How To Bring The Holiday Home With You

Don't you hate it when you come back from a really fun trip and just feel depressed?

This time last month I was in sunny San Francisco having the time of my life trekking through Yosemite and exploring Alcatraz.  Fast forward to now and I'm sat at my desk in freezing cold London!  So this got me thinking, how can we continue that holiday feeling when we get home?


Re-live the memories

Thank God for smart phones because now we can re-live all our memories just by scrolling through our phones.  Looking at photos and uploading them to Instagram, re-watching Insta-stories and reliving the magic.  Even printing them off and putting them in an album if that isn't too old fashioned for you!

Re-create the holiday

Why not try to do some of the things you did whilst you were away but in your own city?  When we were in San Francisco we went for brunch every morning at a different place, visited a comedy club one evening and took walks in the park.  These are things we can do here in London so we are now trying to go for brunch every Sunday followed by a walk in Greenwich Park!


Get planning your next trip

I know this isn't always feasible but the best way to get rid of holiday blues is to have something else to look forward to and it doesn't have to be another holiday, it could just be a visit to the theatre or dinner with friends.  As January is coming up we are going to look in the sales for flights to Stockholm and New Delhi for next year!


How do you bring the holiday home with you?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Why Are Our Formal Celebrations Not Linked To Academic Achievements?

Have you ever wondered why it is always our formal celebrations like births, marriages and religious ceremonies that are a bigger affair than celebrating our academic achievements or job promotions?

I have found this over the years anyway.  I was thinking about this a few weeks ago and thought I would reflect on it here so this may just be a load of ramble..

For me, I have always been quite late to the party when it comes to achievements so I thought maybe that was why they were never celebrated as much?  I also did a bit of research around the subject (I may be going off topic here but bear with me) so see how I compared with when we are 'supposed' to reach these major life milestones.

Yes I know comparison is the theft of joy but I'm not really bothered with comparison, this is just for fun!

MILESTONE                           AVERAGE    ME

First kiss                                      15              15
First full time job                        19              18
Pass driving test                          20              19
First holiday with friends            21              18
Buy first car (with own money)  22              21
First holiday with partner            23              19
Be Maid of Honour/Best Man     23             Never
Rent on your own                        24             Never
Get engaged                                 25             32
Live with partner                         25             30
Get married                                  27             35?
Buy first property                        27              24
Have first child                            28              36?
First house                                   29              31
Start earning average wage         30              23
Second child                                31              ?
Buy brand new car                       32             ?
Become a manager at work         34              32
Start a business                            35             26
Move to second house                 36              ?
Enjoy 2+ holidays per year          36             24
Earn in higher tax band                37            32
Buy property to let                       39            29
Retire                                           60             ?


So looking at that I don't feel too bad!  However, I kind of meant more in terms of graduating and settling down.  Those things I feel like I did a lot later and so there was never really any big celebrations but that's okay, it's just interesting how society dictates when and what we should celebrate.


What are your thoughts on the above?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

A Letter To My Harshest Critic


For anyone who needs this..


This letter is to you,

The you that’s had a rough week.  The you that seems to be under constant storm clouds.  The you that feels invisible.  The you that doesn’t know how much longer you can hold on.  The you that has lost faith.  The you that always blames yourself for everything that goes wrong.  Stop being so self-critical.  You are enough.  Instead look around you at all that you have already achieved, all the friends and family that love you dearly and the people that accept you for who you are.

You are incredible.  You make this world a little bit more wonderful.  You have so much potential and so many things left to do.  You have time.  Better things are coming your way, so hang in there.  You can do it.

Love, Your Future Self.


Just trying to do my bit for mental health.  We all suffer from time to time so I hope this helps you.


Lauren xx



Cancun and Tulum

After five amazing days in Mexico City, as much as I was sad to leave, I was excited for our next stop on the trip.. Cancun.

Cancun

Cancun was very different to Mexico City.  Very glam and luxurious with big hotels and even bigger shopping centres.  It actually reminded me a little of Dubai.




