The Yearly Rundown (2016)

Every year pretty much since I started blogging (even back in my livejournal days!) I have done this yearly review.

I just love having something to look back on in the years to come and see how far I’ve come. This year for sure has been quite something! Apologies for the lack of blog posts this year – but if you read on, you can see I’ve been a bit busy…

In 2016:

1. What did you do that you’d never done before? Bought my first home, went scuba diving and got myself a ginger cat!


2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? To exercise more, buy a house and improve clinical skills at work. Well the last two happened..! For 2017 I want to go back to number 1 on last years last years list which – to exercise more. I did about 7 weeks of the couch to 5K over Jan/Feb and then gave up. Back on it in January. Need to look up Zumba classes around Bicester too. Although I am cycling to and from Bicester station now so that’s something..!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? One of my friends had a gorgeous baby girl, Emilia 🙂

4. Did anyone close to you die? No.

5. What countries did you visit? France, Spain (Barcelona and Valencia) and Furteventura


6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? I honestly feel like I’m not lacking anything right now. Life is pretty darn sweet…

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory? Moving into my first home with J was a pretty big date and J finishing his Nursing degree at University.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Passing the Advanced Paediatric Life Support Course, Buying a House and getting the balls to try scuba diving 💪

9. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not much apart from the odd D&V 👌

10. What was the best thing you bought?  House, Tigger (cat) and Holiday to Fuerteventura with J

11. Whose behavior merited celebration? Mum for supporting me greatly with the house buying and J for still putting up with me 😂

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? An old college friend of mine and someone I’d rather not mention as they’ll probably read this.

13. Where did most of your money go? Household Appliances and Furniture..!

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Again – Holiday and House..!

15. What song/album will always remind you of 2016? Craig David – When the baseline drops. Welcome back Craig David!!

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier!
ii. thinner or fatter? The same
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer but worth it ☺️

17. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercising.

18. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying and Procrastinting

19. How will you be spending Christmas?: I spent it working night shifts but managed to see family in between. Looking forward to New Years with friends ☺️

20. Did you fall in love in 2016? Only more in love than I was already – now that I have two favourite boys ☺️


21. How many one night stands in this last year? None.

22. What was your favorite TV program this year?  Probably Bake Off and surprisingly Planet Earth. Proper grown up now!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Not hate – but dislike yes.

25. What was the best book you read? Harry Potter 1-3

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Seeing Elshay back in Cafe 1001 took me by complete surprise. Miss going to underground gigs and seeing unsigned talent first hand.


27. What did you want and get? A House and a Cat – got both 👌

28. What did you want and not get? Nothing springs to mind

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Probably Fantastic Beasts and where to find them. Also enjoyed finally watching Inside Out.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 28 and did a joint birthday do at Junkyard Golf Club in Shoreditch and was treated my J to a slap up meal at the Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield


31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? B big more productive with my time and having more time for family / friends.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? Not greatly changed to be honest.

33. What kept you sane? J, for sure.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Erm, Brexit?!

36. Who did you miss? Seeing close friends more often.

37. Who was the best new person you met? Some new work colleagues 


**Please excuse  the mid-nights, eye bag posing **

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016: If you put your mind to it, you can and will achieve it.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year? “If you gave me a chance I would take it – It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll make it – Know with all of your heart, you can’t shake me – When I am with you, there’s no place I’d rather be”

Best of 2016:

1. Party: My brothers Disney Themed 30th!

2. Show: Didn’t see any *hides in shame*

3. Album: KT Tunstall’s new music

4. Movie: Fantatsic Beasts and where to find them

5. Song: Craig David – When the baseline drops

6. Experience: Scuba Diving and moving into new home with J.


7. Concert: Erm… don’t think I went to any? 😱

8. Book: Harry Potter 1-3

9. Month: May, August, September and October

10. Day: A friends wedding in May and Moving House Day in October

Hopes for 2017:

