2018 GOALS

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Happy New Year! It seems five minutes since I was thinking about the things I wanted to achieve during 2017, but here we are again!

Before I start, I would just like to say a huge thank you to anyone who has taken the time to support my blog over the past 12 months, I can’t believe I’m celebrating 3 years already.

I don’t really believe in New Years resolutions so I never set myself any in 2017. Instead I set myself a number of things I wanted to focus on or achieve during the year which I found much more motivational. Looking back, some things I have succeeded in, others not so much, but thats okay. The goals I set myself were mainly to do with my blog and growing it. However this year has been BUSY and I haven’t been able to commit the time I had wanted to blogging, I even considered giving it up on more than one occasion but I’m still giving it my best.

In terms of traffic to my site, this year has been the best, and in particular the last quarter has been my best in terms of views and visitors since I started my blog, despite not really posting much! Theres still a few things on my to-do list from last year I’m going to bring forward to 2018, the rest are going to be more personal goals to keep me focused during the year.

01. Blog redesign. I know I have been saying this for sometime now so I really just need to get on with it. Along side this I want to focus more on improving my social media platforms. I feel that I lost interest in instagram this year, however I’m going to start posting a lot more and not concentrate about the images fitting a certain ‘theme’ – I want it to be a lot more personal and hope to see an improvement in terms of numbers and how regular I post.

02. Open myself up to more opportunities. Make an effort to network more and attend events to help support my blog. I went to my first blogger event and have worked with some great brands this year but need to find the time to put ‘myself out there’ a bit more.

03. Get healthy. I wouldn’t say I’m unhealthy but I do have a tendency to over indulge from time to time. Who doesn’t order pizza every week? When I focus on something I can usually achieve it, it’s just that initial motivation to get going again. Ive had 2 months away from the gym now so its time to kick myself back into gear now. Im going to also be more aware of what I’m eating and try to eat a lot better this year!

04. Plan a big holiday. Although I went to Paris, Barcelona and had a summer holiday to Gran Canaria in 2017, I put travelling on the back burner due to saving for the house. I hope we are able to do a big holiday this year and do a few city trips, I think we deserve it! I have a few places in mind so watch this space.

05. Make my house a home. Although we have only just moved in we have started to transform the house into our ideal space already. Theres a few bigger projects which we plan to do in time but house goals for this year would be to finish the downstairs. We are hoping to have a new kitchen at some point and I would love to have the fireplace replaced in the lounge. The areas we are going to concentrate on are the lounge, kitchen and garden. I hope to bring a load of house-related content to my blog through out the year too!

I think thats enough to be getting on with for now. I’m feeling really motivated at the moment so can’t wait to get started.

Have you set yourself any goals this year?

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CHRISTMAS 2017

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No doubt by the time you get around to reading this Christmas will seem like a distant memory, but I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays nonetheless!?

Christmas was a bit different for me this year, I woke up in my own house! Not to do things by halves, we moved into our new house on 18th December so to try and get settled in before Christmas whilst working full time jobs was… fun! But worth it.

I usually spend Christmas at home so not to do the usual family traditions on Christmas morning was a bit of a change but I’m all for making new traditions and hopefully next year everything won’t be so rushed. We woke up really early on Christmas morning admitting defeat around 6.30 and finally getting out of bed. As usual I received some amazing gifts, I’m definitely feeling pretty lucky right now to have such a good group of people around me.

So what did I get? first up I got some Hunter wellies. I’ve been saying I wanted to get a pair for some time now – I ruin so many shoes walking the dogs, so these are going to come in handy! To go with the wellies I received matching Hunter socks and a The North Face puffer jacket to keep me extra toasty when its cold! Speaking of the dogs, they received the Aesop Animal Body Wash, perfect for after a muddy walk – It smells so good and I’m sure they will love it too.

Next up was a bunch of Nespresso goodies – a Citiz + Milk machine, a 200 capsule box set and a pair of cappuccino cups. I don’t know how I survived without a Nespresso machine before, I’m even more addicted to coffee now, there’s so many options to choose from! I’m looking forward to making a drink and getting stuck into Decembers box from The Chocolate Society. I’d never heard of the brand before but the chocolates look so good.

