Sustainable shopping, Sisterly fun and family time

Good Morning everyone, happy Sunday! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week and weekend?

It was my sister’s birthday last week and as her gift from George and I, I went to visit her and stay the night. I went Thursday just gone, I went on the train and it was a great journey.

She lives near Lincoln so we met there for a little retail therapy and some delicious lunch. I’m still trying to being low/zero waste when it comes to shopping and I decided to pop into Lush to get some zero waste beauty products.

I had just finished my usual Shampoo and face cleanser and decided that I wanted to purchase new ones that were sustainable and didn’t come in plastic. The ladies in Lush were just wonderful, they helped me select a couple of products that I was looking for and even sister got a new cleanser.

I got a cleanser called ‘Jade Roller’ which takes off my makeup and another makeup remover that was designed like a cotton pad — it was so cool and you can use it to remove makeup by getting in wet and rubbing it between your hands and it will form a balm type consistency, which will remove your makeup.

The shampoo bar is also a conditioning one too and I’ve used it once already and love it! It smells delicious and makes my hair super soft! It’s so funny how you use it too, you basically get it wet and rub it all over your head until it forms a lather and then you massage the lather into your hair (like you would with any other shampoo).

What I love about these products is that they will last me a long time and it’s my first step to zero waste beauty 🙂

I also purchased this gorgeous cloth bag that is made out of pieces of material designed to help the environment. The best thing about it is that you can use it multiple ways and get a little guide on how to make different wraps and bags.

I didn’t need anything else during our shopping trip so we headed for some lunch in this beautiful vintage inspired tearoom called ‘Bunty’s’ You get to it as if you’re walking to Lincoln cathedral up the steepest hill I think I’ve ever seen! I definitely found it a struggle, but the determination side of me wanted to get there and achieve it and we did!

We had a delicious lunch and cake at Bunty’s tearoom and then continued up the hill to look at the cathedral — it was such a gorgeous building.

In the evening we had a lovely pamper session where we used our new Lush products and did a face mask 🙂 it was so lovely spending time with my little sis.

On Saturday I was quite tired and resting in the morning and then I got a phone call from my pops who was surprising me by bringing my Nana to see George and I! George has just received a new job offer at work that he’s wanted so badly and he works so hard so when they accepted him, we were all so happy and proud that my pops also said he was treating us to lunch.

We went to this lovely garden centre where we had some good food and a look around. I love garden centres because I always find them relaxing and peaceful — I was also finally allowed a Bonsai tree!! 😀 George said that I was allowed on if I looked after it, so we chose one and it came with a booklet and now it has pride of place in our living room.

We had a truly wonderful day with dad and nana and loved every moment of it 🙂

I’ve put some photos below of the lovely times I’ve had over the last couple of days.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and I’ll see you next Sunday 🙂

Lots of Love

Hannah xx

The Final Month… 👰

Good Morning everyone! Happy Sunday, I hope you have all had a lovely weekend? Whether it’s been a weekend full of galavanting or relaxing at home with loved ones (ice had a mixture of both ☺️

So! It’s the final month before mine and George’s wedding! We can’t believe how quickly it’s come around and I can’t believe that a week today I will be on my second and final hen party (my lovely blogger friend Caz says bachelorette party sounds better so maybe I will call it that 😅) I like bridal party too.

Everything is coming together nicely, George and I have this week off to do some finishing touches and making things for the day as well as spend time together as we haven’t really done much of that recently with him working night shifts at work.

What’s left to do?

Throughout wedding planning Ive always maintained a relatively calm and collective head (I pray to God that I haven’t been a bridezilla 😅)

Getting all the big things out of the way and booked first was essential for me to remain stress free.. I’ll never forget the day when my Aunt and I were sat in a coffee shop discussing mine and George’s ideas when a lady came over, said how excited she was for us but also went onto saying “wedding planning is so stressful”

Why does it have to be stressful? Only if you make it so.

I’ve just gone with the flow throughout the whole of this because at the end of the day… This is a marriage… Not a show. That’s my personal opinion anyway.

