Notes from Sunday

Luke and I spent the weekend just gone at my Dad's flat as 'rest days' because we were both exhausted, and I was mentally a little fragile after a testing few weeks. Our plans didn't expand further than 'go for a walk', 'watch the rugby' and 'go to Aldi' but somehow on Sunday morning we ended up aboard the ss Great Britain.

Loved Lately: October

Another bi-monthly favourites post for you today, gang! I'm not sure why I end up writing them every other month - perhaps I'm simply boring half of the year. It is entirely possible. This October I've been focusing on self care, self love and calm. I've been struggling a lot more with my anxiety now that the nights are darker and the days are shorter and the items in this post are now part of my combat kit to conquer my panic.

Life Lately

Life lately has been...

The inky silkiness of Luna's fur beneath my fingertips and the black-in-some-lights-brown-in-others cloud of Tilly's. | Luna's quiet, rhythmic, reassuring purr and Tilly's loud, erratic, warm rattle. | All of the beige, bland food. Side effects suck. | Slices of light slipping through my new blinds. | Reading The Goblet of Fire aloud to anyone that will listen. (It helps with my concentration which has been iffy for the past... six months.) | Taking polaroids of my babies, sleeping on the bed together for the first time, and popping the discoloured shots into a photo frame. | New glasses and a new haircut.

Lorde's Melodrama on repeat. | Nails painted with Barry M's Mustard nail varnish. | The sharp, irritating pain of a kitten climbing your leg, seeking attention, whilst you're trying to make a birthday cake. | Pink roses and fressias in the living room because Mum and I know how to treat ourselves. | New names and nicknames for Tilly every day. So far we have Tiny Baby, Tallulah, Tilly Rowena and the ever-endearing 'silly cow' when she falls off of another piece of furniture. (She's completely safe, just clumsy AF.)

Feeling the sun's rays on my face for the first time in a week whilst sat on a park bench with my love. | Crystals cleansed in tiny waterfalls and charged under the full moon. | Giving less of a fuck about making my Instagram look perfect. | Attempting to brush up on my aromatherapy knowledge and diffusing oils with water in an oil burner. | Early morning cuddles in bed with a purring baby whilst reading my Mystic Mondays tarot card of the day. | 2 for 99p book deals.

My Lush Halloween Picks

I've been doing Lush reviews since What Lauren Did Today began and, actually, several years before that. My first ever blog post (on a blog I shudder to look at now) was a review of my long-term favourite: the Seanik shampoo bar. Recently, when I was considering what I wanted my blog to be now, I considering ditching the Lush posts - they felt a little done. My old-fashioned blogging style. Like I was stuck in 2014. 

But I still adore Lush. I love their ethics and their pioneering methods for packaging-free products. I love how a simple bath bomb can really, truly, comfort me. So I thought, fuck it. I'm not dropping Lush from my blogging repertoire. But I do want to breathe a little life back into the way I talk about the newest collections and products. I want to make them more current-me-friendly. So welcome to one hell of a walk-through of my picks from the Lush Halloween collection for 2017.

Hello October

Intentions, wishes and daydreams for the tenth month of the year.

Goodbye September

Well. September was a bit of a whirlwind, wasn't it? I've been so incredibly busy (and exhausted) that, despite my best intentions, I only managed four blog posts this month, including this one. Ah well. There's always next month.

Movies I've Watched This Year (So Far)

I'm a TV show kinda gal. When it comes to stories I'm in it for the long haul - I want all of the character development and storyline crossovers, carefully crafted and woven together across multiple hours of viewing. I want insignificant conversations and back story and all of the wonderful things found folded between book pages and 22 episode box-sets.

Loved Lately: August

{ This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7, episode 7. }
Despite being a Summer month, August always holds a little bit of excitement for me. It's my little sister's birthday month and out of the three of us - being Leigh, Matt and I - Leigh's birthday is always the one we celebrate the most. Perks of being the youngest, eh?! August is also the only entire month of the year that my family are all home, all at once, and it holds the last few weeks of heat before my favourite season blows the last of it away with the promise of cosy jumpers and dog walks that won't kill me off.

Anyway! I'm sure you're sick to frickin' death about hearing about Autumn. Although I am firmly in the 'Autumn begins September 1st' camp. Here are my August and end-of-Summer favourites!

My September To Do List

Recognise this little baby from my 8 Little Happy Things post last month? She's grown so much!

Over the past few weeks I've experienced an intense revival of my love for goals. I've spoken before about the pressures I feel around a 'to do' list (especially ones scrawled in notebooks or on desk pads with 'I'm So Busy' and other intimidating phrases written on them in fancy font) but as I'm growing stronger mentally, I'm finding a lot of solace and motivation within a list of things I want to do each month, week and day.

