The Best Bits | January 2017

Hello again,

The first Best Bits post of this year is quite a simple one. Here are the three best things that happened this January…

Budapest

Me and Cem went to Budapest from the end of December into the beginning of January and had the best time. We split our time between walking for miles to see all the sights and unwinding in the spa. My favourite parts of the holiday were ice skating, walking up Gellert Hill and seeing the government building light up at night. If you were wondering what Cem’s favourite part was, it was probably the GIANT pizza that he ordered…

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Passengers

I’d wanted to see this film for a while and I’m so glad that we got to see it in the cinema. It’s essentially about two people being stranded on their own in a spaceship. That’s a really boring description but if I say anything else about it then the story will be spoiled. I’d highly recommend it anyway!

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Getting a job

I finally have a job! I haven’t had any paid work since the summer because I’ve been focusing on uni and finishing my 3 month social media internship. My internship didn’t quite end because I now have a proper job there and couldn’t be happier. I genuinely love being there so being paid for doing it is just a bonus.

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As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know what happened in January for you…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Winning a Pug and Attempting Ice Skating | December 2016

Hello again,

This year me and Cem have probably spent a little too much time playing games and trying to win teddies at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. We’ve also been ice skating twice, so our time there definitely wasn’t wasted.

The first time we went ice skating it was raining and cold so I spent the whole hour shaking and trying not to slip over. My motivational for not slipping over was wanting to stay as dry as possible. Luckily, the second time we went there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and although it was still cold, it was an improvement from the first time.

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One of the best part of ice skating is probably watching over people fall over. I’m sure it’s not funny when it happens to you, but it’s nice to see peope laugh off their fall and get up and try again. Me and Cem didn’t fall over at all, seeing as we spent the entirity of each time clinging to each other for dear life. Also, if one of us was about to fall, the other one had to keep them on their feet. I will say that I had to save Cem a lot more than he had to save me, although he’ll probably say otherwise.

Maybe next time we go we’ll learn how to skate as individuals.

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As well as ice skating, we probably played every game they had: shooting targets, hooking ducks, smashing plates and basketball. After maybe two attempts at a basketball game, You only had to one ball into the hoop to win the biggest prize, but the hoop was far away and an irregular shape and size – it was a lot harder than Cem makes it look.

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Cem’s prize was a huge pug! It may not be a real one, but it still has it’s rightful place in my tiny student room. It’s so big that all the way home people were touching it and laughing at it.

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Another highlight for me was getting to drink tastiest hot chocolate in the world. Most stands there seem to sell it. It’s simply a ‘Luxury Hot Chocolate’ which consists of Cadbury’s hot chocolate, whipped cream and a Flake. Heaven.

As always, thanks for reading.

Let me know if you’ve ever visited Winter Wonderland. If you have, what was your favourite thing about it?

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

 

12 ways to pamper yourself

Hello again,

Over the past couple of months I’ve felt a huge need to try and de-stress myself. Going to uni, having an internship and blogging mean that I’m always thinking about what I have to do next. Even when I’m trying to have a relaxed evening, I’m always thinking about the work I have to do. What I’m trying to say is that I’m starting to realise the importance of self-love and appreciation. For me, this means doing things that help me to unload all of my stress whenever I get the chance. Here are some of the things that I do…

Put a face mask on

My personal favourite is the Lush Mask of Magnaminty but I recently jumped on the charcoal mask bandwagon. Yes people, we’re now putting charcoal on our faces.

Paint your nails

For some this might be stressful, for others this might be therapeutical. Go for a nude so theres a smaller chance of you staining your bed sheets with polish and getting yourself worked up about it.

Eat all of the baked goods you can find

Am I the only one whose happiness is defined by pain au chocolats and giant chocolate cookies?

Binge Netflix

Have a movie marathon or start a new TV series. If you choose the latter, be sure to stay in bed until you’ve finished the first series. Don’t just stop after a few episodes. You’re not a quitter. Last week I rewatched the whole first season of Prison Break for no reason other than I was in the mood for it.

Buy yourself flowers

Don’t buy them because you’re a strong independent women. Just buy them because peonies are your favourite and they smell lovely.

Light some candles

I can’t relax without candles. This sounds a little dramatic and makes me look incredibly high maintenance but I just can’t. If I’m in my room then I’ve always got a candle burning. My personal favourite is Red Raspberry by Yankee Candle.

Cook (…or order) your favourite meal

I’m a big fan of home cooking but there are some foods that don’t taste as good if they’re not from a takeaway. I’ve heard from many pizzas enthusiasts that a Morrisons margarita is no Domino’s meat feast. Choose wisely with this one…

Give yourself time to do something you enjoy 

Sometimes you need to do something for you and only you, even if it’s not something that interests those around you. Make time for things that YOU love.

Buy brownies. Warm them up. Put Ben & Jerry’s on top.

