Thursday, 27 July 2017

Changos Burrito

For someone who likes a lot of food, I'm quite a fussy eater; and so I tend to stray from anything that could contain anything that I don't like (which is a fair amount of things). So, when Katy told me that a restaurant had invited her to try them out - and therefore by extension, me - I was more than a little dubious when she told me it was burritos; aka. meat, rice and a lot of vegetables (most of which I tend to hate) all wrapped in a tortilla wrap. Nevertheless, I decided to stray out of my comfort zone so Katy and I headed to Changos to give it a go.


First things first; this is pretty much in a business district of Liverpool, just shy of being in hub around Liverpool One, and at first this seemed odd to us, but we head inside anyway and were met by a literal wall of people. After battling our way to the front, we got talking with the cashier who told us the guy we needed to speak to was working on the middle station of the burrito bar, which I have to say was really nice to see - as someone who has worked in a lot of food establishments where those higher up don't pull their weight, it was good to see him right in the centre of the action. Grabbing two trays, we joined the ridiculously long line and got ready to make up our burritos; and to be fair, as long as the queues get here, they do get through them all incredibly fast.

The good thing about Changos for us fussy eaters is definitely that you can pick and choose what it is that you want; so you can pick from wholegrain or white rice, different meats (pork, beef and chicken) and vegetarian options, then opt for peppers and onions if it floats your boat, then you can pick a sauce, have spicy or sweet salsa if you feel like it, then choose if you want nachos, cheese and guacamole. You can truly make these burritos yours, which is something that I really appreciate as there are so many things that I typically have to ask restaurants to take away of set menu items, this definitely takes the awkwardness out of a meal. 


Not only are the food options good (they offer gluten free and vegan options) and cheap (around £5.50 - £6.75 depending on what you pick and the size) - but the restaurant itself is lovely. Some small tables, with mostly canteen style dining, all kitted out with big murals, bright colours and neon lights - the whole place is cool, easy going and just pleasant. The longer we sat, the clearer it became that they were clever to put this on the edge of the business district and Liverpool one, because both tourists and shoppers, and office workers seemed to be flocking and queuing out of the door for affordable, quick and tasty food. I opted for a medium chicken burrito with peppers, onions, nachos, cheese and house sauce and it was amazing - well worth the price of McDonalds, for much nicer food (you even get an adorable bag of nachos).

Not only are Changos pulling off great food at even better prices, they're really friendly on social media, and they just seem to get the lunch market - filling a gap of something that Liverpool was sorely missing. I'd recommend popping in for a visit if you're around that way, and it's definitely worth the extra five minute walk to get there, even if you're not.

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies - however all opinions are my own. Please view my disclaimer for more information.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Dove Advanced Hair Series

I'm a total sucker for buying things that look cool in beauty aisles, and even more so when I haven't seen them around and they're on offer; cue a trip to ASDA and me adding some Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil Shampoo and Conditioner to my collection of beauty products (which, by the way, is already so big that I have absolutely no business being in the beauty aisles of any shop, anywhere, in the first place). Dove are, admittedly, a little hit and miss for me - they've had a lot of poor campaigns, and I also just tend to find them a little boring in terms of product choice, but this is a dry oil shampoo and conditioner that claims to be non-greasy and, for the sheer fact that my hair has never been in such a poor condition, I had to go out on a limb and give them a second chance.



I have to say that, for this range (and the partner ranges that were alongside it, of which there are many) they've definitely upped their packaging game. Gone is the white packaging and blue lids that I remember from my childhood, and in it's place stand bottles of white with pops of different colours depending on the range you're opting for - and it's doing good things for them, it caught my eye in an aisle full of bright colours, and it's more luxurious; put simply, the packaging makes me feel like Dove has grown up, and the transformation has been a serious glow up.

I'm always dubious about hair products packed with oil, for good reason, I have the oiliest hair known to man, but this stuff genuinely does seem like it's doing good things, without making me reach for the dry shampoo any earlier than I typically would. It does have the sort of scent that I typically associate with Dove, but it's just a clean, simple sort of smell, and so it's definitely not something that puts me off, especially when the shampoo and conditioner work as well as they do. Because, I have to be honest; these really do work - my hair hasn't been this soft for months,  the ends are much less prone to breaking and overall, I just really like how my hair feels after using it.