I like excitement and fun but I don’t like too much fuss and neither does George, which is why our wedding is going to be intimate and lovely ☺️

Most of the things like table signs, seating board, invitations were all handmade by George and I.. he’s very good with logistics and I’m very creative and we’ve both enjoyed that 😀

The main thing for me about “What’s left to do” is looking after me.. early nights, good and healthy food (I’m reducing my carb and sugar intake — don’t worry I’m not going crazy.. just reducing refined sugars, processed food and no carbs in the evenings.

Having as many self-care days as possible whether that be a full on pamper night or just enjoying my walks to and from work.

The final month in my eyes shouldn’t be stressful and manic because the main things are sorted.. I’m really enjoying all the experiences and excitement of planning and organising our wedding.. enjoy the ride and the build up to your very special day ☺️👰

Next week’s post will be about my second and last hen party/bachelorette party/bridal party so stay tuned for what I get up to… I have no idea by the way! 😅

Planning a wedding with MS

Hello everyone! Happy Sunday! How are you all?

In today’s blog post I’m going to chat to you about how I’ve managed planning my wedding and living with Multiple Sclerosis.

First thing you should know 1) I’m a planner.. I like to plan things, organise and sort things out.. so planning my wedding along with George was never going to be a problem.

2) George and I have done what we want — that’s the main thing. It’s your day, noone else’s.

The other thing is stress management. Depending on what you’d like for your wedding and how you deal with stress is the main thing.

I’m very lucky that I’ve had friends and family (and George) help me with my planning, without trying to take our day away from us. They’ve allowed me to make decisions and helped me action them.

George has also had his say too, I think it’s important for your husband to be to have a part in the planning of they wish. George wanted certain things for our wedding and we actioned them.

List making is the way forward! Honestly, I’ve made so many lists it’s untrue! 😂 And I really love my lists, especially ticking things off.

Try not to let people stress you out and upset you. The one thing I have learned is that I can organise and plan most things.. but people isn’t one of them. When we sent out our wedding invitations, most of our guests didn’t RSVP. I mean, we knew they were coming because they told us before however, it’s just comments decency? That was hard not to get stressed about.. my little OCD brain didn’t like it.. but I learn to just let these these float over.. it’s out of my control so there’s no point stressing about it.

I do meditation everyday, in my own little way.. I don’t necessarily sir on the floor crossed legged and listen to meditation music.. for one I turn my phone off at 7pm at night and leave it on charge downstairs, which really helps me sleep and find some calm.

Also planning ahead. We started planning right at the start.. get all the big things done and booked first like, where you’re getting married and how etc. We did this a couple of months after our engagement, which at the time people thought we were mad.. planning that far ahead however, it reduced the stress so much cause things were all booked and sorted.

Accept peoples help. This might be hard to do for some people, but George and I are very grateful to everyone who has helped bring our wedding together how we’d like it. People will help for no other reason but because they want to ☺️ and if there is another reason or motive.. then do not accept their help.. remember it’s your day ☺️

George and I have always said that we just want to get married.. that means the most to us and that’s what it should mean too ☺️

That’s the one thing I will always say, that it’s your day.. don’t plan someone else’s day.. it’s all about you and your future husband.

MS has been okay really with regards to wedding planning, because I have stuck to everything I’ve mentioned above.

Have I been stressed and overwhelmed? Yes at times I have.. but George is my best friend and he always supports me ☺️

The main thing is to listen to your body, rest, take care, accept help and enjoy the moment ☺️

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and if was helpful/useful for you?

Much love and hugs

Hannah xx

My Wedding Skincare Routine – Evening

Good Afternoon everyone ☺️ I hope you’re having s lovely bank holiday weekend? What are you all up to?

Today my Grandmother and family are doing a birthday tea party for me for my birthday, which will be super lovely ☺️

Today’s blog post however, is going to be “My Wedding Skincare Routine – Evening” if you’d like to read my Morning Wedding Skincare Routine then click the link below.