The hotel we stayed in was called The Grand Oasis and it literally had everything you needed, you really didn't need to leave.  It was huge, with multiple pools and restaurants and even it's own beach.  Best of all was the all inclusive drinks and swim up bars!

We did, however, go out to a couple of restaurants near our hotel and there were some lovely Italian places.  We had a really good pizza one night but some of the other restaurants were not that vegetarian friendly.




We didn't do much exploring here and stayed at our hotel most days as there was so much to do and we wanted some down time after being so active in Mexico City.  I'm not sure if I would rush back here as it was so built up and 'Americanised' but I would recommend it if you wanted a nice chilled beach break.

Tulum

After 5 days here we set off on a 2 hour coach ride to Tulum.  I would definitely recommend this for getting to Tulum as it's so much cheaper (about £15 each) than a taxi and the coach is fully air conditioned and drops you close to most hotels.




Our hotel here was called Hotel Posada and it was a cute boutique hotel with a small amount of rooms and a pretty plunge pool in the middle.  You could also hire bikes for very cheap (about £25 per day) and this was the best way of getting around Tulum.

We were only here for 4 days so the first day we visited the beach which was absolutely beautiful with it's white sand and turquoise water.  We found a lovely beach restaurant which sold the BEST cocktails and food.  We spent hours here (and a lot of money ha) but it was worth it.




The second day we visited Chichen Itza which is one of the 7 wonders of the world.  It was a super super hot day which made wandering about it a bit harder but I did really enjoy this.  We booked a tour bus to take us and guide us around which I would recommend.  We also got lunch and were able to visit the cenotes later which we needed to cool off!

On the third day we hired bikes and went to visit some of the ruins in the morning.  They were amazing to see especially on the beach, the views were insane.  They also had the cutest wildlife including these little coyote type animals (see below).  Then we headed back to the beach for another chilled afternoon at our favourite restaurant!




Just as I thought the holiday couldn't get any better, as we walked down the beach towards our bikes, my boyfriend got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!  I instantly said yes and now I have a fiance.  And a wedding to plan!  The most perfect end to a perfect holiday.  I was actually on cloud 9 and couldn't stop starring at my beautiful ring.

The nightlife in Tulum was really good.  It had a fun vibe but still chilled.  There were a lot of younger people there and backpackers.  Everyone sat around in bars and restaurants eating, drinking and just having a good time.  I much prefer this than going out to clubs now!




Have you been to Cancun or Tulum?  Where would you recommend I go next?

Lauren xx

5 Makeup Products That Will Make Your Makeup Routine So Much Quicker

I don't know about you but whenever I'm getting ready in the morning I always seem to be short on time!  Don't get me wrong, I love spending time on my makeup but if I'm in a rush I need to get in done quickly so with these time-saving products I've managed to get my morning makeup routine down to 5 minutes!




Any sort of 2 in 1 product is going to save you time so look out for those first of all.  This one is my favourite.  It's quite full coverage but you can thin it out by using a beauty sponge or mixing it with your moisturiser.




Bare Minerals Powder Compact

This is great because you can also use it for on the go.  The pressed powder comes with a mirror and sponge.




Laura Geller Mocha Blush

The colour of the blush is a near bronze colour so you can get away with not having to use a bronzer as well, saving more time!




NYX Tinted Eyebrow Gel

I love tinted eyebrow gels because you can fill your brows in at the same time as setting them, genius!  They also give a more natural look and stop you from overdrawing them!




IT Cosmetics Super Hero Mascara

This mascara really does what it says on the tin.  One or two quick coats of this and you're good for the day ahead.





Do you have any trusty and speedy makeup products you use for quickness?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Mexico City


So I went to Mexico in May this year and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write a post about it but time has just flown!  Mexico is a country I’ve wanted to visit for ages but there’s so much to see, I wanted to do it properly and take a bit of time to travel around.




Flights

My boyfriend (kind of) surprised me with plane tickets to Mexico City for Christmas and we straight away got planning to where else we wanted to go.  We decided to fly to Mexico City for 5 days, then fly across to Cancun for 5 days and then get a bus to Tulum for the last 4 days before heading back to Mexico City and then home.  I will write about Cancun in a separate blog post (hopefully that won’t take me another 3 months!).

