SLIDER

Hi, I'm Holly.



A 32-year old Scottish Lass with a love for highlight, heels and homeware.

hollysturgeonofficial@gmail.com

NEWSLETTER

1.21.2020

6 Happy Tasks For 2020

it's 2020 and I have about a million 'New Years Resolutions' that I will undoubtedly fail by the time January has ended. I'm happy to admit that I'm faddy, but I reckon if I create a list of things to do that are 'easy' but will make me happy, then I'm more inclined to do them which is why I thought i'd make a list of 6 happy tasks for 2020.



1 - Make LESS Lists

This might sound counter productive but I am a sucker for a list and because of this, I feel like every minute of the day is planned. Sometimes it's nice not to have plans and to plan as I go. Life is way too short to live according to a list all the time, so my first happy task is to plan my working day but nothing more (unless it's travel or shopping related).

2 - Stop Checking The Bank So Much

I'm going to struggle with this one, but my second happy task is to stop checking the bank so much. I, like so many others, am a relatively low income earner and find myself checking my online banking twice or thrice a day. I'm going to try to reduce this to once per day initially then after getting used to this, will then reduce that to thrice per week.  It's so important to be savvy when it comes to your money. but when you already know what is in your account, it's unhealthy to nano focus on it.

3 - De-Clutter

I think a good de-clutter is definitely on the cards. I feel like a nice open space makes me feel much more productive and content. I'm going to sell a lot of my clothes and bits on ebay or depop.

4 - Listen To A New Song Everyday

This sounds so daft but I'm one of those people who listens to the same music all the time. I love music and my day feels 'wrong' if it doesn't involve music of some sort, but I definitely need to branch out a bit so I'm going to listen to a 'new' song everyday. If you have any suggestions let me know please!

5 - Do something Spontaneous every month.

Like I mentioned before, I make lists for everything so I pretty much know how my day will play out. Because of this, I'm planning to do something spontaneous every month - nothing major, just head out for lunch sometime without planning to or something, I'll let you know how I get on!

6 - Leave My Phone At Home

I don't think I've left my phone at home once in the past 10 years which is quite embarrassing. One of my 6 happy tasks is to leave my phone at home now and again. I will always make sure there is a way to contact or be contacted in case of emergencies (I'll make sure I'm with my partner, Chris, who has all the necessary numbers etc) but I think it will be quite refreshing not to check my work emails at 11pm on a night out like I usually do.
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1.14.2020

Happy New Year!

2019 was quite an eventful year, to say the least, for me. I can't really say that I'm all that sad to see a new year and the end of what has been a sad time in my life, but what I can say is that I am so excited to see what 2020 has in store.


As you all will know, I lost my cat Nala last year. If you haven't heard, then you can read my post about losing Nala in August from mammary gland cancer. Shortly after Nala died, her twin brother, Simba started behaving differently than normal. We put it down to grief, but we soon noticed a small, firm lump on his neck. There lied the beginning of the same journey that we had just endured with Nala.

After speaking with simbas vet and having tests done, our worst fears were confirmed. Simba had cancer and there was no treatment as removing the lump would cause it to spread. We were told to expect he would survive a month maximum.

Simba deteriorated over time. His lump was pressing against his throat which made it hard to swallow food, so we ordered cat 'soup' which was filled with all the nutrients he needed to stop him from starving to death. We slept next to him day in and day out, lifting him if he ever needed to jump. His favourite place to sleep was the back of the sofa, but as he drifted to sleep he would fall off and stun himself. We boxed the sofa against the wall and placed cushions everywhere so that he could still sleep there without hurting himself.

When simba was first diagnosed, we started giving him CBD oil (just one drop daily) and whilst he didn't like it, simba lived a further 4 months rather than the 1 month maximum we were initially given. Simba was never in pain, which is why we were fortunate enough to not have to make the decision to have him put down.

After quite literally nursing him in our arms 24 hours a day, simba lost his fight at 8.40am on New Years Day.

I don't think i've ever cried so much as I did in 2019. It was truly heartbreaking for us to lose both Nala & Simba and our only comfort is knowing that they are at least reunited now. The two cats have always cuddled into each other day in and out. They were so close that I am absolutely certain that they both were meant to be together in life and in death.

Aside from that, being an 'influencer' in 2019 was far from easy. I wish the industry could still be at the same stage it was when I first started. It was more innocent then, the world was less cynical of us and we were less cynical of the world. It's been a hard ass journey.

Throughout it all, I've remained incredibly blessed to have my boyfriend Chris to keep me smiling when in reality all I wanted to do was cry. He truly is amazing.

I have no idea what 2020 holds for me, but I hope it's kinder to me than last year.

HS x
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12.17.2019

Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide 2019

Ok so I know a lot of you already have your gifts sorted but if you're as disorganised as my lovely Boyfriend is, then you're in luck because there's STILL TIME to order online and there's some awesome late deals aswell.

It'll come as no surprise to you that a lot of my choices are beauty or fashion focussed but there's also a few homeware and lifestyle bits included too.

Lisa Edwards Jewellery - Order no later than 19th December (Or next day delivery)
Deco Square Necklace
£36


This has a 42cm necklace with a 5cm extender which is ideal for people who either like to layer jewellery or who need a longer length. I love that this is nice enough to wear to an occasion but casual enough to go shopping. It's dainty and comes in a gorgeous presentation box.

Spotlight Teeth White Strips  - Look Fantastic order on or before December 21st
£33.33


Teeth whitening strips might seem like a weird gift to get someone but I think they're fab! This has 28 strips and would be ideal for anyone who is keen on those 'new year new me' resolutions. These work really well and at £33 are a luxury gift at an affordable price.

HairHero Turbodry by Easilocks - Next Day Delivery before 3pm.
£79.99


This has been designed to be lightweight so it doesn't hurt your arms when you're using it for a length of time - hallelujah! if you're a man reading this who is looking for a last minute idea for your mrs - this is a godsend.

Missguided Babe Night - UK Next Day Delivery until December 23rd
£23.80


Fragrance is something that most people look into getting as gifts but it's hard to choose between them! this is a 'safe' perfume in my opinion - it's spicy with a sweet undertone with top notes of Orange, Jasmine and pink pepper.

Nudestix Lip Glace - Cult Beauty Next Day Delivery until 4pm December 21st
£24

This comes in a tin which looks like a gift box so it's easy to wrap and looks like a substantial gift. This is a non sticky lip plumping glace which is ideal for the festive season is a showstopper when it's opened.