1. Predict something that you think will happen in 2017?: It’s going to take a lot to beat it…!

2. What do you hope changes about your country?: People see the benefits of the NHS and stop abusing it

3. What do you hope for yourself?: That I get a little fitter and progress further in my career

4. What do you hope for your family?: That we all remain in good health.

5. What do you hope for your best friend?: That they’re happy.

During 2016:

1. Where were you when it began?: In bed trying to sleep between day shifts

2. Did you stay up?: Till 12:30

3. What was your new year wish?: Didn’t make one

4. How many boy/girlfriends?: One.

5. Break up?:  0 👌

6. Have any crushes?: Nope.

7. Care to mention names?:

8. New friends?: Few work colleagues

9. Had to say goodbye?: Nope.

10. Missed anyone?: Some close friends

11. Win anything?: Just at life 👌

12. Best place you went to?: Valencia


13. Worse place you went to?: Can’t think of any.

14. Happiest moment?: Going on holiday with J, watching friends get married, getting my own house and bringing Tigger (cat) home

15. How was your birthday?: Pretty different trying out Junkyard Golf and experiencing dinner at the Crazy Bear.

16. Best present?: Dinner at the Crazy Bear with new dress & heels to go with it, Smart TV for new home, and 2 glider lessons and membership for Bicester Gliding Centre.

The best present I got someone was J’s birthday present – Scuba Diving with Penguins in Torquay’s zoo and aquarium.


Well that concludes an awesome year that was 2016.

My goal for 2017 is mainly just to use my time and plan things a bit better, without giving myself too much of a hard time! Blogging more is definitely on the list though. Maybe I should start using an actual paper diary again. Yes. That worked well before, when I actually used it that is…


Till next time (year)!

Gem x

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Feeling Festive with The Kettle Shed

This last week I have definetly been feeling more in the festive spirit, especially now that the house is coming more together, the Christmas decorations are up and one thing that Christmas focuses around massively of course is the incredible food and drink on offer!

Fortunately for me I was sent some some lovely Christmas Infusions from The Kettle Shed (whose tea I have reviewed before me here) to trial over the festive period. 

Gingerbread

The gorgeous smell of this tea hits you as you open the box and smells exactly like gingerbread. Made with rooibos, ginger cinnamon and vanilla, this smell comes off strongly in the flavour too and definitely  has a significant kick of ginger to it!

On the instructions it says you can have it with or without milk – I tried it with both and preferred it without the milk to keep the flavour more locked in.  

As the ginger and vanilla had quite a kick, I’ve been adding a drop of honey or half teaspoon of sugar to add a touch of sweetness to it – but I always add a touch of sugar or honey to any tea i have (such a sweet tooth). That being said – its definitely a warming and enjoyable brew.



Eggnog 

A more subtle flavour – eggnog is quite similar in taste to the gingerbread but less ginger-bitter and has a much more subtle taste. It has pretty similar ingredients to the gingerbread (replacing the ginger for nutmeg) and again can be had with or without milk (again I preferred it without milk and a touch of sugar). 

What I love about The Kettle Shed is not only is the tea packed full of antioxidants, the packaging is completely recyclable and the fuso bags are also completely biodegradable. What’s more, every box of fuso tea bags you buy The Kettle Shed donates tea to homeless shelters across the UK. How lovely! 

These brews are perfect after those days of attempting to get 101 things done on your to-do list and leaving yourself exhausted, these brews are lovely to come home and just put your feet up with (biscuits optional but recommended..!) 

Next on my list of their brews to try is Carrot Cake which just sounds DEVINE. You can see their full list of available brews over here.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Till next time! 

