Blogging for a Year!

Just a little message for you all!

Today marks my blog’s first birthday!! It’s crazy to think I started my current blog a whole year ago and I am so grateful for everything I have got to do because of it. I have discovered so many amazing other bloggers and I have developed so many ideas related to blogging that I would love to pursue in the future. It really has been an amazing experience and I look forward to continuing it! Thank you for everyone’s support so far!

Megan x

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Resurfacing After Almost a Month!

Hello everyone! I thought I’d give you a little update as to what is happening, as I am aware that I have not done a blog post in over 20 days and haven’t been active on social media until posting on Instagram a couple of days ago.

A lot of us have experienced the pressures of exams at some point and if you’re like me, this time is still going on. This is my first year of university exams, so the past month has been a ‘head down and study’ kind of time, which has unfortunately meant taking a break from blogging, social media and freelancing. Basically, anything creative!

This morning, I had my first exam though, so thought I’d take a little break just to say hello to you all. I have 2 more exams next week, the last being on the 26th, so I hope to be back to full-blown blogging and writing after that.

I can’t wait to work on my blog over the summer and get it to the best possible level. I also have an exciting project that I will be developing when I move back home for the summer and I cannot wait to reveal it, which if all goes to plan, would be in a couple of months.

In other news:

  • My blog turns 1 on the 29th of May, so get ready for some serious posting then, as I celebrate the end of exams and my blog’s birthday!
  • I set up a Depop account, which you can access here.
  • I am living on campus come October! Looking forward to getting fully immersed in uni life and organising my year abroad! Where did the time go?!

That’s all for now, I promise to check back in next weekend, no doubt feeling relieved that exams are finished. This time is certainly a stressful one, so if you need a few tips on managing your revision, take a look back at my exam survival post that I did in January.

See you soon,

Megan x

My Wedding Outfit

Aaargh! Sorry for the lack of blog posts everyone! I have a lot of university work and freelance work on at the moment, so blogging and all things social media has had to take a bit of a back seat. I will endeavor to get back to a schedule as soon as possible.

It was my cousin’s wedding on Saturday down in Canterbury and it was the first wedding I remember I had been to where I was not a bridesmaid. This meant I had more freedom with my choice of outfit, so it was great fun choosing what to wear and indeed wearing it!

I thought deciding what dress to wear would be hard as there are so many dresses in store at the moment. However, when I walked into the Next store in Trinity, Leeds, there was no question as to what dress I should get. When I saw the Grey Dipped Hem Floral Maxi Dress, there was no looking back. I had to get it. There was something so ‘Megan’ about it.

I loved the colours, hem line and the unusual structure of the back. Given the wedding was in April, the colours were safe for either really sunny weather or the risk of rain.

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The pale pink flowers gave the perfect base from which to choose accessories. I already had the clutch bag and jewellery, so it was shoes and a jacket which were high up on the list.

The jacket proved to be an easy purchase. I had a voucher to spend at the Bullring in Birmingham, so I knew I had to limit myself to the shops in there. New Look was pretty much the first shop that I went into and I had the jacket sorted. With my student discount included, it was not too expensive, and it is something which I will definitely wear again.

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I always knew shoes would be the hardest part of the outfit. As clumsy as I am, with the world’s most bizarre feet, 6 inch heels were out of the question. Finding a pair of small heels in pale pink without the clunky heel that seems to be in fashion is impossible though, so I started looking at flats and wedges. You also have the awkward issue of whether you buy a cheap pair of shoes just to last you one day, or a more expensive one that is comfy. I went for the comfy ones, which were a pair of pale pink wedges in M&S. If in doubt, M&S will always deliver. The sandals can also be worn again throughout the summer, so it was worth spending a bit more.

I hope I have given you some inspiration if you have a wedding coming up. Let me know what your outfit would be!

Megan x

All About Eyewear: Glasses vs Contacts

It has been a while since I have done a fashion post, although this is also crossing over the border into beauty, but I thought I would write about something I do not tend to read about, but that is a big part of my everyday life. The whole glasses and contact lenses dilemma.