Norvell Venetian Self Tanning Mousse - Until December 23rd
£25.99


This fake tan is designed with anti-orange properties making sure you get a 'natural' glow. You'll be seeing the new year in looking your bronzed best with this from Norvell.

Dafni Rose Gold Limited Edition Straightening Brush - Express Delivery 23rd December
£126


If you're like me and want to spend your time enjoying the festives with your loved ones rather than wasting time on our hair, then this is the solution for you. This straightening brush will sleek out your hair in no time!

BeGlow Tia - Look Fantastic Order on or before December 21st
£199 


This is like a face lift in a gadget! It's cleansing, anti-ageing and has dual pulse contouring which targets sagging skin and double chins. I've been using it for a short while and have really noticed a difference since using it.

Keuco iLook Move Cosmetic Mirror - Order by 19th December.
£216.72


This is certainly a luxury gift, but it's one that everyone who likes a bit of grooming will love. This has 5x magnification and is illuminated. You can move the mirror to suit every angle and can even choose between round or square shape. Bathrooms Online UK.

Other last posting dates for shopping include:


*This product contains a collaboration, affiliate links and gifted products.
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12.11.2019

Cheap Last-Minute Online Gift Ideas For Beauty Lovers*

Cheap online makeup products are very common nowadays. Whatever you’re looking for in terms of cosmetics can be found at various online outlets. Don’t forget, however, that the makeup itself is only part of the beauty experience. You’ll need something to store it all in, along with accessories too. 



Gift Idea #1 - Makeup Bag


One of the reasons why customers purchase branded makeup from online makeup retailers is because they know the quality of the products. When the makeup is not in use, it’s important that it’s all kept safe and secure, which is why a makeup bag is a must. It is also your chance to make a statement. If you’re keeping your makeup in a shabby bag, your friends might think the makeup you’re wearing is inferior too. Keeping your makeup in a decent container also protects everything else in your bag from spillages.


What should you look for in a good makeup bag? Well, you want it to be spacious enough to hold all your makeup and accessories, but small enough to fit into your handbag too. That can be tricky. Searching cheap makeup online companies and buying everything you need at once can really help. Bags are one of those items that stay with us for a while so, if you see the right one, grab it. Most makeup online retailers often operate a policy that once an item’s gone out of stock, you won’t see it again. They run their businesses by taking on surplus cosmetics and accessories stock from major retailers, which is why you need to snap the bag up while you can.


Gift Idea #2 - Fragrance


Online makeup and accessories suppliers can offer discounts on fragrance that beat anything you might encounter on the high street, thanks to low overheads.


Although fragrance is something we use every day, it can often seem overly expensive, especially if you shop via traditional high street retailers. Both men and women have preferences when it comes to fragrance, with some preferring strong, authentic fragrances and others utilising more subtle, citrus tones. If you choose one of the makeup online retailers that specialise in cheap deals thanks to their business models, you should be able to find fantastic fragrances at a fraction of the cost. In fact, you can even find them for free via the likes of Love To Slay. Either way, online you’ll be able to find big brands like Calvin Klein and Superdry with the sort of discounts that high street retailers wish they could afford to offer.


Of course, it’s true that discount retailers can’t always offer you the exact fragrance you’re looking for. Their ability to offer low prices is often dependent on the stock they can get at the time. However, the range of different brands offered by these online retailers ensures that you’ll always find some fragrance that interests you. In addition, because the prices are so low, trying a new fragrance from a well-known brand isn’t the costly experiment it can be with traditional retailers. Try a big brand fragrance from an online retailer and you may be pleasantly surprised.


*this is a collaborative article.
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10.18.2019

My favourite bedtime beauty products*

Hi everyone!




Today, I'm collaborating* with bed supplier, Beds.net to share my favourite bedtime beauty products.

If you're anything like me, then bedtime usually comes at the end of a long tiring day and I am more than ready to just 'hit the hay', but before I catch some Zzz's, I like to take a few minutes to wynd down by using some of my favourite bedtime beauty products.

The first thing I like to do is remove my makeup and cleanse my skin. For this, I really enjoy using a cotton pad with some Garnier Micellar Water.  In terms of cotton pads, I don't care which brand they are as long as they have sealed edges to avoid getting cotton wool stuck in my nails. Poundland are actually where I get mine!

Once I've taken any makeup off, it's time for a deep cleanse. I love using the Pixi Rose Cream Cleanser which really gets any excess dirt off my skin.

Once i'm feeling clean, I like to use the Pixi Glow Tonic to tone. It stings slightly if you've recently done any hair removal on your upper lip so use it wisely! I've been using this for years and whilst other toners have impressed me, this is the one I go back to time and time again. It leaves my skin feeling like I've just exfoliated it but without the harshness of actually exfoliating.

After toning, I like to use an eye cream. I've been enjoying using the Clinique All about the eyes which feels really cooling around the eye area. As someone who wears glasses a lot and who stares at a computer screen all day long, I tend to get really dark, sunken under eyes but using this has definitely helped so I tap this in gently around the eye area. I also like to store this in the fridge to make it extra soothing.

Speaking of eyes, I usually use some eyedrops to help soothe them after a long day. It's amazing just how much difference some eyedrops make.

One of my 'staple' beauty products to use in the evening is a Retinoid. I love the Inkey List Retinol Serum.  This unites 1% stable retinol with 0.5% granactive retinoid and squalane for hydration and soothing.  Retinol is designed to reawaken your skins cells. I'm 33 and starting to see some fine lines so this is definitely a step I couldn't miss in my routine.

After this step, I whack on some Estee Lauder Advanced night repair which  is my favourite 'night time' serum. It feels slightly tacky after applying and dries down over time. In the morning my skin always feels so soft and 'calm'.

Aside from that, I put some lipbalm on (dr pawpaw original balm is my fave), apply some roll on deodorant and occasionally will put some Ouai Rose Oil through my hair before washing it in the morning to add some moisture.

Aside from that, I like to spritz some This Works Deep Sleep Pillow spray over my bed and pillow to leave a 'fresh' and relaxing scent to snuggle down to.

Yaaaaawn. I'm so ready for bedtime already!

What are your favourite bedtime beauty products?