There is one thing I don't like about this though, and that's the price; in fact, if these hadn't have been on offer, they definitely wouldn't have made their way into my basket, because where I might be able to justify 2 for £6, there was absolutely no way that I could £5.39 per bottle on a brand that my mum used to bulk buy because it was so cheap (to put this into perspective, ASDA were also selling litre bottles of tresemme for around the same price, these bottles weigh in at a measly 250ml). Although these aren't going to break the bank, I think I would resent paying nearly the same for Dove as I typically do for mid priced brands like OGX. Don't get me wrong, these are good, and my hair is soft, but it doesn't come close to the OGX Coconut Water Shampoo and conditioner.


All in all, if you can get this on an offer then definitely go ahead, you won't be disappointed in it by any means; but if you're standing in the hair aisle trying to decide between this and a typically 'mid priced' brand, definitely go for something like OGX (you'll even get more). Dove may have glowed up in terms of their packaging, but their size vs. price ratio still definitely leaves something to be desired.

If you've tried any of Doves Advanced Hair Series, I'd love to hear your thoughts below.

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Adjusting

I don't know about you, but for me it seems that a lot of adult life is about adjusting. It's about learning to bend around the people in your life, allowing yourself to adjust in order for them to be able to maneuver themselves around you. It's adjusting the time you had for yourself, your expectations, the parameters of the money that you can spend on money, the late nights and late mornings that you used to love so much. It's a lot of seeing how far you can bend without breaking, and it's exhausting and satisfying, exhilarating and sob-worthy (that's a real word, in case you were thinking otherwise).


If there's one thing I've noticed since I've been learning to adjust, crying about everything, and generally stressing about every single tiny thing in the last few days (seriously though, the dog barking for her tea was the thing that set me off the other day) is that no matter how isolating and frustrating learning to fit into your adult life can be - we are all in this together. We are all confused, all trying to find our footing, all worried about what the future holds and shouting into a void asking each other a question that none of us really seem to be able to answer right now; will it ever really get better?

In some ways going back to uni was purely a selfish reason, it was getting three teenage, selfish, thoughtless years back that I never got. But, it's backfired a bit; because I have to work full time hours, keep up with learning two languages and still find time to spend with Katy that isn't me glued to a laptop working, as well as making time to see my family who live a considerable distance from where I do when I don't drive. Instead of getting my teenage years back, I've simply complicated my adult ones - I'm stressed, overworked, constantly tired and trying my fucking hardest.

So I'm here to say; I have no idea when it gets better, or if it does, but I'm holding out the hope that one day future Sam is going to look back at past Sam and tell me thank you for all the work and sacrifices that I'm putting in. I'm hoping she'll look back on 8am starts and midnight finishes as something that made us strong, versatile, and most of all - able to function on way less sleep than the average human typically does. I'm hoping that this is just the adjustment period for adult life, and one day everything will just snap into place.

Here's hoping we're all pushing through to bigger things, and in the mean time? Let's be a little kinder to each other whilst we're adjusting.

Sammy xo.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Tips and Tricks For Easy Foreign Travel

Travelling abroad can be stressful. Okay, not so much now that I do it a ridiculous amount, but definitely when Katy and I started travelling, we used to pack weeks in advance and worry that we still didn’t have everything that we needed (for our latest holiday, we packed at midnight the day before we left and didn’t even check it over or look to see if our outfits matched. Mine didn’t). Now we’ve become the queens of the European mini break, we’ve found a lot of ways to make travelling that bit easier - so here are some tip and tricks for your next eurotrip. 

Take Less Money Than You Need
This is especially true if you travel as much and as widely as Katy and I do. We don’t often visit countries with the same currency more than one in a row, or sometimes even in the same year and we just don’t have the space, inclination, or money to leave leftover’s lying around for us to dig them out when we return to a place where we can use them. The last few trips Katy and I have done we’ve taken less money than we needed and taken money out there - we’ve had no issues at all, just use a reputable bank or cash machine there, make sure you inform your bank that you’re travelling before you go, and if you worry about being charged look into something like a Caxton Card in lieu of your own debit card. This way we spend less money, but we know we have it right there are our fingertips should anything go massively wrong (like, breaking a hole in the drywall of our apartment, or suchlike scenarios.)


