Things to do in the summer holidays

Things to do in the summer holidays

The summer holidays are fab, especially when you get to year 11 and onwards because you get months off. However, you can quickly run out of ideas for things to do and become bored – which is still better than being at school/college/uni, but I’ve put together a list of fun things to do in the sun! I don’t actually get a summer holiday this year as I’m working full time, so I’m going to live my summer through this blog post instead – be sure to let me know what you’ve got up to so far this summer!

Breakfast dates

On a warm sunny day, I love getting up early – something I don’t usually do – and going out to get breakfast. You can go with friends, family or just go alone and sit and read a book. I personally love a McDonald’s breakfast – you can’t beat those snack wraps with some pancakes. It’s just nice to get up early and make the most of the sunshine and it’s a nice alternative to going out with friends for pizza or burgers etc.

Going for a bike ride

I feel like nobody ever goes for bike rides anymore, or at least not round where I live, and I used to absolutely love riding my bike. It’s a way to do some exercise and it’s fun at the same time. Why not bike it with a friend or two to a local park and get some ice creams or coffees? Make it an all day thing and do an all round trip around your town and play tourist for the day.

Cafe crawl

Just like a bar crawl, but for cake and coffee. Go around your town and visit loads of cafes and sample all the coffees. Again, this is something you could do with friends or alone – take your best mate and spend the day gossiping or take your laptop and do that summer homework you’ve been avoiding.

Movie marathons

Get your friend(s) round for a Harry Potter marathon or a Star Wars marathon – whatever takes your fancy. Go shopping together and buy a trolley full of your favourite unhealthy snacks and set up your living room to be all cosy with fairy lights and blankets. Or if it’s a beautiful sunny day, why not set up a tent in the garden and watch films on your laptop?

Go to your nearest beach

Why not pick a nice day and catch a train to your nearest beach? Or drive if you’re lucky enough to be that close to a beach. You could even go for a breakfast date first and then go to the beach for the day. If you’re older and drive, take the opportunity for a road trip. Put together a summer playlist on Spotify and go on a road trip.

Take a trip to Ikea

Going to Ikea is like going to Disney World for me, it’s never a quick trip and you can turn it into a full day event and treat yourself to meatballs and everything. Even if you’ve not got any money to spend, use the displays for inspiration – I love just getting ideas from homeware shops. Take your best friend and push them round in the trolley for the full experience.

Get creative

Do a little google search and find some fun creative things to do. Set yourself up outside with some music and make something spectacular in the sunshine. Or if it’s a typical rainy English day, put your favourite film on and get making while watching.

Go camping

You don’t have to go far, you could always just camp in your back garden. Have an all-nighter with your best friend and watch your favourite shows until the sun starts to rise.

Make yourself a reading list

One thing I always do in the summer is make myself a reading list and a reading goal. Make the most of those long warm summer evenings and sit outside working your way through your reading list.

Have a cocktail making night with friends

If you’re a bit older, why not buy yourself a cocktail kit and get together with friends for the evening and make your own cocktails? It’s great buying fancy cocktails in bars but it’s so much more fun to make them yourself! Experiment and discover a new combination.

Get volunteering

Why not do some volunteer work with some friends? You can have fun, do a good deed and add something to your CV all at the same time. Admittedly, I’ve never done this, but I wish I had and I’d like to in the future. Why not start small and do the gardening at your Nan’s or re-decorate for her? Offer to cut your elderly neighbour’s lawn or wash their car?

Re-decorate your room

I absolutely love decorating, I’d re-decorate my room every six months if I had the money and my parents would let me. In 2015 I saved up some money and spent my first week of summer re-decorating and I loved it. If you haven’t got much money, why not just give the walls some fresh paint or have a move around? You could just hang up some tapestry and paint your drawers a different colour. Make a memory board (I have a post on how to make one here) or buy some cheap prints of quotes and make a display on your wall with them.

Go to a theme park

I know quite a lot of schools in the UK have an end-of-year trip to Alton Towers, Drayton Manor, Thorpe Park etc, but if you weren’t lucky enough to go, why not make your own summer trip? Get together with your friends and either blackmail a parent to take you or catch a train or bus to your nearest theme park for the day. If you’re not a huge lover of rides, you could go to a safari park or a water park?

Go swimming

If it’s a nice sunny day, find your nearest outdoor pool or go to a water park. Alternatively, most swimming pools do fun sessions where they get huge obstacle courses out during the summer – take some friends or maybe even go with your siblings and battle it out on the floats.

