My Top 5 Podcasts

I’m back! After several weeks of distraction and a lack of inspiration I am back and more motivated to actually deliver some (hopefully) interesting and useful content on my little corner of the internet.

So. Podcasts. I work in an office so while i’m working really hard (obv), instead of listening to music, I spend a lot of time listening to a variety of podcasts of different genres that leave me crying laughter or feeling motivated and inspired. This blog post has been on my to do list to write for AGES as I’m always seeing instagram stories of people looking for podcast inspo so thought this could come in useful. So without further a do here is what’s keeping me entertained day to day.

  1. My Dad Wrote a Porno

THIS. IS. A. MUST! My Dad wrote a Porno is a British podcast hosted by Jamie Morton, James Cooper and Radio 1’s Alice Levine. Each episode features Jamie reading a chapter of his Father’s erotic novel ‘Belinda Blinked’ with both Jamie and Alice reacting to the content. The commentary is almost funnier than the book itself and it literally has me laughing out loud. Belinda Blinked ‘tells the story of the sexual exploits of Belinda Blumenthal and her work in the sales and marketing department of the fictional company Steeles Pots and Pans. The writing is erratic and Morton has said, “One moment Belinda is handcuffed to a trellis in a ‘medium-sized maze’, the next she’s at a charity tombola raising funds for the Asses & Donkeys Trust.” This without a doubt has to be number one on my list so if like me you have a pretty crude and sarcastic sense of humour, this will be so up your street.

2. Happy Place – Fearne Cotton

If I’m lacking in positivity and motivation Fearne’s podcast tends to be my go to. In each episode Fearne draws on her own experiences and shares advice from experts on how to work through feeling down to finding joy every day. She speaks with such amazing and inspiring individuals who talk about how they have made changes in their own lives or helped others to do so. I love almost all of the episodes and some are more relatable than others but one I particularly loved was her chat with Davina McCall. I came away from this episode feeling so empowered. I’m my own worst critic and Davina talks a lot about self love and not caring about what others think of you so this was a massive help.

3. The High Low – Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes

The High Low is one of the first podcasts I listened to after having it recommended to me by a friend. Dolly and Pandora cover everything from pop culture (my guilty pleasure) and current affairs. Sure, I take particular interest in the trivial celebrity gossip aspect of this podcast but I also come away from each episode feeling more educated.

4. Under the Skin – Russell Brand

Russell Brand asks ‘what’s beneath the surface of people we admire. Speaking with guests from the world of academia, popular culture and the arts, they’ll help us to see the ulterior truth behind our constructed reality. And have a laugh.’ Granted some episodes are pretty heavy going but when he’s talking to celebs that you admire it’s particularly interesting learning things about them that they perhaps haven’t opened up about before. Or you’ve read a version of a story online but here they’ll put those rumours straight.

5. Shagged, Married, Annoyed – Chris and Rosie Ramsay

Chris and Rosie claim that the only way they can have a proper uninterrupted conversation, is by doing this podcast. I didn’t know what to expect from this one but it really made me laugh. I love their banter and their sense of humour is much like my own. They cover ‘general life, relationships, arguments, annoyances, parenting, growing up and everything in between’ so it’s relatable in many ways.

I hope this is useful to some of you and will leave you feeling inspired or crying with laughter. My advice would be to go and grab your headphones (definitely need headphones) and whack on My Dad Wrote a Porno. You won’t look back!

H x

Coming off the Contraceptive Pill

Well Hello!

I feel a little out of my comfort zone writing about this subject as I’m certainly no pro in this area so you’ll have to bear with me, but I decided that sharing my experience on this subject might be useful to others considering or going through the same thing. In the last couple of months I carried out a little research to see whether what I was experiencing was normal; So in this post I’ll share as much as I can regarding my own experience and what I learnt from professionals.

In October last year I decided to come off the pill after nearly 11 years of taking it. Being on this form of contraception for long concerned me but when I questioned it with my doctor she reassured me that it was nothing to worry about but if I didn’t need to be on it, to consider a break. The main reason for making this decision was to get my natural cycle back to normal. I’d also like to avoid taking any long term medication if possible and coming of ‘Gedarel’ was a good place to start. I now need to reduce and ultimately come of Citalopram which I was prescribed for my anxiety. Interestingly there is a connection between people that take the contraceptive pill and anxiety so I am hoping that now I’ve stopped taking Gedarel there will be some noticeable improvement on the mental health front. I won’t go into depth regarding this however but if you are interested in my mental health journey, you can read about it here.