Don’t Take A Case If You Can Get Away With Hand Luggage
Katy and I love a good case, and this is mainly because we don’t like to have a luggage allowance when bringing things home, however - there’s a lot to be said for just taking hand luggage. Many budget airlines will let you take a handbag that’s small enough to go under your seat, and a carry on that can go in your overhead, which makes for a lot of space, especially if you have a cabin sized suitcase. If you’re going for a few days, hand luggage is definitely more than enough, and if you want to bring liquids or makeup home? You can always book one of your bags on as hold baggage when you’re still in your holiday destination, but you’ll only have to have paid for it one way. Generally speaking, you could just not buy make-up and spend no money on baggage at all, but for make-up junkies like Katy and I, just remember that you don’t have to bring cases both ways if you can juggle your hand luggage the right way.

Remember New EU Roaming Charges (And Your Portable Charger)
New roaming charge laws mean you won’t be charged outside your normal tariff for use of your phone in other European countries (though definitely check a list of exclusions because I have no doubt that anyone who can get around this in any way probably will). Basically, your contract works exactly the same whether you’re in your kitchen at home, or lounging by a pool in Spain - so make the most of it. Bored one afternoon? Google map to the nearest big attraction, find ticket prices out for things you might be interested in, or even scout out your nearest ATM for no more than you would at home. Make sure you bring a portable charger though - maps are seriously draining for your phone, and you don’t want to be out of juice when you spot that perfect Instagram photograph.


There are a ton more little tips and tricks I have, and if you want to hear them please do let me know, but for now, leave any tips you have in the comments to make everyone’s life whilst travelling a little easier.


Sammy xo.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Waltz 7 - Make Your Own Shower A Spa

I really love it when products come along that are so simple, and so easy to use, that they really seem special. I’m not talking about big products that change your entire life, but rather little things that just makes you feel really relaxed and like you’re treating yourself. A little way to get this treat feeling without needing an hour or so to soak in a bath lies in tiny little foil packets from Waltz 7 - these Aroma tabs will make you feel as though you’ve just stepped into a spa when you’re just getting into your 8am shower before work.


Don’t get me wrong, these things really aren’t going to change your life, but on a day when you really need some sort of pick me up in the morning, or perhaps some sort of relaxation at night, these can really come in handy. These come in seven different scents; inspiring lemongrass, energising mint, relaxing lavender, calming forest, relaxing rose, inspiring lime and relaxing pine - and each one is a little slice of relaxation to put right in the bottom of your daily shower. So what are they? Tiny blocks of powder that you put under the stream of water, and when the water hits them they release aromatherapy oils to relax, energise, inspire or calm you, depending on what scent you’ve picked.

So do they work? Yes, they do. These little unassuming white blocks let out a serious amount of aromatherapy oil that makes you feel tranquil, energised or relaxed - depending on what you’ve picked. They’re not perfect, and you’re definitely not going to be mistaking your own shower for that facial that you had for your birthday in a spa once; but, they definitely are going to perk up your early morning shower on those days when it needs just a little something. I do think that these would work better in showers that are floor to ceiling, rather than those with open tops, as for the full effect I feel like the steam would need to be trapped and circulate the shower - but even if you can’t entirely redesign your bathroom based on a one-use product, you definitely won’t be disappointed.

The one thing I would say about these is, as you’d imagine, they’re definitely not for those of you sensitive to smell, and with certain scents in the range it really hits your eyes or the back of the throat and makes you cough, which is less than pleasant. I think it’s more a case of needing to get used to using something that is so overwhelming when it comes to scent, but the last few times I definitely haven’t had this reaction, and so hopefully it is something that you get used to if you carry on using these genius little products. Though, probably don’t use them every single morning anyway, just to be on the safe side.

These things will set you back around €14.50 for a box of seven, and you can opt for all one scent or a few different ‘mixture’ sets so you can try everything to get a real feel for what you might like, and they're even vegan! If you’ve tried these, I’d really like to know your thoughts!


Sammy xo
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies - however all opinions are my own. Please view my disclaimer for more information.

Friday, 21 July 2017

How To Make The Most Of Travelling Light

I have to admit that, especially considering the amount that I travel around in England and beyond, I’m really not good at travelling light. There have been times we’ve done four or five days holiday and taken a case that’s teetering right on the weight limit when we get it to the airport, but I definitely am getting better, and travelling light can be really handy; especially if you need to be out of your accommodation early in the morning but don’t fly until late at night (ever tried lugging your 25kg suitcase into an escape room after a four day trip? I have). So, based on a lot of trial and error, here are my tips on making the most of travelling light.