Scroll down for Morning Skincare Routine for my Wedding

A little like my morning skincare routine, I have been keeping things simple and it’s really been working for me.

I’ve also been doing a slightly different step in my skincare called 60 second cleanse” I found this on YouTube and you basically use any cleanser (cream, foam or gel) and using your fingers and hands, you cleanse your face for 60 seconds..you can see the YouTube video here

Life Changing Skincare Tip

Since watching this video, I’ve been doing the 60 second cleanse.. and I’ve honestly noticed a difference and for the first time in a while Im not wearing any foundation for work 😀

So that’s a step that I’ve adopted recently, but let’s get into the skincare.

Cleansing

To remove my makeup in the evening I use Your Good Skin Cleanser from Boots — I’d say it’s like a cream cleanser that removes all your makeup (sometimes I do have to use an eye makeup remover to remove some of the left over mascara as I don’t like to leave anything on)

This cleanser does not have a scent and leaves my skin feeling nice and soft.

It’s also affordable at under £7! You also get 2 muslin cloths with it, I think it’s a great purchase and I’ll be purchasing it again!

I put about a 10p piece amount on my fingers and just massage my face.. once all the product is worked into my skin, I then use the muslin cloth to remove it.

Double Cleanse

Yes I double cleanse.. I like to make sure all of my makeup is removed.

I use a gentle gel cleanser that I got from Sainsbury’s a supermarket here in the UK.

It’s their Vegan range beauty that they’ve just launched.. I didn’t realise it was vegan, I just saw that it was £2!!!! That’s what caught my eye.

I lather it upon my hands and then do my 60 second cleanse. It’s like giving your face a massage really and it’s really help make my skin clearer and feels nice too.

Source of Nature Skincare

Serum

Once I’ve paid my skin dry with a face cloth, I move onto my serum.

This is the only product that I have that’s more high end than drugstore.

It’s the Bare Minerals Skinlongevity serum and I’ve been using this day and night for just over a week now.

I love the feel of this and the way it glides onto my skin.. I’m not too sure if I’ve noticed a difference in my skin because of this or if it’s because I’m using products for sensitive skin.

I’m not 100% sure if recommend it, purely because it’s expensive at £34 for a smaller bottle (yes it will last, however I just feel maybe there are more affordable options out there)

It also has a lovely spa like scent to it, which I like but many people don’t like scents so it’s personal preference.

Bare Minerals Skinlongevity Serum

Moisturiser

The moisturiser I’ve been using is the same as the one I use in my morning routine Cetaphil.

I love it because it’s designed for sensitive skin.doesnt irritate at all when it’s applied, no scent and leaves my skin feeling smooth.. and.. it’s affordable!

I know it doesn’t look like most of the Instagram beauty gurus bottled, but I really don’t care.. it works so well for my sensitive skin that I display it with pride 😀

Cetaphil Moisturiser

Facial Oil

You can kind of see a rhythm here. I use mostly all the same skincare products as I did in my morning routine. There’s no real change apart from the cleanser.

That’s because I don’t want to put different things on at night and morning because how is my skin supposed to get used to them?

The facial oil I do after I’ve applied my moisturiser to lock everything in.

It’s by Sukin that I discovered in Boots and funnily enough, if was the price that caught my eye! It’s affordable skincare and no nasty chemicals.

The Rosehip oil they do is just amazing and really calms my skins redness down! I use it morning and night but apply more at night to allow it to sink in. This product is 100% recommend as it’s done wonders for my skin and it’s under £20!

Sukin Skincare Rosehip Facial oil

Face masks

Now… If I’m having a pamper night (if you follow me on Instagram then you’ll know that’s a Thursday evening) then I always like to use a mask and one that I’ve discovered lately is by Aldi!

It’s a real replica or of Sandsky rose clay face mask.. from the packaging to the formula and it’s SO affordable! In Aldi you can pick it up for £5.99

Just be careful of you have really sensitive skin, I didn’t feel anything on my when I applied it.. just went a bit tight as it dried but left my skin looking and feeling brighter and luminous.