I have been asked quite a few times over the years if I will ever wear contact lenses. Honestly, I have never felt the need to wear contact lenses, but that does not mean that I do not think about the pros and cons of both.

I have had glasses since I was around three, so glasses have always been a part of who I am. People are often shocked by how different I look when I take them off and I have got to a stage when I would find it weird not wearing them. I don’t even notice my glasses anymore. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I have panicked because I couldn’t find my glasses, only to realise I am wearing them!

For some people, glasses can have an effect on self-esteem and confidence. They may not like the way they look in glasses and opt to wear contacts all the time. I have never felt this way, partly because I think glasses suit my face, but also all my family wears glasses, so I have not had the issue of feeling like the odd one out, which a few people can feel.

This is where the fashion and beauty element comes in for me. Glasses tend to go in and out of fashion, usually the connotations associated with them a deciding role. Glasses at one point may have seemed ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’, but at the moment, they seem stylish and sophisticated, especially some of the bigger frames. I have fortunately never been affected by any negative views.

A major complaint I have heard about glasses is about makeup. If you are one who thinks wearing glasses means that there is no point wearing any eye makeup, then you are wrong. Just the other day, I was reading a section in Boots Health & Beauty magazine about how to do your makeup if you wear glasses. Recently, I have started trying out more makeup looks and eyeshadow has turned out to be one of my favourite products.

Having contacts can be useful if you like sport. Running around and playing whatever sport it is that you like can be annoying if you having to push up your glasses every five minutes. Definitely do not wear them for swimming though! One of the reasons I do not wear them is from hearing horror stories of contact lenses moving out of place or getting infected and swimming can cause this. It’s a good job I am not sporty!

However, using for them for sport does not mean you need to wear them full time. For one thing, if you get disposable contacts, it becomes very expensive, whereas a good pair of glasses has the potential to last you a few years unless your eyesight changes dramatically for some reason.

That’s another thing! Occasionally, your vision might not be ideal for contacts. I have never had a proper consultation for contact lenses, but my eyesight is not the best and I already have pay to have my glasses thinned out because otherwise the glass would be so thick! Not sure how this situation would work for contact lenses.

These are just some of my thoughts with regard to eyewear and what works best for you. Let me know what your opinion is on the whole glasses vs contacts debate!

Megan x


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Visiting Ickworth House

My final Suffolk-related post is here! In keeping with the National Trust theme that seems to have emerged, we will be finishing off this little trilogy series with Ickworth House, an impressive stately home just south of Bury St Edmunds, so again, it was another great place to break up the car journey.

Ickworth is a huge property, surrounded by countryside and even boasts its own hotel and spa, yet strangely we had not heard of it. That being said, we don’t really go in the Suffolk direction much. Nevertheless, the unusual Italianate style and Rotunda is worth a visit.

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Ickworth is one of the best NT properties I have been to in terms of walking. On arrival, you are given a map of the estate and there are trails of various lengths to choose from. We did the blue trail, which was about 4 miles and took us through the different backdrops you can find on the estate, from the lake in front of the walled garden to the boardwalk through the forest.

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After finishing the walk, we headed to the cafe for some lunch and then explored the house and gardens. The Rotunda looked beautiful in the sunshine and there was a chance to play archery on the lawn in front of the house. I did not use this opportunity though. If I can cut myself in three places whilst shaving and then make myself dizzy, goodness knows what could happen when I’m let loose with a bow and arrow!

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The most interesting feature in the gardens was the stumpery. The tree stumps come from trees removed in World War Two and there is something mysterious and fairytale-like when you see all the twisting shapes of the tree roots.

We have come to the end of my Suffolk posts now. I hope I have given you some inspiration about where to go this Easter weekend with your family and friends.