Gem x  

St Albans Cathedral Afternoon Tea and Tour

Whilst looking for something to do for Valentines day this year, I came across a Groupon which seemed like a nice day out thing to do. Alas, when I paid for it and called to check availability, they only had two days left that I could actually do due to shift work and many people already taking up the Groupon offer (note for future self: call the place before buying your vouchers as some chances are the popular dates are already booked up and then vouchers may not be refundable!). Alas, the voucher was not wasted as even though i couldn’t take J with me due to conflicting schedules, on 8th February I took my Mum for a well overdue day out instead!

The thing that intrigued me about the offer to begin with, was not only the afternoon tea but also getting the chance to explore an area not so far from me that I hadn’t really visited properly before whilst also trying to actually somewhat stick to my 2016 goals here by visiting more places around the UK.


As soon as we arrived, although a bit wet and windswept, we were greeted by very polite staff who told us where we needed to go and was happy to answer any questions we had prior to starting. As we had a bit of time we warmed up with a cuppa tea and a nosy round the gift shop before starting the tour.

  

The tour (an optional part of the deal) was well worth doing and although the tour guide was relatively new to the role, she sure knew her history about St Alban’s and the Cathedral itself. The tour covered how the Cathedral came to be and every change it’s been through including its rulings and architectural changes throughout the centuries. There were opportunities to take pictures throughout, seats along the way (the tour was nearly 2 hours long!) and plenty of opportunities to have any questions we had answered. A very informative tour to say the least. They don’t currently charge for the tour itself (as it’s relatively new to the cathedral to try and attract more visitors) although I wouldn’t be surprised if this changed soon enough.

After the tour it was time for afternoon tea! We had picked our sandwich and scone preference before the tour and so pretty much came out prepared to us not long after sitting down. We also had the choice of a variety of teas to accompany our treats, which was a pleasant surprise. We had a look at the standard menu to find that the food on offer looked filling and reasonably priced for St Albans (where some places can be quite expensive to eat/drink at there) however we stuck with our more than expected afternoon tea dishes! The choices were quite standard (cheese/pickle, salmon/cream cheese and the like), however it was perfect for picky eaters such as my Mum and were actually pretty tasty.


What really made the experience even more, was the staff around the Cathedral and Abbots Kitchen Staff. Everyone was really accommodating and even the manager came to ask us what we thought of the tour/tea as it was a new venture for the Cathedral and wanted to gage peoples reactions to it, but also had a general conversation which made it more personal and not just for their benefit.

They’re really trying to bring more life into the Cathedral and I think this deal (although not much more expensive to do without Groupon anyway) has definitely worked in their favor as I would happily go back to this beautiful Cathedral now in a heartbeat.

To find out more about St Albans Cathedral and to plan your visit, you can visit their website: www.stalbanscathedral.org

Till next time!

Gem x

 

 

London Haunted Pub Tour with Lantern Ghost Tours 

On Friday 30th October and with the Halloween weekend looming, I was excited about yet another blogging event organised by the lovely Lauren of LDNmeetup. This time it was the London Haunted Pub Tour (very fitting for the weekend) with Lantern Ghost Tours.

The 2 hour tour kicked off at Temple underground station and took us through the back streets of London around Fleet Street. Our tour guide was excellent and told  us many stories of people in History and what happened in the landmarks we came across. Our tour guide painted a good picture of what life was like back then and being able to stand in the places where history was made was pretty cool to think about. What was good was that the stories themselves wern’t too long and drawn out, keeping the people on the tour interested and avoided us getting to cold standing outside for long periods of time.

 

I don’t want to give too many spoilers as to what was included for those that are interested in doing the tour – but the main stories we learnt about were Spencer Percival (the only Prime Minister to be assassinated), Samuel Johnson (who compiled the English Dictionary back in 1755) and where he lived and Sweeney Todd (the barber of Fleet Street).

The tour also involved visiting 3 quirky pubs along the way:
The Old Bank of England, The George and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
all of which were also steeped in gory history and definitely added a more relaxed and social feel to the tour. It was nice meeting new bloggers I hadn’t previously met before and definitely eased the nerves by having a drink or two throughout the tour!