Staying on the coffee theme, I received some Lush products from my Secret Santa at work – I love the coffee mask, you can read about it here! I wonder how they knew?!

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Other grooming products came in the form of the GlamGlow Power Rangers Rita Repulsa Mask and some sleep sprays from This Works. I haven’t slept well lately so these couldn’t come at a better time and they work like a dream!

Other items included tickets to Fall Out Boy, a new Diptyque candle, Ciroc Vodka and the latest Cereal City Guide for Los Angeles to complete my collection.

I also treated myself to a pair of crisp black and white Nike Air Force 1s in the sales, I’ve never had a pair of them before and i’m not 100% convinced I can pull them off but i’m going to try!

After exchanging gifts we went to my parents for lunch and had a pretty chilled afternoon and evening as we were both working boxing day.  Overall it was a great first Christmas, hopefully next year we will be a lot more settled and able to host ourselves –  I’d love to cook the Christmas dinner for my parents one year so they don’t have too!

Working in the hospitality industry means Christmas is usually short and sweet but its what you make of it. I hope you all had a great festive period?

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Oh I also forgot to mention, a fifth member of the family was added on Christmas day. Everyone meet Luna – she’s settled in so well and definitely rules the house already!

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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2018

Now it’s December the countdown to Christmas can officially begin! I’m usually one of those people who start there Christmas shopping in October so to be in the first week of December and haven’t bought a single gift yet is new to me. This year has just flown – I can’t actually keep up! Throw into the mix buying a house and preparing to move and you can imagine the last couple of months have been chaos… a good chaos though. I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere.

As you may have noticed during this period my blog has unfortunately been put on the  back burner a bit. I’ve posted here and there but not half as much as I would have liked too. However, I couldn’t not do my yearly gift guide. I love seeing everyone else’s (leave a link in the comments if you have one!) so hopefully someone will find mine useful too. So instead of breaking a tradition, here is my 2018 gift guide – you can find all the links below.

 

For the Sneakerhead:

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 Adidas Cleaning Drop Set | Vans Old Skool | Vans Sk8-Hi Shoes | Jason Markk Travel Shoe Cleaning Kit Men’s Society Sneaker Cleaning Set | Jason Markk Repel Spray


 

For the Trendsetter:

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Yeezy Season 5 Calabasas Sports Tee (Ash) |The North Face La Paz Down Hooded Jacket | Yeezy Season 5 Adidas Calabasas Crew Sweat (Libra) | All Saints Torny Short Sleeve Crew | mmml M1 Denim |  Off -White Long Sleeve Camouflage Tee 


For The Grooming Guru:

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ClarinsMen Grooming Essentials Gift Set | Diptyque Car Scent Diffuser | Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Limited Edition Holiday 2017 | Kiehl’s The High Flying Gentleman Grooming Kit | L:A BRUKET No. 165 Travel Kit | Lush Cup O’ Coffee ScrubAesop Moroccan Neroli Shaving DuetThe Mankind Advent Calendar | Lab Series All in One Essentials KitMolton Brown Distinguished Treats Cracker


For the Foodie:

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Little Book of Craft Beer | The Chocolate & Gin Gift CollectionMoet & Chandon Christmas Cracker | Toast: The Cookbook | Hotel Chocolat Christmas SleeksterPrestat Espresso Martini White Chocolate Truffles


 

For the Homebody:

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 Marshall Action Speaker | Diptyque Baies Coloured Candle |  Beats Studio3 Wireless Over‑Ear Headphones |  Cereal These Islands | Black Splatter Cocktail Shaker SetH&M Santa Socks


 

…And after that, if you are still feeling uninspired, why not check out my ‘Grooming Gift Guide from last Christmas to give you some more gift ideas.

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Do you like any of my suggestions?

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FIVE REASONS WHY I LOVE SUMMER

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Hands down, summer is my favourite season. Sure, it’s nice to get wrapped up during the colder months but really, who actually likes the cold, dark days of winter? Not me.