8 Little Happy Things

Eight little happy things.

one |  Finding a bottle of Lush Fairy Dust in a charity shop for 99p.
two |  My amethyst pendant.
three | New Look bralettes.
four | High-waisted jeans.
five | Melon bags from McDonalds.
six | Just-warm baby sweetcorn tossed into fried rice.
seven | The restoration of my print wall.
eight | Holding a teeny tiny kitten in the palm of my hand.

The Crystals That Called To Me

I firmly stand by the belief that you should choose and purchase crystals in person - it's a much more personable and inspiring experience, especially when the sales assistant is so calming and knowledgeable. Mum and I headed into town last Friday morning and on the way back to the car we stopped in my favourite crystal store to buy crystals as a gift for Mum's god mother. I didn't intend on buying anything, but a few things screamed at me so I picked them up - I never ignore the internal pull towards a certain crystal, and it's always funny to read up on them later to discover they're exactly what I've been needing. On this occasion I purchased a single crystal and a necklace, and my mum treated me to a polished piece too.

The Sunday Post 20

Well this feels a little nostalgic, doesn't it?! Mainly because I haven't written a Sunday Post since the end of Blogmas and I've been dreaming more and more frequently about Autumn/Winter lately. I feel like sometimes I can't express my adoration of those seasons without fear of being branded a blogging cliché, but I'm so over censoring myself.


June was a busy ol' month for me, and I feel like I achieved a lot of things despite not setting any goals. I want to get back to creating goals and lists and generally keeping track of my life a little better so, along with another attempt at journaling, I've decided to talk a little on the blog about what I got up to this month.

4 More YouTube Channels I'm Loving Right Now

I've discovered a few YouTube channels lately and I thought they were worth sharing!

Cruelty-Free Skincare for Dry & Sensitive Skin

Proof I'm sticking to my new year's goals.

I've spoken a handful of times about the topics I studied at college (aromatherapy and massage being my favourites) but I've never really applied any of my knowledge to the ol' blog. When I was at college I ran a different blog and shared a series of posts all about skincare - how to determine your skin type, the best corresponding products to use and how ~professionals~ perform a facial routine. I really want to brush up on my knowledge and skills as I've moved away from them over the past few years and I think they're a real asset. This also falls in nicely with one of my new year's goals, which was to get back into my skincare routine! Now that I've finally figured out the type of make-up I like to wear, having clear, soft skin as a base has made all the difference.

15 Little Happy Things

Fifteen little happy things...

one | Jane the Virgin.
two | Cities: Skylines for the Xbox One.
three | 9pm walks along the harbourside.
four | £1 bunches of white roses & peonies.
five | Feeling inspired.
six | Leaving the house without my safety items and not panicking.
seven | Cooking for Luke.
eight | My Topshop midi dress (bought via a charity shop, hollaaaaa)
nine | Wearing liquid eyeliner.
ten | Blush pink everything.
eleven | Watching hot air balloons fly overhead.
twelve | A cold breeze on a hot Saturday.
thirteen | My new blog layout.
fourteen | Grace's blog, Almost Amazing Grace.
fifteen | Teeny tiny Party Rings.

What tiny things have made you happy recently?

The Game | Creative Writing


Thursday 23rd February 2017 

Songs For June

I mentioned in one of my Self-Care Sunday posts a few months ago that I'd been using music as a kind of self-therapy, and since then I've been trying to figure out exactly how to share the playlists I've created. I used to have all of my music downloaded onto my phone or I listened via YouTube but I now have a Spotify account and I just learned that you can embed entire playlists into a blog post! So here we are ~

Lush Think Pink Bath Bomb

Did you know that Lush recently re-invented their classic Think Pink bath bomb?! I didn't until I spotted it in-store yesterday. Needless to say I snapped one up real quick. It was one of the few left in stock so I'm glad I got there when I did! I also got my hands on the glorious limited edition tote bag - finally using the gift card my Nan got me for Christmas!

5 Mini Book Reviews

In an effort to talk more about the books I've been reading & loving, I thought I'd put a little spin on my usual book review style. I like to write long, in-depth reviews because I have a lot of thoughts and opinions on a lot of things but it steadily grew more daunting to write them - especially if they were for a book I've really loved. I try my best to think critically and logically about books when I review them as I'm a v emotional person and sometimes my emotions cloud my judgement, but that meant that I wasn't ever talking about the books that really moved me. Today I thought I'd challenge myself to write tiny reviews of the books I've read so far this year - using 100 words or less.

