Sunday, October 30

The Lush Spa Treatments Guide


I feel I need to begin by saying that this isn't sponsored. To give you some context, I worked at Lush HQ for over a year, spending half my time in Customer Care and the other half as an Administrator in the Spa Team. Every therapist that works at any Lush Spa around the world has full training down in Poole, and I was in charge of helping make the ship run smoothly with the Training rooms, managers and important directors at Lush who 'signed off' each therapist, including Mark & Mo Constantine.

The best perk of my job was having free treatments...almost daily. I can't tell you how many times I've had the Synaesthesia or Validation Facial. It's a lot. So I pride myself on knowing the treatments pretty damn well. Scrolling through Twitter the other day, my friend Amy tweeted "Which is the best Lush Spa treatment? I'd really like to try one!". I had a huge lightbulb moment and thought "WHY HAVEN'T I TALKED ABOUT THIS?" and I couldn't answer her question in 140 characters. So, better late than never, let me enlighten you on a full, indepth, completely honest review of the Lush Spa Treatments.


Locations
There are eight Lush Spas in the UK (and I believe 7 internationally!). The UK Spas are Poole, Edinburgh, Bath, Kingston, London Chelsea, Oxford Street, Liverpool and Leeds. I've only been to Poole and Oxford Street, but they all vary. Some are bigger than others. Some have double treatment rooms etc. The Poole store in the first ever Lush shop and is closest to me personally. I used to work opposite in Market Street. It's small, but quaint. If I were to visit a Lush Spa again, I'd like to return to Oxford Street. There's something a bit special about escaping from the busy city life of London and entering the ground floor of their flagship store. You'll be completely taken away, trust me!

Overview
There are nine treatments to choose from (soon to be ten), and I've had them all. Each one has been carefully crafted and created by the owners of Lush. Mark (CEO & Founder) has a particular vision for the treatments, something I very much admired and constantly wanted to pick his brains about when he was around. He had a say in everything when it came to developing them, with a story about the inspiration behind them all. 

Arrival
Before I elaborate on each one, I have to begin by saying that a Lush Spa treatment is an experience unlike any other. It's very well thought through from the minute you step foot inside the shop, to the minute you leave. You'll be pampered. On arrival, you'll enter what I can only describe is like a little English cottage, with bold words on the walls, bottles of incense, fresh flowers, jugs of fruit water and little postcards. When you're taken through to the bathroom, it's filled with Lush products for you to use too. At the end, you're offered a drink to match which treatment you have and when you leave, you often take away the massage bar the therapist used during your treatment, so nothing is wasted. You'll be fully immersed and most likely, won't want to leave.



Synesthesia
Let's start with what I call the 'signature' treatment, Synesthesia (which means: the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body). This one is magical. I'd go as far as one of my favourites. It ticks all the boxes, a full body, full immersive experience. You start by selecting a few words from the wall, anything from Perspective to Peace, whatever stands out most to you. Lush call them 'behaviours' to set the tone of the treatment. Whatever you pick, will tailor the experience, meaning that each Synesthesia I've ever had has been slightly different. The music has been choreographed by acres of coastline, birdsong and the power of words. This is perfect if you're new to the Lush Spa, and would make an incredible gift for someone young or old. (Note: treatments are usually 16+ with parental permission, best to check with the spa directly).

Price: £125.00
Duration: 80 minutes + 20 mins consultation time
Rating: *****

Watch the video here.

...pssssttt...here's the soundtrack if you wanted a sneaky listen. The music is absolutely incredible in all the treatments, but this is one of my favourite soundtracks.

When I used to think of a facial, I only imagined someone rubbing some random products on my face and that be it. I never understood the luxury of a facial or how it can make you feel. Validation Facial is really powerful, and great if you're lacking confidence with your skin, because you will honestly leave glowing inside and out. My mum has had this one too, and she enjoyed it as much as I did. If the opportunity for a Validation came up at work, I would jump for it. The facial treatment is tailored to how you want your skin to feel, meaning the therapist will personalise which products to use during your consultation, with a chance to pick fresh items from the shop floor. I also love how they lightly relaxing your shoulders and neck too, it's not just a facial. The warm mitts are so lovely to remove the product, they even go as far as using a brush to apply the mask. I love the fruity water drink they give you at the end too, really wonderful.