 

I think this tour could have covered more ground, but for 2 hours you sure do learn a lot and cram a fair few places in! I think if it was longer people would begin to lose interest in the history, or get too drunk at the pubs in between to really appreciate it! Overall, it was a good little tour giving a brief insight into just some of London’s warped history. I think if you’re looking for something different for an evening and fancy being a tourist in your own city, then this tour is a good starting point.
Plus, if you do an evening one like we did, can make a night out of it after!

If your interested in the Haunted London Pub Crawl or any other of the Lantern Ghost Tours, head over to their webpage here for more information.

Till next time!
Gem x

*This tour was a pre-organised event and I was given this tour at a discounted price of £5 in exchange for a review of the tour, however all thoughts and opinions are my own and still recommend checking out their tours!

** Apologies for the picture quality, my camera is a bit broken and had to rely on my iPhone for photos! 

Yays and Nays #12 

Yays

Trip to Croatia

I finally went to Croatia with one of my besties! Safe to say it was lovely actually getting to spend some decent time with her what with our conflicting shift patterns getting in the way. Yeah OK it may have been even better had we gone more in season, say September, but apart from not being able to go to Hvar island, we still did everything else we had set out to do and allowed us to take it more chilled as opposed to ramming as much in as possible. There’s always a positive to failed plans..!

Read all about what we got up to in Dubrovnik and Split.


  

Work
Not only am I feeling a lot more settled in my job now (finally!) I have also been put onto an APLS (advanced paediatric life support) course in January. I was feeling a bit bummed about not getting on A&E course this year, however this will tide me over for now.

Also in relation to work (I’m going to probably horrendously jinx this now as its only provisional), but not only have I been given Christmas Day off as requested, but I’m also down to finish nights 24th and not be back until 31st. Result..!

Blend Active
I bought a blender! (Is that sad to be excited about? Probably).
I’d been debating getting the Blend Active for a while now, but I’m glad I held off as I saw it reduced right down to £15 in Sainsburys! It was a no brainer at that point really.

So far I’ve only taken blended smoothies in for my night shifts when it’s usually too busy or late to have proper meal and does the job pretty well avoiding the snaking on rubbish. I’m pretty poor at getting all my fruit and veggies in (particularly on night mode!) so this has solved that problem (although do snack still, just not as much).
It’s so easy to use, easy to clean after and has so far blended everything I’ve put in it really well! Some fruits take a bit longer, same goes for putting ice in, but still gets there eventually! I particularly like how the bottle you blend it in is the bottle you take it away in! You literally unscrew it from the blender base, pop your drinking cap on top and you’e ready to go!

I’ve only tried fruit ones at the moment… I will slowly start introducing the veggies soon once I work out tastes and what go together well. Any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or a link below!


Blogger Event
Last Friday I went to my 4th (yes, 4th!) blogging event this year which was the Haunted Pub tour hosted by Lantern Ghost Tours and arranged by Lauren of LDNmeetup. Expect to see a review of the tour soon, but I will say that it was awesome meeting more new bloggers and getting away with being a total tourist in your own city! Thanks again Lauren for organising such well organised and enjoyable events!



  

Sleep!
My sleep is finally improving! After having a frustrating sleep pattern for the last 2-3 years, where I get up every 3-4 hours in the night and pretty much always feel groggy for hours in the mornings, I actually had enough the other week and made a GP appointment to see what else he suggested I could do.

I had literally tried everything from lavender sprays, reading before bed, taking Sominex, stopping caffeine after 6pm, shutting off my phone/laptop at 9pm, taking baths and even tried listening mediation music through the night.
The only real cause the GP could think of, as I’m otherwise pretty good in terms of my diet/ exercise and lifestyle habits, was my shift patterns I do and just getting myself into that pattern over the years.
As a solution to try and stop this, he asked me to try taking Chlorphenamine (Piriton) before bed time. I know other colleagues of mine that take this for the same effect, but didn’t want to just start taking different meds without seeking other possible solutions with another healthcare professional.
So far, after taking it just over a week, I’m still getting up in the night, usually after 4-5 hours, but I definitely feel that I don’t fidget half as much as I did and generally feel more rested when I get up in the mornings. It’s still not perfect by any means… but give it time.