Megan x


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Visiting Suffolk

Here it is, post 2/3 of my Visiting… series from this weekend. After posting about Anglesey Abbey yesterday, it is time to get onto the main event, which is, of course, Suffolk. After leaving Anglesey Abbey, we drove to the coast on the tourist route, which takes you through all the pretty villages and countryside that Suffolk has to offer. There were so many gorgeous chocolate box cottages to even count!

We arrived at Southwold in time for a late lunch. As the weather was really warm and it was a Sunday, the seafront was crowded, which was a shame because it would have been lovely to take some photos if there was no one there. Nevertheless, Southwold is a lovely little town, that boasts its own Jack Wills and Joules, amongst an array of independent shops.

The next pit stop on Sunday was Dunwich Heath and Beach, another place owned by the National Trust. The stunning, tranquil landscape is a mixture of grassland, heather, cliffs and beach, with various footpaths to choose from, making it the ideal walking destination. There is also a tearoom and small shop for when you are need of a break. It was beautiful in the sunshine, but sadly very windy and my hair was not in a good state when we left!

It was then time to head over to Framlingham to where our self-catered apartment was. We stayed in Upstairs@TheLemonTree, a beautiful flat above a bistro in the centre of Framlingham. You can see photos of the property here.

On Monday, it was time for Aldeburgh, Snape Maltings and Orford. I last visited Aldeburgh was when I was four and my brother was six. We have a picture of the two of us sat side by side on the beach in front of the colourful houses. Sadly, without my brother with us, no such photo could be recreated fourteen years on.

Like Southwold, Aldeburgh is gorgeous place, with Jack Wills and Joules a running theme. As it was a Monday and we went early, Aldeburgh was much more photogenic though.  I got the opportunity to play around with camera a bit and discover the colour accent settings.

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The Sky was so impressive!

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I just hate a crowded beach!

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This was too cute not to be photographed!

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Colour Accent

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The old Moot Hall

We then moved onto Snape Maltings for a spot of lunch and some shopping. It is home to a music concert hall, several independent boutique shops, places to eat and stay, as well as the River Alde and marshland, for those wishing to enjoy a boat trip or ramble in nature.

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Further down the Suffolk Coast is Orford, another picturesque village and place to walk whilst overlooking the sea. You can also take a boat trip out to Orford Ness, a NT nature reserve steeped in history from the Cold War.

We did a small circuit around the edge of the water and up back into Orford, where I had a peek into the Orford Castle shop, which is English Heritage and…found a Dave Thompson postcard! This made me really excited, so much so that when we got back to Framlingham, I went into the castle shop there and found another Dave Thompson postcard!

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Recognise Framlingham Castle from Ed Sheeran’s ‘Castle on the Hill’ video right at the very end?!

There we have it. A short account of my time in Suffolk. Make sure to keep an eye on the blog tomorrow for the last in my Visiting… Suffolk related series. Start guessing what NT place we might have stopped at on the way home!

Megan x


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Visiting Anglesey Abbey

Another one for the Visiting… series. On Sunday, I went to Suffolk with my family to enjoy a peaceful couple of days by the sea. The last time I had been to Suffolk was when I was about four. I will admit that I did not remember anything about it, so it was lovely to go back and refresh my memories. Before I start on the Suffolk post, which will be coming tomorrow, I thought I would share my thoughts on Anglesey Abbey, a beautiful National Trust property near Cambridge.

You have probably heard me go on about the National Trust enough by now, but having membership really is great. At the moment, I am still included in our family membership, but I’m seriously considering buying myself student membership which is only £32 for a whole year!

Anglesey Abbey is situated near Cambridge, which was perfect to break up the 3 hour journey between Leicester and Suffolk. What with free parking for NT members, beautiful parkland and gardens to stretch your legs and a lovely cafe and shop, the Abbey was a great way to extend our mini holiday.

We did not go into the house on this occasion because we had been here before a few years ago, but nevertheless the house looked stunning in the sunshine. The weather was definitely our friend this weekend!