Price: £85.00
Duration: 60 minutes + 30 mins consultation time
Rating: *****



The Good Hour
I've got a really bad back, so I often enjoyed a Good Hour to help release knots, aches and pains. The Good Hour is a deep-tissue, full body massage to help wring out tension in time to the music, stretching and straightening you. The music is close to home with this one, I love the sound of the sea rolling in as they ripple tension out of your body. During your consultation, you can also explain any areas of pain for them to work on. They use trigger point techniques and jelly disks, a mix of hot and cold techniques. It's a medium to hard pressure, but you can tailor it however you like. I really enjoy this one, but only when I feel a need a 'proper' massage, rather than a relaxing, immersive one. The experience is still incredible.

Price: £85.00
Duration: 70 minutes + 15 mins consultation time
Rating: ****

Watch the video here.


Tailor Made
The best way to describe Tailor Made, is a shortened version of Good Hour. Great if you're on the go, needing a quick fix. I personally think it's better to spend a bit more on the Good Hour if you can.

Price: £50.00
Duration: 70 minutes + 15 mins consultation time
Rating: ***

Watch the video here.



Hard Days Night Treatment
This was a new treatment being developed when I first arrived at Lush. I will never forget the buzz and excitement around it, EVERYONE wanted to try it. But in my personal experience and opinion, it's one of my least favourite. The music is a take on Beatles classics, so you may recognise a song or two. Unlike the others, you wear a pair of old-school pyjamas, which is slightly weird to me but makes total sense, as half way through, they use a technique with ribbons to roll your legs left and right. Lush call it 'exercise without the exertion'. It is designed to air relaxation and make you feel rested, as if awaking from a good night's sleep. A full body massage, with gentle, passive stretching and pressure pointing. This one isn't for me but it's a unique experience for sure!

Price: £95.00
Duration: 75 minutes + 15 mins consultation time
Rating: **

Watch the video here.


The Comforter?

Wow. Now THIS one is really special. My second favourite, for sure. BUT only in the winter! You are snuggled under a duvet, so it's a bit too warm for summer in my opinion. However, if you're off on a holiday, it's a full body hot chocolate scrub, so leaves your skin feeling super smooth. I love the product they use, it's not too harsh and smells incredible. They even use a nourishing rose serum after. The child in me loves this one, it really plays with your imagination. The music bounces with tunes from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and the room is lit up PINK with stars. It'll honestly leave you so happy, and reminds you not to take life too seriously. Plus at the end, you get an amazing candy-floss drink! A full body, exfoliating treatment. 100% recommend.

Price: £85.00
Duration: 60 minutes + 15 mins consultation time
Rating: *****

Watch the video here.


The Sound Bath
I'm not a fan of this one. I found I could never fully relax. I liked the concept as it's designed to help deeply rebalance. It's meditative and refreshing for the senses, but personally isn't for me. It helps drain the lymph and stimulate your circulation. They use subterranean music and tuning forks, where the therapist actually starts playing them as they walk around your body. The only part I did really love, is the hot and cold stones. They place one big one on your belly which feels really nice. Overall, you can expect a clarifying face and head massage, ear candles and tuning forks. I'd much prefer to have The Spell..

Price: £70.00
Duration: 60 minutes + 20 mins consultation time
Rating: **

Watch the video here.


The Spell
Another favourite of mine. This one is SO underrated. I remember my best friend Megan having this and telling me how much she surprisingly enjoyed it. The nice part is, you don't need to get very undressed, as it focuses on your head and feet. It's reflexology-inspired, the help you 'move forward with purpose'. They use gentle pressure on your shoulders, and hot stones warming the temples (amazing!). At the beginning, you're treated to a foot bath and scrub, which I absolutely love. Although it focuses on your feet, it honestly feels like your whole body has been treated, and is great for anyone who hasn't had a Lush Spa treatment before. Now I really want one!