H x
*This is a collaborative piece.
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9.23.2019

How Can You Look Your Best For a Special Occasion?*

Do you have a special occasion coming up? Maybe you’re getting married or perhaps your family have a big party planned. You might be going on the holiday of a lifetime, or maybe your school reunion is around the corner. Whatever the situation, when these big events come up in life it makes sense that we want to feel our best and go into things with as much self confidence as possible. Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to make ourselves look our very best- here are some ideas.



Put together a new skincare regime
The way your skin looks can play a huge role in the way you feel about yourself. We all know how rubbish we feel when we’re having a bad skin day, and whether yours is due to dryness, blackheads or a condition like acne or rosacea, getting this under control is a good idea. First things first, consider if you’ll need to visit a doctor, some skin issues can be treated with medication or signify underlying issues that a doctor can diagnose. If not, invest in some good products and get into the habit of going through your skincare regime morning and evening.

Care for your hair
As with your skin, bad hair days can really ruin your self esteem. Maybe your hair is frizzy and wild, or flat and lifeless. Perhaps it’s dry and unmanageable. Do some research into your specific hair conditions and find products that are likely to work well for you. Something as simple as applying coconut oil to your hair overnight once a week can bring back vibrance and add moisture back.

Consider a beauty procedure
If you want to really treat yourself and make a genuine difference to your appearance then why not have a beauty procedure done? It could be anything from teeth whitening to lip fillers to Botox. Do your research, there are lots of procedures that can be done with very little recovery time and can be highly effective. You’ll of course want to consider the pros and cons and think carefully, but many are non surgical and very safe so see what sorts of treatments would best suit you.

Visit the salon
Finally, before attending your event- consider booking in at the salon. A new hair cut and colour, a fresh set of nails, a lash treatment or a spray tan are all options and can give you the boost you need. A new dress for example can be taken from good to great with a bit of a tan. A makeup look you’ve perfected on Youtube could look even more stunning with some professional lashes. Even if you don’t normally treat yourself to these kinds of things, it’s worth it for a special occasion.

*This is a collaborative piece
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9.17.2019

The Odd One Out?

I recently watched Jesy Nelsons 'the odd one out' documentary and had some thoughts that I wanted to discuss.



If you haven't seen the documentary, then it follows the story of Little Mix's Jesy Nelson as she talks about her experience with online trolling, bullying and deciding to end her life, which, thankfully, she survived.

Watching the documentary made me realize that everyone, regardless of our income, profession, race, shape, size, religion or sexual orientation has insecurities and has a story to tell.
 

I've spoken candidly before about body dysmorphia and the struggles I've faced growing up as a plus size woman. 

I don't know if you over analyse yourself and your flaws to the extent that I do, but in this picture all I can see are the flaws that will undoubtedly be pointed out to me in the comments below. From my double chin to the fat rolls on my thighs I struggle how to find inner peace and self-acceptance. I know that posting this picture is a risk because social media can be harsh, especially when people are using it to hate from behind a screen without realising the impact that it has on others. 

I think it's easy to forget that there are people behind the screens and it's too easy to say something you may not necessarily mean. You cannot change what you have said in the past, none of us can, but please before you write a comment and send it, consider how you would feel receiving it. 


I'm not judging you I'm just asking you to realise the impact of your words, because if Jesy Nelson's documentary has taught us anything it should be be that life is delicate and our souls are fragile. Even the strongest hearts can be broken.

I'm posting this picture to remind myself and everyone else that in a world which may appear to be perfect, we all have imperfections and and this is real life. 


Please remember that we only show the world what we want it to see and whilst there is nothing wrong with that, it is important to remember that there is a life that the world does not see. These are my flaws. I hope someday you'll share yours.

Holly x
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8.23.2019

Beauty Regimes To Think About All Year Round*

When it comes to beauty regimes and changes of habits, we can often focus on it when it comes to the new year or the summer. However, there is no reason why you can’t incorporate these beauty regimes all year round. But what can you do have you feeling your best? Here are some of the best ones to consider.

Image source - Pixabay - CC0 License
Laser hair removal

With the sun hopefully shining right now, there is no doubt that we start to think about more appropriate fashion choices. This might mean things like summery dresses and skirts. So it’s only natural that we think about hair removal. Especially with our legs on show. Some women tend to stick with the old favorites like waxing or shaving, but there is something new to consider. Laser Hair removal is a more permanent hair loss and can be a real investment. Not everyone wants to be grabbing a shaver every few days or booking for waxing appointments. This can be a great suggestion all year round, even in the winter months.

Dental work

With a positive mindset you can start to focus more on how you feel and smiling more often can be a great way to feel good. But many of us have wonky teeth that have stains from coffee and too much red wine. No matter how much we visit a hygienist or trying whitening toothpaste. This is when you may want to invest in dental work or consider a professional teeth whitening treatment to improve the way they look. They will be able to reshape and contour your teeth to create a winning smile. It is worth considering. A smile and good dental work can give you a boost in confidence and self esteem.

Apply a good fake tan

We all know that sunbathing too much for that perfect tan can be bad for our skin. It’s always best to wear a high SPF protection when out in the sun. But you could fake it all the way with a good fake tan and this can be something you use all year round. This means you protect yourself and still look good. A well applied tan can make any outfit look amazing. If you don’t have the confidence to do it yourself, many salons will offer spray tans or applications.

Tackle the shine

There is no doubt that we can all get a little sweaty every now and again. Especially around your face. So make sure you do your best to tackle that shine by using oil free cleansers and facial washes. Also during the day, you can consider using a powder or bronzer instead of your usual foundation. You will look and feel much better.

Embrace your natural curls

There is a new trend called the curly girl method where you start to embrace your hair in its more natural from. It means you use less heat products like curlers or straighteners, and you can try different methods to help accentuate the natural curls that your hair may have. There is more information online if you want to try it.

Let’s hope these beauty tips help you all year round.


This is a collaborative piece.
3 comments

8.20.2019

Nalas Law

If you don't follow me on Twitter or Instagram,  then you won't have heard that I lost my wee Nala to Mammary Gland Cancer a couple of weeks ago.  I've really struggled to talk about it without getting upset, so I've decided I'm not going to try and be 'strong', I'm going to get through the story any way I can. Some people might be wondering why it's so important for me to tell the story. Well, I want to help save some lives in her name.



It won't be an easy read for you if you are an animal lover, but it will touch you and if Nalas story can save just one other wee cat or dog from going through what she did then it's all been worth the pain of telling the story. Read on... 