I LOVE it!

And there you go. There is my evening Wedding Skincare Routine. Like I mentioned I pretty much stick with the same products morning and night so that my skin get used to them, because I have sensitive skin.

I’ve really found that the products that I’ve mentioned have really worked for me and I love using them morning and night.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and stay tuned for next week where I’ll be talking about Planning a Wedding with a Chronic Illness.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend and have a great bank holiday!

Love and hugs,

Hannah xx

Skin Care Routine 2018

Hey Everyone! I hope this post finds you all well and I hope you’ve had a good weekend?

I thought for this week’s post id change it up a little and tell you all about my Skin Care Routine 2018. I’ve always loved skin care and makeup, I’m that kind of girl.. I’m not the girl whose obsessed with shoes of clothes. I’m the kind of girl who loves trying out new skin care.. as we all know.. I LOVE a pamper night!

Definitely since my recent cold virus (yuck!) I’ve noticed my skin to have changed! My skin type is usually combination. My T-Zone is oily and the other parts are a mixture of dry and normal.

Since going Vegan/Plant based I’ve definitely notice that my skin is a lot clearer which is great, however I also drink a lot of water too (that’s definitely the secret to good skin!)

But recently my skin was getting dryer and I also noticed some spots appearing. So I thought I’d do my research and find something to help with this!

*I just wanted to say that this post isn’t sponsored and a disclaimer. I know I use a lot of products but I find that they work for me and I like to try and keep most of my skin care products natural, free from parabens and other nasties.*

Let’s start with – Make Up Removal

Coconut Oil

I’ve been using Coconut Oil to remove my makeup for the past month and honestly it’s sooo good! I feel like it’s a staple you can grab anywhere (I got this from Boots of all places!)

I also feel like it’s a natural product and doesn’t contain anything like parabens etc. And it doesn’t sting my eyes! (YAY!)

This massive tub has been going for the past month and I’m loving using this as a makeup remover.

What I do is get about 1/2tsp amount onto my hands and rub them together, I then apply it to my face using circular motions to remover the makeup from the day. I then use either a muslin cloth/towel or flannel with warm water to remover the excess.

And voila your makeup is removed… However my cleansing doesn’t finish there in the evenings.

I’m going to talk about my Morning and Night Skin Care Routine.

Morning Skin Care

So.. the main products that I’ve fallen back in love with are the products by a company called Avene. It’s a French company who specialise in natural skin especially for people who have sensitive skin.

They have ranges to suit all skin types as well, and I’m pretty sure they don’t contain any nasties like parabens etc.

I used to use their range when I was going through a breakout of acne a couple of years ago and honestly and can whole heartedly say that it clear my skin up lovely!

Now that my skin has turned more dry since the cold whether and getting sick, I’ve changed things up a little.

Cleansing

For cleansing I use the Avene gel cleanser it doesn’t contain soap and you can use this for you body as well! My skin doesn’t feel dry or tight when I use it, it just feels clean! (Funnily enough!)

I put about a penny size amount into my hand, then using warm water I partner it up until it forms a foam like consistency and then apply all over my face and neck.

Toning

For face toner I use the Avene Cleanance range (as I’ve said I have Oily Combination but going through a dry spell at the moment) and this toner is lovely! It’s cooling and nice to be applied. I mainly use this on my T- zone and around my chin/neck using 2 cotton pads.

For my eyes, as they’ve been really delicate and dry lately, I’ve been using the Liz Earle Eye Bright and I apply this to 2 cotton pads and just hold them on my eyes for a few seconds and then just wipe around my eyes gently.

It’s very cooling and soothing and since I’ve been using this plus something else, it’s really help combat have the dryness and irritation I was experiencing.

Serum

For my morning serum I use this beauty! Again by Avene the Cleanance range for acne prone skin. Again I mainly apply this to my T-Zone and neck, which is where I suffer with acne sometimes. I use a very small amount as it goes a long way!