I’m not saying rush out and buy some of your having sleeping difficulties – you should always try other ways such as those listed above and always seek medical advice before taking anything regularly, even if you can buy it over the counter.

Nays

The only thing I can really say in terms of Nays is that my shifts have been a bit all over the place recently making it difficult to see friends, but it’s all part of the job and I am trying to make the most of my days off by seeing who I can in between.

Also with the shift patterns, I’m really missing doing Zumba. Poor rxcuse really, but a totally valid one! Really need to get back on that… or at least go back to YouTube workouts and/or Blogilates. Yes Gemma, sort it out.

Anyhoo

Till next time!
Gem x

Rosy Lee Tea

So most of you know I’m British and I love my tea. Heck, I’ve mentioned it numerous times in previous blog posts and even my Christmas and birthday pressies from friends and family now tend to consist of something tea related!

Whilst attending the Bloggers Food and Drink Festival back in July, I came across Rosy Lee tea – a London tea brand all about just that, Londoners who love tea. After being intrigued by the lady in the tea-cup hat and hearing about the brand itself and its aim to make good quality, proper english tea for people to enjoy ‘anytime’ (whether it be first one of the day, afternoon with friends or, you know, just because you fancy it) and was excited to try some out at home.


I was lucky enough to receive 4 tea bags, to really put the tea to the test. I’m not just saying this because I’m blogging about it, but I’ve got to say that it is by far one of my favourite black teas i have tasted! A really strong and bold tea flavour, even with the milk and sugar I added. Perfect for the mornings where I’m getting up at 5:45am! And even the packaging itself makes you feel as though you’re in for a treat. Being red, gold and white in colour to give it that Royal/British feel.


Rosy Lee Tea is available from selected stockists and I can safely say that when I do come across Rosy Lee Tea again, I will be grabbing a few tins!

For more information on Rosy Lee Tea and available stockists, check out the links below!

http://www.rosyleetealondon.com/
facebook.com/rosyleetealondon

twitter.com/rosyleetweat

Till next time!
Gem x

The Good Brownie Co.

So on Monday I got to attend my second ever blogging event!

Arranged by The Bloggers Hub – it was The Bloggers Food and Drink Festival and was held in the very tropical Kanaloa cocktail club in Chancery Lane.

It was much more of a PR based blogger event as opposed to a social blogger one, but had a blast talking with a few bloggers and many many food and drink brands. There was a real variety of brands at the event – some relatively new just starting out and some more established ones – all of whom were very passionate about their products and were very generous in allowing us to try and take home some samples to try and taste test!

The first one I had to try was of course a pretty decent sized brownie from The Good Brownie Co, because duh, its chocolate!

The Good Brownie Co was founded by David (and his wife) and his love for baking brownies! It all started a couple years ago when David went around Camden Market giving out free samples for the public to try and see their response. After a great response, they have now grown pretty fast and now bake morning and evening, and deliver around the offices of the London area Monday – Friday.

For a brand that is quite small, it was amazing to see the variety of brownies they actually had to offer – a full list of which can be seen at goodbrownies.co.uk. They can also cater for certain types of allergies as all brownies are made to order and are all wheat and gluten free!

I know what your thinking… wheat and gluten free… that must mean it’s really dry and bland… but my gosh it was far from it! I’ve got to say (and I’m not just saying this because it was a free sample and I promised a review) but the brownie I had (honeycomb) was one of the most moist yet light brownies I have ever had and was so flavoursome. I had my brownie two days after the event and took it to work with me and it still tasted so fresh. Although very chocolatey and the honeycomb obviously quite sweet, it wasn’t too heavy or sickly at all. It was just the perfect brownie consistency.