So how has coming off the pill effected me? Now that i’m around 4 months into being pill free, the symptoms have thankfully eased. I say thankfully; In the grand scheme of things it really wasn’t a big deal; more of an adjustment as all of the below were fairly new to me as they’d been suppressed during the 11 years that I’d been taking Gedarel.

It’s important to remember is that the pill suppresses your hormones, so by coming off it for a period of time your body takes a while to readjust and find balance again. The first thing I noticed was my skin has also becoming more oily. This was very apparent to me as I’ve always been pretty lucky in that I’ve had combination skin. I’ve not had to be too careful about what skincare I use but now I’m trying to stay away from anything too oily. According to my research, this is due to an increase in testosterone which can cause and increase in sebum therefore leading to oily skin. This also means my hair gets greasy quicker than usual.

Annoyingly the oily skin resulted in the most irritating of symptoms which were the breakouts. However this has eased quite a lot now but naturally in the lead up to my period I break out without fail.

Additionally, it has become SO apparent when I’m due on. I feel noticeably irritable and everything seems to annoy me. My friend was recommended she takes Evening Primrose to lessen these feelings so I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. Will see how that goes. For my families sake I pray that there is an improvement.

Bloating is another classic symptom for me but this was always the case when I was taking the pill so nothing new there.

Ovulation however was new to me. This was a sensation I don’t really recall feeling ever. I’d describe it as ovary ache but half way through my cycle and it wasn’t until a googled it (oops) that I realised it was simply that I was ovulating duh!

ANYWAY, enough on the pill. Hopefully that might be helpful to some of you. My next post will be shopping related. Far more exciting!

Have a good week!

H x

Our Family Christmas Traditions

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year!

I have such fond memories of our Christmas’ growing up. Mum, like me, was Christmas’ number one fan and as a result made it so magical for Emily and I. Year after year the house gets filled with the scent of  Noel, traditional decorations and Mum implemented such special traditions, all of which I’d love to continue if/when I have a family of my own one day.

There’s no real purpose to sharing these special memories but it reminds me of such happy times, makes me feel all nostalgic and perhaps one of two of these may suit you and your family.

During the lead up to Christmas we’d write our letters to Santa (now the funniest thing to read ever!) and leave them on the hearth of the fire place before going to bed. By morning the letters had disappeared and Father Christmas had left a sprinkle of ‘magic fairy dust’ behind. I believe this was something Mum took from ‘Santa Claus the Movie’ one of my all time favourite Christmas films.

Now roughly 2/3 weekends before Christmas we’d put the trees up (we had a ‘posh’ tree that only Mum was allowed to decorate and a smaller one that me and Emily were let loose on – This will 100% be me if I have children). The wreath would get hung on the front door and the rest of the house was filled with garlands, foliage from the garden and festive tea lights. Mum also had a thing about making a little table decoration (something I now love doing).

Christmas Eve was/is without a doubt the most exciting day of the year. Every year Mum and Dad took Emily and I to Ray’s Farm in Bridgnorth to visit to Father Christmas – a very realistic one at that; something which seemed to be a rarity in the 90’s (see below – I rest my case). His grotto was set in a stable where all the children would sit on hay bales and each say what they wished to get that Christmas. I just remember it to be such cosy little set up right in the thick of the countryside.

After our Christmas Eve supper, whilst Dad was prepping the veg for the following day, Mum took us to the Crib Service at Knightwick Church where we’d meet my best friend and her family. There was always something so exciting about seeing my Bestie so close to Christmas and it became a standard tradition for us all. Once the service was over it was back home to prepare the carrot, sherry and mince pie for Santa and his Reindeer. We left this on the fireplace with with another little letter for the Big Man himself (obsessed weren’t we!). We got snuggly in our Christmas PJ’s and mum would read us ‘The Night Before Christmas’. I loved this tradition so much although it didn’t help excitement levels and going to sleep on Christmas Eve was near impossible as it was. Now, instead of the above the spend the evening at our local pub singing Christmas songs and drinking my bodyweight in mulled wine. May it continue!

Christmas Day finally came! The Grandparents always arrived laden with gifts, an Apple Pie and Grandma’s famous Brandy Butter. Mum was always adamant that we were to spread our present opening throughout the day so in the morning we’d open our stocking presents then after lunch we could open whatever was under the tree. Grandma insists on watching the Queen’s speech so this gets factored into the busy schedule and after the feast we’d play charades (a Burnett classic) or Headbandz. Scrabble is a favourite for our one Grandad because he wins without fail (I hated it ha!).