I Finally Watched Clannad: ~After Story~

{This post contains mild spoilers for Clannad}

It's been a while since I last dedicated an entire post to something I love - I usually save them for Favourites posts or mention them in passing on Twitter - but I've just finished another anime and I gotta talk about it. I wrote a little post in honour of Your lie in April as soon as I'd finished it (and stopped crying lolol) and I thought it seemed fitting to do the same now that I've finished the Clannad After Story. I like these little hidden pockets of geekiness on my blog, thrown in amongst the cruelty-free reviews and life musings - I'm always so content with myself after writing them and I know they're the kind of thing I love to discover on other people's blogs, too.

Chocolate Easter Biscuits (Vegan)

I'll start off this recipe post by apologising for having two baking posts in a row! I'd had the flapjacks post scheduled for weeks and today I ended up making some chocolate biscuits for Easter that were nice enough to earn a recipe post of their own. And since Easter is literally two days away I figured I'd just pop this up today rather than leave it too late. Scheduling issues aside - can we have a little lol at my poor icing skills? I did everything by the book (or blog - as I used the icing I shared in my gingerbread Blogmas post last December) and I still somehow messed it up. I'm just not very artistic hahah.

Easy Vegan Flapjacks

A few weeks ago I shared a photo of these flapjacks on Instagram and a few people said they'd like the recipe so here we are!

Loved Lately

It's been a while since I talked in some way about my current favourite things and my last Favourites post was back in January, so I have quite a few things to catch you up on!

Banana & Oat Breakfast Muffins (Vegan)

I've been in the kitchen again...

Seriously tho, are you guys liking these vegan recipe posts?! I'm so into baking at the moment - it's doing wonders for my mental health - and it's been quite nice to be in on the foodie conversations for a change. Since my health issues started it's been a little more than difficult for me on the food front but I feel like I'm slowly healing myself, one bake at a time - even if I can't always stomach them.

4 More Ways To Boost Positivity | Self Care Sunday

{ Self-care Sunday, episode six }

As I promised many moons ago, here is the second part of my 4 Ways To Boost Positivity post!

A Little Act of Bravery

{ Weekend diary; part two }

These days, I adhere to a very strict schedule when I'm out. Of course it's massively anxiety-driven and I probably shouldn't give in to it so often but sometimes writing down a minute-by-minute plan helps me step out of the front door. I've been using this coping technique more often than not over the past year, but on Saturday something happened: I went with the flow.

A 9AM Stroll Along the Bristol Harbourside

{ Weekend diary; part one }

Luke and I spent the weekend just gone at my Dad's flat whilst he was on holibobs so we took the opportunity to have our own little holiday.

Little Ways to Self Care 03 | Self Care Sunday

{ Self-care Sunday, volume five }

My March To Do List

 Hello March. Man, am I glad to see you!

Dealing With Social Anxiety Online

I wrote and published the bare bones this post sometime last Summer, but I deleted it within minutes. I didn't feel comfortable with it, I'm not sure why, but I've been experiencing some pretty crippling social anxiety related to my blog and social media this year and I figured it was time for this post (now expanded upon and revised) to see the light of day.
I've always had difficulty making friends. I'm always very quiet, shy and observant when around new people and because of this I'm usually branded rude or arrogant before I've really had a chance to get to know someone. This isn't completely the other person's fault - I'm not very good at eye contact or small talk, and even when someone is trying to talk to me I get so nervous and lost within my anxiety that I just don't know how to reply. Since writing this blog and becoming a lot more active on social media, I've noticed that this trait also extends to my online world.

Fluffy Vegan Biscoff Pancakes

At the beginning of the year I had an idea: to go through every celebration this year and veganise my traditional recipes in order to create my own recipe bible. Now that I’m doing better with food I’ve rekindled my love of baking and I can picture myself, aged 60, teaching my grandchildren how to bake vegan cupcakes and biscuits and muffins. As for the present, I dream of being the person that bakes everyone’s birthday cakes & for people to just know something is going to be good because I’m the one that made it. Gifting my bakes has given me a real sense of purpose and accomplishment and has proven to be a calming and welcome distraction from my crazy anxiety brain.

The Happy List 12

Pretty things are beginning to grow ~
I don't know why but every time I've tried to write a 'life lately' type post this year, my fingers have seized up and my brain just cannot bring itself to string sentences together. I'm not sure where this sudden paranoia and need for privacy has come from so I'm not quite sure how to deal with it but in the mean time I'm going to put together another Happy List. They feel safe to me right now, I don't have to talk too much if I don't want to and I like to record happy things so here we are!

4 YouTube Channels I'm Loving Right Now

It's quite funny how little time I spend watching live TV these days. You'll more often find me watching YouTube videos or scrolling Netflix if I'm in the mood to watch something, and today I thought I'd share with you some YouTube channels that I've been loving lately.

New To The Shelves 04

I haven't posted a book haul in a good ol' while and that's literally because I haven't bought books in ages. I went through an awful reading slump last year and I can feel my taste in books evolving (which I'll touch on in another post if you'd like?) which has meant more books have been leaving my shelves than joining them - until recently, when I bought five books within the space of about a week. Today I thought I'd share them with you, along with some DVDs I've also added to my collection! Yay!