Unfortunately, as I was at work I completely forgot to take a photo of it before devouring it in the space of around 2 minutes! So instead, here was the simple yet very practical packaging it came in! The little cardboard box it came in was handy and pretty sturdy too and it managed not to get completely smushed in my work rucksack. Winner!

You can check out some of the mouth-watering photos – check out their Instagram page

If you live and work in the London area and are looking to host a party, treat your friends or impress your work colleagues, I would most definitely recommend getting some of these brownies in! They’ll go down a storm and will definitely make you the office favourite!

To check out the range of flavours and options available to order, go check them out over at goodbrownies.co.uk

Thanks once again David for being so generous and allowing me to trial your amazing brownies and will most definitely be looking into placing some orders soon!

Till next time!

Gem x

The Harry Potter Studio Tour

For one of my Spoon’s birthday’s this year I decided to get her and myself tickets to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesden.

Neither of us had been before and being mad Harry Potter fans (her more so than me, I still need to read the books!) we were stoked to finally be going! With conflicting shift work between us, it actually took us 3 months from her birthday in March to June to actually book a date we could both do that was at a decent time (they have set time slots for the tour so you can’t just rock up on the day as there would probably be some serious over-crowding otherwise!).
I don’t think the recent Groupon offers and Half Term /Bank Holidays helped with this, but either way, we got there eventually!

Grand Hall
Grand Hall

What I wasn’t expecting was the sheer size of the place. They literally had everything Harry Potter you could think of – from entering and starting the tour through the Grand Hall, the crazy Purple Bus (as featured in the Prisoner of Azkaban), The house Harry stays in on Privet Drive. You can walk down Diagon Alley, walk along the Hogwarts Bridge, marvel over the (inedible) chocolate feast (as seen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and just so many cool props to gawp over I couldn’t even begin to list them all!

Privet Drive
The house where Harry lived on Privet Drive with the Dursley’s

Bridge
The Hogwarts Bridge

diagon alley
Diagon Alley

chess
Chess Pieces

There were a few interactive things to do to break up the staring at awesome things.

We took advantage of literally everything on offer (sonot26and27yearsold) and participated in some fun with green screens by pretending to ride a broom with a wind machine so that the final film looks as though you’re flying through London on a broom. Pretty cool! They also had an option to do the same but with the Blue car (featured in Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone) flying alongside the Hogwarts Train! This would be a better option if you went as a group and would also save money on the pricey photo/dvd purchases afterwards! We also took part in the wand practice, learning some of the moves they do against enemies in the films (super cheesy, but whatever!)

Wand Practice
Wand practice 

brrom flying
Photo of me flying on a broom over Hogwarts!

A new addition to the tour was Platform 9 and 3 quarters with the Hogwarts Express docked in the station – which you can actually board and take a peek into the carriages! SO cool.

Hogwarts Express10364124_10153009561521523_7750195844981875842_n

You can also pretend to be off to Hogwarts with a green screen and projectors showing the country side moving past, along with some scary things! It was super cheesy but awesome and had to get some photos!

Off to Hogwarts

Too much excitement made us peckish so stopped for a Butterbeer! – An acquired taste as it is very sweet!

Butterbeer

After a good 3 hours, we completed the tour and had a nosey round the extensive gift shop. They had some pretty cool gifts in there, t-shirts, scarves, hoodies, glasses, wands, Monopoly Harry Potter, puzzles, unique pieces of jewellery and sweets – you name it, it’s in there! I just stuck with my photo of me flying a broom and the Souvenir Guide Book i purchased with the ticket.

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and as soon as it was done I wanted to go round and do it again! It’s safe to say I’ll definitely be returning in the future!
Till next time!
Gem x

MooGoo Skincare (and Dusty Girls) Product Review

Back at the end of January, I was fortunate enough to land a spot at the nyLDNmeet blogger event in London. You an read more about the awsome day here.

