying very fast which means you don’t have to wait one hundred hours before you put on your jeans!

Buy here: Aveeno

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Faith In Nature Watermelon Shower Gel & Bath Foam

You may have seen this in my goodie bag from my Omnida Blogger Event! I was kindly given a 400ml bottle of this to try, so I have been using it every day since. It is a british product, using organic ingredients, suitable for Vegans and therefore animal cruelty free, it has no paragons either. The gel smells beautiful, like a holiday in a bottle! It foams up nicely and leaves my body feeling and smelling clean and refreshed. I would love to try some more products from Faith In Nature.

Buy here: Faith In Nature

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Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau De Parfum Spray Estēe Lauder

I haven’t actually bought this, I was given a free sample whilst trying a new foundation in Boots. I have been applying this daily, until sadly it ran out. I feel as though I may be buying this as my ‘holiday scent’ for Florida! Does anyone else do this? I like to buy a new perfume for a holiday so that when you apply it after the holiday, it reminds you of all the amazing times you had abroad!

The scent is very romantic and dreamy, sophisticated and feminine, and Kendall Jenner is the go-to-girl on all the ads, so who wouldn’t want to buy this?!

Buy here: Modern Muse Le Rouge

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What beauty products are on the top of your list at the moment?

Thanks for reading, much love,

Jessica Xx

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Since Christmas, my room has been a bit of a state. All my gorgeous new presents have been waiting patiently in their packaging for me to have a good old clear out and re-arrange my cupboards, drawers and wardrobe in order to make space! I’m not suggesting I was utterly spoilt (although you could say that!), it’s just that I live in a small one bed flat and I don’t have the space to own a zillion pieces of clothing, lipsticks and candles – so a clear out after my birthday and Christmas is always needed.

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So today, with Friends on in the background (Season 8) I sorted through my old make up bags, storage boxes and shelves in order to keep only what I use and throw out anything older than a year. It was so therapeutic and enjoyable – I LOVE getting organised! I also LOVE getting excited about all my new beauty products, as I have hardly touched them since receiving them last year.

So firstly, after receiving beautiful new make up brushes from So Eco, Danielle and Real Techniques, I decided to clear out an old cream ceramic plant pot and use that as my make up brush holder. My new brushes are fantastic, I got So Eco Foundation, Blush and Multi Tasking Brushes which are extremely soft against my skin and apply the make up beautifully. So Eco is an eco friendly range which source all materials from sustainable and recyclable materials. I think they are brilliant quality. I also received two eye brushes from Danielle – an eyeliner brush and an eyeshadow brush. I haven’t actually used these yet, plus I’m not sure where they’re from, but they look so gorgeous (they are the two brushes with the blue design on the top) and they feel lovely also.

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I also have a brand new moisturiser which is the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion which has been fantastic on my skin so far, although I would quite like to buy the skincare that goes along with it as right now I’ve been shamelessly using wipes which I think has upset my sensitive skin again! UhOh! Then for make up, I was treated to two Charlotte Tilbury products (OMG) which besides being packaged fit for a princess, they are also absolutely gorgeous to use and sit well on my skin, plus a Naked Eye Palette from Urban Decay – the colours are incredible, the boy did well! Tom also bought me the Ellie Saab Perfume, which is so beautiful and girly, and that came with a body moisturiser and a body wash too.

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Oh god, I also got my favourite present ever, which I have been waiting a while for as they really are a treat – a Jo Malone Candle!!! This is literally the best thing ever. I think Tom is slightly regretting buying me one now though as I have high expectations of candles and I now won’t want to ever be without one! And I also suggested that we buy a Red Roses Candle for each table at our wedding as it’s so romantic and elegant!! Poor boy is petrified, I doubt he’ll ever propose!!

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I have used the box that the Ellie Saab set came in as storage for my make up that I won’t use daily, and my Michael Kors Make Up bag for all my lipsticks. The picture displayed is my new treat from Coconut-Lane (which I will reveal more about over the weekend!). Plus I have a big bag full of extra bits and bobs that I won’t use on a daily basis, which I have in my drawers – I’ve decided I’d rather have a nice clean and simple view of all my daily essentials than a cluttered, messy station which is hard to maintain.

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My Make Up Daily Essentials:

No7 Instant Illusions Airbursh Away Primer

No7 Stay Perfect Cool Vanilla Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow: Face Sculpt & Highlight

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Swish & Pop Blusher: Sex On Fire

Soap & Glory Supercat Liquid Black Eyeliner Pen

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara in Film Noir

Lancome Eye Crayon in 01 Noir

Benefit Watts Up Highlighter

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in Sugar Honey (83)

How beautiful and lovely does my make up station look right now? Let’s see how long this lasts before Tom or I mess it all up again! I give it one week at the most…!!! Anyway, let me know the kind of posts you’d love to see more of on my blog – I am no beauty expert, nutrition know it all, nor a fashion student or ‘Mommy blogger’, but I tend to love writing about all of these things. I had a little think yesterday about why on earth I keep doing this and if there’s even much point, this blogging thing, but something inside of me knows this will be worth all the effort I put in, and all the time spent creating, writing, photographing and researching for each and every post I do. Plus it brings me joy, allows me to have ‘me time’ and if that is all that comes of this, then so be it – at least it puts a smile on my face and keeps me afloat when life gets the better of me! Plus there are many women I look up to in this blogging/vlogging world whom keep me going when I wonder if there’s much point (Anna Saccone, Hannah Maggs, Zoella – just to name a few of my favourites!).

Thanks for reading, please comment, share and follow my blog if you want to keep up to date with all my new posts and adventures!

Much love, Jessica Xx

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