Wednesday 7th August
As I looked at her red, swollen, weeping wounds and kissed her head for the final time, I wept. My family wept. In fact, if I'm honest, we sobbed, as we watched the Vet give our baby Nala an injection which would make her close her beautiful eyes forever and end the pain she was so obviously going through. In the background, the Radio played Beyonce's ' Spirit'. As she laid, still and finally at peace, I whispered into her fluffy ears that I would make sure her death was not in vain and the world would be changed by her.

"Spirit. Watch the Heavens open..."


Let's rewind a little bit...

Nala and Simba were being advertised on the Dumfries Cat Protection website in 2010 as twin tabbys who were the best of friends but who may need to be seperated if they couldn't be homed together. They were roughly two years old and neutered. The cats had been handed into Dumfries cat protection by an elderly man who mistreated them after his wife died.

Always a sucker for a sob story, we couldn't bear to let them be separated, so we gave the Cat protection a call.

We were visited by Fiona at the Cat Protection who came to our home and ensured we had a good environment for the cats. We were informed that they were indoor cats which suited us. We have a large home for them to run around in and we all worked from home, so we could look after them without any problems. Within a few hours, we collected them.


In terms of settling in, Simba was shy and scared. He would hide under the table because he was so afraid of his new surroundings. It took a lot of coaxing,  but he eventually came out and turned into a big friendly boy. Nala on the other hand, was a menace from the very beginning! Bouncing around the furniture, sitting on everyones knees, purring, meowing and playing.

The bond between the two cats never faded. They would sleep together in their bed every night, cuddled up. They cleaned each other and played together all the time.  Nala was nosy, loved a box and loved nothing more than getting into things she wasn't supposed to be in.

Everyday, Nala would come into the kitchen and jump on the unit and walk up it meowing because she wanted attention and treats. I once held a treat up at my shoulder and tapped it while she was on the unit and she jumped up on my shoulder to get it. I then carried her through to the living room and gave her cuddles. It soon became a daily routine and I loved every second of it. I could quite literally spend all day telling you about her quirks and funny moments.


Nala loved my dad. She would roll in front of him, then attack his hand. She chewed her nails and spat them at him. One thing she did daily, was wait for dad to get up off his seat to leave the room. Nala would run to the door and just as she saw him coming back she would run to his chair and sit on it because she knew my Dad would sit on the floor. She loved nothing more than running to him for a cuddle after he arrived home from work everyday.

Christmas was her favourite thing. All the boxes, the paper (she used to rip up paper like a dog) and decorations for her to destroy. She would run up the Christmas Tree every year and often played with the Christmas Tree Skirt where she would hide underneath it then pop her head up through the hole. Her favourite thing to play with was a grubby old foam Christmas bauble.

A year or so ago, we noticed Nala had a lump on her side. It had two wee dots inside and it appeared to be an innocent Abscess. The lump never bothered her, it was just 'there' and it would burst from time to time. A vet said it appeared to be a cat bite. Simba and her were occasionally a bit rough with each other so we accepted that to be the case.


Fast forward 10 months or so, and Nala was limping. We wondered if she had pulled a nail or something and said if it got any worse we would ask the vet to come out to her.

We discovered Nala had another wee lump on her leg. Within a week she was no longer jumping up or being herself. She was hiding behind the couch a lot and we decided it was time to call on the vet.
We always asked the vet to come to us because both Nala and Simba are house cats and would be distressed to leave home, but if the vet ever asked us to bring them in for tests etc then we would.
The vet told us that she had an infected abscess and gave her antibiotics & anti inflammatory injections. We asked him about the other lump and he said "it's not uncommon. The fluid has to go somewhere".

Within a week, we noticed she was still not herself. She was upstairs on a blanket, sleeping on her side all the time, so this time we called another vet, Nithsdale Veterinary Centre.
Matthew and nurse, Lesley, came to our home where he gently checked her over. We were then told he thought there was something more sinister going on and he asked to take Nala with him to the vets to have her hair shaved underneath to check on any other lumps, for blood tests & other tests to be done.

We then received a call to say the lumps were extensive and Matthew requested our permission to have a Biopsy done.

We anxiously waited the 4/5 hours for Nala to come home. Upon arriving home, we could see the extent of the growths. Right there and then we were heartbroken. How didn't we notice these other lumps? how hadn't the other vet noticed?



On top of the lumps, she did have an infection, so she was prescribed more antibiotics & anti inflammatory medication which we were to administer twice daily.

A week went by, and the phonecall from Matthew came with the results from the biopsy. We were then informed that she had Mammary Gland Cancer, it was aggressive and terminal. We were told she didn't have long and the signs to look for if she was in pain.

We decided to give Nala medication for the next two weeks and monitor her. We always said if we thought she was in too much pain we would have to make the painful decision to put her down.

Over that two weeks, my family and I took turns to stay awake all night with her to keep an eye and to ensure she didn't pull her stitches out from her Biopsy. Every night, I prayed and pleaded with God to save her.

Within two weeks, Nala wasn't eating as normal. She could barely walk, struggled to sleep and laid on one side 24 hours of the day.

Nala still had some stitches from her biopsy and we wondered if they were making her uncomfortable, considering she could barely walk, so Matthew came round to remove them, where he noticed how much her cancer had advanced in that short time. We were advised that she was in pain and recommended to make the heart wrenching decision sooner than later. 


After a solid two hours of crying and discussing it with each other, our family made the decision to have her put to sleep that day. We asked Matthew to come round and he agreed it was the most selfless thing to do.

Here we are, back at that moment at 4.30 on Wednesday 7th August. Each of us embraced Nala for one final time individually. We held her and stayed with her while she took her final breaths and finally found peace as she gained her angel wings.

As she laid in a wee box, looking peaceful, I whispered into her beautiful fluffy ears that I would make sure her death was not in vain and the world would be changed by her.

"Your destiny is coming close. Stand up and fight..."

Mammary Gland Cancer is the fourth most common cancer in female Cats & dogs yet up until Nalas death, I had never heard of it. Her death was avoidable. If you have your pet neutered prior to six months old, they are more than 90% LESS LIKELY to get Mammary Gland Cancer.

