Sunday, 27 November 2016

Surviving winter colds 101


It's that time of year again. Cold and flu bugs are spreading around your family, friends and colleagues like wildfire, and it's only a matter of time before your number is up! If you're lucky, it'll just be a sniffle, but some strains can totally knock you for six. I'm currently battling a real corker and I'm less than impressed that it's arrived at the weekend. BUT there are plenty of ways you can turn a cold into the perfect opportunity to reach peak snug, get tonnes of rest and kick it to the curb a little faster.

1. Get comfy

So, you've got yourself a stinking cold. Blanket forts and hot water bottles are a must, and now's no time to skimp on the heating. Keeping warm helps your immune system work properly and boot the germs out of your body, plus you'll be super cosy. I like to drag my duvet over to the sofa and properly slob out, but I won't lay down in bed as that means your nose runs down your throat and could make you cough. If you're well enough to be in work but still feeling under the weather, dress as comfortably and warmly as you can.

2. Medicate

Don't be a hero! Some people like to stick things out in a weird display of toughness, but if hitting up the decongestants and throat sprays makes you feel better then do it. If you really don't like to load up on blackcurrant Lemsip then more natural remedies like herbal teas and eucalyptus oil are a good shout. And don't forget your new best friend, vitamin C.

3. Keep entertained

If you're lucky enough to be at home instead of at work while poorly (I often end up just sticking it out myself) and can see far enough through the mountain of tissues at your feet, find something to distract yourself with. Whether you fancy a Harry Potter marathon or picking up a book, relaxing with some light entertainment is going to be better than sleeping the entire day or trying to power through and do your housework.

4. Treat yoself

I know you should probably eat healthily if you're not feeling great, but I find a little junk food goes a long way when I'm feeling rough. Supplement your chicken soup and orange juice with the biscuit tin, and make sure the hot, sugary drinks are flowing! Spicy food could also help clear your sinuses a bit, so don't feel bad about ordering yourself an Indian on Just Eat!

Do you have any other secrets to getting rid of a cold? Let me know in the comments because in my current state, I'll try anything!





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Monday, 21 November 2016

We went to Birmingham Christmas market!


At the weekend my best mate Sophie and I headed up to Birmingham to scope out the legendary Christmas market, start our Christmas gift shopping and consume literally all of the food and drink we could get our hands on. Here's where we stayed and what we got up to.

It's a couple of hours drive out of Hertfordshire, but having gone to university in the Midlands I'm pretty used to the journey time. We stayed two nights in the Jury's Inn on Broad Street, which while very 'Birmingham' looking on the outside with its concrete exterior was chic and modern within and the location is pretty central. I'd definitely recommend a stay.


The market itself was quiet in the morning but became unbelievably busy during the day. I would definitely advise going at the beginning or end of the day to enjoy the experience without having to queue or search for a table to perch your mulled wine or beer tankard on. 

There's everything you'd expect from a typical German market, from a festive tipple or two to craft and gift stalls, steak, bratwurst and all kinds of sweet treats. As someone who's a bit mad for Christmas the sights, smells and sounds were just perfect. After a long and stressful two weeks it was the mood booster I needed!


As the market got busier we headed towards the Bullring shopping centre for some retail therapy. Birmingham's a great location for shopping - it's got a branch of every store you can imagine and it's all situated alongside an array of modern bars and restaurants. Obviously our first stop was Lush, but what did you expect?

Since our trip coincided with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them we of course took a trip to the cinema. The film is just incredible and as a huge Harry Potter fan I was so impressed and also plain grateful to have J.K. Rowling's magical creations back in my life again!


If you fancy a Christmassy day out at the market in Brum, it runs until 29th December this year.








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Thursday, 17 November 2016

Tried and tested: 5 products for dry winter skin


I've always had oily skin, with moisture rarely a problem, except when it comes to winter. When I was a teenager dry skin was never an issue, but over the last couple of years I've noticed some dry patches and soreness during the colder months. It's not something I'm really used to dealing with, but I seem to have uncovered a few skincare gems on my quest to calm my skin down.