Price:
 £70.00

Duration: 60 minutes + 15 mins consultation time
Rating: *****

Watch the video here.



The Planets
This treatment was developed during my time at Lush, but I was kindly invited back a few months later to the Poole store to fully enjoy it. After all, I had bits of it for therapists to learn/practice on me, but I never tried the full experience until later. For me, The Planets really is special, but the price is too high for my budget. It takes a certain type of person to fully appreciate the work behind this, hence the price tag. It is a full body massage performed in three phases. 90 mins of tension-alleviation; the music at this point is incredible, and really sets the barrier high for the rest of the treatment. Then you have half an hour of hand and arm massage, and a Lush palm reading. I really like this part. You wear a big fluffy dressing gown and enjoy a nice drink. The final hour is a lifted facial. It goes so quickly. I was so sad when it was over! Like I said, it's special, but it's expensive. I liked it, but I would prefer a Synesthesia.

Price: £285.00
Duration: 180 minutes + 20 mins consultation time
Rating: *****

Tales Of Bath
I don't know about this one yet, but it's coming soon! I'd love to try it, sounds like they might start incorporating the actual baths they have in some of the spas.

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There we go! I feel extremely lucky that I have had the opportunity to not only try every Lush treatment so far, but to have worked with the people who develop the treatments and train the therapists. I could bang on all day about the music too, Simon Emmerson is an incredible composer, working closely with Mark (see the video below!). I fully appreciate how much time and effort is involved, including sourcing the all the equipment like little pots, mitts, towels, gowns, candles, instruments, baskets, bowls...you name it. 


I hope this post has helped in some way, shape or form. I truly love the Lush Spa experience and can't wait to visit again in the future. Let me know if you're planning to have one! They sell vouchers to buy for gifts too.


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Saturday, October 29

Le Pain Quotidien | Southwark, London


Le Pain Quotidien (meaning the daily bread) is a bakery-restaurant group founded in Brussels in 1990 by Alain Coumont. There are a few situated in London and last weekend, we accidentally stumbled across one in Southwark. In all honesty, we actually took an Uber to the area to visit The Breakfast Club, but the queue was so far out the door, we bailed and looked elsewhere, and I'm really glad we did!

Situated a block away from Borough Market, this location is a stunning warehouse-style building with exposed brick walls and a glass roof. Apparently it used to be a horse's stable!

I loved the layout of fresh bread selection on the wall inside, and variety of pastries filling the air with a beautiful doughy smell. We were seated with ease (baring in mind there were three of us with suitcases each) and the atmosphere was perfect for a Sunday morning. Not too noisy.

I enjoyed Avocado on toast, with scrambled egg and smoked salmon. Even thinking about it I'm drooling. The bread was amazing too, they use organic stone-ground flour, so delicious. I treated myself to a hot chocolate too, which arrives as a mini bowl of cream where you pour your own chocolate sauce in! Took me right back to memories of christmas in The Alps. Yum.

Thanks Le Pain, I'll be back!

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Sunday, October 23

Hub Hotel by Premier Inn | Westminster, London

HOORAYYY! I've officially found a hotel which is super modern and my kind of affordable. I first heard about Hub Hotels via Twitter, having discovered the first one opened in Covent Garden in November 2014. There are now five in London and Edinburgh, with 10 further sites secured due to the success of the concept so far. The aim is to provide stylish and affordable accommodation, in great locations, with seamless use of technology throughout. I'm not going to lie, the tech controls in the rooms sold it to me, but I quickly discovered there is much more to a Hub Hotel than just the technology...


Bed
The room is quite small but it's perfect for central London. The first thing I noticed was the duvet rolled up on mattress with a note explaining it was a 13.5 tog, wool filled duvet, cleverly designed to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Clever. The pillows are 'deep-sided', designed to give the best neck support for the ideal sleeping position. Finally, the mattress is Hypnos sprung, with over 1000 pocket springs. It's what dreams are made of. I slept like a baby.

Bathroom
The shower was a winner. It had two heads, one was more of a 'normal' style shower, and the other was a big 'rainfall' style. The bin was neatly tucked away under the sink, and the hand and body wash smelt of tea tree oil. Gorgeous.