1: The Paper Days Are Over
You simply don’t need a huge paper trail to get you through the airport these days, and in fact most things can be done just from your phone as long as you have internet, email capability, or you’ve thought ahead to take a screenshot. Travelling really changed for me when I stopped taking physical documents; download your boarding pass to your apple wallet (or the equivalent), keep your passport and EHIC tucked neatly Into your purse, and save all of your insurance documents to one email folder on your phone. You’ve done almost nothing, but managed to save yourself the space equivalent to that plastic folder your mum and dad still insist on taking to the airport.

2: Pick One Practical Pair Of Shoes
Try to base your outfits around one practical pair of shoes. We all have those shoes at home that we wear all of the time that seem to go with everything, and so just take them. I always take new shoes that I never wear because they cut my feet to shreds, and end up only wearing mint green high tops the whole holiday anyway, and that space has been nothing but wasted. If you’re walking a lot, you’re not going to need sandals so just wear your trainers, if you’re by a beach, you’re not going to need trainers so just pack your sandals. Doing a bit of both? Opt for something practical, then chuck in some 75p primary flip flops, which bend like you wouldn’t believe. Shoes are heavy and take up a lot more space than you’d imagine, so take as many out of your case as you can bear to part with.

3: Buy What You Can There, Or Take What You Can Leave
We’ve all been there in Boots two days before our holidays buying full bottles of shampoo just for us to lug it all the way to a foreign country; this is absolutely pointless when you think about it, and it’s just wasting space and weight. Take half empty bottles, any miniatures that you might have, or just buy it there. There’s no point in lugging heavy bottles of shampoo or body wash all the way to on holiday just to bring it back again, take half empty bottles that you can leave there at the end of your holiday to save on weight and wastage, or simply buy it there and leave it wherever you’re staying for the next person.

These are all simple tips, but definitely ones that have helped us the last few times we’ve been on holiday. When you plan on bringing a lot of foreign make up back, all that space and weight is absolutely vital, so no way am I wasting it on Elvive and uncomfortable sandals any more. If you have tips for travelling light, definitely leave them in the comments!


Sammy xo.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Disney Pre-Holiday Wishlist

Some of you may know that for Katy’s birthday present, the two of us are heading off to Disneyland Paris in September. Having never been since I was a baby, and Katy never having been since she was around 6 or 7, it’s safe to say that we’re absolutely uncontrollably excited about the whole thing. The one thing that Katy really wants to do, and I’m more than happy to comply with, is dress in her to toe Disney for the day that we’re in the park, and so I’ve been keeping my eye out for bits and pieces that I really want to buy prior to us going. Without further ado, here’s my pre-holiday haul wishlist.



1: Peter Pan Dress - £12.99
Looking back on this dress to get the link I can see that they only have an extra small left which has broken my heart slightly, but it’s still definitely worth an honourable mention. This is so pretty and, for a dress that essentially has a film scene on it, it’s still pretty understated. Disneyland Paris in December is going to be pretty cold, I’d imagine, and so I would have to pair this with a thick but really pastel coloured cardigan, but this would look so cute, no doubt about it.

2: Jack Skellington Lounge Pants - £14.99
Okay I can’t wear these into the park, but Katy got some sick Disney pyjamas for her birthday and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to have some matching one. Unfortunately these aren’t a matching set, but they’re so cute (and actually pretty affordable!) that I’ll definitely look past it anyway. These are absolutely beautiful, and you know they’re going to be good quality when they come from Disney themselves. It’s true that the Disney Store don’t do a lot in the way of adult clothing, but what little they do do is so gorgeous that it’s worth paying that extra money for.

3: Snow White Large Poison Apple Locket Necklace - £85 
I’m slightly obsessed with the poison apple from Snow White and I really don’t know where it came from, because I’m not a big fan of the story at all. Still though, I’ve had brilliant jewellery from Disney Couture in the past, and it was really lovely to see this on the site as something a little different from the dainty silver or gold jewellery that they normally stick with. This is something unique, something big and expensive, but something that I’ve definitely fallen in love with since the moment that I laid eyes on it.


4: Disney Crew Socks - £9.99
These are so expensive, but I really, really like them and I knew Katy would the minute that she saw them (I was right, she just pointed them out as I was putting this post together). I know that these are pointless because unless I’m wearing a skirt or dress you won’t be able to see them, I know that these are expensive for socks that traditionally aren’t really even that comfortable to wear, but does that make me love them any less? No, no it does not. These are so cool, and keep an eye on my twitter because I’ll almost definitely buy them before we go and post them on there.