The fun didn’t end there oh no.. I remember the first year Mum appeared in a full Santa suit with giant black welly boots and a pillow stuck under her big red coat. Needless to say it was HILARIOUS. It was then that she’d distribute an extra little present for everyone. By 8pm Dad was fast asleep in his armchair and the rest of us would watching Eastenders Christmas special (A classic!)

So there’s a little insight into the Burnett family Christmas. I’d love to hear about Christmas at your house. What were your favourite traditions growing up and have you continued to do them ever since?

So anyway, December is here which means it’s okay to say Happy Christmas right?

Thank you for stopping by!

H x

*apologies for the quality of some of the photos. Some are pictures of pictures!

My Christmas List

The holidays are coming!!

With Halloween and Bonfire night out the way, whether you like it or not Christmas is only round the corner, so what better time to start getting organised. I really need to practice what I preach. SO many people that I’ve spoken to have started if not finished buying presents and all I’ve bought is cards ahhh. I do intend on going to Cheltenham this weekend though to tick of a good portion of my list (and of course have a mooch in the new John Lewis). I’d recommend at least planning what you’d like to buy particularly with Black Friday on the horizon. I know I’ll definitely be making the most of the sales.

So I guess the aim of this blog post is to 1. Give you all a little inspiration 2.Let my family know whats on my wishlist this year ha and 3. Here’s hope this will give myself a kick up the arse.

Tara Osborne Bracelet/Necklace

 

Bobbi Brown Products

Just Sheepskin slippers

Dressing Gown

PJ’s

★ This loungewear set from Next is SO soft. I’d live in these during Christmas week.

Diary2019 Navy Slim book cloth cover with gold foil

Jo Malone Perfume

BuyJo Malone London Basil & Neroli Cologne, 100ml Online at johnlewis.com

Vouchers for my favourite stores (Zara, Mango, Topshop, John Lewis)

WOW Dream Coat – A little luxury for my hair

Olaplex 3

 

 

★ White Company sleep bath soak & candle for the nights in after a long week at work

Books – Love Style Life, The new fashion rules, Happy: The Journal, Mad about the House

★ Russell and Bromley boots

          Image result for striker boots russell and bromley             

Whats on your Christmas list this year? I’m always looking for inspiration for me and my friends.

Happy shopping and have a lovely weekend!

H x

*All non affiliate links

Autumn so far

Good morning!

I’ve come to realise that a lot of my blog posts are of specific topics, so I wanted to try something a little different and more general (I am new to this after all). So here my friends is a little life update of my ‘Autumn so far’. Not that my life is incredibly exciting but it’s also a way for me to document and share what I’ve been up to and share any pictures I have taken along the way. I think posts like these will also be nice to look back on. Anyway, grab yourself a cuppa on this rather lovely morning and enjoy.

Halloween & Bonfire Night

I’m not very big on Halloween and never really have been. Perhaps because my Mum wasn’t really into it and always said how it was very Americanised I never bothered to celebrate it as an adult!? I’m also a bloody wimp and absolutely refuse to watch horror movies. However, I did grow some instagrammable pumpkins regardless. Yes I need to get a life, but the fact that I successfully grew anything at all has been quite an achievement ha. And look how diddy they are!! Going to see some fireworks ended up being a very last minute decision so my Sister and I decided to go to Worcester racecourse and apart from them being half an hour late, the display ended up being amazing. I also feel like bonfire night is the start of all the festivities so it had to be done.

Only in Bromyard

Knitwear Love

From October right through to New Year I am drawn to knitwear and everything sparkly. I’m like a bloody magpie when it comes to sequins. Glitter however I despise. Glitter wrapping paper – na ah! Now that we’re in November the shops are filled with party wear. I have tried on SO many dresses in numerous high street stores but I think the only thing with sequins, unless they have a good quality lining they can be so so itchy. I have also been building my knitwear collection slowly but surely. On a cold morning it’s hard enough getting out of bed as it is but snuggling into a chunky knit jumper make it a little more bearable. I’m going to have to purchase one of those oversized ‘Teddy’ Coats too. I imagine it to be like tearing yourself out of one duvet and wrapping yourself in another. DREAMY on a cold winters day!