Let me know in the comments what your plans are for the summer, or what you’ve already got up to – I’m always looking for new inspo. Also let me know whether you like to do any of these things! Thanks so much for reading and look out for a little Rosegal.com clothes haul going up on my blog tomorrow evening. Make sure you pop your email in the subscribe section to the right to be the first to know when I put up a new post!

June favourites

June favourites

I’m back again with yet another monthly favourites! I feel like June has been a long-ass month and I’ve got a lot of favourites to share so you might want to grab a cup of coffee and a snack for this one. I’ve split this post into categories so if you’re only here for the books you can skip straight to that, or if you’re not interested in the beauty you can miss that section. Whatever parts you read, I hope you enjoy!

Clothes

First up on my favourites list are my mules. I know I mentioned these in my Five Favourite shoes post, but I couldn’t not mention them in my June Favourites because they’re just my favourite shoes right now. They’re so comfy and the heels are only about three inches so they’re great for wearing all day at work. I’m tempted to go back to Primark and buy all the other colours – for £10 you can’t say no.

Next up are my new River Island trousers. I’m so fussy when it comes to trousers. Skinny jeans are what I feel really comfortable in, so I’ve been looking for some thinner, floatier trousers for a few months but have only just found a pair that I like the look and fit of. These are still my favourite and most comfortable colour, black, but at the same time look summer-y enough.

Beauty

I was recently sent some *shampoo and *hand cream from What’s in it for me. I really like the idea behind the company, as someone with sensitive skin and a sensitive scalp, it’s important to check through the ingredients of a product. What’s in it for me are really natural and display all their ingredients in large print across their packaging. On top of that, the actual products themselves are great and really affordable. I’m going to be posting a more detailed post later this week all about them and their products so keep an eye out if you’re interested.

I couldn’t not include my new favourite foundation from L’oreal. I raved on for ages on my Instagram story about how much I loved the L’oreal Infallible foundation. I won’t say too much because I’m going to be putting up a full post about it, but it’s 100% on my favourites for June.

I was also lucky enough to get sent some products from Anatomicals. Anatomicals sell some really unique products that work wonders. I was sent this *balm to use for headaches and some *under-eye gel. No matter how much sleep I get or what I eat I permanently have black bags – it’s probably more to do with how pale I am. The Anatomicals eye gel really works wonders and has brightened up my eyes so much. It’s become one of my favourite and post important parts of my morning and night routines and I’m not sure how I ever lived without it? Definitely check them out!

I’m not 100% sure whether you could include essential oils in beauty or not, but as I’m not sure what other category I’d put it under we’ll go with beauty. I was sent some *essential oils from Jaimin Essence last week in lavender and ylang ylang. I’m big on candles and love lighting lavender candles before I go to bed but am always nervous about accidentally falling asleep and leaving them lit. So these essential oils are a great alternative. They’re strong but not overpowering. They’ve been really helping me sleep and they’re also great for relaxing baths. I’d definitely recommend them if you’re a fellow stress-head, they work wonders!

Books

I know I mentioned in my May favourites that I’d just started reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire and I was loving it. Since then, I’ve finished the book and read the other two books in the series and absolutely loved them. I finished the first book and read the other two all within a week – I was so hooked. I won’t say too much as I’d like to keep this spoiler-free, but if you’re around 18-23 and like a romance with a good mysterious back story, I’d say you’d probably really enjoy the series.

 

I’ve also absolutely loved reading Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson this month. I’ve been wanting to read her books for so long and wasn’t disappointed at all when I finally got round to it this month. I’ve got about twenty pages to go so can’t comment on the ending, but so far the book has been right up my street. If you’re a fan of John Green or Jnady Nelson, you’ll probably like Since You’ve Been Gone. It’s a really good and gripping read and I only wish I’d got round to reading it sooner!

Sorry for being a bit slow with the posts the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a few busy weekends and have been slacking off a bit. However, I’ve got lots of ideas and some exciting collaborations coming up, so keep an eye out! Thanks for reading and make sure you give my blog a follow or subscribe to be the first to see my posts!

Acne 101 – Products that really work

Acne 101 – Products that really work

There are a hell of a lot of products out there claiming to zap your zits, and a lot of them are quite pricy. I suffered from acne for a couple of years – don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t severe or anything and I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse, but over the years I tried so many products. A lot of the products I tried made no difference, but some really did. So I’m going to share with you what worked for me, so you can skip straight to trying the good ones.