At the event, there were representatives from Australian skincare brand MooGoo who were looking to expand their products to the UK and European market. We were told about the ethos behind the brand, how they have got to the position they are in today and how they plan on expanding their business further. We got to try samples of their popular products from the MooGoo range and even got sent freebies to try out and review.

I signed up for the Full Cream Moisturiser and the Blemish Cleansing Cream (my skin had been seriously suffering from dryness and blemish breakout from the British winter weather) so thought these products would definitely get some use by me! Which they have! I also got to pick up a small Milk Wash sample at the end of the event which i have also been using regularly.

I have been using the Milk Wash most evenings to remove make up and I’ve got to say it’s been working a treat! It removes eye make up perfectly without leaving my eyes sore and makes my skin feel super soft – I will definitiely be purchasing more when the samples run out! A lot of the facial washes I’ve used in the past have really dried my skin out, particularly in colder weather, but this doesn’t at all.

After washing, I have been applying the Blemish Cleansing Moisturiser to my face and neck. After using this for around a month now, I can honestly say that my skin has broken out less compared to how much it usually does. It really soothes sore/dry areas of skin and while it does takes some use (a few weeks) to notice effective results, persistence definitely pays off.

During the winter, I also tend to get really dry elbows, knees and ankles. This is where the Full Cream Moisturiser has come in to play. I have been applying this after each shower and instantly soothes tight dry skin. It leaves a silky smooth feeling that i just love, especially after shaving my legs (TMI?) so will definitely be purchasing another one of these once this runs out. These bottles sure go a long way!

Lastly, two weeks ago I received another package from MooGoo with one of their Dusty Girls products to try out. Dusty Girls is Natural Mineral make up made by the founders of MooGoo. Their make up claims to provide great coverage using natural ingredients that don’t irritate the skin.

I got sent the Earth Cream in Light (also available in Medium) and is a cream that provides sheer coverage, sun protection and soothes the skin. I have only used this for a little while, but I like the coverage so far. The only thing that I had to get used to was the smell of it. Due to it being made of natural products, the smell was a little bit ‘dirt’ smelling I guess, but once its on it’s really not noticeable at all. This cream really is an all rounder and perfect for us girls with fair skin looking for a light coverage and sun protection!

This is my first product review so hope that it has done the MooGoo brand justice! I can’t wait for the MooGoo brand to fully launch in the UK, I think they’ll sell really well and fly off the shelves!
I feel privileged to have got to try out these products and just wanted to share my thanks to Linda and Beth for their time, effort and generosity at the event and I hope the brand continues to do well.

Till next time!
Gem x

The yearly rundown

Ok, so every year for the last 6 of them I have done this year review. Again, I like to have something to look back on in the years to come and see how far I’ve come when I’m feeling low:

So, without further ado…

In 2014:

1. What did you do that you’d never done before? Took an entirely solo trip to Budapest. Good trip! Can’t wait to return!

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I can’t remember what mine were for this year, but for next year I do want to actually try and save some money and get into some sort of healthy eating and fitness routine without being too strict about it. Just being more experimental with food, fitness and routines. Hopefully the eating and exercise will also help with the awful sleeping pattern I have. Here’s hoping!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Kyli’s brother Ryan had a little boy, Elias.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Nan.

5. What countries did you visit? Florida, Hungary, Ibiza, Morocco

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? More motivation.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory? 3rd Feb,18th August, 25th Oct and 4th November

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Erm, finding a job I love?

9. Did you suffer illness or injury? Just cold and flu.

10. What was the best thing you bought?: Trips to Budapest, Edinburgh and Morocco.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration? My whole family for going through a pretty tough year saying final goodbyes to Nan and Grandad and Charlie for being so strong with everything that’s happened this year and building up the courage to leave her job of 7 years for an awsome one 🙂

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? No one in particular. If anyone made me feel like that, they wouldn’t be in my life.