We flew direct with British Airways from London Heathrow and our flights were around £600 each.  This included luggage and seat selection.  I can’t fault BA at all, even with the delays, because it was such a comfortable flight.

After the long 11.5 hour flight from London to Mexico City plus a two hour delay we finally made it around midnight to our hotel (which would have been around 7am back home!).  We were very tired and just wanted to sleep.



Hotel

We stayed at the Pennsylvania Suites just outside the city centre and we had the penthouse suite.  The room was insane with it’s own living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom and bathroom.  We also had a long balcony overlooking the most beautiful plant wall.  The was definitely my favourite hotel room from the whole trip.



Day 1

We took an Uber into the city centre to explore.  Ubers are really cheap in Mexico City and easy to get around.  We meandered around the city seeing some beautiful architecture, looking around the shops and stopping for some Mexican lunch.  The food is also super cheap here.  A bowl of guac and chips cost just £2.50 and the beer around £3 a bottle.  After spending the day in the city we headed back to our hotel to change and then went out to a local restaurant for dinner.  There are a lot of Mexican-Italian eateries around so that’s what we went for that night.



Day 2

We got up early and took a taxi to Teotihuacán to see the Pyramids.  It was a super hot day so you can imagine climbing the pyramids were a challenge but we got there and it was worth it because the views were just amazing.  It’s crazy to think that this architecture was built by hand 100s of years ago.  After a long day in the Mexican sun we headed back to our hotel to change and jump in another Uber to the Azteca Stadium.  My boyfriend is a huge football fan so getting to see one of the greatest teams in the world play in one of the world’s biggest stadiums was a real treat for him.



Day 3

This was my boyfriend’s birthday so I let him decide what he wanted to do and being the geek that he is he said he wanted to go to the Museum of Anthropology!  The museum was nice (not as nice as the London museums) and it was very big, however, I did find that it seemed to repeat itself a lot as you went round.  Overall, however, we had a lovely day in the city and went back in the evening for a nice dinner at an upmarket restaurant for our final night here.



Day 4

We were flying to Cancun later this day so didn’t want to venture out too far from our hotel so we decided to look up some nearby parks to explore and found this really cool one with gardens, a running track, gym and children’s playground (where we may have jumped on the swings)!

I loved this city so much I really didn’t want to leave but was excited to head to the beach and get some warmer weather.  It was hot in Mexico City but not as hot as we were about to experience in Cancun.. *stay tuned for the next chapter*



Food

Places we ate at and would recommend:

Senora Grill
El Huequito
El Romano
La Rural Argentina


Have you been to Mexico City?  What did you think?  I will definitely be back!

Lauren xx


Follow me here @wonky_lauren

3 Things I Want To Stop Apologising For

As human beings and especially Brits we are programmed to constantly subconsciously apologise.  Even when it's not our fault!  If someone knocks into me at the station in the morning we will both instantly apologise for example.  We just can't help it and although it may seem like the polite, correct thing to do I think maybe we need to take a backstep in some instants and just stop because it's not always necessary.


My appearance

If I don’t feel like I’ve dressed up enough or am smart enough on a certain occasion I will always apologise ‘sorry I’m a bit casual today, sorry I have no makeup on, sorry I’ve just scraped my hair up today’.  But why do we feel the need to do this?  What’s wrong with just wearing comfortable clothing from time to time?  If I feel more comfortable I generally work better so surely that’s a good thing?  I LOVE not wearing makeup and letting my skin breathe and I honestly think this is one of the reasons I have such clear skin.  As for my hair, I am a busy woman, I really don’t have time to wash, dry and style it every day!  Men don’t, so why should we?



My priorities

Lately I feel like I’ve been letting friends and family down by prioritizing doing work over seeing them.  I work full time whilst trying to study for further law exams and it’s not easy.  Sometimes you have to make a choice and prioritise your needs.  However, I’ve worked my butt off to get as far as I have and although I’ve made A LOT of sacrifices along the way it kind of has been worth it and I know it will pay off in the end.  So really I shouldn’t feel bad and I know my friends and family will only want me to do well so they understand too.