A personal favourite of mine…

Get your hair done 

Put a stop to the home bleaching and allow yourself this treat. My favourite part of getting hair done is the little head massage you get when the hairdresser is shampooing your hair.

Have a Lush bath

I’m very jealous of anyone who gets to enjoy the luxury of going to Lush, choosing a bath bomb and reading a mag in the bath. I only have a shower for crying out loud. I miss bubbles!

Go to the cinema

I find that going to the cinema is basically the same as watching a film from the comfort of your own bed, but it feels a bit more special. I don’t really know how to describe it but going to the cinema feels a lot better than sitting home and watching something. Although it’s a little more expensive than Netflix, sometimes it’s worth it. Me and my boyfriend went to see Sausage Party recently and it was hilarious!

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know some of the things you do to pamper yourself…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask | Beauty Review

Hello again,

After seeing this Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask all over social media in the past few weeks, I decided it was probably worth investing £1 to buy it. I’m going to be honest, the fact that it was just £1 did put me off a bit. A lot of the time with products like this, a cheaper price means cheaper quality. I’m so happy that this isn’t the case with this face mask.

As you can see from the photo, the mask makes me look a little like Hannibal Lecter. After I got past how scary it looked, I began to love the mask.

One thing that did surprise me was how wet the mask when when I took it out of the package. From the name I assumed it’d be damp at best. However, when I picked the mask up it was literally dripping everyone. When I peeled it off onto my family it didn’t drip all over me which was nice.

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When I first put it on my face it was really cold. Not in an uncomfortable way, but in a soothing kind of way. Also, it was really easy to get used to having it on your face. I thought that it was going to be uncomfortable because it was so wet.

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It’s been about a week since I used this and I’m still waking up with fresh, hydrated skin. My face is naturally really dry so I’m going to assume that this face mask has made a dramatic different to my skin.

For £1, I’m definitely going to try and make this a regular appearance in my Sunday routine because the long term benefits are definitely worth it. Although I take care of my skin all year round, I have to be a lot more careful when the crisp autumnal air makes its annual appearance.

As always, thanks for reading!

Let me know if you have any winter skincare recommendations…

Ways you can reach me:

 

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies Baking Recipe

Hello again,

Today I just really felt like making some cookies. I’ve only actually made my own cookies once before and they spread all over the baking tray – I basically ended up with a tray of cookie dough. It still tasted nice, but it was far from the 12 perfectly round cookies that I thought I was going to have baked.

For these cookies I found a recipe online as a guideline but changed the amount of almost every ingredient because I don’t like using sugar in baking. Although this recipe still has a lot of sugar, it has about half as much as the original recipe told me to put in.

I also discovered that if you leave the cookie dough in the fridge for a few days in a sealed container, when you take it out it’ll taste just like the cookie dough chunks that Ben & Jerry’s put in their ice cream. There’s an idea…

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Ingredients

  • 270g self-raising flour
  • 185g soft brown sugar
  • 15g caster sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 175g chocolate chips

Steps

Cream together butter, brown sugar and caster sugar

I put the oven in the microwave a little bit until it went down to room temperature so it would mix with the sugar easier than it would if it came straight out of the fridge. I used my electric mixer because I doubt a hand whisk would’ve mixed it all together well.

Add eggs and vanilla extract

Again, using the electric mixer.

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Sift in flour

Because there’s such a lot of flour I added a little bit at a time so I could see if the mixture was looking too dry or too soggy. I didn’t want to put all of the flour in at once and realise that I’d put too much in and it also makes it easier to mix together when you add it in stages.

Add chocolate chips

The recipe told me to use 325g of chocolate chips so I bought three packets of them, which gave me 300g. I ended up using less than two packets because it seemed like there was way too much chocolate in the mixture. Also, the mixture already contained quite a lot of sugar by this point so I didn’t want to add too much chocolate. Surely that would’ve been sickly?

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Preheat the oven

I preheated mine to 170 degrees because that was the rough number that the recipes I looked at online gave me.

Cool the dough 

I ended up leaving mine in the fridge for nearly an hour because I was waiting for my boyfriend to come so I didn’t have to leave the cookies baking in the oven by themselves. However, I’m sure about 15 minutes is fine. Also, I saw some recipes that didn’t say anything about cooling the dough, so maybe it’s fine to just put them straight in the oven…

Cook the cookies!

I ended up cooking mine for 15 minutes because when they come out of the oven, you can eat them when they’re warm or soft. Then, when they’ve cooled down, you can eat them when they’re crumbly. The first batch I put in made quite thick cookies as I rolled the dough into perfectly round balls so they only spread a little bit. With the second batch, I pressed them down so they were a little thinner. The thinner ones are definitely better if you want to dunk them in tea.

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Thanks for reading!

6 People You’ll Definitely Meet In The Gym

Hello again,

Since I started going to the gym regularly I’ve become quite aware of the other people that also go to my gym and how cliche a lot of them are. Just in case you’ve never stepped inside a gym, here are a few examples of the fine specimen that you would encounter if you signed up.