Technology
On each side of the bed are the controls. But you can also link the control to an app on your phone, whichever you prefer. It took a few minutes to get the hang of it however, I was able to customise the heating and lighting. The 40" Smart TV was amazing. It said "Hey Brogan" when I came in, let me sink my Spotify AND had MOVIES! Recent ones too! I watched Zoolander 2 before falling off to sleep. Final bonus point goes to the wifi. Free and connected straight away. You don't have to sign up with your email address etc. There's plugs for phones with little shelves right next to the bed too. Win.

Extras
Other points worth noting include the under bed storage for a suitcase, and a big floor length mirror. Yes! There's a choice between a standard or bigger room, and I believe I had the opportunity to stay in a bigger. The only downfalls I found were that they don't provide shampoo & conditioner, so bring your own. It also appeared difficult to call to reception. There wasn't a phone or button to press. However, there is a touch screen doorbell on the outside of rooms! So people can press it rather than knocking.


Check-in, Lounge & Breakfast
I loved checking in. There's large iPad-style screens where you enter your Surname, and it brings up your booking. It asks you to tap a room key against the side (kinda like contactless), and activates it for you. Super high tech. Super easy. No need for a receptionist. The Lounge area was small but had everything we needed. The furniture was really cosy and I loved the lights. It was perfect for a glass of wine in the evening, and breakfast in the morning. Breakfast was actually only £4, and includes fresh pastries, juices, yoghurt, hot porridge (perfect in winter!) and best of all...UNLIMITED COSTA COFFEE...which we could access 24/7 too! I was a very happy girly.


Starting from just £69 a night (and averaging around £100 for weekends), I honestly cannot recommend Hub Hotel enough. It had everything I needed and for the price, I can stay super central London too. I was so impressed and would like to return in the future. Huge thanks to Premier Inn for having me, until next time! Book your stay here - hubhotels.co.uk


*This post is not sponsored. I was kindly invited to stay for the press night launch, in return for a blog post.
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Sunday, October 16

The Body Shop Face Mask | Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask


It's been a long time since I've been MEGA impressed with a face mask. With my dry, sensitive, eczema-prone skin, I hate stripping back and exfoliating too much, in fear of a huge break out or flare up. I'm normally quite loyal to Lush or First Aid Beauty, and I recently dipped my toes into the craze of the bubble mask (which was purely for entertainment purposes) however, I can't say I've really, truly loved a mask for a long time.

Long and behold The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask* (That's a mouthful). At £15 it's definitely at the pricier end for a high street mask, but it's completely worth it. To apply, I used the Facial Mask Brush, which made it feel much more like an 'at home spa' experience and was easier than using my fingers. It dries pretty quickly within about 5 minutes, and turns from a muddy brown to a murky green colour.

It sets pretty hard, creating cracks if you move your face. A little certainly goes a long way, you don't need a super thick layer for this to do it's magic, but it washes off pretty easily regardless. It smells of a spa. So gorgeous. Inspired by Ayurvedic traditions, it's 100% vegan, infused with bamboo charcoal 
from the Himalayan Foothillsgreen tea leaves from Japan and organic Community Trade tea tree oil from Kenya. Incredible. There's no parabens, paraffin, silicone or mineral oil. 

It's created for skin that needs extra purification and to help remove excess oil. It left my skin feeling so smooth, my moisturiser basically melted into my face after. I like this product so much, I can't wait to use it again next week. 100% recommend!



*PR Sample.
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Saturday, October 15

5 Things I've Learnt Living Alone


I bloomin' love living on my own. It's honestly the best thing that has happened to me this year. However, I have learnt some real home truths about what it actually means to be by myself. So, here goes!

1) Fearing the post.
When I lived at home, I had this weird excited buzz whenever I had post or letters addressed to me. It was always likely to be a nice card of some description, a PR gift/package or some coupons for shops (my favourite, no shame). Now, it's bills, reminders for upcoming bills, credit card statements and well, more bills. NO. I almost fear opening the door when I get home. If there is post, I scan the outside as quickly as possible to pre-empt which company or what type of letter it might be. Ah, adult life. Please someone tell me I'm not alone here.