Sun Protection

I’m going to say it! I’ve only just started using sun protection within my skin care! I’ve been reading a lot about sun protection and being that my skin tone is quite pale, I should take more care.

I got this Sun Protection from Avene and again it’s in the Cleanance range so it won’t and doesn’t make my skin oily so I apply this everywhere, including my neck every morning.

Day Cream

Lol can you see a trend yet!? Okay I kind of got the Avene range lol.. but this day cream is lovely.. it feels really hydrating and doesn’t leave my skin too oily. I just use this in the morning and mainly on my cheeks.

Now…

Evening Skin Care Routine

So.. the cleansing part is still the same, I use the same product as the morning.

Serum

So this serum from Avene I use mainly on my T-Zone and chin area. I love these products purely because they don’t irritate my skin. I haven’t noticed anything at the moment but it’s only because I haven’t been using it long enough yet.

I then apply this serum mainly on my cheeks. I love No.7 beauty products and used to use them, however some of them made my skin feel a little more oily than the Avene so I’m sticking mainly to that.

Night cream

Now this.. this is something I’ve not tried before and I can say that it’s AMAZING!! I went to work last week with my skin feeling really tight, sore and dry. She told me about the above cream and said it really helped her and omg was she right!?! It’s amazing! And I love it!

It’s really helped with my skin and I use it every night. I also use it on my hands and feet too ☺️

And the final product that I use morning and night is the Avene eye contour cream. I use this around the delicate skin around my eyes.. using my ring fingers to gently massage it in. I’ve definitely noticed that my eyes don’t feel as dry or sore as they did before which is great 😊

So that my lovelies is my skin care routine for 2018 at the moment. I hope you all enjoyed the read.

I’ve also filmed a YouTube video of this too if you’d like to see my going through my Skincare steps.

My YouTube account is Hannah Smith Youtube Channel

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend! Sending you lots of love as always.

Hannah xx

Going Back To Work & Some Great News! 

Hello Gang! How are you all!? I hope you’ve all had a great second week of January!? Let me know in the comments how you’ve been and we can connect! 

Ever since New Year’s Eve (No George didn’t propose then lol) I’ve just felt so positive and focused! It’s almost as if a light switch has just been flicked in my head because I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this! 

I have a new little motto for myself for the year and hopefully years to come and it’s… “Not My Problem!” My whole life virtually I was a people pleaser. I always cared about what others thought not just about me but about themselves. I always wanted to be friends with people and just be nice to everyone. 

Yes this has had good points throughout my life, however there’s also been a lot of negativity from it too. I found that if someone was having a bad day or in a bad mood, it would drag me down too.. making me feel low or stressed and do you know what.. it wasn’t even MY PROBLEM! 

2017 wasn’t the greatest year with 4 reasonably big relapses and having a considerable amount of time off work for each relapse.. but it wasn’t until the end of the year when that light switch flicked and I thought “do you know what.. I’m now going to concentrate on ME” I need to stop allowing myself to get caught up in other people’s dramas or problems and just focus on my own and ever since I have thought this way I have felt so empowered and strong from it! 

Today I went to the Doctor’s for a review and I was thrilled to tell her that I was ready to go back to work!!! I actually felt so happy and like I’ve said above, empowered and focused to slay it! My Doctor was also really happy for me and she too said in order for my MS symptoms to remain minimal, we needed to control my stress and anxiety levels, which again is why I have my new motto “NOT MY PROBLEM”. 

I’m going to be going back to work 4 days a week starting at 4 hours a day and slowly increasing those hours over a period of time until I’m doing 4 days a week full time.. my aim is to get back to work full time.. but I don’t plan ahead.. I live for today so each day is unique. 

My first day back at work is going to be this coming Saturday!! Everyone who I work with was really happy that I’m coming back and I can honestly say that I’m truly happy to go back and be with them all 😊

I also have another piece of great info! I received a letter from my Neurologist following my recent MRI scan aaaannnddd….. There are NO NEW LESIONS!! 😃😃😃 I’m so so happy with this cause even though my relapses were pretty nasty last year, my neurologist said they haven’t caused any permanent damage which is fantatic! 