5: Disney Mrs Potts and Chip Crossbody Bag - £59.99
This is ridiculous, and actually almost ugly the more that I look at it, but I just don’t care - I love it so much. It wouldn’t go with any outfit I can imagine putting together for Disneyland Paris, people would think it was gaudy and my mum would shout at me for spending so much money on something so in your face and ugly, but I still really do love it.

I’m absolutely made up with finding these bits and pieces and I’m hoping I can craft them together into some kind of beautiful ensemble, though I’m not sure how well that will really go. Please do let me know any Disney bits and pieces that you’ve seen so I can add them to my list!


Sammy xo

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Finding 'The One' - How To Pick An Airbnb

It’s like a running joke that Katy and I always pick amazing Airbnb’s when we go abroad, and it’s not untrue - but this isn’t just a magic inkling that I have when it comes to randomly clicking on pages of holiday homes, but rather I have this down to a knack. Finding the perfect Airbnb isn’t luck or guess work, but rather it’s a set of ideas, knowing where to look for information and being willing to compromise, though admittedly that is the one that I personally struggle with most. I’m always on holiday so I will chuck my Airbnb code in the bottom of this post, purely because if you sign up through it and book a house we both get money off - it’s not a sponsored thing, but rather a ‘please help me fund my travelling’ thing. Feel free not to click it though, except where noted at the bottom, all other Airbnb links are just direct links to the site.

I like to start with an idea of what’s most important to me and Katy for the trip. Is there somewhere we particularly want to go to? Somewhere we want to avoid? Do we want to be able to walk into town? Do we want to be close to the airport if we’re getting in late at night? I consider all of these things and then adjust my expectations accordingly. If I want to be in the city centre, near a huge tourist attraction, able to walk just about everywhere - I’m going to pay more than if I stay in a tiny, homely neighbourhood near the airport where I have to get trains or taxis in every day. Once I have both of these ideas formed, if I can’t decide which seems most optimum, I consider the expense of the city centre apartment compared to the cost of travelling each day, and tend to opt for the cheaper option.



Don’t be fooled by people with creative writing degrees writing all about their house - you can fall in love with flats with mould and shit views based on description alone, so ignore that save the list of amenities and head down to the comments. If a host is lying about how close they are to the city, whether they provide coffee on your stay and whether you can walk to your nearest McDonalds, there’s absolutely no doubt that the comments will out them. This isn’t a bad thing, as it goes the other way too - one apartment seem too far out? Check to see how people got around, because maps on Airbnb can be really deceiving, and even if they’re not, people are usually more than quick to let you know if the stay was worth the effort of travelling, and they also typically tell you how they did get around, which gives you a better idea for your own trip. 

One thing I’ve started doing lately is also considering the weather. Whilst a ten minute walk to a metro station then five stops on the train would be absolutely fine in Germany in October, in Portugal in June it meant I sweat my make-up off every single day before we even made it into town. If the weather if going to be unbearably hot, or very very cold (and Katy and I have definitely done both extremes), make sure you tailor your choice to be either very close to the city centre, or almost immediately close when it comes to the public transport that you’re going to need to take. Anything in between height of Summer and height of Winter holidays definitely does allow for more flexibility, so just bear that in mind if you hit the height of humidity, or the first snow fall.

Finally - don’t opt for an Airbnb based on the price it shows you on the search page, because these can hugely vary. Some houses are very cheap for just one night or so a year, and this shows on the search page, or some greatly increase the price if you change your group size from 1 to 2 people. I find it best to put my needs in, but then before falling in love with a place, click on the house itself and check the rundown on the price to check you aren’t paying extortionate prices for cleaning fees, single night fees or any manner of other extra. This can definitely save you a serious amount of money, so don’t get lazy and book without checking (I’ve done it in the past, and you’ll kick yourself when you realise how many beers £40 can buy you in some parts of Europe).

Essentially, Airbnb is a godsend, but it’s also a learned art, and I’ve just passed my tips on to you so hopefully you can make the most of your trip using Airbnb. Like I said, not sponsored (though if you have any collaborations, hit your girl up) - but if you want to use my link to sign up and save us both some money, you can do so here.


Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Toni and Guy Glamour Serum Drops

I know I regularly talk about my long princess hair, and in fact so many of you comment on it whenever I post a picture of myself; but the truth is, it’s in pretty shit condition. I’ve never had hair in bad condition before, but last year the ends were bleached, and as this has grown out, my hair has gotten incredibly long and I haven’t gotten around to having it cut - the end of my hair particular look absolutely awful. I could have this cut off, admittedly, but I just never seem to get around to doing so, and so good haircare (like, good enough to make it look as if I’ve had a hair cut in the last year) is a saviour for me; and that’s where Toni and Guy Glamour Serum Drops come in.