Before I get into this, I want to be clear that in the end I had to go on antibiotics to clear up my acne, so none of these products completely zapped the whole lot like that. In truth though, that isn’t going to happen – acne is an infection and needs antibiotics (either topical or in the form of tablets) to truly get rid of it. However, I found some really great products along the way that helped heal spots quicker, helped with the dry sore skin that comes with acne, and really helped me to avoid any scarring. It’s now three years since I started my antibiotics for my acne and for the last year my skin has been fantastic – I probably get 1/2 spots a week now, and there’s not a single scar from the acne.

The first product, which I cannot recommend enough, is aloe vera gel. I tend to use the brand Fruit of the Earth or Banana Boat. It is honestly a miracle worker. It’s such a natural healer and can be used for a huge variety of skin problems. My dad suffered from scoliosis on his leg for about 40 years, but after a few weeks of applying this cream it healed up and completely disappeared. I really think the aloe vera made a massive difference to my skin, it was moisturising and at the same helped my skin to heal really quickly. It’s so cheap and can be found in most pharmacists or failing that, on Amazon. It doesn’t make your face look shiny and feel horrible like most products, and I actually used it as a primer under my make-up for years as it really tightens your skin. It’s so worth trying and I swear by the stuff! (Just don’t get it anywhere near your eyes because damn that stuff stings)

Next up would have to be Palmer’s cocoa butter oil. This stuff is great for scars – I recently had some really bad bites on my leg and this has really really helped to fade the scars. I also think it worked really well on my spots. Acne is known for leaving garish scars behind, the bigger the spot usually the deeper the mark – so this was something I was really worried about.

What’s the point in clearing it all up if afterwards I’m still going to be covered in marks? When the antibiotics kicked in and my spots started disappearing I did still have lots of red dots where they’d been for a few months – but when I started using this oil they quickly started to fade and now I’m scar-free. It’s an oil, so obviously its quite greasy. At first I used it day and night, i used to put it on under my make-up – which wasn’t a good look but it was important to wear it as often as possible while I had a chance to reverse the damage. After a while though, I just wore it at night, and now I don’t need it at all! Again, this stuff is available at most pharmacists and isn’t expensive at all.

I couldn’t not sing the praises of good old Sudocrem. My Mom has been an avid Sudocrem user for as long as I can remember – I’d fall over in the playground and I’d have sudocrem straight on that graze, I got sunburn, a rash, a bite.. always Sudocrem. It didn’t fail me when it came to spots either. I’d pop a bit on each spot before I went to bed at night and it would always be half the size and half as red the next morning. However, I will warn, don’t just slather it over your entire face because that will 100% dry your skin out. Even when I was pore spot than clear skin, I’d sit and dot each individual spot – a bit time consuming but by far worth the work.

Boots also do an amazing range of witch hazel and tea tree products that are kind of drying, but in moderation really do the trick. I also found that their back spray is fantastic for spots on your back and chest – I still use it when I get occasional flare ups on my chest and it zaps the lot in a few days so I would 150% recommend that stuff. It’s really cheap too!

Lastly, if you want a hardcore moisturiser that won’t double your spots, Nivea is the way to go. Their everyday oil-free moisturiser isn’t too greasy and won’t make your skin worse at all. You can also get aloe vera moisturisers – like the gel but extra moisturising. Tesco do their own aloe vera moisturiser with a minimum added extras and it’s really great for your skin. I used to slather layer after layer of these two moisturisers on when my skin was super dry, and they always made a huge difference within 24 hours.

I thought I’d also mention some home remedies that I thought made a difference. I tried just about everything from rubbing potatoes on my skin to slathering it in honey – I hope that’s given you a good image of me. There were two things though that I thought really helped, salt water and avocado. I found that Avocado mixed with just a tiny bit of antibacterial honey and milk was a good moisturising face pack. Salt water was also good for healing my skin – just don’t over too it, once a week is plenty, you don’t want to dry it out.

Don’t get caught up my brands with lots of celebs shouting their name – they’ve been paid to love them. I tried lots of popular brands like freederm and Proactiv, but in the end found that the best products were the more natural and less heard of ones.