I'm not here to tell you to neuter your pet. That is entirely your decision, but if you do decide to, then doing so prior to six months of age will reduce that risk by more than 90%. If Nala had been spayed prior to six months old, she would still be here right now. I can't bring Nala back but I CAN fulfil my promise to her.

I want the whole world to know about Mammary Gland Cancer and to inform new pet owners about the risks & statistics of prevention.

I don't want to raise money or get attention to myself, I want to make a difference by raising awareness.

If you have a spare minute and if you agree with me, then could you kindly take a moment to sign the petition called 'Nalas Law'?

Click to sign Nalas Law

The petition is to make it the law that all vets, cat protections & breeders must issue an information leaflet regarding Mammary Gland cancer at the animals first visit to the vet or at 3 months old.  This way, everyone will at least be informed about it and can make their own decision, with the correct knowledge.

I don't want to change the world. I want Nala to.

Our lives have been shattered by her passing. I miss her more than words will ever be able to describe. To anyone who says 'it's just a cat' - you obviously never met Nala and compassion has obviously escaped you.

I took pictures of Nalas wounds in the lead up to her death. They are much to distressing to post on here for my younger readers, but if you'd like to see them for whatever reason, please don't hesitate to get in touch - hollysbeautybox1@gmail.com

Thank You
H x
2 comments

7.16.2019

The Perfect Beach Bag?

I'm an overpacker. If I've got room in my bag, I will fill it with things I invariably don't need which is why a smaller bag that will still fit everything I need but doesn't allow me to pack everything but the kitchen sink for a trip to Tesco is ideal.



This bucket bag is from Asos and I couldn't be happier with it. I've been using it loads recently. It's ideal for summery beachy days! The front pouch is ideal size for powder and lipstick (even a powder brush would fit!). The main area is fits a large purse, phone, sunglasses, SPF and even my boyfriend's wallet was in there at one point. It's ideal for people who (like me) tend to put too much in their handbags, because it just doesn't have room for clutter!
I love that this has gold hardware, an adjustable long strap AND a shorter strap that can be carried around if you're the type of person that hates hanging things on your shoulder.

So far, I've teamed this with jeans, a maxi dress, a skirt, shorts and even a swimsuit. It goes perfectly and is adaptable for any outfit.

For more info and to buy the Asos mini Croc bag (£18), click here.

H x
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6.28.2019

SVR Topialyse Gentle Cleanser

It's been a wee while since I've done a standalone review. The reason for this is because I really only want to do a standalone review for products I think deserve it, so I'm really picky about which products I feature and which ones I don't.




Anyone who knows me knows that I suffer from Psoriasis on my scalp and (depending on triggers) my arms & face. About two months ago, I was contacted by the PR at SVR who offered to send me some of their range to try out after learning about the skin trouble I have. I was sent a couple of products, including the SVR Topialyse Gentle Cleanser.

I always test skincare out over a month as a minimum before giving any final thoughts on it because skin takes a while to adapt to the new products or routine it has which is why it has taken so long for me to do this review. I've used the entire contents and finally wanted to share my thoughts.

First off, a bit about SVR...

SVR is a French skincare brand which is dedicated to providing products for very reactive sensitive skin. The brand is regularly prescribed by Dermatologists and recommended by Pharmacists thanks to its gentle formulas and suitability for even the most angry of skintypes. The brand started as a small family business in 1962 and has become the huge success that it is now.

The Topialyse range..

TOPIALYSE is the range dedicated to dry, very dry, irritated and atopy-prone skin. The TOPIALYSE family of products provides a range of emollients and cleansers for the face and body, and provides enhanced anti-itching* action and maximum comfort and skin-tolerability.  

SVR TOPIALYSE Gentle Cleanser has been dermatologically, paediatrically, ophthalmologically and gynecologically tested it may be used on the face as it does not sting the eyes, it's pH balanced for intimate hygiene and maintains the balance of skin-flora making it ideal for all-round gentle cleansing at baby's bathtime (hair and body).

As I mentioned, I've really put it to the test and tried it out everywhere over the past month.

As a shampoo, I found this lathers really easily which made me question whether it was just cleaning on the surface rather than actually cleaning my scalp. For the first time in months, I noticed I had less irritation, less lumps and flakiness. My hair actually was squeaky clean and there was no excess shedding of my hair (though a detangler would come in handy as I did notice my hair was more 'tuggy' than normal).

As a face wash, I applied this to damp skin and worked the gel into my skin using small circular motions. Again, this did lather well and I found my skin was well cleansed, not irritated and less dry than normal. I used this continually over the month and had no psoriasis flare ups which is unheard of over a month (usually once a week I'll have a flare up).

On my arms, this worked the exact same way as it did on my face. I did notice my arms had a breakout (as normal) but nowhere near as inflamed as usual.

overall, I have nothing negative to say about this. Nothing. I figured that the price would represent the quality and so expected to find it cost £35+ to replace but I was amazed to see that this costs just £3!!!!! WHAT??? I'm on my way to buy a few!

The SVR Topialyse Gentle Cleanser is available at Feel Unique.

H x
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6.27.2019

My Bingo Wings & I

One of my 'flaws' that I nano focus on are my upper arms. I loathe them and the idea of sharing a picture of them in all their flabby, unfiltered, unedited glory is enough to make me want to hide them forever. I can't do that. I won't do that.


Today I logged into my Instagram to three comments on a picture of me wearing a dress, calling me all the nasty names under the sun. Normally I'd accept it because the comments are nothing worse than I've thought about myself, but actually, I'm tired of it. Nice women bra.

I knew getting into this job and putting myself 'out there', that I was never going to be liked by everyone, but I'm a good person. I try really hard to have a social conscience by not promoting or using anything harmful, to not Photoshop my body so that women and teenagers don't think it's real life, I don't promote hate or negativity and I rarely indulge in the community drama so not to contribute towards negativity.

My boyfriend, family and friends are the people I'm interested in being 'good enough' for, not some random troll on the internet.

Doing your best will never be good enough for people who only want to look for the negativity. Do you. Keep doing your best. You've got this and so do I ❤️

H x
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6.26.2019

Kiss Lash Couture Faux Mink Collection




I've mentioned before that I've been experimenting with colour makeup wise and in fashion. When I've done a makeup look, it just doesn't feel 'finished' unless I've applied some lashes.

I've been using kissproducts eyelashes for years now and I'm never disappointed in them. I love that they release different collections regularly so there's always something new to try, but more than that I love the result I get from using them.