During the winter your skin is really up against it - wind, central heating, cold, lots of festive makeup, naughty food and drink and more. That's why it's really important to take good care of it. After all, it's the largest organ in your body! And that means moisture, moisture moisture.

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser 

I used to use this when I was younger but at the time it was a bit heavy on my skin. Fast forward to my mid-twenties and it gives me the perfect level of hydration. I find it leaves me skin feeling super soft but not suffocated, and it makes a great base under makeup. It's also super affordable!

Caudalie Vinoperfect Tinted Moisturiser

If I'm going for a light makeup look then this stuff is the bomb. It's like a light coverage, extra moisturising foundation. It's non-greasy and has a beautiful scent. I just add a touch of concealer to cover any spots and scarring (thanks adult acne, you gem) and I'm good to go. Being a French pharmacy brand, I found this stuff was about £8 cheaper if you are able to pick it up in France itself, but if not it's available online in the UK.

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion

There's a reason that Aveeno products are sometimes prescribed by dermatologists - they're just that good. This stuff nourishes my skin like nothing else and works wonders on dry knees and elbows. It forms a moisture barrier around the skin to the point that when I wash my hands or have a shower it doesn't just wash away and leave my skin parched. 

Neal's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm*

This stuff is a god send for cracked skin and also great for a pamper. A staple product in the Neal's Yard range, this beauty balm can be used not only to moisturise and massage dry, angry skin but also as a mask, lip balm or even as a cleanser with the help of a muslin cloth. I love to use it on my hands for a winter manicure, letting the essential oils soak into my skin while I paint my nails.

Dr Organic Manuka Honey Rescue Cream

Now this is a winter skin miracle worker. I purchased my first pot last winter when I developed patches of itchy, flaky skin on my face and neck and within a few days they had virtually disappeared! Manuka Honey is known for its healing properties and along with some intense moisture this cream really does help repair the skin. 

Have you tried any of my winter skincare favourites? Do you have any other recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!

*Products marked with an asterisk were provided to me as PR samples, but all opinions are very much my own!

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

5 bloggers you NEED to follow on Instagram


There's nothing I like more than a good old scroll through Instagram with a cup of tea in hand. It's probably my favourite social app if I'm honest, even over Twitter - I love that everyone's grid is a uniquely crafted collage of their life, blog, style or whatever they choose to share. It's also pretty creative, especially among the blogging community. I thought I'd share some of my favourite blogger Instagram accounts, so that you can enjoy them too.

Zoe London (@zoelondondj)

I love Zoe's quirky, alternative take on fashion - her hair makes every post a colourful one, and she's a girl with seriously good taste.


Hannah Gale (@hannahfgale)

I've read Hannah's blog ever since a friend shared a link to one of her hilarious viral list posts a couple of years ago. This girl is one of the most relateable on the web. I follow here not only for sassy style posts and cute cat photos but for some seriously hilarious captions.

Sophie Kate (@sophiekateblogs)

I know Sophie as a local lifestyle blogger, but she's really gaining momentum on YouTube now too. Her gorgeous Instagram has been the perfect autumnal collage lately of food, style and everyday coziness. I can tell she puts a lot of thought into her grid!

Rhianna (@robowecop)

Rhianna's blog is one that I've followed closely for ages now, but her Instagram is where it's at! From colourful flatlays to pretty style shots, she's definitely one to watch.

Victoria (@inthefrow)

If I could only follow one Instagram account it would be this one. Victoria's Instagram is just ultimate blogger goals. If you follow her on YouTube or read her website regularly then she's one to follow. There's jet-setting a-plenty and her style posts are to die for.

Are you on Instragram? Give me a follow @kellyannerist - I'd love to find some more bloggers to follow! 

Who are your faves? Share in the comments below!





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