The selfie-taker

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the people that go to the gym to spend a good 20 minutes taking pictures of themselves before they actually start exercising. If you didn’t already know: if you didn’t Snapchat it then it didn’t happen. Shove your hair up into a pineapple and get on with it.

On a creepier note. I once saw a man taking pictures of me. He was on a cross trainer a few feet away from me and I could see him taking a video of me on Snapchat. I was so shocked I didn’t say anything but just moved to the other side of the gym because I felt uncomfortable near him. Ew.

The self-confessed fitness expert

I’m sure everyone has met this Mr Know It All. This is the person that prowls around the gym looking for poor exercise novices to educate. Although giving people tips and advice can be friendly and often helpful, there are a lot of people who just enjoy showing off in front of others. Is it just me that goes to the gym with the intention of speaking to absolutely no one? OK, maybe I’m just antisocial…

The JEANS wearer

I’m not saying that you have to spend loads of money on new gym clothes as soon as you join but surely there’s something more appropriate in your wardrobe than JEANS.

The over-friendly stranger

This is the person that thinks it’s acceptable to work out on the machine next to you when there are 20 other machines free. If that’s not bad enough, some people even feel the need to talk to you. Once I was on the cross trainer and a man started singing to me. I tried so hard to ignore him but eventually just went to the other side of the gym in the hope he wasn’t looking to be my friend.

Another time, a man was sat in the reception area of our gym and started asking me what I was working on. I told him and then proceeded to walk through the gym. He followed me and asked if he could train with me. I politely declined.

The enthusiast

This is my favourite person! In my gym there’s always someone dancing by themselves on a machine. It’s so funny to see them so into their workout that they’re putting on a performance for everyone else in the gym.

The fit couple

Because there’s nothing more adorable than watching two people partaking in an adorable couples workout. I always imagine them merrily informing their single friends that “couples who lift together stay together”.

The person that would rather be anywhere else than at the gym

Maybe they’ve had a bad day or maybe they just don’t feel in their element when they’re sweating profusely in a room full of other people who are also sweating profusely. This person should try home workouts.

Thanks for reading!

Let me know if you’ve got any funny or embarrassing gym stories – I could always use a laugh…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

5 Tastier, Cheaper and Healthier Alternatives To Help You Cut Out Fizzy Drinks

Hello again,

This year, one of my new year’s resolutions was to stop drinking fizzy drinks. So far it’s going really well as I’ve found myself trying new things that are actually a lot tastier, cheaper and healthier than fizzy pop.

Iced tea

Recently I’ve been loving iced tea. I buy a tub on granules from Lidl, mix it will hot water (the granules don’t dissolve very well with cold water, as you can imagine) and put it in the fridge to cool. When it’s cool, I drink it with some ice and maybe a slice of lemon. Although we’re still very much in winter, I’ve been enjoying the refreshing coolness of iced tea – it makes a change from my usual tea or coffee. I can definitely tell that this is going to be my favourite drink this summer.

Smoothies

Since I got my Breville Blend Active I’ve been making smoothies quite a lot. My favourite smoothie consists of a mix of berries, yoghurt and maybe a banana. As well as being refreshing they’re also useful if you don’t have to prepare breakfast or you need to grab a snack as you’re walking out the door. If I know that I’m going to be busy on a certain day then I’ll make a smoothie that I can grab out of the fridge on the way to uni or work. That being said, I’m not recommending substituting hot meals with smoothies. However, I will tell you that drinking a smoothie is a lot better than working all day on an empty stomach.

Water (…duh)

In the new year I made it my mission to try and drink a lot more water. I’ve been trying to take a bottle of water with me everywhere I go because if I’m at home and I have a choice between water or juice then I’ll never drink water.

To help me drink more water I’ve been using the Water Log app, where you can set yourself targets and record how much water you drinking each day.

Homemade milkshakes

I’ll admit that this is not the healthiest drink option in the world but I can imagine that milkshakes contain a lot less sugar than fizzy drinks, depending on the ingredients you use. You can make a milkshake with just milk and a flavour, such as coffee, or you can add other ingredients such as ice-cream. I sometimes make vanilla ice-cream and coffee milkshakes on mornings that I don’t fancy eating anything for breakfast – they’re filling and quick to make.

Also, if you’re think you’re due a treat then you can add whipped cream with some sauce drizzled on the top. Mmmmmm.

Fruit juice

As long as they’re low in sugar, fresh juices are a lot healthier than fizzy pop. When you’re in the supermarket just have a look at the different cartons of fresh juice and see which one contains the least amount of sugar. Obviously if you choose something like Sunny D then you’re not going to get very far in terms of cutting your sugar consumption.

Thanks for reading!

If you have any, I’d love to read your smoothie and milkshake recommendations – I know I’ll get bored of mine sooner or later.

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x