This tiny glass bottle (seriously though, it has some gorgeous packaging) packs a serious punch, claiming ‘high shine and polish’ but honestly delivering that and so much more. I have oily skin and even oilier hair, so I have to be really careful about what I put on my hair or I can be dry shampooing from three minutes after putting the hairdryer down - but a bit of trial and error means that I have this one down, and I can use it to get sleeker, shinier and healthier hair without too many issues in terms of oily hair - which is something to celebrate when this stuff will only set you back £8.25, which really isn’t that bad.


This is a really ‘thin’ oil as they go, and rather than feeling oily and greasy on your hands, it definitely leans more towards feeling glossy, if any of that makes sense to you, sitting at home on your laptop, or on the tube on your phone not physically feeling this in the way that I am. Though not a dry oil, it feels much closer to this than to the alternative, and if you overload your hands with this, it’s definitely one that you can simply wipe off with a dry cloth, rather than having to use alcohol gel or water to stop everything slipping out of your hands for the next three days like you’ve opted to live in the world of Tom and Jerry.

This has a really distinctive, and very typically Toni and Guy, scent - it’s not unpleasant at all, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin describing it. It’s quite a heady, strong aroma and if you’re sensitive to scent, you’re definitely going to want to use less of this on your ends than I do because it can knock you a little bit sick throughout the few days between washes. I find it best to leave my hair damp, absolutely douse the very ends in this oil and then dry it. Though if you leave this to dry naturally it will still work, it definitely looks much sleeker if you dry it yourself, as you might expect from the general condition of your hair when you compare the two.

It goes without saying that this stuff is a good choice for an emergency fix, and so it’ll likely still work wonders on normal hair that just needs a little shine boost. Definitely avoid your roots when dousing this on your hair, but stick to just your lengths and your hair could have a whole new lease of life for less than a tenner (which is considerably cheaper than a cut, blow and colour). If you’ve got any miracle hair tips, please do leave them below.


Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies - however all opinions are my own. Please view my disclaimer for more information.

Monday, 17 July 2017

What If...

Growing up you always feel like the queen (or king, or non-binary ruler) of everything, don’t you? I know that I did - but a huge part of that helped that I was the best at a lot of things; I could write the fasted (and the neatest, my year 4 teacher used to give me balloon animals to prove it), I was good at maths, I even played every game in rugby (admittedly, there were only 2 girls on the team and it was compulsory to play two girls on each team, but I just don’t feel as though that was really the point). When I started high school, I was placed in the top 3% of my year group and labelled gifted and talented in English, Maths and Science - I was the top, and I guess that I thought it’d always be like that.



Since I was around 16 though, I’ve coasted. I get bored easily, have grand ideas, get restless, lazy and annoyed that my dreams don’t usually match up to the reality that I’m living. I’ve worked mediocre, low paid jobs, I’ve used all of my money to travel and I’ve gotten myself into debt that I’ve only just started to get myself out of - and every step of the way, I’ve felt like it would all just fall into place one day, that somehow fate would intervene and I would become the person that I was meant to be (which usually tended to be rich, with all white Ikea furniture). 

But now I’m starting to think, what if I just… don’t?

What if I don’t just have it all fall into place, what is coasting is going to come back and bite me on the arse and I’ll never do better than I am now? What if I end up taking a university course that doesn’t help me at all, what if I never pay my debts off and as amazing as the holidays have been, they all start to add up to not being able to afford a house or a family when it comes to me wanting them. I worry all the time about the what if’s, and it’s so overwhelming, and suffocating, and difficult to cope with. I try not to put too much pressure on myself, but I’m nearly closer to being 30 than being 20, and there’s something really scary about that, something that makes me feel like my life is somehow unfulfilled and I should be working harder, being someone, doing something.

I know everyone hits their pace in life at a different time, and I even logically know that if I don’t hit it at all, that’s still fine - but since being in recovery, and getting clean, I definitely feel as though I’ve wanted more from myself, wanted to push myself more, wanted to make sure that getting healthy and being able to do great things wasn’t in vain - now I can, I feel like I definitely should, or what’s the point? I’ve talked before about great being the enemy of good, and it’s definitely reared it’s ugly head again in the last few months. Don’t get me wrong - I’m happy with my life now, engaged to Katy and travelling to all different places, but I just feel as though what I've done isn't enough, or perhaps that I’m not.