The lashes I've chosen for this look are the Kiss Lash Couture Faux Mink lashes in 'Tulle'. These are multi dimensional meaning they blend into your natural lashes seamlessly. The flexible band of the lashes makes application really easy and I can reuse them as much as I like as long as I'm careful removing the glue!

I love peeling my eyelashes off at the end of the day (much to my boyfriend's disgust! 🤣) You can buy @kissproducts at Superdrug, Boots & more.




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6.25.2019

7 Things I wish I knew when I was single

I've been in a relationship with Chris for 9 months now (high five for putting up with me!) and he truly is the apple of my eye, love of my life, blah de blah de blah.With that said, being in a relationship has opened my eyes to some things that I wish I'd known when I was Single. Ladies, this one's for you!


1 - Men don't know how to 'talk' to Women...

Chris is the loveliest guy ever and whilst he truly makes me feel my absolute best all the time, I have come to the realisation that Men don't know how to talk to Women. Here is an example...

Me: *Gets up early to get dolled up for boyfriend. Steps off bus with suitcase to go on a weekend away*
Chris: *Smiles*
Me: *he must love how good I look...*
Chris: "hiya baby! aww you've got that thing!!"
Me: *thinking he means the sass of a catwalk model* "what's that then?"
Chris: "Dandruff".

His wee face was so oblivious to the fact he'd said anything wrong so I just laughed. It was right there and then that I realised Men don't know how to talk to Women.

2 - I have double standards..

I am Woman hear me roar, but eh, I don't want to deal with carrying my bags, can you do it for me? I always insist on doing things myself as 'just because I'm a Woman doesn't mean I NEED a Man to help me' but sometimes, when I just don't want to deal with my shopping bags, or I want to watch Love Island, I like to remind Chris that I'm a girl and he should do it. I have double standards. I'm happy to admit it.

3 - I see girls checking him out, EVEN WHEN I'M WITH HIM!

Not every girl has the same 'girl code' as I do (if you don't know what that means it's likely you're void of it... #JustSayin). There was one time I remember specifically because your girl dragged her boyfriend to Iceland (the shop, not the country) to buy snacks (if I'm watching football for him it's likely because I've been promised snacks!). As I was casually checking to see which sharer bags of crisps felt the fullest (yes, really), I noticed some kale munching goddess eyeing up Chris! she did the hair flick, then looked at him and then noticed the 5,7 crisp laden gremlin next to him (that's me FYI) and smiled. Gurrrrlll... Naw.

4 - If you 'advise' a Man on something, he will ignore it.

"babe, don't pick that spot, it's a bite and is still inflamed, it'll make it worse" *Chris picks spot*
"let's not mix drinks tonight so we're not too rough tomorrow" *Chris drinks tequila and washes his dinner down with some cider*
To avoid having a nervous breakdown, I just try not to 'advise' men unless I'm asked!

5 - Giving a Man 'options' leads to PMS-esque breakdown

"Do you want the first shower or should I go first and blowdry my hair while you're in?" or "We can either order some food before we get ready or after but if we order before we get ready chances are it'll be here by the time we're ready so should we just do that?"
Both of these are questions which will cause you to have a PMS-esque breakdown. Men cannot make decisions. End of discussion.

6 - Makeup gets blamed for EVERYTHING

It doesn't matter if it's a slevver stain on his pillow from him drooling through the night or i'm taking too long to get ready, makeup gets blamed for everything. Babe, if it wasn't for makeup you wouldn't want to leave the house with me. Be grateful.

7 - Men will moan at you for taking too long to get ready, then be the last one out of the house..

Timeline of me and Chris getting ready for anything...

Chris: "Oh times going in quick eh'
Me: "oh is it. Ah well I won't be long"

*2 minutes later*

Chris: "better watch your time darling"

*Another 2 minutes later*

Chris: "have you seen the time?"
Me: "aye ok!! I just need to do my lipstick and decide what I want to wear"

*Insert Chris having a breakdown*

Me: "right the taxi is here"
Chris: "aw ok. I'm just going to nip to the loo"

Every. Bloody. Time.

So there are 7 Things I wish I knew when I was single. What do you wish you knew when you were single?

Holly x
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5.28.2019

Updated About Me!

The last time I did an 'about me' was when I first started my Blog seven years ago. Since then my readers have changed and so have I which is why I thought I'd do an updated about me!

I'm also going to tag some other Bloggers to do this same post - it's easy, quick, informative and apart from anything else, I LOVE reading posts like these. Getting to know people better is the one.

NAME: Holly Sturgeon (no middle name, #BasicBitch)

AGE: 32 - Thanks for reminding me!

FROM: Dumfries, Scotland (Mon the doonhamers!)

SIBLINGS: I'm the eldest of three girls

STARSIGN: Virgo - we the best...

SINGLE/TAKEN: I might be 32 but I still feel warm and fuzzy saying 'Taken'!

FAVOURITE FOOD: PIZZZAAAAA *queue kevin McCallister Home Alone Pizza run*

BIGGEST 'FUNNY' FEAR: Butterflies. How did a caterpillar just decide to grow wings? It's scary!

FAVE TV SHOW, MOVIE & SONG: Friends, Braveheart & Hurt by Johnny Cash

TELL US A JOKE: What does a Kettle get when it's had too much to drink?... STEAMING!

WHAT'S YOUR HAIR NATURALLY LIKE?:  Well damn, Almost black (with a few greys AKA 'rays of sunshine', slight wave

FUNNIEST MEMORY: Talking to Chris' Dad on the phone whilst jumping in puddles. Yes, I'm 32.

BIGGEST PET PEEVE: Mixing sweet with savoury. Pineapple on Pizza? no.. Banana on toast? NO!!

PETS: 2 cats

WHAT'S ONE THING YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT?: Animal Welfare

DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Nope

FAVE BEAUTY PRODUCT?: Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc

FAVE DRINK?: Pink Gin & Lemonade or Vodka, lemonade & a dash of strawberry.

CAN YOU SWIM?  No. I would drown.

I WANT TO BUY: Saw a silver ring but they didn't have it in a size T. Also costs £1800 so nahhhh, but also want one of those beaut Abbot Lyon bags with my initials on it.

DO YOU SMOKE?: No

GUILTY PLEASURE: Gruesome videos (cyst removal, back cracking etc)

SHARE SOME PHOTOS OF YOUR LIFE WITH US BELOW







TAG YOUR FAVE BLOGGERS TO COMPLETE THIS! Not sure why I'm shouting... Lols.