My feelings

It has taken me this long to realise that feelings are something that are completely out of our control.  We really can’t help how we feel and therefore we shouldn’t have to apologise for it.  I sometimes feel like I’m being dramatic by getting upset or angry of some menial issue and will apologise for snapping at people.  This is fine but at the same time there is a reason for being upset over something and so we shouldn’t feel like we were wrong to feel this way.


Is there anything you want to stop apologizing for?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

My House Cleaning Routine

A slightly different post today but following the rise of Mrs Hinch and other cleaning accounts a like I feel there is a definite increase in people enjoying cleaning.  I for one hated to clean and when I lived in my flat we would have a cleaner to clean for us.  However, when I moved into my house last year I realised it would be a lot more expensive to get a cleaner for a 4 bed house than it would a 2 bed flat so I had to give it a go myself.

Luckily this is when I discovered Mrs Hinch and it strangely got me excited to go out and buy cleaning products and start using them.  Over time of watching Mrs Hinch's videos I've unknowingly created my own cleaning routine and what products I like best so here it is:

Dining Room

I use diluted Zoflora on the dining room table, Febreeze to freshen up the chair seats and curtains and Windolene and Elbow Grease on the patio doors.

Kitchen

First I go round with Dettol and wipe down the surfaces, then I use Cif cream to clean the hob, Cif stainless steel on the sink and then go over everything again with diluted Zoflora.  I also use Dettol on the cupboards.

Living Room

I dust everything and then spray it with Mr Sheen.  I also use Febreeze on my sofas and fake plants and 1001 on the rug.



Washing Machine

To wash my clothes, towels and bedding I use a mixture of the scent boosters, a colour catcher depending on what colours I'm washing, Fairy gel and Lenor fabric conditioner.

Floors

I hoover or sweep the floors first then I mop them down with a mixture of water, Zoflora and flash floor wash.

Bathrooms

I use Mr Muscle bathroom on all the sinks, Flash in the bathroom and showers, Viakal to do the stainless steel, Astonish on the glass and then for the toilets I use pine bleach, Cif wipes and sometimes the Bloo powder to finish.  I also prefer to wash the floors with lemon floor wipes from Wilko.

Bedrooms

I use Windolene on the mirrors, a duster and Mr Sheen on the chest of drawers and side tables, spray the bed with Febreeze and place tumble dryer sheets in the pillow cases.



I don't generally do this all in one day unless I've had a busy week.  Somethings I do more often, other things less just depends!

Do you have any cleaning tips and tricks to share?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

5 Reasons Why I'm Excited For Warmer Weather

Now wasn't this weekend glorious!  25 degrees in London for a whole 5 days.  Aside from global warming, I'm not mad at it!  Here are my top 5 reasons why I'm so excited for more weather like this.

Tanned Skin

Whether you prefer to get a real tan or fake it like me, I use the warmer weather as an excuse to bronze myself up which always puts me in a good mood because personally I think life is just better with a tan.

Lighter Hair

Something about summer always makes me want to go lighter with my locks.  I've booked in to have my hair cut and highlighted this weekend and I can't wait.



Beer Gardens

Would I really be British if I didn't mention this?  Sitting in a beer garden with a cold drink on a hot day can often be better than being on a hot beach IMHO.  The buzz and atmosphere in London pubs when the weather is nice just can't be beaten, everyone is in a good mood!

Longer Evenings

In the winter I get home and I just want to snuggle up and go to bed, which is nice for a while but I feel so much more productive when it's still light outside.  I'll go to the gym, pop to the shops, clean the house, cook and all before 9pm!

Festival Season

Festival season is getting started and it's sooooo much better when the weather is warm.  I love listening to music outside with good food and drink but it's just not as fun when the weather is cold and rainy.



What are you top reasons for liking the warmer weather?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

How To Get Emily Ratajkowski's Bikini Body


There’s no denying that Emily Ratajkowski has one of the most enviable bikini bodies out there and with summer coming up we are probably wondering how we can get this body.  Now we may not be able to get her boobs but we can try and get the rest of her body with a bit of work!