2) Who needs heating?
Although I think I'm fairly good with my finances, I'm the first to admit that my priorities aren't straight when it comes to WHERE I'm investing my dollar. I'm happy to spend £20 on Disney Christmas Baubles for my Christmas tree (EEEKKKKK!!) but £20 on heating? Nahh mate. I want to keep those bills LOW. I just can't justify heating when I can wrap up in a onesie and blankets. Since living alone, I've discovered a few tricks of the trade. I cook dinner, and then I LEAVE THE OVEN OPEN. Win. Or, I blast my hairdryer down my hoodie. Once again, please say I'm not alone here!

3) Two words: messy slob.
I'm sure not everyone becomes a messy slob when they live on their own however, I'm guilty of being a bit lazy now no one is nagging me. I'm a pretty clean person generally; I like having things in order, and I like living in a tidy environment however, life gets in the way sometimes and well...NOPE, no excuse, I just leave my clothes on the floor sometimes and let the dishes and washing pile up. Because I can. And no one is moaning at me to do it anymore. So I am taking full advantage of doing what I want, when I want. Which also means deciding when I clean. (Probably should be better)

4) Waitrose = no way.
I try and keep my spending and bills low where I can (says the girl who is planning a drunken night out in London next weekend...once again, priorities), but one thing I really dislike spending my money on, is food...unless I'm going out for a meal or ordering Deliveroo. Obviously I can't avoid buying food, so my go-to supermarket is now Lidl or Aldi. I am honestly still so surprised how much cheaper I can eat for, in comparison to somewhere like Waitrose. My family might still shop there but gone are the days my dinner is M&S finest. Na ah.

5) Neighbours are...nice?
I had this really odd perception that my neighbours would be a nightmare. I was expecting to hear voices, music and banging of beds against the wall (eurgh), but I got really lucky and I haven't had any of that. I can't hear anyone. Ever. I have neighbours next to both sides of me, above and below, yet I am probably the noisiest with vlogging and blasting Beyoncé at 7am. One even bought me a bottle of wine when I moved in, and another gifted a punnet of fresh strawberries in the summer. Super welcoming, and makes me feel a bit safer.

Let me know if any of these sound like you too!


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Tuesday, October 11

All The Bright Places | Jennifer Niven


I haven't read a good book for a really long time. In fact, I haven't read a full book for a while. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is a 'story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die'.

It's very raw and feels very real. It wasn't until I read the credits bit at the end that I discovered Jennifer has suffered loss in her own life, and her writing therefore makes the book really powerful.

It covers topics on mental health, with a focus on suicide and thoughts from a young person's perspective. The chapters change between the male and female character, which I really enjoyed. 


The ending made me cry. Like, ugly cry. (You've been warned!)

Here's the synopsis:

"Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?

An intense, gripping novel, perfect for fans of John Green, Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman and Jenny Downham."


Pick it up. Highly recommend. I can't wait to buy her next book called Holding Up The Universe. Let me know if you've read it!



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Sunday, October 9

There's No Place Like Home

Jumper & Bomber Jacket - Primark | Jeans - New Look | Shoes - Converse

I don't know what it is about the beach, but it is so calming. Especially at this time of year. I love seeing the sea completely flat and calm, no sudden movements, only the seagulls swimming. But I also love when the sea is really rough, with rolling waves crashing into shore. I love that sound too. Waves crashing. Although the sand sticks everywhere and spends a large (unwanted) portion of time in my bed, there is nothing quite like the feeling of walking with sand between your toes. The beach is one of my happy places, and I live within two minutes walking distance to one. It's so damn special, no words or photos will do justice. 

But Bournemouth doesn't just have a bloody brilliant beach, we're a short distance from the New Forest National Park. Apparently, William the Conqueror set aside the Forest for hunting more than 900 years ago as his 'Nova Foresta'. It's now full of ponies, forestry and long windy roads. It's perfect for picnics and fresh air. I went to college here because I like it so much. Not only that, Bournemouth is just two hours from London. It's a super easy direct train going via Southampton, Winchester, Basingstoke and straight up to Waterloo. Easy.