Beauty Queen UK
Bow Peralta
Sipping & Styling
Of A Glasgow Girl
High Latitude Style
Loved By Laura
Lauren Dudley

If you decide to do the tag on here or on social media, I'd really appreciate it if you could tag me or leave me a link below so I can get to know you too!

H x
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5.10.2019

Planning A Baby Shower

Hi Everyone!

The World seems to be suffering from Baby fever right now, with royalty Meghan Markle & Prince Harry announcing the arrival of their baby boy, celebrities such as Kim Kardashian expecting a baby imminently and even fellow creator Lily Pebbles is expecting her bundle of joy soon.



I know I'm definitely at the age where a lot of my friends are expecting babies and in some occasions I've been given the adorable task of planning a baby shower but anyone who has planned a baby shower knows that it's no easy task. From knowing who to invite, to the decor, food, drinks, location, entertainment and gifts, it can be difficult, not to mention bloody expensive which is why I thought I'd share some of my ideas.

WHO TO INVITE
If you've been asked to plan the baby shower, chances are you're close to the expectant parents and will know who their loved ones are. HOWEVER, some parents to be like to do seperate events - for example, some of my closest friends recently decided to have a meal with their parents and siblings, so the shower was kept purely for friends and extended family. In my opinion, a baby shower should have 20 or less people and please, PLEASE, don't forget to invite the Daddy to be! it's equally as exciting for them too!



LOCATION & TIMING
Personally, inviting everyone to the expectant parents' home is just not suitable. Usually Baby showers are planned in the final weeks of pregnancy and by that time, the mumma to be will be happy to escape back home where there is no mess to clean or stragglers to shoo from the property at the end of the shower. I booked a local pub on a Sunday afternoon (it was empty). It meant we could reserve tables, decorate and drinks were up to everyone else to get at the bar.

For me, the perfect time to have a baby shower is on a Sunday at 2pm. It means everyone has been able to lie in a little bit on the Sunday morning and had time to get ready but it will be finished before night time which means the expectant parents won't be overly tired.

FOOD
If you're budget restricted (who isn't?) then I'd definitely recommend making your own buffet rather than paying a catering firm. When my Sisters and I were recently planning a baby shower for one of our closest friends and decided to delegate buffet making chores such as making sandwiches and sausage rolls.

It's also a really good time to get creative! Here's some things I like to do:

- Head to ebay and have a look at some baby shower cake toppers. You can pick these up for £2 (including delivery!), go to the shop (or bake your own) to get some cupcakes and place a cake topper in each one.



- Buy baby bottles (12 for £3 on ebay!) and fill them with pick n mix sweets

- Get popcorn bags (or icing bags work just as well) and have stickers made with the babys name on them (or mumma's!) and place them on the bags before filling with popcorn and tieing with some ribbon (again, you can get 24 personalised stickers on ebay for £1.95 delivered)

This post is NOT affiliated with or sponsored by Ebay by the way haha! I just like that so many things are available at competitive prices and it's genuinely where I bought all the things I used!

ENTERTAINMENT
Obviously, the expectant mumma can't really drink alcohol and the guests are probably not going to get lit on a Sunday afternoon, so the entertainment will be a little bit cringe. For me, I prefer to let people mingle as they please and play some good music.

I also like bringing paper and pens so people can make baby predictions - ie - gender, hair colour, weight, date of arrival etc. You can buy baby Prediction game cards from amazon for £1.99 delivered.

https://loveleggings.com/collections/full-length-maternity-leggings

GIFTS
This is tricky because it varies from person to person. For me personally, I like to buy a few smaller gifts to cover all bases. For example:

Something for the Mum-to-be's comfort - I recently gave my friend some Love Leggings which are over the bump maternity leggings. These are incredibly soft and hold you in at the same time as allowing you to breathe. They don't go bobbly or see through either and I know of two mumma's who now won't wear anything else!

A cute outfit - I always like to buy a cute wee outfit and shoes for the parents to coo over. I actually recently bought a Harry Potter babygrow and hat for my friends baby (Who has now arrived! Welcome to the World, Baby Orion!!)



Something Practical - I went to the shop and filled a box full of wipes, muslin cloths, Baby scissors, nappies, bottle cleaners, changing mat etc.  I also included some Johnsons baby products aswell. Quite honestly, they never go wrong and always are warmly received! The Johnsons Cottontouch 2 in bath & wash and Face & Body Lotion smell like 'babies' and quite honestly even adults could use it! The bottles are huge and will last ages!

Relaxing Products - In the final days of pregnancy and in the weeks after (or years haha!) life can feel a bit overwhelming, which is why I always like to give some relaxing pamper products and opted for the Vie Healthcare Moroccan Hammam Spa Gift Pack.  Each set consists of Beldi Black Soap with Eucalyptus (200g), Rhassoul Clay (200g) from the Atlas Mountains and Argan Oil (50ml), all sourced from Morocco for an authentic Hammam experience, one of the oldest cleansing traditions in the world. You can buy the set here for £18.95.


A Memory Box - A memory box is ideal for baby bracelets, first photos, scan pics, baby prediction cards etc. I think it's such a brilliant gift idea and you can even have it personalised for the baby!

FINAL THOUGHTS
Make sure you clean up and don't leave anything heavy or bulky for the parents to take home. In my experience, a baby shower is about celebrating how amazing the pregnancy and journey to parenthood has been more than the actual baby. I think a lor of time is usually spent talking about the impending childbirth and the concerns that expectant mumma's experience which is understandable. Just offering a listening ear and your encouragement is enough and it's likely the mum-to-be is simply getting some things off her chest!

I've also learned what NOT to do from seeing the behaviour of others at a Baby Shower:

1 - Do NOT go empty handed. Even if it's chocolate, just don't turn up empty handed - some people draw attention to the poor souls who do turn up without a gift. It's not a competition and of course, 99% of people would never draw attention to it but there's always that 1%...

2 - Do NOT get drunk. I would stick to a '2 drink' rule. No one needs a drunk rendition of 'bye bye baby' at 2pm on a Sunday..

3 - Do NOT leave empty handed! One thing I've found about all baby showers is that there's always an abundance of food and leftovers that needs to go somewhere. Make life easier and just take home some cake. It'll keep everyone happy!

