TOP FIVE SOAP & GLORY PRODUCTS

Soap and Glory Hand Food Sugar Crush Peaches and Clean Righteous Butter


Soap & Glory has been one of my favourite brands for years now. My lovely parents get me the big gift set for Christmas every year which tends to keep me stocked up on the essentials, but I bought some of their facial skincare products last year and really liked them, too. These are my five favourite products:


BEAUTY SLEEP ACCELERATOR MOISTURE MIRACLE

I talked briefly about this overnight moisturiser in my last Boots haul and I've been using it every night since. It's very moisturising without being heavy and feeling like it's clogging my pores. I have quite dry skin so it's perfect for me and is one of the best moisturisers I've ever used. A little goes a long way so the pot will last me ages. Soap & Glory skincare seems to be on offer in Boots quite often so keep an eye out for a bargain!

THE RIGHTEOUS BUTTER

This is a staple Soap & Glory product and probably one of their most popular ones, and I just had to give it a mention here. It's the only body lotion I use because it's just ideal - very moisturising, leaves the skin feeling very soft and smooth, yet doesn't take forever to dry in. I apply it as soon as I come out the shower and by the time I've used my hair products I'm able to get dressed. I don't know if I'm imagining it but I swear it just makes my legs look so much better!

PEACHES AND CLEAN

A creamy cleansing milk which easily melts away makeup, this is a lovely product which leaves my skin super soft. I have sensitive skin and this doesn't irritate it or dry it out, which has been an issue with some other cleansers I've used. The creamy feel of it is perfect for dry skin and I find it to be a good base for my moisturiser, giving me that extra bit of hydration my skin needs. Plus, it has that amazing peachy smell that I love so much!


SUGAR CRUSH BODY SCRUB

This is from the lime scented range of S&G products, which I love because citrus smells are my favourite. I've tried lots of body scrubs but this is the one I use the most. It has enough granules in it to really slough away the dead skin, but is still gentle enough that it doesn't hurt at all. I use this before shaving and it really helps to get the best end result possible. The tub is huge, too so it lasts forever.

HAND FOOD

The area around my knuckles always gets super dry for some reason, so I need to use a good hand cream often and this is the best one I've tried. I keep a full-sized tube next to my bed to use at night, plus a mini tube in my handbag for on the go. My biggest gripe with hand creams is when they leave your hands so greasy that you can't even do anything after you've applied it, but this is the only one I've used that doesn't do that. It dries in quickly and doesn't leave that horrible residue.

There are so many more Soap & Glory products that I love so it was difficult to narrow it down, but these are the ones I would recommend the most. Hopefully if you try them you'll love them as much as I do!

What are your favourite Soap & Glory products?


MUSIC I'VE BEEN LOVING | SCOTTISH BURDS

As I said in my 2016 Plans and Goals post, I'd really like to include more music features on my blog, and what better way to start this off than with supporting local female talent? Both bands featured below are recent discoveries for me and I've been listening to them a lot recently. Check them out, hopefully you'll like them too!

The Van T's


THE VAN T'S

The Van T's are so named because they are fronted by Glaswegian twins Hannah and Chloe Van Thompson. Their latest EP Laguna Babe is awesome - it has a cool punk sound with a hint of surf rock, which works really well. The girls' voices sound great together and you're bound to get their songs stuck in your head - Growler is so catchy and a favourite of mine. I get a kind of Best Coast vibe from them so if you like BC you should love The Van T's! Also, how good is the EP artwork?! Check out their Soundcloud and if you're in Glasgow, they're playing a free gig in King Tut's this Saturday!


KLOE

Kloe's third single Touch was what got me interested in her and I've played it so much this month. It sounds way more sophisticated than a third song, even before an album or EP has been done. Her first two singles (Grip and Feel) are unfortunately not on Spotify so I haven't listened to them quite as much, but you can hear them on her Soundcloud, and together they form a trilogy. I recently read Nylon's interview with Kloe and she seems like such a fun, down to earth girl - I think we should be pals actually. I'm hoping she plays a Glasgow show soon because I'd love to see her live, but she is supporting Marina and The Diamonds on the Glasgow date of her tour so you can catch her there.

