• A DAY IN BRIGHTON AND HOVE (AND WHERE TO FIND THE COLOURFUL BEACH HUTS)

    When I was in London back in July, my mum and I decided to take a day trip down to Brighton. I’d never been before but I feel like I hear about it all time since a lot of YouTubes and bloggers live there (including two of faves, Lily Melrose and The Anna Edit). We took the train down from Victoria station and it was super easy; we bought tickets at the station and an hour later, we were in Brighton!

    LUNCH

    We started with lunch because food is the most important thing, isn’t it? I googled vegetarian food in Brighton on the train down and made a booking at Food for Friends. It was Sunday so they had a special vegetarian roast on the menu and it was AMAZING! That weekend the special was a filo parcel stuffed with paprika spiced aubergine, smoked ricotta, shredded carrot, cashew nuts and chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, served with rosemary roasted potatoes, carrots, parsnips, fine green beans, beetroot puree, Yorkshire pudding and gravy (there was a vegan option available). I mean, does that not just sound like the most incredible vegetarian meal? I would highly recommend this restaurant, I loved everything about it and I definitely want to go back to try some of the stuff on their regular menu. I also got the fire-cracker cocktail and it was so good.

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    THE ROYAL PAVILION

    After lunch, we wondered around and found the Royal Pavilion. Honestly I had never heard of this building before but it was beautiful. It was built as a seaside palace for King George IV in 1787 and incorporates the visual style of India and China. We didn’t go inside but the gardens were gorgeous and there were a lot of people sitting around relaxing. There was a great atmosphere, with lots of geogorous flowers and people playing music.

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    THE LANES

    The Lanes are probably one of the most famous areas of Brighton, after the pier, but if you haven’t heard of them, they’re basically an intricate maze of alleyways with a random mix of shops, including interior design, rubber ducks and cake. They are really cute and it was so fun wondering round them. There were A LOT of jewellery shops, which didn’t really interest me as they were more on the expensive side, but there were also some really nice independent shops and plenty of cafes where you can sit and relax.

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    THE BEACH AND PIER

    The beach and the pier were nice but SO PACKED! It was a good day in the middle of summer, so that was to be expected. Brighton Palace Pier is free to wonder down and it’s full of cool arcade and fun-fair games. If you stroll further along the seafront, you can see the West pier (pictured at the beginning of this post). It has fallen into disrepair and has gone through several fires, but I think it looks really cool. I think I just like how the dark sharp structure contrasts the blue waves. Also, from now on every time I hear seagulls I will always be automatically transported back to Brighton; they are definitely the soundtrack of the town but I found it quite soothing to be honest.

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    HOVE

    One of the things I wanted to see was while I was in Brighton was the colourful beach-huts. I had seen them on multiple Youtubers videos but when I got to Brighton, there were nowhere to be seen. I just expected them to be near the beach but we couldn’t find them ANYWHERE. I googled a bit and eventually found out that Brighton city is actually Brighton and Hove city and the beach-huts are in the Hove part. I still don’t fully understand how it works, but it seems the two places go together even though they’re about a 30 minutes walk from each other (I think they’re two towns that make up a city, but I could be completely wrong about that). Regardless, we decided to hop on a bus to Hove in search of the colourful beach huts. Taking the bus was really easy and I’m so happy we decided to go on that little adventure. Hove is full of gorgeous buildings and was a lot more relaxing; it was a much needed break from the craziness in Brighton.

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    DINNER

    For dinner, we got pizza at Fato a Mano. This place is great is you have dietary restrictions, as they offer vegan cheese and a gluten free base (I don’t know if they cook the gluten free pizza separately to avoid cross-contamination but it would definitely be worth investigating if you are coeliac or have problems with gluten). I tend to like things other people would consider weird and they had no problem with my numerous topping customisations, which I appreciated; I went with black olives, capers, mushrooms and mozzarella, and it was just so so good. I love a good stone baked pizza and this did not disappoint. We got there quite early so we had no problem getting a table but they did get pretty busy and people seemed to be quite a wait for a table when we left so that’s something to keep in mind.

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    THE COLOURFUL BEACHHUTS

    After dinner, we headed towards the beach and we finally found the colourful beach huts! I was so excited. It was so pretty and calm, and it was nice to stroll along the seafront in the less busy Hove. We actually walked back all the way back to Brighton along the seafront and it was beautiful.