4 - Keep it short & sweet - 5pm finish! That way no one has time to get drunk, get bored or fizzle away as the day wears on. It also means you can get home to a glass of wine and the parents to be won't be overly exhausted.

5 - Don't forget the Daddy! I know I touched on this earlier, but it's his day too and he is likely to be just as excited as the mum to be.

6 - Don't tell horror birthing stories. Preggy peggy is probably already having irrational fears about giving birth to a 26lbs hedgehog so let's keep the horror stories for another day!

Aside from that, Have fun! I'd love to hear your recommendations so let me know in the comments below!

H x

THIS PIECE INCLUDES SOME GIFTED ITEMS.

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5.07.2019

Gifts For Him

Hi everyone!

With Fathers Day 2019 right around the corner (sunday 16th June), I thought it would be a great time to take a look at some unique ideas for gifts!


COMFYBALLS
This is an underwear brand that brands itself as 'The World's Comfiest Underwear'. You can buy both male and female boxers but in this case, I'm recommending the male ones as a gift for him. The breathable fabric is designed to stop sweaty balls (sorry for the mental image!), have 'speed fit' which means the boxers are cut specifically to package things without squashing them and 'lift' for comfort. On top of that ladies, it's an excuse to look at men in skimpy boxers without the guilt. You can thank me later!

To shop the range at ComfyBalls, click here. 

BOOTS
I always find shoe shopping to be stressful when it comes to Men,  but I asked my Dad what a fail safe pair would look like, he said you can never go wrong with a pair of boots like these ones from Matalan. Dad said his ideal checklist for boots are:-

- Nothing too bulky
- Laces not zip
- Something sturdy/easily wipeable
- Rubber sole

The Chukka Tan Boots from Matalan cost £14 (On Sale!). Click here for more information. 



BEARD KIT
Beards are more popular nowadays than Blue mascara was in the 90's, which is why I obviously couldn't mention gifts for him without including a beard kit. To make it a little extra special, I've chosen to talk about this one from Ijustloveit.co.uk the set includes a personalised grooming bag which can say any name, whether that be his nickname or his actual name. Included inside is a beard shampoo, beard & face conditioner and beard oil. The set is vegan friendly and costs just £24.95.

To buy the personalised beard grooming set, click here.

A COAT
It's still that time of year that it's way too cold to leave the house without a coat. I have specific requirements when it comes to finding the perfect coat for him. My requirements are:

- That it's waterproof (#ScottishProblems haha!)
- Isn't black (no funeral vibes...)
- Is longer than hip length but shorter than trench length
- Has loads of pockets/compartments (so I don't have to carry anything extra in my bag seeing as men invariably don't use them. How do they even cope?)
- Has two sets of pockets - one for his hands, one for mine. Gloves are just inconvenient.

I came across this Borg Hooded Parka from Matalan and it fits the bill perfectly. Priced at just £45 it doesn't break the bank either.

To buy the Borg Hooded Parka from Matalan, click here.




A SCOOTER
With the costs of cars and buses rising, it's a great idea to give the man in your life a scooter. A push scooter will also help him to get some exercise at the same time! The Frenzy 250mm Recreational Scooter comes in both black and red and is the perfect gift for any man who likes to get from A to B without the expense of public or private transport. This also folds away for easy storage too!

Currently on sale at £109.95, the Frenzy 205mm scooter is available by clicking here.

So there you have a few suggestions for buying gifts for him! Us girls are so easy to buy for, there's really no need for me to do a gifts for her feature, right? ... Silence...

H x

This post features PR gifts and some affiliate links.
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3.26.2019

MARCH

What a Month March has been!


Ever since the year of January ended (why does it always last so long?), time seems to have flown by (God, I sound like my Mum...).

March was a pretty good month for me and I've literally never stopped between one thing or another which is why I thought I'd tell you all about my Month.

TIDERAYS GIG

One of Chris' closest friends is in a band called Tiderays (click here to have a listen to their music, they're awesome!) and they were performing a local gig at 'The Venue' in Dumfries, so myself, Chris and a few of his friends went to see the gig. The band had everything from a poetic reading, to a girl playing the violin. The band themselves create their own music and even have professional music videos. I know it might seem like I'm biased but the gig was amazing! The band were interactive with the crowd, signed merch and met everyone afterwards. Most importantly, they had a way of making us feel everything they were performing - we danced when they danced, we sang when they sang and even cried when they cried. For me, those are the best bands and gigs!

After the gig, we all went out for a few drinks and celebrated. I drank Ninja juice (smirnoff ice, 2 shots of cola cube & vodka) which was lethal but I got to know a few of Chris' friends which was awesome.

FRIYAYS



Every Friday night, I get together with my friends and we all go for a few drinks. We went to the Granary for dinner one night which was absolutely lush. After that, I drank a feeeew pink gins with lemonade and was doing David Attenborough impressions again. Standard Friday!

PREGGY PEGGY

Leah (one of my closest friends!) is 7 months pregnant and throughout March we've been planning a wee baby shower for her (she knows about it!) but the shower itself isn't until April 14th. I love baby shopping so I'm loving every minute of being an auntie for the first time, even though baby boy henderson is not here yet.

SCOTLAND V ENGLAND GAME

Myself, Chris and his friends all hired a minibus and headed off to Edinburgh to a place called the 3 sisters to see the Scotland v England Rugby game. We were lucky enough to have a booth (thanks Stevie!) and the game was amazing!!. Beside us were some lovely Welsh rugby fans who were brilliant and we all had a great day. I made vodka jelly shots for the trip up to Edinburgh which didn't set and were more like jelly slush, but they all went down the same way! The whole weekend was brilliant and I can honestly say that Chris' friends were genuinely the most welcoming bunch ever! I always get really nervous when I'm meeting people and go quiet for some reason, but everyone was SO nice and I know that I won't be as nervous next time.


WORK


I'm still LOVING my job as an influencer (gaaahhh that word!) and throughout March, I've been LEARNING. Yes, actually reading, learning and implementing new things. I've been redesigning the blog, I've started doing more Insta stories and less blogs, I've even started a new Twitter chat called @influenstarz, so if you're a blogger/influencer, then head on over to Twitter to learn all about it.
It has been quite a month eh!? I hope you've liked this wee update and I can't wait to share more lifestyle related posts on my blog soon :)

H x
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