Here are some of my favourite workouts and exercises to get toned and slim for summer:

  • HIIT (high intensity interval training) – this is a killer but I do a 30 minute session at the beginning of each week to motivate me and get me going for the rest of the week.  It really gets your heart going and you can definitely feel it the next day.  The class consists of different cardio and strengthening exercises which you do for 2 minutes before moving onto the next one.

  • Trampolining – I’ve only just started doing this class but it’s such a good workout for your legs and so much fun.  It’s only 45 minutes and you each have your own small trampoline rebounder.

  • Running and Cycling – whether it’s in the gym or outside these are one of the best exercise you can do for weight loss.  It’s actually also really good for toning the abs.  If you can’t afford a gym membership, this one’s for you.

  • Yoga and Hot Yoga – this is my favourite exercise at the moment and I do two classes per week.  I used to think yoga was just good for stretching but it’s good for so many things, including toning and your mental health.  Hot yoga is tougher because you’re doing it in 38-40 degree heat so better if you want more of a challenge.

  • Barre – there’s a reason ballerinas look so slim and strong.  This is another great one for the legs.

  • Step – this is a lot of fun and kind of dancey but I do find sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the movements.  Either way, you get a really good workout in whether you’re doing the correct steps or not!

  • Pilates – this class is amazing for getting those abs of steel but not as tough as yoga.  I’d recommend it to all levels.

  • Dance aerobics – this is basically like step but without the step so a bit easier.  If you love to dance you will love this class.

Will you give any of them a go?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Meghan Markle's Maternity Style

Try saying that after a few glasses of prosecco!  Anyway, seeing as everyone seems to be pregnant at the moment I thought I would spread some inspiration from our leading lady.  Say what you want about her but there's no denying her maternity style is on point.  She still seems to look chic, graceful and elegant.  Maybe Kim K should take a leaf from Meghan's book!

Neutrals

Florals

Evening glam

Colour
She just nails every look.

What do you think of Meghan's maternity style?

Lauren xx

How To Look Chic On A Budget

There’s nothing better than bagging a bargain but there’s also nothing worse than wearing something that looks cheap and tacky.  So I think the goal we always work towards is looking chic but still on a budget.  Here’s how:

  1. Shop in the sales

Make a list of designer or pricey items that you want and then hold out until the sales start.  I love making wish lists on ASOS for some of their high end brands and then as soon as they go in the sale I’ll know because I can see them get reduced on my wish list!

Trousers by 2ndDay, bought in the sale on ASOS and worn with a Zara jumper

  1. Mix high end with low end

This one I learnt from my mum as a little girl.  You don’t need a full outfit of designer pieces to look chic.  Just one or two items will do and then team them with high street pieces and no one will ever know the whole outfit is not designer.

  1. Shop high end high street stores

There are some stores that sell a happy medium if you can afford it.  Not cheap but not too expensive either; French Connection, Whistles and All Saints are good examples and always have great sales too.

Skirt by Sisley, bought in the sale on ASOS and worn with a blouse from New Look

  1. Seek inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest

Check out celebrity and blogger’s designer looks on the web and then try to recreate them yourselves.  Online stores such as Missguided, Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing are great for making dupes of celebrity looks.

  1. Invest in the classics

Sometimes you do need to get a bit spendy but as long as it’s an item that you know you’ll wear forever it’s worth it because it will also last forever.  Items such as jeans, leather jackets and a good white shirt.


Sandra jumper bought as an investment piece and worn with YAS trousers from the ASOS sale

What are your tips for dressing chic on a budget?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

The Best Makeup Looks From Fashion Week


Fashion Week isn’t just about the clothes you know!  There is always some great makeup looks that I take inspiration from too.  Here are some of my favourites from February:

 
Blue eyebrows

Peach looks perfect for fall

Glitter eyes by Pat McGrath

No makeup makeup by Fendi


All images via Pinterest.

Which is your fave?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren