This time last year, long before lockdown was even a thought in people’s minds, I was holidaying it up in the South of France. Provence to be precise. I was basking in the sun, enjoying everything the region had to offer – food, laid-back culture, stunning scenery… and of course, wine.
Funny story, I actually didn’t drink wine until I met my now husband. His family are wine lovers, who coincidentally shared their passion with me. In fact one of my best memories from recent years is holidaying with them for the first time; travelling around Provence to different vin yards, tasting the wine on offer, and getting an in-depth understanding of the people and their craft.
Enjoying Côtes du Rhône at home
I’m by no means a wine connoisseur, but I can get by. One of the areas I know more of (thanks to it being my father-in-laws favourite) is the Côtes du Rhône region. The Côtes du Rhône Villages is a French wine Appellation d’Origine Controlle (AOC – you’ve probably spotted this on your bottle of wine), in the southern wine region of France. They produce red, wine and rosé wine, which only 21 select areas can claim the ‘village’ title to.
I was lucky enough to be sent some amazing bottles of wine (which you can see in my photos) from Côtes du Rhône, as well as some delicious cheeses, bread etc to enjoy alongside them. We enjoyed this with the rosé on one of the hotter days this year, with the 21 Stories of the Côtes du Rhône podcast on in the background, it almost felt like we were back in the South of France.
Last month I received an email titled “Emma, your invite to Moonpig’s VIRTUAL event in July”. I was shook. An event… in this lockdown?! No but seriously, I was already a fan of Moonpig having used them during lockdown to send flowers and cards to family, and the mention of a virtual press event had me intrigued.
How to host a successful virtual event
I always think there are 5 key things to any successful press event. In no particular order, they are:
Food & Drink
Info on the company & the new “product”
Why? First off you need to be hydrated and energised, and I don’t know about you but there’s nothing that makes me feel more relaxed than nibbles and a good drink (alcoholic or not). Next you need an activity – something people can get involved with, that’s fun and will give them a memory to take away from the event. Of course both of these also help to encourage networking and socialising. And lastly, you need some goodies for people to “take home” with them – something that screams ‘[your] brand’, something they can show off on social media. For me personally, this is the recipe to a successful event.
Moonpig’s Virtual event
Let’s look at what Moonpig’s virtual event included:
We were given a food voucher so we could have dinner on the day.
A cocktail kit with alcohol, fruit etc. and a bouquet of flowers were sent the day before.
During the event Moonpig hosted two DIY classes for us to follow – flower arranging and cocktail making.
We were also sent gifts before the event, to showcase Moonpig’s products and delivery.
On the night Moonpig walked us through the app, some exciting new features, and how to personalise a card.
So was Moonpig’s virtual event a success? I think so. Apart from some slight difficulty in networking – anyone who has used Zoom with more than two people will get this – it had everything I would have looked for in a regular event.
It was cool to have someone from Moonpig’s product team talk us through the app, and show us personalisation options in real time. And obviously the classes stood out as a really cool experience – I’ve made the cocktails a few times since. I felt that I came away with a deeper understanding of Moonpig and what they’re about; if that’s not a success then I don’t know what is.
You can get 30% of a card & gift via the Moonpig app with code: APP30ORDER
Items were gifted by Moonpig, however all images, words and opinions are my own.
New lockdown regulations were brought in on July 24th, meaning that mean many of us will be spending more time wearing a face mask. For a lot of people with sensitive skin (like myself), it can lead to irritation or breakouts due to fabric rubbing, and a warmer/moister environment on the lower part of your face. And whilst these reactions may be frustrating, obviously wearing a mask and protecting yourself and others is more important. So what can you do?
Lockdown Skincare Tips
Thankfully Dermalogica have put together some top tips for keeping your skin healthy and protected, whilst wearing your face mask.
How to minimise a breakout:
Wear a clean mask every day – if you’re using reusable face masks, make sure you have a couple handy, whilst you clean the others.
Avoid wearing makeup underneath the mask – not only do you save time on your makeup, but you can focus on making your eyes shine.
Take your mask off regularly, where appropriate, to give the skin some fresh air.
Include anti-inflammatory formulas in your regime that include Salicylic Acid to help decongest pores and reduce breakouts.
Apply spot treatment formulas twice a day to increase healing.
Exfoliate skin regularly to reduce congestion and build-up. Try a gentle daily use formula to avoid over sensitising the skin.
Keep skin hydrated with a light or oil free moisturiser to improve the skins defensive barrier.
How to ease redness & irritation from a face mask:
Choose a soft breathable cotton fabric – ensure your mask fits well and is not too tight.
Avoid artificially fragranced products or those with astringent botanicals as they can increase redness and aggravate the sensitivity.
Keep your regime simple with a gentle creamy cleanser and a hydrating moisturiser.
Include a concentrated soothing serum to aid skin healing and try a replenishing masque for extra calming.
Betaglucan from oats and Vitamin B5 are great for reducing inflammation and promoting healing.
Lockdown Skincare Faves
So with the above in mind, I thought I’d share some of my favourite skincare products that have helped me keep my skin in shape during lockdown. Apologies for using empty bottles and not including some items in my photos, but I need to repurchase most of these.
Amazingly 6 out of 10 people have difficulty sleeping, and skincare addicts are not exempt! Unfortunately over the past few years I’ve been having trouble with my own sleep patterns. But once again, my favourite skincare brand Dermalogica have come to the rescue. They have partnered with Penguin Random House who have launched a new collection of audiobooks. In particular I was gifted ‘Sleep Tales’. An audiobook which has been developed with the Sleep Council to help you to relax before bed and improve the quality of your sleep. Much like Dermalogica’s Sound Sleep Cocoon – a revitalising gel-cream that transforms skin overnight by optimising night-time skin recovery. Motion-activated encapsulated lavender, sandalwood and patchouli essential oils work all night to promote deep, restful sleep and healthier-looking skin by morning.