I’m working on trying to get rid of those ‘what ifs’, but if anyone has any tips, they’d be gratefully received. Similarly, knowing that other people feel the same is comforting, so please let me know if I’m not the only one.


Sammy xo.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Things You Need To Do In Nuremberg

You might not know if you don't follow me on Twitter (shameless plug right there) as I've been away from my blog for an age anyway, but this week Katy and I have gotten back from Nuremberg in Germany. New countries always seem incredibly exciting to me, and so I was ready to drink in absolutely every sight, building and tourist attraction anyway but Nuremberg was really something special; like modern life suspended in some sort of odd fairytale bubble. It felt like we saw just about the entire city on foot, trams and in taxis and so, before I forget, I thought I'd share my top things to do in Nuremberg.


1: Go To The Toy Museum
This was something that was very different than I had anticipated, but definitely worth a trip. There are toys right from the 1700's onwards, with cute little windy stairs, games to play on the way round and even an entire room to leave your kids in if they want to actually play with the toys, instead of trailing behind you just looking at them behind glass screens. If you're in a rush and want to make the most of your €5 entry price, definitely head straight to the dollhouse floor and marvel at tiny kitchen tiles, washing machines and all sorts of beautiful houses and cross sections. This isn't going to take up a whole day by any means, but it's definitely a lovely little building down a beautiful side street with a nice little outside cafe if you manage to go when it's not torrentially raining (we did not manage to do that).

2: Hike (I'm Being Dramatic) Up To The World's Ugliest Piece Of Public Art
Okay, it's only actually one of them, but this is a huge dead rabbit with wires in it's eyes (maybe it lights up? The nights were too long for us to hang around to find out, I'm afraid) sharing it's crate with mice. Or other rabbits. We aren't too sure. I won't ruin this by putting a picture in (you can certainly google it from that fantastic explanation) but this is easily gotten to either on foot or by tram, just be aware it's at the top of the hill if you're going when it's hot, or raining, or both. This is bizarrely ugly and placed right in the centre of the most beautiful little courtyard that I've ever seen, but it's definitely worth a trip if you've got decent weather or a tram pass.

3: Dream About Houses Between The River
You can nip into some really cute restaurants here if you're bored of jut imagining your life in one of these houses that are nestles between the two forks of the river, but honestly take the time out to marvel at bright coloured flowers on the sills of tiny little windows, and sit on the bridge and wile the time away, or even grab a Starbucks from one of the coffee shops in the world with the best view. The rivers are both beautiful, and there's plenty to do around them to make a trip down there worth it, plus on the opposite side of the river to all the shops, you'll find a beautiful little red and white striped market with everything from fresh fruit to street food.

4: Spin The Ring And Have Your Wish Granted
That market that I mentioned literally about twelve words ago? Well just behind there is a tower of pure gold. Though it might look like just a statue, though a very, very expensive one, there's a lot more to this beauty. Head over and find the gold ring amongst the black fencing that surrounds the statue and follow the kids clambering up there to get their hands on it. Rumour is that three spins of this unassuming gold ring will grant your wishes, so secure your place in the queue and make sure you get in there. Whether you wish for a happy, long life or just a trip back to Nuremberg in the future, only time will tell if the folklore is true.

If you've been to Nuremberg I'd love you know what you would recommend, as I plan to go back as soon as humanly possible. If you go to Nuremberg and try any of these, let me know your thoughts!

Sammy xo.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Livia - An Off Switch For Period Cramps?

As someone with terrible period cramps, anything new on the market that could possibly help me get through the worst week of my month is considered a small miracle to me. I am, however, also on a constant budget and so Livia was something that escaped my grasp for a fair while given the price of it; but, when they offered to send me one to see if it worked for me, there was absolutely no chance I could resist this little box of magic (electricity) and so I gratefully accepted. You may be forgiven for thinking this is sponsored the amount I've spoken about Livia on Twitter and Instagram, but it's truly not; I'm just so fascinated by this little pink button.


Livia are describing their device as an 'off switch for menstrual cramps', which is putting themselves on a pretty big pedestal, especially for ladies like me that rely on some serious pain relief and the fact I don't have to get out of bed to work to get around the most horrendous cramps each month - so hoping for the best, but preparing for this to not work at all, I've been putting this to the test. First things first though we absolutely have to talk about the price, because this thing comes in at $149.00 (or, currently, $127.00 as it's on sale). I know that if you have cramps as bad as mine, this might seem like it's a small price to pay in order to be able to function normally during your worst cramps, but I also know that if you're as skint as me, price can be a real issue, so I thought it was worth mentioning straight up.