I never went to Uni but Bournemouth has two pretty awesome ones, which also means our nightlife isn't too bad either. For a small town, our AFC Bournemouth football team are in the Premier League too. Not bad boys, not bad.

On my way to work earlier this week, I saw a guy in a wetsuit running down the hill carrying his surfboard, California style. It was then I thought "I love where I live", not just because of the hot surfers (bonus!), but because it's cool. It has everything I could want and need and for that, I'm really grateful. Will I ever move away from Bournemouth? Probably not. There's really no place like home.


ps. Huge thanks to my mum for being my photographer. Who knew she could take photos?!
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Saturday, October 8

15 Ways To Lift Your Mood


One question I get asked a lot is..."how do you remain positive when you're feeling low?". It's a tricky one, and I don't believe I'm an expert in this field however, I've been asked enough times now that I'd quite like to talk about it. So here it goes!
___

I pride myself on being a positive person, I'm generally quite happy and bubbly and enjoy my own company as well as others. It's important to me to have a positive mind because I genuinely believe it leads to a more positive life. I've dipped my toes into the world of meditation but in reality, it's all in your mind. I think it's a mix of doing little thing to boost happiness and teaching yourself that there is ALWAYS light at the end of the tunnel. Good and bad things happen to all of us, and regardless of how big or small your 'problems' may be, you'll still feel sad/down/negative about certain things on some days. Or maybe about life in general. No one is happy all the time but you can definitely pick yourself up and reduce the down days. Trust me. 

Even though I've not faced much trauma or really really bad things happen in my life, I've still faced (and am currently facing) hardships like heartbreak, death, my parents divorce, fighting with family, and general life struggles like body issues, money, work and relationships to name a few. All these things can make anyone feel down and learning to remain positive through all these things can change your life.

Here's the things I personally do which help pick me back up when I'm feel down...

1) Talking
I'm a chatterbox anyway but I like to talk about how I'm feeling. My mum and best friend are great for this however, they also recognise when I am a bit down and try and distract me. Distraction is a great tool. Even just talking about other things or their own life and what they're up to helps me.

2) Surround yourself with positive people
This leads nicely from the last point but as I've got older, I've learnt to appreciate cutting negative people out of my life. Even fellow bloggers, ex-boyfriends or colleagues because essentially, their CONSTANT negativity isn't helping me. I take everyone as face value and understand others have down days too, but jeez, I cannot have people in my life who are going to drown me in negative thoughts. BYE.

3) Music
This can be great for two things - either as a distraction to sing along and blast out whilst driving or through some headphones or alternatively, listening to the lyrics. Everyone's taste is different but try and find the music that you love and you'll be amazed at how putting it on can instantly change your mood. Sometimes I might play a song just because I can relate to the lyrics. Music is a powerful thing.

4) Movies
Similarly, a movie can be a great distraction. For me, it's always Disney but Netflix or YouTube might also be an idea. Got a favourite YouTuber? Binge watch their videos and get lost in someone else's life.

5) Quotes on Pinterest
I only ever use Pinterest when I genuinely need it. I absolutely love it for searching quotes and saving them to my camera roll on my phone. I've even made my background a quote before to remind myself that I am brave, strong and confident and no one is going to bring me down. 

6) Happy places
My bed always makes me feel happy and safe but sometimes, going to your favourite places on earth will obviously help. For me, I adore the beach but sometimes, solo shopping and treating myself can boost my mood too. 

7) Long shower or bath
This sounds obvious but when you're feeling down, you tend to let yourself go a bit and not put as much effort in. I'm guilty of this regularly and still surprise myself how spending 10 minutes putting my makeup on in the morning can change my mood for the day. Waking up and getting out of bed is sometimes a big achievement in itself, so take the time to let the water run over your face and hair and appreciate that these little things can make a huge difference in how you feel. I love a long shower or a hot bath, I let my mind chat away and I'm ready to start the day or sleep better than night.