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Probably the most impressive thing about Anglesey Abbey is the silver birch wood. It is the finale piece to the Winter Garden, designed to be in bloom for the whole year. The flowers along the path leading up to the silver birches were beautiful. It is not often that walk round a corner and are met with the sight of dozens of white trees towering above you, so it really was spectacular.

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Even without this beautiful nature area, Anglesey Abbey is, like any other NT property worth a visit for the countryside surrounding it and the facilities on offer. I can never not go into a NT gift shop and not gaze lovingly at the throws and rugs!

That’s it for today, make sure you check the blog tomorrow for my main Suffolk post, followed by Friday’s post for my National Trust property review that was our stop on the way home.

Megan x


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If We Were Having Tea…

I think an interesting type of post to read at the moment is one of those ones entitled ‘If We Were Having Coffee’. I love getting to know bloggers more and they are a brilliant way of writing totally random things that wouldn’t always fit into your blog categories. It is for these reasons that I wanted to share my own version with you.

First of all, we would be having tea, not coffee, because tea is amazing.

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If we were having tea, it would be a proper traditional huge mug of English Breakfast tea. I can’t be doing with fruit or herbal teas, I even struggle with Earl Grey, but I can quite happily sit and drink classic English Breakfast all day long. In the afternoon, I’d have to switch to decaf, otherwise I can’t sleep.

If we were having tea, we’d have to have a slice of cake too. As you know now, I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth, so tea and cake are an unbreakable combination.

If we were having tea, I’d share with you the idea for my secret business plan. I really like the idea I have come up with, but it’s something that would require a lot of time and consideration, so it is not yet for public hearing, but if you are intrigued, drop me an email at meganelifestyle@hotmail.com to find out more. I would love to get some feedback on my idea!

If we were having tea, I would tell you how ridiculously excited I am for the new final episodes of PLL in a couple of weeks. I am rewatching some of my old favourites to build up to the finale.

If we were having tea, I would tell you about how much I love baths. I’m having one practically every night whilst I am back home for the Easter holidays. The Radox bubble baths are a favourite in my household.

If we were having tea, I might bore you a little as there’s a high chance I could start rambling on about something French and Linguistics related. I frequently get told to be quiet at home because of this. I like to put a positive spin on this and say it’s good that I’m passionate about what I’m learning.

If we were having tea, I would invite you to rant with me about how annoying Instagram is. I love the concept but am so sick of the unfollow game. I follow people because I like their feed, not because I want a follow back.

If we were having tea, we’d discuss summer. I like spring, but it’s that awkward time between winter and summer when you’re not quite sure what the weather is going to do and you have a mountain of revision and exams looming. I can’t wait for Cornwall in the summer holidays.

If we were having tea, I would tell you about other amazing bloggers such as A Piece of Viola and Emily Becca who have fantastic ‘If We Were Having Coffee’ posts.

If we were having tea, I’d make sure that I’d have my diary with me, so that we can organise to do this again some time.

Megan x

 

 

 

 

Hollows Farm Vintage Tearooms, Leicester

*I decided to write this post. It is not in collaboration with anyone.*

I feel like you would only know about Hollows Farm Vintage Tearoom if you lived nearby or a friend told you about it. That’s how my family have came across this little gem. My mum heard about it from a friend at work and although this sweet place is down the road from us, we didn’t know it existed until then! So, I thought why not spread the word, so that Hollows Farm can be enjoyed by all!

I guess you would not think to drive down a farm track, but tucked down a country lane just off the Desford crossroads sits this pretty tearoom.

It definitely has the right to have vintage in the name. As soon as you walk through the door, any vintage-obsessed heart would swoon. From the delicate flowers on the wall, to the matching china cups and teapots, the interior is calming and makes for a wonderful atmosphere to treat yourself.

If I don’t already have a reputation for enjoying a spot of tea and cake, I definitely will have now. To be fair, the past few times have been at the suggestion of my parents, so I can always blame them for me eating lots of cake! I have to say though, I do not regret the cake at Hollows Farm because it was delicious!