Let me know if you listen to either of these girls! I reckon they'll both get a lot bigger in 2016 so now's the time to get into them!

What new artists have you been listening to?

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MY FAVOURITE JANUARY PICK ME UPS

I think we can all agree that January pretty much sucks, but it's actually a good time to take care of ourselves. Here are some of my favourite ways to cheer myself up from the January blues.

Vice Magazine The Skinny Magazine Spotify

GET INSPIRED

There's nothing like a fresh batch of inspiration to make me feel good, and it can come in many forms. As a student journalist I love reading good magazines (Vice is a favourite) and the websites that go with them (Check Nylon and i-D). It reminds me of what I want to do with my life and gives me ideas for things to write about or new writing styles to try. Music is also a big inspiration for me, and everyone has their own things that spark great ideas in their minds. So, find what inspires you most and do it as often as you can, it's hard to be down when your brain is brimming with awesome ideas!

BUBBLE BATH

I'm sure most people love a bubble bath as a way to relax and it's a great way to pamper yourself a little. I only ever use Lush bath products as there's nothing quite like them and one that I really enjoyed using recently was Bar Humbug*. It's purple, sparkly and smells amazing - what's not to love?! It's a bubble bar rather than a bath bomb so you get maximum bubbles from it. I usually take a magazine in with me - I'm too scared to take a book in case I drop it in! It's nice to have a little glass of wine too, of course, and I usually sit with a face mask on for a while for an extra skin treat.

Netflix Pretty Little Liars Tea

NETFLIX AND CHILL

And I actually mean chill! As basic as it may seem, usually one of my favourite parts of the day is sitting on the couch in the evening in my pyjamas, wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea and watching something good. At the moment Adam and I are watching The Walking Dead (we're halfway through season 5 so no spoilers please!) and it's such a great show. We always have something on the go on Netflix and have watched some brilliant series' - it's nice to get caught up in a great programme for a while.

GETTING ORGANISED

This may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but I do love that sense of productivity and satisfaction when I feel like I've got my life together. If I'm having a chill day at home I like to go through my planner and make sure it's up to date as well as making to do lists to keep on top of things. It's also good to have a bit of a tidy, or even a total clear-out. Start small with one drawer, then see what else you can do. I find that once I get started with that kind of thing, I end up wanting to clear out the whole flat!

Once Upon A Tart Glasgow

TEA AND CAKE

A lot of people tend not to go out as much in January after spending so much at Christmas, so while nice restaurants might not be on the cards, a cute coffee shop is a good alternative. Find an independent place near you that sells nice drinks and even better treats, then go along with a friend or family member for a lovely afternoon. For anyone in Glasgow, I love Once Upon A Tart on King Street. The décor is amazing, with a bit of an Alice in Wonderland feel, plus they do great food. Their ciabattas are to die for and there's always a brilliant selection of cakes.

What do you do to cheer yourself up in January?


2016 PLANS AND GOALS

I know your feed must be flooded with this type of post but I think it's important to take a step back and evaluate where you are in life, no matter what time of year it is. January just happens to be an easy time for most people to do that, and the feeling of drawing a line in the sand and leaving 2015 behind can be very comforting. I don't like to make resolutions as such, so instead I've identified four things that I'm planning to do this year and how I want them to work out, as well as four personal goals I'd like to achieve. 

PLANS

1. GRADUATE

A major change for this year will be graduating from university. I've spent the past sixteen years of my life in education so it will be very strange to come to the end of that era but I'm so ready to get out there and get my first "proper" job. To be honest, I'm pretty much over uni at this point - I haven't particularly enjoyed my time there and I haven't liked my course much at all. I love journalism but the course at my uni is just not great, so I'm very eager to actually start working instead of just talking about it. I'm aiming for at least a 2:1 but of course a First would be amazing (if not slightly out of reach!)

2. TRAVEL

I'm planning to go on holiday when I graduate, hopefully to L.A. I really wanted to go last year for my 21st birthday but unfortunately had the idea too late so didn't have time to save enough money. I started saving when I went back to uni in September and have been continuing to put money away ever since. It'll be quite a big trip to plan and it will be expensive so I'm trying not to get my hopes up in case it doesn't happen. In any case, I'll have money saved up to go somewhere so I'll have a good holiday no matter what. Fingers crossed for L.A though!