21 iPhone Wallpapers to Comfort & Inspire | Self Care Sunday

{ Self-care Sunday, volume four }

In my first Self-Care Sunday post I mentioned that I'd revamped my iPhone using different wallpapers and it's made such a small but positive improvement to my day. Think about how many times you pick up your phone in a day - twenty? Thirty? Probably more. Now imagine each time you click to check the time or to go on Twitter you're met with a positive, affirming quote. You're constantly exposed to it and I find that over time the words begin to stick in my mind, whether I'm aware of it or not!

DIY Washi Tape Jars

One of my new ~ life goals ~ is to flex my creative muscles doing something other than writing. Things like painting, drawing and any other creative pursuit that requires hand-eye-co-ordination doesn't come easily to me at all but I figured that I shouldn't not do something just because I'm no good at it, should I?! Over the past few months I've been attempting very basic DIYs and today I thought I'd share with you my latest try!

Not only is this DIY incredibly straight-forward and budget-friendly, it's also a great way to recycle and reuse things that would otherwise be thrown away. Allow me to introduce you to my washi tape jars.

Vegan Double Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Icing

If you don't follow me on social media you may have missed my birthday last Friday and the abundance of vegan junk food I shared on Instagram. The star of the show was definitely my birthday cake, though, and today I'm here to share the recipe!

My February To Do List

Hello February! Let's do this.

Little Ways to Self Care 02 | Self Care Sunday

{ Self-care Sunday, volume three }

It's only volume three of Self-Care Sunday but I'm already beginning to feel the benefits of starting this series! I have a little section in my notebook where I jot down 1-2 ways I've practiced self-care each day and it's always something I think about during the day. Now that I've set myself the target of sharing every other week (or however often I post these) I feel I'm holding myself responsible to make sure I self-care so I, in turn, can prompt you to do the same. This practice what you preach malarkey is doing me the world of good!

Seven little ways I've practised self-care this week...

Anime | What I've Watched So Far

Considering I'm a massive pain in the ass when it comes to watching new TV shows and things, I watched four new animes last year. I know that doesn't seem a lot but considering I watch things over and over again I could only get so far...

Current Cruelty-Free Favourites

It's been a while since I shared some favourites with you so today I'm gonna talk about a few of my current favourite cruelty-free beauty bits. Four of them I received for Christmas and have used pretty much every day since and two of them are items I've been using for a while but haven't gotten around to raving about yet.

4 Ways To Boost Positivity in 2017 | Self Care Sunday

{ Self-care Sunday, volume two }

Something I struggle to maintain is the feeling of positivity. I'm not sure if it's just a bad habit or if it's a trait hard-wired into my DNA but I can be quite a negative, cynical person and I know it's hurting me a lot more than it's helping. Over the next few years I hope to take significant steps towards becoming a more positive person and today, for my next instalment of Self-Care Sunday, I thought I'd share a few little things I'll be trying this year to aid that.

The Happy List 11

In order to make way for my new Self Care Sunday series I've had to go back to the drawing board regarding my Sunday Posts. On the one hand I like keeping track of things that happen through-out the month in those little posts but on the other hand I really don't get up to a lot and I felt like I was repeating myself a lot of the time. Instead I've decided to bring back my Happy Lists in order to still share some of the lovely things that happen without being bogged down with 'I still can't leave the house'.

Little Ways to Self Care 01 | Self Care Sunday

{ Self-care Sunday, episode one }
I've been thinking a lot about self care recently. January is always a particularly difficult month for a lot of people - it's dark, it's rainy, it's cold, we don't have Christmas to look forward to... - and although I've been doing pretty well, I've also had a few key appointments to go through / look forward to so I've been feeling a little down and on edge. To combat this I've been practicing a lot of self-care and it inspired me (along with a quick Twitter poll) to document it more often on my blog. And so: Self Care Sunday was born! I do love a good blog series and although I'm a little late starting I thought it might be a nice one to run through 2017. It co-insides with my 2017 goals rather well, too!

Pokemon Moon

I received a copy of Pokémon Moon for Christmas (thanks Nan!) and now that I've logged a decent amount of hours in game play I thought I'd share my thoughts so far on the game and the new region, Alola.

Mini Charity Shop Haul

On Wednesday my Dad & I had our first adventure day of the year and we decided to go charity shopping. You all know that charity shopping is one of my favourite things to do - I even bought most of my Christmas presents from them last year! - and it's especially fun after New Year because a lot of people will have de-cluttered after Christmas and showered their local charity shops with goodies for me to buy!

Hello 2017

Hello 2017!