13. Where did most of your money go? Trips and general stuff like food and social life etc

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Starting new job and trips to Budapest, Ibiza and Morocco

15. What song/album will always remind you of 2014? ALBUM – George Ezra. SONG – (see previous top 10 songs of 2014 post)

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? In some respects happier, in some respects sadder.
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner, I think.
iii. richer or poorer? About the same?

17. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercising!

18. What do you wish you’d done less of? Procrastinating.

19. How will you be spending Christmas? Traditional pressie exchange and drinks @ The Ascott on Christmas Eve, Round Mums on Christmas Day then on 3 night shifts, Woop Woop!

20. Did you fall in love in 2014? Maybe 🙂

21. How many one night stands in this last year? None.

22. What was your favorite TV program this year?: Arrow, Adventure Time, Friends With Better Lives, Archer and Bobs Burgers

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Nah.

25. What was the best book you read? The Fault In Our Stars

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? George Ezra and Royal Blood.

27. What did you want and get? A man! Haha!

28. What did you want and not get? Nothing in particular comes to mind!

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Probably Inbetweeners 2, just toooo funny.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 26 and had an awsome rock night out at the Electric Ballroom in Camden.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Not being messed around so much on the dating scene I guess.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? Probably a bit more mainstream than recent years.

33. What kept you sane? Friends and Family

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most? Dunno.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Anything involving wreckng the NHS further.

36. Who did you miss? Michelle and Armani. This year has been crazy busy to spend enough quality time together. Next year will be better for sure.

37. Who was the best new person you met? Aaron and the 2 Madi’s

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014 – If you don’t love yourself, then no one else will.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year? “Everything is changing and I’ve been here for too long. Going through the same things, I’ve been hurting too long, got to move on. Say I, I can’t do this anymore and if everything is changing, I know you’ll find it”

Best of 2014:

1. Party: Dani’s Hen Do in Manchester, My rocking 26th in Camden, the Spa Party in Budapest and all of Ibiza pretty much!

2. Show: Lee Evans!

3. Album: George Ezra – Wanted On Voyage

4. Movie: Inbetweeners 2.

5. Song: (see top 10 list)

6. Experience: Solo trip to Budapest. Chris and Dani’s wedding. Meeting Aaron on Tinder. The family all getting together after Nans funeral.

7. Concert: Seeing Paul Van Dyke in Amnesia, Ibiza

8. Book: The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

9. Month: February, April, May, June, October I don’t know.

10. Day: Chris and Danis wedding, Charlie’s Graduation, meeting Aaron.

Hopes for 2015:

1. predict something that you think will happen in 2015?: For a better year than this one..!

2. what do you hope changes about your country?: That Nurses get the recognition they deserve and stop being screwed over by the government!

3. what do you hope for yourself?: That I get a little healthier and progress well in my job when I get to return to A&E in March.

4. what do you hope for your family?: That we still all support eachother and stay close.

5. what do you hope for your best friend?: That they’re happy.

During 2014:

1. where were you when it began?: 02 academy islington.

2. did you stay up?: Yeah

3. what was your new year wish?: Can’t remember.

4. how many boy/girlfriends?: One.

5. broke up?: 0. Had a few dates that didn’t work out, but whatever.

6. have any crushes?: Nothing school-girl like.

7. care to mention names?: Nope.

8. new friends?: Few from Budapest, few from work.

9. had to say goodbye?: To Nan and Grandad

10. missed anyone?: Yeah, Michelle!

11. win anything?: No..?

12. best place you went to?: Budapest, Morocco and Florida, but Florida’s always awsome.

13. worst place you went to?: Erm… can’t think of anywhere!

14. happiest moment?: Paul Van Dyk’s performance in Ibiza and the first date with Aaron

15. how was your birthday?: Pretty banging.

16. best present?: View from the O2 experience for my birthday 🙂

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