In collaboration with Badger Ales I am here to share with you five reasons why summer is the best season!

Badger Ales have been brewed in the heart of the Dorset countryside since 1777 by independent brewers Hall and Woodhouse. They brew a range of quality beers and believe in making beer time as good as it can be. In fact, they are on a mission to show the public just how good it can be by transforming lucky Badger fans garden sheds into ultimate beer sheds!

The latest instalment is the Ultimate BBQ Shed. Costing £40,000 to create, the shed features a state of the art BBQ, tool rack, spice drawer, a fold down prep area and two beer fridges packed with Badger Ales. When it comes to sitting down to eat there is a pull out seating area with an automatic awning which all neatly folds back up when finished. Finally there is a hidden garden games box and dart board for those wanting to put their skills to the test. Check it out for yourself in the video below!

What more could you want from the Great British Summer?

01. Weather. I’m going to say it again. I hate winter.  The first of the five reasons I love summer has to be the weather. There’s nothing like a sunny day to put a smile on your face and make you feel energised. I feel so much more productive in the summer and want to make the most of my time. I love waking up early to see the sun has already risen allowing me to plan the rest of my day.

02. Food & Drink. Going back to BBQs, I don’t know what it is with British people but as soon as the sun comes out, so do the BBQs – everybody loves a BBQ! For me, whether I am abroad, dining in a restaurant or having a BBQ in the garden I love to eat outside when the weather is good – I’m sure food tastes 100% better in summer!

03. Holidays. Whilst I may not need any excuse to book a trip away, having a holiday booked during summer is a must. The weather in the UK is unpredictable at the best of times so heading somewhere you are guaranteed day long sun is my idea of heaven. Sun, beaches, day drinks. Bliss.

04. Days Out. If you haven’t booked to go away over summer, all is not lost. There are so many great places to visit in the UK; from tourist attractions to the great outdoors there is something for everyone. Go on a hike, take your dog for a walk, just go and explore – there’s literally so many options. You have to take advantage of the dry weather while it lasts! 

05. Summer Style. In the colder weather, layering up is a must. However during summer picking out an outfit couldn’t be easier. Summer is the only acceptable time to get your pale pins out in the hope of picking up a tan.  For daily wear you really can’t go wrong with a simple t-shirts and shorts combo, or if you are looking for something slightly smarter swap it for a tailored pair of shorts and crisp white shirt. Finish with a pair of sunglasses and you are summer-ready.

What’s your favourite things about summer? What do you think about the ultimate BBQ shed?


THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY BADGER ALE. FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE

Father’s Day Event & Gift Guide!

Last week I was invited to a Father’s Day event with Mankind and IWOOT. Up until that point I hadn’t really thought about it this year. But, with just over a week to go, now is the time to really start thinking what you will get your Dad this Father’s Day. Attending the event was such an eye opener, IWOOT is the destination for all your gifting needs. They have everything covered. From beard aprons (to catch the debris) to portable BBQs and remote control helicopters, there is something for every dad out there.

Still unsure? I have put this quick gift guide together to get you started. You can find the links below. I’ll take the BBQ please…

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01. adidas Gazelle (Solid Grey & White) £75 | 02. The Refinery Morning Ritual £103 | 03. Gentlemen’s Hardware Bucket Barbecue £24.99 | 04. Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield 36mm £139 | 05. Byredo Bibliotheque Candle £54 | 06. Gentlemen’s Hardware Flight Ready Kit £15.99 | 07. Ray-Ban General Bronze Copper £143 | 08. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Cocktails £7.99 | 09. L. A. Bruket No.145 Shaving Cream £27.40 | 10. Common Projects Multi Card Holder £69 | 11. Mason Jar Cocktail Shakerset £8.99

If you are still unsure about what to get for your old man this Father’s day, head over to IWOOT to view there full range of unique and unusual gifts. You can find the full Father’s Day range from IWOOT here. Even better, if you use code FATHER you will get 15% off your order! Use the hashtag #WrapDifferent to show your purchases!

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