This has given me more of a boost to continue my vegan lifestyle, to continue the anti-inflammatory foods and exercise….well…one step at a time lol. 😂 

I’m really happy at the moment and I hope I can spread my happiness and positivity around 😊 

Thank you for reading and I hope you’re all okay.

Lots of love

Hannah xx 

My Current Morning Routine

My current Morning Routine

Hello everyone, how are you all doing? I hope you’ve all had a good start to the week. As always leave me a comment and then we can connect together 

Following on from my blog post about ‘5 ways to De-stress/Self – Care’ I thought I’d extend on it and write all about my current Morning Routine and hopefully it will encourage, inspire or just simply help you (if I looked back at this little routine I do a few months ago, I would believe it!) in case you haven’t had the chance to read my previous post, you can find it here:

So let’s get started..

George gets up for work around 6:30am so his alarm go off then, however Arthur normally wakes us up around 6am wanting his breakfast lol! George will go and feed him and get his own breakfast and I just rest for a little longer and wake up slowly – yes I usually look at my phone lol!

At around 7am I’ll head downstairs to make myself a refreshing herbal tea, recently I’ve been drinking Ginger and Lemon tea and it really helps to wake me up. I also fill my bottle with some really cold water from the fridge (I don’t buy bottled water, I just fill up a bottle and put it in the fridge) and then head upstairs ready to wake up properly.

That usually brings us to 7:15am and this is when I get all comfy, sit on my bed and do my morning meditation – As you all know I loved ‘Head Space’ to begin my meditation, once I’d completed the free trial I then used and app called ‘Calm’ and you get a 7 day free session too.. However I completed that also, so I now just look up YouTube videos ‘Guided Morning Meditation’ and it comes up with so many.

When I meditate I like to have the curtains open and the window open so I can breathe in the fresh air, if it’s a horrible cold day or raining then I switch on my diffuser and use my essential oils as they’re so relaxing.

After my meditation around 7:30am I just relax and drink my tea, normally until George has finished in the bathroom.

7:50am I get out of bed and make it so it’s all ready for the evening, I also feel like a made bed just gets you ready for the day also lol.. I then get changed into my yoga clothes (just some comfy joggers and a long sleeved t-shirt) and head downstairs to say goodbye to George and do my morning yoga.

8:00am I do 15 minutes of yoga, I find videos again on YouTube and generally just type in ‘Morning yoga for beginners’ and again there’s loads.. I’ve been loving Madeleine Shaw’s energising yoga routine but here are plenty of amazing ones too.

8:20am I make my breakfast which is always a smoothie that consists of frozen fruit (I have a different sort every day) banana, almond milk, water, ginger, cinnamon, a littler turmeric, coconut sugar and oats – I drink this slowly until about 9:30am and I can say that it keeps me full until around 12pm when I snack on some nuts at work.

Once my smoothies made and things are put away its around 8:30am and I head back upstairs and relax for about 20 minutes before getting ready, this is when I go through my Bullet Journal writing down my three grateful things, going through my tracker and write down things that I need to do during the day.

9am is when I get ready for work, I start with my cleansing routine and allow that to absorb into my skin, once that’s done I then move onto makeup and hair – for work I like a simple look, nothing too heavy and that I can do quickly.

This takes me to around 9:45am, which is when I’ll head downstairs and just make sure I’m ready to go to work.

And that is my current morning routine, even though I’m only working 11-2 at the moment, I don’t just stay in bed all morning (I used to but I needed to get into a routine and get used to getting up early) I have found that things are getting a little easier, however some days I still feel exhausted but do you know what… On those days.. I just take things steady and don’t rush things.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this read and I hope it’s helped any of you or given any of you some ideas  leave me a comment below of anything you do in the morning as a routine.

Love to you as always

Hannah xx