Get a Better Night’s Sleep
I’ve been using the Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon* for about a year now, and I love how it feels lighter than your usual nighttime moisturiser when applied, but it works just as well. Worn by itself, I have actually noticed a difference in my sleep pattern as well as my skin. And since I started pairing it with Penguin’s‘Sleep Tales’ I’ve found myself enjoying a much deeper sleep. Penguin’s Sleep Tales include relaxing sounds like rain, and the sea – two things that I know myself and a lot of people find super relaxing. It’s amazing how something so little can make such a big difference.
If you’re a skincare fan who wants to get a better night’s sleep, or perhaps just add a new product to your regime, Dermalogica’s Sound Sleep Cocoon is the one for you. And it definitely wouldn’t hurt to download Penguin’s Sleep Tales audiobook for those that love some auditory relaxation too.
The items feature in this post were gifted to me by Dermalogica, however all views, photos and words are my own.
Sustainability is a hot topic in the blogging world right now. I’ll be the first to admit that I do not lead a 100% sustainable lifestyle. But then I also don’t think that’s entirely possible in the current climate. That said, day by day I am making a conscious effort to change the way I eat, shop, live… everyone’s got to start somewhere right?
Fun fact: I actively boycotted several high street brands and food shops when I was a teenager, after hearing about the sweatshops they were running. I guess the activist in me has been stirring for a while…
Let’s talk about sustainability, baby
I probably don’t buy clothes as much as most people; if I’m being extravagant I might buy a new item of clothing once a month. As someone who cares about the quality and story behind the clothes they’re buying, this has made it much easier for me to be sustainable. So when Rokit vintage offered me to come choose a couple of pieces in their Brick Lane store, I was very excited.
Thrift shopping is a great way to introduce sustainability to your wardrobe. Items of clothing are generally one-offs with character, and most of the time they’re the same price, if not cheaper! And you have the added bonus of knowing that you have kept the clothes from being sent to a landfill/your money isn’t funding fast fashion!
I’ve wanted to add a couple of band tees to my wardrobe for a while. But I wasn’t about to go buy a brand new 90s grunge inspired T-shirt from a high street store – that just seemed ridiculous – especially when I could buy an original. Luckily Rokit has a massive selection of original tees, so I grabbed a couple alongside some accessories that I’d wanted for ages (but couldn’t bring myself to buy from a chain store). The t-shirts may have been pre-owned but the quality hasn’t been affected by this, and they’ve fit into my wardrobe with ease.
If you fancy checking out Rokit vintage clothing for yourself, you can use the code VINTAGE20 to get 20% off any purchase.
The items feature in this post were gifted to me by Rokit, however all views, photos and words are my own.
Super Ordinary Life: A Field Guide to Noticing More
I’ve always been someone who constantly looks around, making my friends and family “go on ahead”, whilst I took photos of an interesting texture, or brightly coloured piles of plastic (etc). That’s not to say I’m pretentious about photography, or that I look down on people who spend their time on a perfectly styled shot. Not at all! In fact I love a good OOTD or product shot as much as the next person. But my true interest lies somewhere else…
Super Ordinary Life
I first met Yasumi via Instagram. I was enthralled by her photography and the ideology she represented. It was a refreshing break from the influencer-perfect shots that were filling my feed. I felt a connection with #super_ordinarylife straight away.
I think it’s fair to say that Yasumi changed my life. She helped me realise it was ok to express myself in ways that weren’t ‘on trend’, and that the amount of likes or followers you had wasn’t as important as creating something you cared about. At a time when I was struggling with my mental health, it helped bring me clarity and happiness.
It’s a Zine Scene
Why did I tell you all this? Because I hope it helps you understand just how ecstatic and proud I am to be holding a copy of Yasumi’s debut zine – Super Ordinary Life: A Field Guide to Noticing More – in my hands right now.
The zine is a mindful, fun, engaging approach towards noticing more in our everyday lives. It includes some of Yasumi’s own photography, as well as insightful inserts, and challenges/pointers on capturing your own #super_ordinarylife creations.
From shadows, to improvisation, and honing your eye. This zine is a gem for any photography lover, or someone that just wants to spend a little bit more time appreciating their surroundings. And if the photography featured in the zine isn’t enough to convince you that you should be noticing more, Yasumi’s carefully chosen words most definitely will. You can purchase the Super Ordinary Life zine here (currently being restocked).
Check out some of my own #super_ordinarylife creations below / find me on VSCO.
My Spring Beauty Essentials | 2019 Recommendations
With a change of season, comes a change in my beauty routine. Long gone are the cold winter nights, cloudy days and lack of sunlight which brought dry and dull skin. New obstacles arise, with hotter days and more time spent outside. Thankfully I am fully prepared this year. My recent trip to Japan helped a lot, as it meant I was able to stock up on some old favourites, as well as some new products I researched before/during my visit. That said, in 2019 I’ve continued to keep my beauty routine pretty varied in terms of origins & brands – with items coming from UK, Japan, Korea and France (amongst others).
I’ll be spending this spring focusing on the basics; healthy skin and hair, fresh scents and a fully prepped base with minimal make-up. So without further ado, here are my spring beauty essentials for 2019.
I’ve always been an advocate for taking care of your skin first, and I think that’s pretty apparent with this list, as you can see I haven’t added any new make-up products to my cupboard. But I think the most obvious change from my winter beauty products, is the addition of lighter creams and stronger SPFs. It may not be groundbreaking, but it is practical, and it works.
Don’t forget to check out more of my beauty recommendations and let me know in the comments which products you’ll be coveting in spring 2019.