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    All in all, I really enjoyed Brighton and Hove. We got some great food and there was a lovely atmosphere around the place. However, I wish I would have known about Hove before going; I would definitely like to go back and explore that part of the city a bit more. I think that’s more my vibe, Brighton was just a little too packed for me. But I would still recommend taking a trip down if you’re in London or nearby!

    Love Jane x

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  • ALL ABOUT BED OF NAILS ACUPRESSURE MATS

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    I know the spikes look scary. They look like they hurt. And they do, a little bit. But you do get used to it very quickly, I promise. You can always put a layer of fabric between you and the spikes to ease yourself into it if you want. But honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary. I wouldn’t say I have the biggest pain threshold and I can handle it. Now that that’s out of the way….

    What are acupressure mats and how do they work?

    The mat is based on the theory that the body is lined with pressure points which, when stimulated, release the body’s natural pain-relieving hormones, similar to acupuncture but this doesn’t involve breaking the skin. The idea for the mat comes from the bed of nails concept which originated in Asia over 1,000 years ago and was used by gurus in the practice of meditation and healing. These gurus would lie on sharp metal nails with heavy blocks stacked on top of them and while this idea can be a bit shocking, it’s not as painful as it may seem as the weight of the body and the blocks is distributed evenly across the nails. The same is true of this modern day equivalent, which is made up of a thin foam mattress with more than 8,000 non-toxic plastic spikes, harmless to the skin, but boosts the same numerous healing benefits, inducing deep relaxation.

    In fact, the Bed of Nails website states that if used regularly for a long enough period of time their products can:

    • Improve circulation
    • Increase energy level
    • Reduce blood pressure
    • Reduce stress and anxiety
    • Alleviate headache
    • Relieve tension and muscle aches
    • Improve sleep and relieve insomnia
    • Relieve chronic neck and back pain
    • Activate the parasympathetic nervous system
    • Benefit weight loss by reducing cortisol levels
    • Improve heart rate variability
    • Revitalize and rejuvenate
    • Improve skin complexion
    • Relieve constipation
    • Alleviate malaise

    That’s a hell of a lot of benefits. I haven’t used my consistently enough to see all of them, but I’ve found even occasional use can help. I got my mat over a year ago because I was having trouble sleeping. I’ve had sleeping problems on and off for years, so I’m always looking for things that can help. And this definitely helped. It’s a weird sensation at first, not quite painful but you can feel the spikes. After a few minutes though, I always start to relax. I would love to be someone who meditated but I struggle with being able to shut off, however this mat helps me feel more at peace and allows me to just lie still for a while.

    After about 10 minutes, I can feel my circulation start to increase as my back starts to heat up. Honestly, the experience is hard to describe but I really enjoy it. Although the sensation when you sit up after lying on it for a while is so bizarre. I’m still not sure if I love it or hate it; it’s pain and pleasure all in one! Speaking of pain, I’ve also found the mat really helps when I have a sore back. My boyfriend’s job involves manual labor and he’s also used it to help reduce tension and pain in his muscles.

    I only recently purchased the neck pillow because I’ve been experiencing pain and stiffness in my neck but I hate massages (weird, I know…). After using it 3 tries, I’ve already noticed a difference. I really do want to start using both the pillow and the mat as frequently as possible because I don’t doubt that their products can produce all of those benefits they state on their website.

    Note: Both my pillow and mat are from the company Bed of Nails. I haven’t done a ton of research but I think you can find cheaper options out there, I just like the quality of their products.

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    Jane x

  • WHAT ARE JADE FACE-ROLLERS AND HOW TO USE THEM

    If you haven’t heard of jade face rollers before, it’s basically just a piece of smooth jade that you roll over your face. They’re very simple to incorporate into your route but they have a lot of benefits; I got mine over a year ago and still absolutely love it. I’ve also gifted them to multiple people after they tried mine and needed one in their lives.

    The Chinese have used the healing properties of jade and deep massaging action to transform skin and facial contours for centuries (my online research tells me it dates back to at least the 7th century). It helps your body’s filtration organs and lymph system to expel toxins meaning that if you’re experiencing sinus pain, this help alleviate the pressure and keeps everything moving. I developed allergies for the first time last autumn and my face roller helped me deal with the blocked up feeling and reduce the pain. I also find it great to use on a plane or just after traveling because my sinuses tend to get sore and stuffed up.