8) Sleep
Speaking of, sleep is a big big help. I've been using the Calm app and reading the Calm book but there are tons of tools that can help you sleep better. Even simply changing the bedding to fresh sheets can help. In the last year, I've noticed my sleep has been so much better since switching my pillow to a memory foam one and therefore, more sleep = less moody Brogan. 

9) Yoga
I started doing a few Yoga classes over the summer and it really helps my mind. There's a large portion of yoga when focuses on breathing and fully letting your body relax, which I find really helps me zone out. I highly recommend it if you haven't tried it. 

10) Lists
I think this a personal one but I love lists. I like writing things down. When I've got A LOT going on I simple type it in my phone or grab a notebook, write it out and sometimes, I don't even go back to the list. It just helped me at that time to visually see that the stress I was creating in my head wasn't as big of a deal as I was making it. 

11) Vlogging
Well it's no secret I vlog but I've added this here because vlogging helps me massively. I feel like I'm talking to someone and when I upload my vlogs, there's always someone to listen. I don't think vlogging is as relatable unless you're already doing it however, maybe try it! It's honestly quite refreshing to just talk to a camera...you can always delete it after.

12) Comfort food
I've got a couple of comfort foods and drinks which I know help me. A cup of tea is so simple yet I always reach for one when my mood is low. A Chinese takeaway, Katsu Curry at Wagamama's or a trip to Pizza Express are just examples of food I like to enjoy too. Everyone has their preference but arranging to go OUT to a restaurant helps me too. It's all about keeping busy and being reminded that this is life and life is good.

13) Stop comparing yourself
I think it's easy to compare yourself and how you're feeling to others. Try not to. Just try and focus on the things above to get yourself in a more positive and confident frame of mind. 

14) Embrace change

If there's things in your life that bring you down, change them. Embrace the change and run with the wind! Hate your job? Look for another. Not content in your relationship? Fix it. Life is far too short to 'settle' and 'put up' with crap. No one deserves to feel that way. I never want to stop following my dreams and I know they'll come true if I believe they will. 

15) It's okay to wallow
In the past, I've felt really guilty about wallowing, but I've realised in time that I need to do this, in order to fully move on. Regardless of why I'm wallowing or what I'm wallowing about, I think it's perfectly acceptable and normal to take some time to dwell on your thoughts if you need to, before you get up and move on. I know that dwelling on things you can't change is a waste of time, but for me, I need to do it and accept it, before I can then walk away. Not everyone is brave or confident enough to not let things get to them, but we can all "get up, dress up, show up, and never give up."

I'm going to end this with my favourite quote...


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Thursday, October 6

I'M GOING TO NYC!


I can't actually believe I'm writing this but...I'M GOING TO NEW YORK!!

Eeeekkkk!

It'll be my second time in the city since visiting almost ten years ago, and I am beyond excited.

I'm heading out Boxing Day, with my mum and her partner Jon. We're without my brother Fraser for Christmas this year, as he's working abroad on a superyacht.

Each year, we go skiing for Christmas. It's our tradition and personal preference due to be being big skiers with a small family, it suits us to go away. Damn I love the slopes. And snow. I've hardly spent much time in the UK for the festivities however, we knew it wouldn't be the same without Fraser, but still wanted to go away somewhere fun and interesting, which suited all three of us. It was agreed, New York was for us.

I've done most of the tourist spots however, 911 Ground Zero was pretty much rubble when I was there and I wasn't old enough to fully understand. We've booked the full five hour tour including the Museum and Observatory, which I'm looking forward to pay my tributes to.

We're going later than we normally go away so we can squeeze in New Years Eve and watch the fireworks. I know it's going to be rammed, but ohmiiiigoodddd NYE in NYC. THE DREAM!

I'm currently researching great little restaurants, cafés, venues, ideas and things to do, but if you have anywhere, please send it my way! Tweet me @brogantatexo, or leave a comment below.

It'll be all christmassy so I can't wait for ice skating, looking at the window displays and big decorated trees. (Cue A LOT of Instagram photos and an hour long vlog...)

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