3. GET A JOB

A proper grown-up journalism job I mean. This is the scariest plan for me because I don't actually know what I really want to do. There's so many areas of journalism and the possibilities are practically endless so it's quite daunting, trying to figure out what's best for me. I know my first job after graduating isn't likely to be my dream job, but I still want to do something I enjoy. To think that I have no idea what I'll be doing this time next year is very scary, but quite refreshing too because I've never really been in that situation before. I can't wait to find out where I end up and I'm so excited to start my career.

4. IMPROVE MY BLOG

I was doing pretty well with this blog a few months ago - consistency has always been my issue but I was posting regularly for a good while and I was really proud of myself. Unfortunately, the end of the year was a very busy and stressful time for me so my blog had to take a back seat. I want to get back to that regular schedule again but I know that realistically it will be difficult. I'm going into my final semester of uni and I'm determined to get as good a degree as possible so that has to be my first priority. I don't want to stop posting completely though, so even if I can blog once a week during those extra busy times I'll be happy. I want to make my blog a bit more "me", without feeling like I have to conform to any blogging stereotypes, so expect more personal posts and I'm going to be writing more about music too.



GOALS

1. BE MORE CONFIDENT IN MY SKILLS

I'm terrible at tooting my own horn but when it comes to applying for jobs later in the year, I'll have to be able to convince employers that I'm a good enough writer for them to take on. I'm not very confident in my writing skills for several reasons: I don't write as much as I probably should, I don't read my own work after writing it and I don't let others read my work very often. I can change all three of these things and I know that will make me feel much better about my work. When I do get feedback on my writing it's generally positive (even that was hard for me to write for fear of sounding like I'm bragging!) so I know I'm not a bad writer. I just need that extra bit of faith in myself to really feel comfortable in my chosen line of work.

2. IMPROVE MY PHOTOGRAPHY

I've been interested in photography for years now but still don't feel like I've fully got into it or learned as much as I should have. I'm looking at buying a new camera (the Sony A5100 - do you have any experience with it?) so I can't wait to play around with it and get some great shots. I know the "rules" of photography but I often don't have the time or patience to really put them into practice when I'm taking photos. Add to that the fact that my flat is terrible for lighting and I find myself getting very frustrated when shooting. I want to dedicate more time this year to taking good photos and might invest in some lighting equipment if need be. Hopefully this time next year my photography will have improved and I'll have photos to be proud of.

3. READ MORE

I love reading and I always have. When I was younger I had a book on the go at all times and would read every night before bed at the very least. I think it's common that as you get older, you find less time for reading. We're all so busy that sitting down with a book for an hour or so seems like an unattainable luxury, but it doesn't have to be. When I do have a book on the go I find myself giving up my evening social media time in favour of the book, which is definitely a good thing. The issue I have is that once I've finished a book, it seems to be ages before I start a new one. I got several books for Christmas so I'm going to make sure not to leave huge gaps between them and read a lot more throughout the year.

4. CHANGE MY OUTLOOK

I've been saying to myself for so long that I should start thinking more positively and practicing things like mindfulness but it's one of those things that's much easier said than done. I'm definitely guilty of thinking the worst at times and I can have quite a negative thought process but this year I really want to change that. People who have got into the habit of thinking positively say it can really change your life for the better and I totally understand how it could. I'm going to pay close attention to the way I think about things and any time I start thinking negatively, I'll challenge myself to turn it into a positive. I think this could really do wonders for my state of mind so hopefully 2016 will be the year of positivity and happiness for me.

I'm quite happy with the goals I've set myself - they're attainable whilst still being challenging and I think that's key for any kind of forward planning. Achieving those goals (or even just making a start with them) will improve my life in various ways so I'm really determined to work hard on them this year. The plans I have are exciting and a bit scary, but knowing they're (pretty much) definitely going to happen is comforting, plus it gives me things to look forward to. I have quite high hopes for 2016 and I can't wait to see where the year takes me. Here's to new beginnings!

What are your hopes for the year ahead?