    The jade roller also increases blood flow, promoting cell turnover which helps with spots and keeping your skin looking young. The boost to your circulation also helps improve elasticity and decrease puffiness. I’ve definitely noticed my skin looking fuller and it has a bit more of a glow. I keep my roller on my windowsill and we normally leave our window open so it gets a bit cold (you can get the same effect putting it in the fridge) which makes it really soothing. Jade is a naturally cold stone, even when it’s at room temperature, but this extra temperature drop is even more refreshing.

    I have the medium Yu Ling roller from Cult Beauty, but I do actually want to try the double one that has a smaller roller on the other end that you can use to use on under-eyes circles. There’s quite a few different places online that sell face rollers in different price ranges, just make sure it’s real jade and not a plastic knock-off.

    HOW I USE IT: 

    I roll it over my face and up my neck after cleansing my skin and applying my face oil, which helps really work the oil into my skin and increase the benefits. I roll it in movements from the centre of my face outward, concentrating on rolling from my nose along my cheekbone towards my ear, as that’s were I get a lot of congestion. I then roll from the bridge of my nose along my eyebrow bone and up my forehead. I roll just above my jawline, again from the centre of my face outward. Finally, I roll up my neck. I do play around with all this a bit though and just do whatever feels good at the time.

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    I highly recommend a Jade face-roller to everyone, regardless of age or skin type. They’re universal, nice to use and have an amazing amount of benefits.

    Jane x

  • MY SCRAPBOOK

    I’ve always loved the idea of scrapbooking. I literally have boxes of tickets and other mementos at home. I have such a terrible memory so I think that’s part of the appeal, I’m just drawn towards different ways to keep records of events and things that happen to me because I know I can’t rely on my own mind. The problem is, I also love crafting so I always get carried away and in the past, I’ve spent over a week working on the first 2 pages of a scrapbook before getting distracted and not continuing it.

    However, I was really inspired by Gabriella Lindley’s (VelvetGh0st) scrapbook, which was mainly pictures.  It wasn’t as detailed as the ones you see on Pinterest but it was something I felt was achievable. Last year was pretty crazy for me; I moved to another continent and did lots of fun new things, so I decided to back track quite a bit and make a scrapbook for all of 2016 using the photo stream on my phone as a guide.

    I order a bunch of photos from here and sorted out all the mementos I had. I bought a black paper sketch pad (here) and a silver gel pen (here) from Amazon. I also used multiple glue sticks, super-glue and the label maker my boyfriend got me for Christmas (here). I love scrapbook paper and washi tape but I knew if I started down that rabbit hole, I would never get it finished.  It still did take me a bit of time but I’m pretty proud that I managed to complete it.

    PLAYING AROUND WITH LAYOUTS

    When I printed my photos from the Social Print Studios website, I got 5 different types that they offer: Mightly photos, Miniprints – Rectangular layout, Miniprints – Square layout (these are the ones that look like polaroids)  and Squares. I tried to play around with different layouts, some pages have a lot going on, some are more simple. I dedicated multiple pages to bigger events, but put multiple smaller fun times on the same page. I used my label maker to make headings for different events and used the silver gel pen to write little things to explain the photos. I wanted someone who wasn’t me to be able to look at my scrapbook and know what had happened to me.

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    KEEPSAKES

    I also tried to add texture by adding all the little mementos I collected through-out the year. Tickets are the easiest thing to keep but there’s a lot more you can add into the mix.

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    Lanyard from a work conference

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    I cut out different parts of the ferry schedule pamphlet and added a picture of us on the boat.

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    While we were in the metro parks one day, my boyfriend picked this flower and gave it to me. I pressed it for a few months so I could keep it.

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    My cousin, my boyfriend and I won tickets to a Cavaliers game, so I included the tickets as well as our winning raffle ticket.

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    During the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Champions parade they shot confetti everywhere and I saved a few pieces.

    INTERACTIVE ELEMENTS

    I added some interactive elements, different cards and things like that so that there was some fun movement in the scrapbook.