The Teddy Coat of Dream – H&M

Winter Warmers

There’s something so comforting about winter warmers, particularly on a cold day and as a result I have a new found love for slow cookers. Something may I add that I used to despise when I was at school. If I got home and saw the slow cooker on the side I would be SO disappointed! Stews just were not my thing when I was younger but I have grown to love them and LOVE how easy they are. There’s also something quite smug about getting home from work and your dinner being ready to eat, especially after little prep. So the Minty Lamb Casserole has become a real fave. Then of course there’s the usual family favourites like Toad in the Hole which I’ve only just mastered after many trial and errors. Toad in a pancake isn’t quite the same! Chicken Pot Pie courtesy of Jamie is DIVINE and again pictured below. It takes a lot of prep but I think it’s so worth it particularly if you’ve got a bit more time on a Sunday. Finally, an Apple Crumble to top off a yummy seasonal meal. You can’t really go wrong with a crumble, but my advice would be to always double the crumble mix from any recipe you come across. Lets not kid ourselves, we only really eat the crumble for the crumble.

Minty Lamb Casserole

The Ultimate Toad in the Hole

Chicken Pot Pie

What I’ve been watching

Since the nights started drawing in I have been watching a lot more TV. It’s so easy to settle down for the evening and get stuck into your favourite programme. So what series have really captivated me? BBC 1 have been spoiling us recently. First with the Bodyguard (AMAZING), then Killing Eve and The Cry. All amazing. As I write this, The Little Drummer Girl has just started so I have no doubt that will suck me in too. Then of course on a lazy Sunday morning whilst catching up with my ironing (oh the fun life I lead) my go to every time is friends. I have watched every episode God knows how many times but it never fails to make me laugh out loud!

Party Season

Typically my summer has been pretty quiet on the partying front then October arrives and I have a wedding to go to and an engagement party. Has party season come early? Not that I’m complaining. I love an excuse to buy new party wear. I am so drawn to sequins, glitter and deep reds/navy’s at this time of year so my ASOS wish list is overflowing at the moment, and since I’ve had two big occasions this month I’ve been in my element. Below are a few of my favourites.

Christmas Planning

Christmas. Is this a word you dread in October/November? Not for me isn’t. I bloody love it. Throughout my life it has always been such a special celebration and something I look forward to every year. So when October comes around I say there’s no time like the present. I don’t mean that I’m putting the tree up, watching Christmas films and whipping out the Michael Buble album. I try to leave that until December 1st so not to spoil too much of the excitement, but I feel now is a good time to start planning.

I don’t know about you but I have to budget for presents from about September payday so that by December I’m not absolutely broke. I also make a note of who I’ll be buying presents for and any gift ideas. I find it makes shopping SO much easier. I have also bought a few Christmas mags. This isn’t something I usually do as they’re quite pricey but from flicking through I can see that they’ll give me so much inspiration for style, present ideas, recipes etc. Anyway, it is only the beginning of November so I won’t go on and I’ll be sure to share some Christmas related posts on here closer to the time.

Dining Room project

I LOVE interior design but since I’m still living at home I am fairly limited. Saying that, I designed my bedroom and Dad has let me have a say when we’ve renovated rooms previously. Most recently he redecorated the Living Room and pretty much let me take the lead when choosing paint colours, carpets, soft furnishings etc. Anyway, the latest project has been the dining room. What was supposed to be a paint job turned into something much bigger (see photos). Something that is not uncommon when you live in an old house. We discovered that this wall had salt in which made the finish look ‘bumpy’, but this could easily be treated. Dad later realised that it was also damp which meant it needed to be treated properly but beneath the plaster. YAY!

Nevertheless, as always he saved the day and fixed the problem. We chose a much lighter colour than before to make the room feel bigger and brighter. I loved the ‘Book Room Red’  that we had before, more so in the winter but it really did feel dark in there all year round. Shock horror I am now ridiculously excited to decorate this room for Christmas!

The result of damp!

The original colour (Book Room Red- Farrow and Ball) – Christmas 2016

We chose ‘Twine’ from the Laura Ashley Collection.

Days out

I’m not really a big walker if I’m being honest and I really should do it more often. 1. Cause I’m fortunate enough to live in a gorgeous part of the countryside and ought to make the most of my surroundings and 2. Because I always feel so much better for it. That being said in recent weeks I’ve loved taking advantage of the sunny Autumnal days that we’ve been blessed with by walking locally with Barney (our fur baby).

I don’t know if this is an age thing (hopefully not) but I’ve also really started to notice the beauty in my surroundings too, such as the multitude of colours in the landscape as the leaves change colour and the golden afternoons as the sun sets.

Berries EVERYWHERE

First of the hard frosts this Autumn

What have you lovely lot been up to in recent weeks? And can you recommend any days out locally (Worcestershire)?

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Apart from making some mince pies (yep and I don’t care who knows it) I’ll be having a very chilled one. Here’s to a positive week ahead!

H x