The array of tea and cake on offer is fantastic. I’m a traditional English Breakfast kind of girl, but if herbal or fruit tea is your thing, then this is still the place to come. Choosing the cake was the difficult part. All the classics were an option such as Victoria Sponge and Lemon Drizzle, but there were also treats such as a chocolate gateau and an Oreo cake. You can imagine having to make the decision was very hard, but in the end my mum and I both went for the chocolate and orange layer cake, which was certainly no mistake. The only way I can think to describe it is Terry’s Chocolate Orange in cake form!

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I need not say more 

If Terry’s Chocolate Orange in cake form does not make your mouth water (why wouldn’t it?), then have a visit to Hollows Farm and experience this lovely place for yourself.

Megan x

 

 

 

 

The Body Shop Make-Up Review

**This post is not a collaboration. All opinions are my own.

If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, you will have seen that a week ago today, I went to a beauty masterclass at The Body Shop concept store in Leeds. The masterclass was with beauty bloggers Becky and Holly Sheeran, along with their mum Gill and international makeup artist Abby Ireland. We got to see some of The Body Shop’s makeup products being used, whilst sipping on prosecco or sparkling elderflower for a non-alcoholic version. Afterwards, we got an opportunity to have makeup consultations using the products displayed and a chance to shop. If you spent £15, you got a lovely giftbox full of goodies worth over £40. It’s save to say the event was a success!

In my opinion, you can never go wrong with Body Shop skincare. Give me their body butter anyday, it’s second to none! It was this reason that I was more interested in the makeup, so here comes my review of the products I obtained, some of which I bought, some of which came free in the box.

Shimmer Waves: 

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The Shimmer Waves compact was one of the free products. It comes in three shades: Bronze, Coral and Blush. I got the bronze shades in my gift and I’m really glad because the colours are ideal for me.

I think The Body Shop had a brilliant idea when they came up with this product. If you use a brush and mix all the colours together, you can create a beautiful bronzer and blusher, but the individual colours make lovely eyeshadows or highlight and contour. This is perfect if you are going away and don’t want to take a lot of stuff because you have about 4 products all-in-one.

The Body Shop is also against animal testing and uses natural ingredients in all their products, so you know that the origins of your beauty and skincare is cruelty free.

Eye Colour Stick:

Eyeshadow sticks are really popular at the moment and I’d say it’s because the application is so easy and the colour is strong and long-lasting. I’ve had my eye on The Body Shop ones for quite some time. Whenever I go to Leeds train station, I have a quick peep into The Body Shop store and often test them out. There are some beautiful darker colours in this range, but I decided to buy Nevada Gold, because it is really natural, so perfect for everyday wear, but also adds a bit of sparkle to any night out.

Now, onto the main event. Lips.

Lip Definer:

I’ve never been one to use lipliner. Whenever I use one, I can never blend it in with the lipstick and end up with a massive line around the edge of my lips. I love this liner from The Body Shop though. The pencil style means it’s really easy to apply, but unlike some pencils, the texture is not too dry and it blends well with lipstick. The shade I bought is ‘Hot Date’. I would not normally put these words and me together, but it works. The colour gives your lips a bold look, but at same time does not make you look like a clown, so it is wearable in all situations.

Matte Lip Liquid:

Yep, another beauty item that up until now I have been makeup virgin.  I was lucky that the liquid lipstick in the giftbox was the shade ‘Nairobi Camellia’ because it is the best one for my skintone, but it also blends well with the liner. It also acts as a good lip moisturiser and doesn’t dry out too much, even though it is a matte lipstick.

Lip Palette:

One of the most talked about products on the night, of course I had to buy it. This lip palette caters for all occasions, ranging from everyday pale pinks to bold red. The only thing I would say that could be improved is that the colours are not named, but that is not a big deal as there is only one type of palette. Again the colours blend well with the lip liner, and contain beeswax which means they are a good moisturiser and leave a nice gloss across the lips, but at the same time one that is still natural.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post, and feel the need to head to your local Body Shop store. Let me know if you want to read more beauty posts on the blog.

Megan x


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