This is, essentially, a tens machine in a miniature format, with the 'flower' pads being the points of contact with your body, connecting back to the pink 'box' that is the machine itself, which you use to switch it on/off or up/down. This can get seriously powerful, so I recommend putting it on and then switching it up until the top point that you can't feel it any more. This for me is the time that it works the best, whilst being the most comfortable; though it's worth noting that sometimes if you bend over or move too quickly, there is a short, sharp, static-shock type of pain. Mostly though, this is really comfortable, and the tiny clip at the back of the box piece lets you clip it onto clothes, to ensure everything stays strong and in place.


So, does this thing really work? Well, to make it fair, I did one day full painkillers like I typically would, and one day with no painkillers at all, just my Livia, allowing me to best compare them. Painkillers aren't my best friend, but I'd say with these this period they barely took any edge off at all, walking helped to ease it but I definitely still had a fair amount of pain in my back and the tops of my legs, woe is me. With Livia, that pain really did still throb in my legs, but there was very little pain in my back or my stomach, which was a real godsend; don't get me wrong, you can definitely feel at least a little pain, but this definitely cuts those rough edges of awful pain away.


Is this worth the price tag? I'd say yes - but probably not on it's own. You're going to need some painkillers around on top of this, but if you combine the both, it definitely makes for a much more manageable period overall, in my humble opinion. Nice addition, you can also buy some extra skins to customise this to outfits etc. where it can't be hidden; and it's also chargeable, so the one thing you don't need to spend out on is batteries.

If you've tried a Livia, I'd love to know your thoughts on it!

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies - however all opinions are my own. Please view my disclaimer for more information.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Missha 3-Step Purifying Mask

Until the past two years, I had always been really lucky with my skin. It was the best kind of combination where it bordered right on normal, I barely got spots unless I forgot to take all of my make-up off or had a period and I barely got dry or oily. Now though? Well, let's just say that my early twenties haven't been kind to me, and I now get incredibly oily across my t-zone, incredibly dry across the perimeter of my face, and spots bless my life every single day give or take. I'm still lucky, don't get me wrong, but I hate my skin at the moment, and so I've been trying just about everything that I can in order to get it back on track. In the last few weeks, what I've tried has been the Missha 3-Step Purifying Mask, which is a three step system to help target problematic skin.


This thing was hella cheap and came in a huge pile of sheet masks that I'd bought from StyleKorean, with this particular mask only setting me back $3.36. This one stood out to me from the rest purely because it is a three step process, and so it was a little bit more exciting than the rest of the sheet masks which is, to be honest, probably why it made the cut; I'm a sucker for gimmicks, you all know this by now. The first step was a peeling gel, which is essentially like the chemical exfoliators that supposedly pull the dry skin off as you rub your fingers into your skin; which does show a lot of flaking over the sink, but whether this truthfully is skin remains to be seem. I have to admit though, it does make me feel like my skin is softer, whether or not it really is working how they claim it is or if it's just a placebo, so I wasn't too bothered about the whole thing.


Step 2 is just a thin essence; which supposedly increased the absorption of the serum that's infused into the sheet mask, and I can't really comment much on this because it just feels like water on the skin and I wouldn't really be able to tell how the mask was without the essence. Irregardless, this didn't break my skin out and so I'll count this one as a win - it certainly did make my skin feel soft and really shiny, but it did only last for about two minutes before I put the sheet mask on, which makes it pretty much moot when you consider it that way.


Step three, the final step, was of course the sheet mask - and this was absolutely doused in serum. Though the mask was absolutely fine to wear for ten minutes, I did find myself wishing it had those ear pieces to keep it in place - it wasn't at risk of falling off at any point I don't think, but I was constantly worrying about it and fussing which made the whole thing less enjoyable, but that's definitely just a personal thing. I wore it for ten minutes, took it off, rubbed the serum in and that was that. So did it work? Well it did dry out the spots, but it definitely didn't make me feel like it was getting rid of them in the way that mud masks do - it felt as though it dragged all of the moisture out of my skin, and I didn't see enough of a result to make it worth it. For $3.36 though, it was definitely worth a bash.


If you've ever tried any masks for problem skin, please do point me in the correct direction because I need all of the help that I can get right now!

Sammy xo.
 
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