I really hope this helps anyone out their suffering from acne and you can skip straight to using the products that actually are worth buying. If you know of any great products for spots, let me and other readers know in the comments! Thanks for reading – feel free to check out my previous post ‘LaLaLab – polaroids to your door‘ and use my £5 discount code! Or you can find me over on my Twitter and Instagram!

LaLaLab – polaroids from your phone to your door

LaLaLab – polaroids from your phone to your door

I was recently lucky enough to get sent a bunch of gorgeous prints from LaLaLab, and I’m in love! LaLaLab is such an easy and fab idea – you can download their app on to your phone and upload your pictures straight from your camera roll to the app and get them posted to you! They do so many different types of prints, from your average 10x13cm sized prints, to huge 20x20cm prints and cute little polaroids.

I’m personally a big polaroid lover and at just 33 pence per polaroid, you can go all out and order loads. You can get really creative with polaroids and do all sorts with them. I like to put mine on display, I put a bunch on my memory board (click here to read my blog post on how I made my DIY marble memory board) and I clipped some to some fairy lights over my bed. You could also get scrap booking if you fancy a new hobby and something cute to look back on.

It’s so easy to use, takes two minutes and is really inexpensive. Why spend the money on a polaroid camera when you can just use your phone?

Even better, I have a discount code for you so that you can get your polaroids for even cheaper! If you enter the code ‘PGS943SK’ when you sign up, you can get £5 off your first order. You can’t really say no to that?

In addition to prints, LaLaLab also sells photo books, canvases, magnets, postcards, phone cases and frames for your pictures. Go check out their website here or download their app to your phone to start printing your pics!

Let me know in the comments what you like to do with your pics; do you scrap book them or put them up on the wall? Or are you more of a send-a-picture-in-a-card kind of person? Let me know! If you get yourself some, be sure to share them on Instagram and Twitter tagging @emmachxrlotte_ and @lalalab_app!

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this blog post, why not check out my previous post ‘favourite five shoes’? Alternatively, you can go stalk my Twitter and Instagram. Look out for a post tomorrow about my latest foundation adventure – this one is a good one!

To be read – June

To be read – June

I actually can’t believe I’m writing TBR June (even if we are almost half way now).. I swear it’s still January? This means I’ve been blogging for six months this month, it’s mad!

However, I’ve been seriously slacking on my reading and my book-related posts recently – I’ve been spending more time watching Youtube videos and Netflix and less time reading, but I’m going to fix that this month (with the exception of Orange is the New Black obviously).

You may have seen me mention in my May Favourites that I was loving finally reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I loved it that much that I’m currently on the second book, Walking Disaster. The book is your typical good girl meets bad boy kind of book but with lots of drama – and I love a bit of drama. However, the second book covers the same period of time as the first book, but it’s all from Travis’ point of view, as opposed to Abby’s. I really love it when books do this. I find the book really hard to follow if the POVs keep switching within the book, so actually having two separate books is a much better idea. It sounds kind of boring and repetitive, but actually seeing it from a different POV makes a whole other story. If you like a romance, this is definitely a book/series you should check out – especially if your in your late teens/early twenties, as it’s probably more relatable.

Also on my TBR for June are Morgan Matson’s books. I’ve just bought Since You’ve Been Gone, after wanting to buy it for ages (in fact I think it was on my March TBR). I’ve been kind of hoping the price would go down as it’s £8, but I caved this morning and bought it in Waterstones. It’s a YA book that sounds strangely similar to Paper Towns. The book is about to best friends and how when one of them (Sloane) goes missing and leaves behind a to-do-list that can supposedly bring back Sloane, wallflower Emily begins to follow the to-do-list.

I also really want to read The Unexpected Everything, by Morgan, this month. I’ve heard some fab things about this book and it was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction, so it can’t be bad. It also has dogs on the front cover – a deciding factor, of course. It basically follows a girl, Andie, who seems to have an ideal and perfectly planned out life, but things don’t end up going to plan one summer and she ends up doing things she never would’ve even thought about before – including becoming a dog walker.

So this month I plan to finish Walking Disaster, and read the third book in the series, Beautiful Wedding (oops spoiler), followed by Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone and The Unexpected Everything!

What are you planning to read this month? Let me know in the comments – I’m always grateful for book recommendations! Also, let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought of them! Thanks for reading!

If you can’t get enough of me, you can read my previous post, Teeth Whitening – products that really work. Or go stalk my Twitter and Instagram!