Powered by Blogger.

How to have a chilled night in this Halloween

Halloween is awesome, but not everyone enjoys dressing up in layers of face-paint and heading out on the town. I know I'd rather be snuggled up with something mildly spooky than have to totter home in the cold and remove all my zombie makeup before bed. If you'd prefer a chilled one too then this post is for you! I've put together a few recommendations:

Get cosy

If you're staying in for the night then it makes sense to comfy, so get under your favourite blanket and light some candles.Take it to the next level and get your hygge on if you fancy - check out this post for advice. Plus, the added benefit of candlelight is that you won't have so many kids coming to the door!

Grab some sweet treats

Which brings me to my next point. Is it even Halloween without a little candy? I prefer a big bar of chocolate to Haribo spiders but hey, whatever floats your boat - treat yoself!

Paint some witchy nails

This time of year is the perfect excuse to go a little more gothic on the nail polish. Whether you go all-out with black or stick with a classic vampy red like Essie Bordeaux, a little pamper goes a long way.

Put on some themed entertainment

Confession time: I don't like 'proper' horror films! I love Halloween, I love gothic stuff, and I love films with a bit of darkness and mystery, but the thought of a Saw or Paranormal Activity marathon scares the crap out of me. For lighter viewing material I love a good Tim Burton movie, or even something spoofy like the Addams Family (Wednesday 4eva) or Sean of the Dead.

There are also plenty of creepy books you could read if you fancy a nightmare or too, and there's bound to be reruns of the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror specials on somewhere!

Are you spending Halloween at home? Or maybe you're not that into it? Let me know in the comments below.

What does Hygge even mean, and is it worth the hype?

If you've been on Instagram or Pinterest lately, you'll no doubt have noticed that things have been getting just a little Scandinavian. From minimalist fashion to clean, chic but homely interiors, everyone's infatuated. As the obsession continues, a strange word, 'hygge', has begun appearing alongside these trends. So what exactly does it mean, and is it just another fad wellness movement?

The big idea

It turns out that the concept of hygge at least (which by the way is pronounced 'hoogah' for anyone desperately trying to say it!) is something I can totally get on bored with. In English it's a bit like what we would call feeling cosy. But it's also more than that - hygge is about feeling safe, warm and peaceful, whether in the comfort of your home or out at a bar, restaurant or even in the great outdoors around a camp fire, surrounded by friends and family or even in total solitude.

Since I was more than a little curious about how I could get me a slice of this goodness, I decided to purchase Meik Wiking's The Little Book of Hygge, and find out for myself just why the world is paying so much attention to the Danes.

As CEO of Copenhagen's Happiness Research Institute, Meik is the perfect person to advise on how to get your hygge on. Denmark consistently ranks as one of the happiest countries in the world, and while you might argue that this is because they're also among the best paid and least overworked too, they also have to contend with dark winters and days and days of rain.

It makes sense then that in a country like Denmark you'd put as much effort as possible into creating a happy, warm environment that even horrible weather and insanely short days can't put a dampner on. So how can you bring a little bit of hygge into your own home?

Getting your hygge on

As Meik observes in his book. for most Danes hygge starts with cosy lighting and homely settings. Aside from residing in some of the best decorated homes in the world, they're among the most prolific candle burners in the world, with a huge 28% of the population lighting them every day without fail. It's the perfect way to make a room feel warmer and create a real atmosphere. So light your favourites, grab a book and snuggle up under a blanket for the ultimate hygge feeling.

Food and drink also play a big part in hygge. Hearty, rustic dishes, alongside treats like cake, pastries and coffee are popular staples. There's a reason that the Danish consume so much bacon, and so many sweets! It's all about giving yourself that feel-good comfort factor.

How you spend your hygge time is also important. Denmark is a country that likes to spend its time socialising - playing games, listing to music and enjoying food together. With the colder months now arriving and Christmas just around the corner it seems the most appropriate time to be giving hygge a go!

Is hygge worth the hype?

While the ideas that surround the concept of hygge are nothing new, especially to the Danish, there's a lot we can gain from striving for more of it.