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    A Thank You card from a friend

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    Map from the hotel I stayed at in Florida

    CAPTURING A FEELING

    As well as capturing the big things that happened, I wanted to capture the atmosphere and the feelings I had as well. This proved to be a bit difficult but I played around with a few ideas. I think if I want make another scrapbook for this year, I need to make a conscious effort to photograph the little things around me.

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    I included a page showing some of the little Christmas details around our apartment to remind me of that time.

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    Unfortunately, my cousin had a miscarriage on Christmas Day. Everything else in my scrapbook is about happy times and I did struggle with whether or not to include bad things that had happened. This had a big impact on me and my family, and I wanted to make sure the baby was remembered so I decided I had to include it. 

    Jane x

  • MISSOMA JEWELLERY HAUL/REVIEW

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    LARGE SILVER HORN NECKLACE
    I really love this piece. This type of necklace seems to be very popular with bloggers at the moment, and though it might be a bit over-saturated right now, I still like the look. My favourite thing about this particular necklace is actually the chain; the little silver balls are subtle but add more texture. It feels sturdy, luxurious and perfectly completes an outfit. This necklace, and the fang one below, are part of the collection designed by the blogger Lucy Williams. I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of her before seeing this jewellery pop up everywhere in the YouTube/blogging world. I must have been living under a rock or something, but now that I know who she is, I’m obsessed. I love her laid back and easy style, and I would highly recommend stalking her blog and Instagram if you haven’t already.

    MINI FANG NECKLACE 
    This is my favourite pieces. It’s very versatile; it’s delicate yet still makes an impact. The only thing I dislike is the clasp. I don’t know if it’s just me but I find it difficult to open it. In spite of that, I’ve worn the necklace with lots of different looks and I think it adds a something to every outfit. I’ve always loved pictures of layered necklaces but I’ve always found it difficult to achieve the look. They look so good on Pinterest but they turn into a weird knotted trying-to-hard mess on me. But I’ve actually been able to layer necklaces with this one. I do wish it was slightly longer, I know I have a large neck but I can only wear this necklace on the longest length.

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    STAR CHARM NECKLACE AND CITRINE CHARM
    These are the pieces I’ve struggles with the most to wear.  I like the star but… okay this is going to sound ridiculous, but it’s so small and dainty, it makes me feel like I look bigger. Like I think it might be too delicate and dainty for me. Ridiculous, I know. I’m not sure how I feel about wearing the two of them together, which was my original intention. I’ve started putting the citrine charm on another necklace I have and I’ve been enjoying that.  I think I just need to play with them more to figure out the best way to wear them.

    Over all, I was really happy with my purchases.  The pieces are a bit over-priced but I do think I will get the wear out of them! I also have the bracelet that matches the fang necklace; I’ve worn it a lot (not taking it off for showers etc) and it hasn’t tarnished yet, so I am impressed with the quality of Missoma’s jewellery pieces. The website has a nice variety of pieces, though being a silver gal, I wish they had a few more silver options. They have a really great variety of gold pieces though, so if that’s your thing, definitely check them out!

    Jane x

    P.S. If you want to see some more jewellery content, click here to check out my Daisy London jewellery review/haul 🙂

     

     

  • SHOES THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF

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    I love these shoes so much. They’re the best. They’re aren’t enough heart emojis in the world to express my love for them.  Most people I know don’t like them but I think they are what dreams are made of. Well, the real ones are what dreams are made of. These are the Public Desire knock-offs. The real ones are from Stella McCartney and I’ve been lusting after them for awhile. The trouble is, they’re a tad bit expensive. Now I don’t have an issue spending more money on accessories that I’m going to use all the time. But I’ve held back from buying the original version of these because I wasn’t sure how much wear I would get out of them. I’m a flats person through and through. I don’t wear heels, I just can’t walk in them. So I wasn’t sure how flatforms would go. I’m not usually a big fan of knock-offs, but I figured they would give me an opportunity to see if I would actually wear them before jumping into the depressing wave of debt that would hit me if I bought the Stella ones (that’s a joke, I would never go into debt for shoes, I was being dramatic, woe is me and all that, but it would definitely sting my bank account balance). I really do love them with all my heart but it remains to be seen how much I would actually wear them so for now, the knock-offs will have to do…Also, Stella McCartney is so much more expensive in the U.S. than in Ireland so I will definitely be waiting until I go home to buy them. If I buy them. Urrggghhh the struggle is real.

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