These days everyone is obsessed with wellness (myself included) and it suggests that perhaps something is missing. We don't feel right - we're all too busy, too tired, too lonely. We don't do enough to make ourselves happy. Somehow I think this latest trend has taken off for a reason.

In a world where we're surgically attached to our phones and glued to Netflix half the night, taking time to carve out a calmer and slower way of life is bound to do us some good.

Have you read Meik's book? Do you make an effort to get more 'hygge' time these days? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. If you're in the market for some gorgeous smelling new candles, check out the ones in my previous post!

We were zookeepers for a day!

This week I spent a day out of the office doing something completely out of my comfort zone - my sister took me along on her Shadow A Zookeeper experience day! She received the experience as a 21st birthday present back in April, so I was all too happy to join in. We got up to some amazing stuff so I thought I'd share it with you all!

These guys claimed not to know King Julian...
We booked the day at Paradise Wildlife Park, which is just over half an hour away for us. On arrival we had a quick cuppa, signed some health and safety bits and got straight into it. The schedule for the day was a jam-packed 9-5 one, and we spent time with a different keeper at each exhibit. The only thing that was really off limits were the big cats, but I can't say I would've enjoyed being thrown into a cage with a tiger and we did watch them getting fed at the end of our day!

These guys were best buds
Our activities throughout the day ranged from feeding some of the animals (from otters to coatis, lemurs to red pandas), mucking out enclosures (not actually that gross since the alpacas seemed pretty house-proud), some bloody FALCONRY with a beautiful owl, and generally just having lots of cuddles with animals like ferrets and baby tapirs. If you love animals, this is totally for you! The keepers were also all too happy to take pictures for us so that we didn't have to worry about fiddling with cameras while enjoying the experience.

Weirdly cuddly
Not pictured: the severed mouse tail in my hand that got her to stay put!
As I mentioned, we moved throughout the park over the course of the day meeting different keeper at each area. That meant we got to learn so much about the animals, their diet, habits, training and care. I couldn't believe how much goes into running a zoo/wildlife park, and with many of the staff there on internships to support their training, it was clear how passionate they were! We also heard a lot about endangered species - shout out to Steve and the amazing talk he gave us on the gibbons (who were also hilarious!).

If you fancy a day away from the ordinary, are a budding zookeeper or just love fuzzy creatures, then an experience like this would make an amazing present! You can book yours here for anyone who's interested in giving this as a gift, or doing it yourself for that matter, and I think the day is also available at a discount from some experience day sellers like Virgin or Buy a Gift!

Bear? Fox? Panda? Angel? I don't know, but it's cute!

Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette Review

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you might have noticed that Kat Von D Beauty has finally launched here in the UK at Debenhams! You may have seen back in May that I was somewhat enamored with her Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, thanks to my Mum and Dad picking them up for me on their travels, but now a much wider range is available right here on British soil.

As my dry eyes are still preventing me from tolerating any kind of eye makeup and my lipstick collection couldn't get much bigger if it tried, I decided to treat myself to a face product instead. I wasn't sure I'd get the match right for the Lock It foundation if I ordered over the web, so instead I treated myself to the Shade and Light Contour Palette while lounging on a sunbed in Turkey. At £36.99 it's probably the most money I've ever spend on something like this, but I've been using it every day so I think that's worth it.

It arrived the day after we got home and it's safe to say this is a game changer. There are six powder shades in total, three to highlight and three to bronze and contour. While you could of course just stick to the highlight and contour that best suit your skintone, I found I'm able to switch between shades depending on how strong I want my contour to look or how bronzed I'd like to be. There's a good mix of cool and warm tones here.

If you've never really used a sculpting palette before (even I'm a bit of a noob at it), then don't be put off - there's a handy diagram to help you apply the powders if you have no idea what to do! As someone with oily skin I was worried that the powder might disintegrate and slight off as so many often to for me as the day wears on, but I'm pleased to say that this stuff not only blends like a dream but stays on really well.

All in all I'm chuffed with this purchase and it's been a great investment into my daily routine, as well as allowing me to create some stronger looks for nights out etc.

Have you tried any of the Kat Von D products yet? What did you think?